a great deal of our visitors are beginners. in many forums and threads they are asking how to begin, to practice, to learn, to improvise.
you will learn to improvise following three easy steps:

step 1. melody
play a seventh or a minor seventh chord, as c7 or cm7 with left hand.
with right you may create melodies touching only notes of chord.
don´t worry about rhythm in this first step. you are learning to create your own melodies. play chords freely with left hand.
when you are playing phrases fluently, then use chord notes as pilots of a bridge. you may take any no-chord note as passing sounds. you have twelve different sounds between an octave. now your melodies are sounding more jazzy!
don´t worry about what scales are you using.... let it to critics... they will analyse if your scales are dorian or mixolidian or bebop, or pentatonic, or altered, or chromatic... you are creating your own phrases freely, no thinking in theories... let it to musicologists and teachers.
don´t overload your phrases with many foreign notes... use it sparingly.
elegance is in simplicity.
touch keys as if you were looking for chord notes... in that search you are doing music!
only knowing a chord you are sounding jazzy!.
practice a lot over all seventh and minor seventh chords and you will have a degree in first step.

step 2. rhythm
play a march rhythm with left hand .
first jazz pieces were marches, as “when the saints go” “mack the knife” new orleans hits, armstrong hits...
mark a steady four beats rhythm so:
1.bass, 2. chord notes, 3. bass, 4. chord notes. om–pa-om-pa.
do it as walking or marching, and it helps a lot to mark pulses with foot. so you are connecting with subconscious... rhythm is a natural function of subconscious.
feel rhythm while playing... don´t think in it... don´t count anything... just feel it.
improvise melodies as in step 1, but adding rhythm.
now your music sounds richer.
if you play only in quarters... you are sounding as ancient european marches or little soldiers pieces... play eighth notes and your music is more happy.
now experiment with syncope.
each beat has two parts : downbeat, upbeat.
play a note in upbeat, supporting it over the next downbeat. in sheet music it appears as an eight-note slurred to next quarter or eight.
now your music is more excitant... syncopation is one of main characteristics of jazz.
great musicians kidding as you over a simple chord have composed famous standards as coltrane´s “impressions” or miles´ “so what”
now you are playing real jazz and you are graduated in second step. you may do free improvisation with a march rhythm. congratulations!

step 3. progressions
play a diatonic scale:
c d e f g a b c.
build a 4 note chord over the second note of scale: d f a c.
call this chord ii, in roman numerals.
build other 4 note chord over the five note of scale: g b d f. call this chord v.
build a 4 note chord over the first note of scale: c e g b. call this chord i.
practice improvisation in / ii v / i - / in all keys.
when you get dominion in this progression, you may jump to any other key while playing, and so you are sounding as a “pro”... no more as a beginner.
once duke ellington was kidding with first bar of this progression:
/ dm7 g7 / dm7 g7 / em7 a7 / em7 a7 /
/ am7 d7 / abm7 db7 / cm7
try to improvise something, as did duke, over this progression...
so ellington composed his famous “satin doll”.
now you have finished third step of jazz kinder.... you are really playing progressive jazz!
your family and your friends are your fans and their think that you are a great jazz player!
now you will enjoy this web site and as a partner of www.learnjazzpiano.com you may go to “lesson pages” in order to advance a lot in jazz learning.
good luck and enjoy jazz.
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