(Most of these gigs are in the San Francisco, San Jose & Monterey Bay Area)
We’re really enjoying the spring April weather. The flowers are blooming and the music is flowing.
This month, I am playing solo piano at the elegant Cetrella in Los Altos; at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel; playing solo at Merrill Gardens; at the stately San Jose Country Club. I also play for the Sunday Service at at Westhope Presbyterian Church in Saratoga. Come here often to check out newly added gigs. (See the listings below for more information.)
We have updated and revamped the JazzSkills for Piano website. Check it out. We are now offering a brand new introductory offer.
Here’s some exciting new news regarding my new online jazz piano improv course, “JazzSkills for Piano (Getting from Here to There)“. This is an intensive, deep, serious course in developing the skills necessary to play jazz piano. It’s the subconscious which does the playing . . . you have the FUN. This is your time to get started!
JazzSkills for Piano:
Over 200 lesson videos
The Private Lesson Blog
JAZZ MASTERCLASS: Step-by-Step (stand alone lessons)
This series of lessons give step-by-step instruction in analyzing and developing specific tunes and styles. This solves mysteries. This gives answers Now! You can choose your tune and/or style to develop it fully and creatively. New Step-by-Step Lessons will be added often. Visit his website: Musicmann.comto join his mailing list to stay current on the release of new lessons.
These lessons are fairly advanced and assume that you already have basic skills as a jazz pianist. If you need to work on your jazz skills . . . consider enrolling in Martan’s intensive online jazz piano course JazzSkills for Piano. This course will definitely take you “From Here to There”. Visit JazzSkills for Piano to receive Four Free Videos.
Martan Mann is now offering special individual Skype lessons based on his new internet jazz piano course, JazzSkills for Piano. The Skype sessions are paid through PayPal. You should have a Skype account and a webcam. Click Here for more information.
I want to remind vocalists that I can provide rehearsal and recording services. I have a beautiful Yamaha C7 and excellent recording equipment. It’s quick and easy to record a demo or complete CD. CD artwork is also available.
I can also create Band in a Box charts and recordings which sound like a real band. You’ll be amazed!!! TURN OFF THE MUSIC AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.
The above is an audio file, “You’d be so nice to come home to”. It has my live piano playing mixed with the BIAB file. The first and third chorus is a backup for the vocalist. The second chorus is a sax solo. BIAB can put the song into any key, style, soloing instrument, tempo, etc.
I think we all know the “groove” when we experience it. It’s the emotional pulse that we feel when listening to music. In playing jazz, rock or pop music, it’s very important to first set up a strong groove. However, once you start playing the melody, it is equally important to be independent from the groove. In other words, the vocalist or instrumental soloist is literally playing over the groove.
The problem for pianists (and also guitarists) is that they are often playing both the groove and the solo. It’s an important element of style that both groove and soloing should be distinctly different. For instance, think of a pianist or guitarist playing a groove while also talking freely to the audience. It takes a lot of practice and experience to develop this freedom. Continue reading →
We have often been told that “music is the universal language”. Another way to look at this is to consider music as a direct language of emotion. It is an instant access into the subconscious of the listener. It is powerful!
I’m not an expert on brain functions, but I’m fairly sure that the same center of the brain that allows to speak, converse, create and conceive is the same “language center” which allows us to improvise and compose music. If that is true, we can directly improve our ability to improvise by learning music the same as we learn other languages.
I have some exercises which will develop your music-language skills.
Music is not about perfection. It is about feeling. Jazz, in particular is about groove. It is groove which gives jazz it’s identity, it’s purpose, it’s joy. You know groove when you hear it. You know what it feels like. The main issue is . . . how to develop a great groove in your playing?
I’m pretty sure that ALL great players practice to a metronome. Practicing to a metronome develops an internal “click” in the player’s subconscious. However the click is only a reference point. If you have recorded your music, you, and all the players on the recording, have probably listened to a “click track” while recording. All the players have the same reference point of time.