Week 2 – How to Play Jazz Piano

Last week I made my vlogging debut with the beginning of my jazz piano journey.  After two weeks of tracking my progress through video, I have learned a few things.  First, I need to adjust how and what I record to make the vlog more interesting.  In particular, I want to make sure I include some of the “work-in-progress” videos instead of focusing on getting a perfect “take”. I really love what my classmate Amanda is doing to make her vlogs enjoyable to watch. Second, I purchased a phone tripod to make the filming a little more professional and maybe eliminate bad angles.  Luckily a few of my classmates had a similar idea, so I found some good tripod recommendations on Twitter.

Here is my week 2 recap:

What I worked on:

  • Practiced the 2-5-1 (ii-V-I) progression in all 12 major keys (and added in a drum backing track to make it interesting).
  • Reviewed the C Blues scale (in the RH) and tried playing it with a Blues shuffle pattern in the LH.


  • Still no sheet music! Focused on playing by ear.
  • Being able to play the C Blues scale easily from muscle memory.  I must have learned the scale at some point over the years and I remembered exactly what to do.
  • Squeezed in lots of short practice sessions (5 minutes or so), which is about all I can manage with an almost one-year-old roaming around.


  • I had a lot of difficulty with the Blues shuffle pattern in the LH. I need to spend some slow practice time on this skill.
  • Difficulty choosing which resource to use next.  There are so many on YouTube, so it’s a challenge sorting through the videos. My classmate Daina is exploring Udemy.com, so I might look into that as an option.

Resources used:

Basic Music Theory: C Blues Scale

Week 2 is complete! This week I plan to continue working on the 2-5-1 progression (and see if there are any other useful videos for practice), playing the C Blues scale in the RH and Blues shuffle pattern in the LH and maybe start looking at jazz lead (fake) sheets.

5 thoughts on “Week 2 – How to Play Jazz Piano

  1. Even though I also like watching Amanda’s videos, I really appreciate the comments that you add in and pop up throughout your video. I think they make watching your videos much more interesting than simply watching you play, and it helps explain what you’re thinking while you’re playing. Altan (Sile) is also doing a course through Udemy. I may check it out myself as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Starting to sound jazzy! LH and RH sounding nice separately, now to put the two together! What are you using as your background track? After using iMovie this week, I know they are really sticky about copyrighted audio when uploading/sharing. Were you able to find some background tracks on YouTube that are royalty free?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😬oops! That is a very good question. I just picked a random YouTube video with a backing track! I didn’t even consider the royalty part. Usually I go to freemusicarchive.org for my background music, or just use what is already available in WeVideo. I know Free Music Archive has drum tracks, so I will use that in the future!


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