31st December 2017 David Magyel

I am an Advanced Beginner, where should I start?

– you have already played piano for many years now, but for some reason, you like to start courses at the absolute beginner level. (i.e., You are a piano teacher, and you need some ideas how to teach improvisation to your students)
– you have proper technique and solid reading skills
– you have zero experience with improvisation
– you are planning to sign up for the FULL ACCESS membership, but you are not ready to commit to it yet, so you  signed up for the monthly beginner membership

…then this article is for you.

Since you have good control over the piano, you have to look the core lessons from a completely different perspective.
Therefore I strongly recommend you to start here:

1. Month Jazz Beginner Approach (Ear Training – Transposition)
1. Month Jazz Beginner Approach (Making Music with the Core Lessons)

Keeping that Jazz Beginner Mindset, you will find even the absolute beginner lessons useful to you.

Your 1-month beginner practice plan is the following:

I. Warm up Routines:

Routine #1: Five-Finger Scale Exercises (Easy)
Routine #2: Five-Finger Improvisation Exercises (A minor)
Routine #3: Major Triad Etudes (Root Position)
Routine #4: Major Triad Etude (Arpeggios)
1-month Beginner Essentials: Making Music with the Core Lessons (Easy)
1-month Beginner Challenge: Smooth Voice Leading
1-month Beginner Challenge: Pop Improvisation in 4 Major Keys

II: Advanced Routines

Jazz routine 1: Five-finger scale exercises (12 Major Keys)
Routine 1: Five.Finger Scales and Improvisation Exercises (Play and rest approach)
Routine 1: Five.Finger Scales and Improvisation Exercises (Rhythmic Displacement)
1-month Beginner Challenge: Blues Improvisation with triads

The last five lessons are really fun! Even for me. It allows you to be creative and there is no limit how difficult or sophisticated you can play these exercises. For example, the Play and rest approach and Rhythmic Displacement are concepts you can work on until… let’s say… the rest of your life maybe? Even as a professional pianist.

Therefore if you are working on those lessons, please upload a video to youtube – as an unlisted link is enough – and sent it to me.
I want to see how far you manage to push your limits. I will give you feedback and additional exercises to work on.

III. Tunes
D minor Etude – Spring Wind (Hungarian Folk Tune)
Bb Major Etude – Sweet Home (Pop-Rock)

IV: Theory/Basics
D Minor Workout – Basics
Bb Major Workout – Basics

V: Ear Training – Transposition – Composition
1. Month Jazz Beginner Approach (Ear Training – Transposition)
1. Month Jazz Beginner Approach (Making Music with the Core Lessons)
Lesson 5: Sight Reading (Video 3)
Lesson 6: Sight Reading (Video 4)
Lesson 7: Sight Reading (Video 5)
Lesson 8: Sight Reading (Video 6)
Lesson 9: Sight Reading (Video 7)
Lesson 10: Sight Reading (Video 8)
Easy Esplosivo Songs (revisited)

When you open a lesson, you will see the video on the top and under that, you will find a practice plan. It helps you to get the best out of the lesson. I expect you to complete everything that is written in the description. If you only do what is shown in the video, you will not get very far. However, if you follow my advice and work through all the additional exercises, in 6 months you will be a well-rounded jazz pianist.

If you are still not sure where to start or how to approach these lessons, feel free to contact me. In order to give you good advice and guidance, I would need the following information from you:

  • Your name, age, and main motivation.
  • A link where I can see or hear you playing any of my exercises from my website. (Unlisted youtube link, mp3 file, etc.) If you are not a member yet, please chose a lesson from my Youtube Channel. Play the entire exercise from the beginning to the end with a steady beat and let me know how long time did it take you to complete the lesson. If the recording is about improvisation, please improvise at least for 1 minute (with a steady beat).
  • How much time do you have for practice?
  • Are you flexible, or is there anything on the website that you don’t want to practice? (Jazz, Blues, Contemporary Music, Latin?)
  • Are you working on the additional exercises too?
  • What lessons have you already completed or are still working on?
  • What is your next short-term goal? Is it ok if I tell you that you should change that goal?:) Most of the time you think that your problem will be solved if you learn more about theory, scales, and licks, but then I come and tell you that all you have to do first is to keep the rhythm.

If you like my approach and you are ready to upgrade for the 6 month or 1-year membership, please contact me to redeem your discount.
Complete list of lessons

I am looking forward to getting to know you, working together and make you a better pianist.