How To Organize Your Chord Practice

Are you searching for an easy way to organize your chord practice? You’ve come to the right place.

In this lesson you’ll find a free sample from my beginner jazz piano course, “The Zero To Jazz Piano Hero Program” (Free sample video tutorial below)

Update: The Zero To Jazz Piano Hero Program has been released! You can grab your copy by clicking right here

How I Went From A Total Jazz Beginner To World Touring Pro

easy-jazz-pianoI wish I could say that I was an instant jazz piano success.

It sure would have been cool to say that when I was a toddler I was touring the world, playing bebop licks at 900 beats per minute, and playing 1,000 songs out of the fake book in all 12 keys.

But, that definitely was not the case! Just like everybody else I started on this jazz journey as a complete and total beginner.

Why Jazz Piano Beginners Struggle

chord-progressionsI remember the feeling of being a frustrated beginner like it was yesterday.

I loved the amazing sounding chords, the infectious rhythms, the beautiful songs, and the spirit of jazz. I desperately wanted to play this style.

So, like most beginners I sought solutions but 99% of the ‘jazz gurus’ and programs out there assumed I  already had a ton of jazz skills.

They left out critical training secrets that are vital to the success of jazz newbies.

Even My Dog Grew Tired Of Me

chord progressionsEverything felt so complicated and I felt like I was spinning my wheels.

So, like most beginners I was forced to go it alone. And I literally spent years of my life sitting in the practice room.

I experienced tons of trial and error, and many sleepless nights.

The whole time I promised that once I got my playing together that I’d document my discoveries.

I wanted to make sure other new jazz pianists wouldn’t have to spend years of their life searching like I did.

My Jazz Piano Journey Toward Success

After many years I eventually figured it out. I made some breakthrough discoveries and I went on to do some very cool things with music.

  • blues piano tutorialOver 1700 gigs in 14 years
  • Touring internationally (14 different countries in 2 years)
  • Appearing on TV (NBC, ABC, & WGN)
  • Playing on radio (NPR & WLUP)
  • Even playing with Grammy Award Winners (Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, etc.)

How Thousands Of Students Helped To Create A Movement

chord practiceI even started a jazz piano education website that has gone on to become the largest jazz piano site in the world with over 60,000 students coming to learn each month.

As the ring leader of this amazing jazz community, I’ve received thousands of emails from beginner jazz piano students over the years.

You’ve told me about your pain, your frustrations, and challenges you’ve had trying to learn jazz.

And you’ve told me that many of the programs, books, and ‘jazz gurus’ out there assume you have a ton of jazz skills already.

And this has frustrated the heck out of you! And that’s not the best way for you to learn. Trust me I understand because I was there myself.

I’ll Help You Find Your Jazz Piano Success

Looking back 20 years later I realize that most of the ‘jazz gurus’  made everything a lot more complicated than it needed to be.

great-idea-1426607_640So, I set out to create a brand new solution for jazz piano beginners.

Something that would streamline all those discoveries from my years in the practice room into a simple step by step solution for jazz beginners.

A clear method that will take you from zero to playing the best chords and songs you love in 30-60 days.

So, I created a brand new 2 DVD program to help beginner jazz piano students achieve massive jazz piano success.

What’s In The Zero To Jazz Piano Hero 2 DVD Set?

easy-jazz-pianoWe’re now approx. 2 weeks away from the release of this special 2 DVD set.

I’ve received a tons of questions about the program so here’s some of the amazing things you’ll learn in this special program.

Here’s What You’ll Get Access To Inside The DVDs

  • Over 4 Hours Of Beginner Jazz Piano Secrets Filmed In HD.
  • Sheet Music For Every Chord, Chord Progression, & Song Inside The Program.
  • Step By Step Method To Go From Zero To Playing Songs You Love In 30-60 Days.
  • Unlock Amazing Chord Progression Formulas That You’ll Find In Hundreds Of Classic Jazz Songs.
  • Helpful Text On Screen For Those Who Like To Learn More By Ear.
  • Piano Technique Secrets To Get Your Fingers Flying Across The Keyboard With Ease.
  • Unlock Cool Scale Secrets That You Can Use To Build Any Chord In Any Key.
  • Chords Mastery Secrets That Only My Best Students Have Learned (Until Now That Is!)
  • Pro Jazz Jam Tracks & MIDI Files So Practicing Will Be More Fun & Easy.
  • Simple Fingering Tricks That Will Help You Build Incredible Muscle Memory & Speed.
  • The 4 “Power Practice Shapes” That Will Increase The Efficiency Of Your Practice Over 500%.
  • A Powerful Collection Of Brand New Piano Bonuses To Explore.
  • And So Much More…

I Have Even More Exciting News!

I have a long history of live performance and DVD releases. So, I come from the school of thought that a DVD release should be like a party!

Music is about connecting with people and sharing love. It’s a way to share, bond and celebrate the human spirit.

So, just like my live gigs, I like to bring a celebration feel to my product launches.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce we’re also including 5 amazing piano bonuses with this product. These are all brand new and never been released before content. I think you will love them!

You can check out the whole course and bonuses here.

Here’s The Free Jazz Chord Practice Tips Video

We’re still 2 weeks away from the release, but I wanted to give you a sample of the program right away so you could start practicing and learning right now.

Inside this video you’ll learn how to organize your chord practice using a technique called “The 4 Power Practice Shapes.”

You’ll also get a taste what I call “group 1 keys”.  I call these group 1 chords because these chords are in over 50% of the top 100 jazz standards of all time!

And when you can execute the most popular chords right away everything in music gets easier.

So, it’s one of the many powerful chord formulas we go over in the program to help you streamline your learning.

The chords we learn in today’s lesson are:

  1. Dm7(5b), G7, Cm7
  2. Gm7(b5), C7, Fm7
  3. Am7(b5), D7, Gm7

We also talk about a really cool way to spice up minor chords by just changing 1 note.

By the way, the chords and progressions in this video and tons of other ones are all notated inside the special sheet music collection that comes with the DVD. We also use them later inside real songs.

What’s You’ll Learn Next Week

Next week I got another free sample jazz piano video to share with you.

I’m going to show you 2 amazing jazz rhythm techniques that you can use to spice up boring melodies and to decorate simple chords.

These are techniques you’ll hear all the best jazz pianists use.

Stay tuned and watch the site for the next free sample release. If you’re on the FJL email list we’ll send the link to the video right to your inbox.

If you have questions about today’s jazz chord practice tutorial sample, the DVD, or anything else please leave a comment below. I read every comment and I’m always happy to help!

  • Tonya V.

    Hey Steve. This looks exactly like what I’m looking for. Are you doing any preorders on this?

    • Great to hear Tonya! Yes, we are. Please drop my team a line through the contact form on the top of the site. We’ll get you hooked up. Thanks!

  • George Lancaster

    Well this up coming course be in a digital online for computer?. It will be a great refrsher course for intermediate to advance students.

    • Hi George!
      Great to hear from you again. Yes, we’ll have a streaming version of the course as well as digital pdfs too. Thanks for your comment.

  • Fabriano Obobi

    Steve! If I go through your program and complete it faithfully… At what level of jazz playing would you consider me to be?

    • Hey Fabriano,

      Thanks for writing in. This is a tough question… I’m not sure I can give you an exact answer because every student learns and develops differently. I will say that my best students who have dedicated themselves to this amazing craft and followed my program, many of them have gone on to play professionally. But again everyone is different. Regardless, my programs has helped 10s of thousands of jazz artists around the globe and I will continue to do my best to help you succeed :)!

      Steve Nixon

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  • Ken Smith

    Hi Steve, What would you consider the minimum prerequisite for this course? In my case, Ive been playing piano for almost a year, I know all the major and minor chords and most of the major scales. I can also play some fairly easy popular songs and have “played around” with some jazz classics such as Autumn Leaves. Would I be able to handle this course OK?
    Also, will your course help with learning to play popular songs in a “Cocktail Piano” fashion?

    • Hey Ken! Great questions. Yes, where you are right now is a perfect fit for this program. And yes you’ll be able to play cocktail songs after completing the course. 95% of the chords you’ll see in cocktail style are really just jazz chords. Thanks for your comment and I look forward to helping your playing grow!

  • Cliff Roberson

    Steve, in the 2-5-1 sample lesson, why do you play the shell voicings with the right hand and play the 4 note chords with the left? Aren’t the shells typically played with the left and the main chord with the right?

    • Hey Cliff! Happy to help clarify. Which chords are you specifically talking about?

      • Cliff Roberson

        My bad. I was initially under the impression that in the sample video for group 1, your right hand was always playing a shell voicing, and the left hand was always playing multiple notes. But I just replayed it a few times and I see that some of the chords were played that way, but definitely not all. Sorry. Was I correct that generally speaking more notes of a chord are played with the right hand than the left?

        • No problem Cliff! It depends on the voicing type but many times this would be true. It’s because of the overtones series. Too many bass frequencies together can cause clashes. So, you’ll find lots of big voicings have a bit more of a sparse left hand.

  • vbdx

    Hello Steve, could you please elaborate a bit about the prerequisites needed to follow your new course? What kowledge are we supposed to possess both at the piano and in music theory (reading notes, chord symbols etc.) to follow your course without being frustrated? Thanks, Vinciane.

    • Hi Vinciane,
      Thanks for your questions. You actually don’t need to know how to read music in this program. I always write the notes out and demonstrate every move for those who like to learn more by ear. I actually teach you how to build and play chords inside the course. So, you won’t need to know how to read chord symbols in advance. I show you everything inside the program. I look forward to sharing music with you further!

      • vbdx

        Hi Steve and thanks for your reply. What level of piano practice do you think would be required to follow the course? Thanks.

        • It’s my pleasure! Can you clarify what you mean by level of piano practice? I think you may mean what level of piano player do you need to be? If so, you should know the names of the notes on the piano and have played for at least 4 months. You can be brand new to jazz piano though. That’s what the course is designed for. Those who are new to jazz or need a step by step system to fully lock in the fundamentals.

          • vbdx

            Yes, this is what I mean, what level of piano player I need to be. Four months of practice seems ok, I have been playing for a few years now, but not very formally (Unfortunately I have not had a piano teacher for some time now). I improvise little pieces in a classical / new age style but have no experience of jazz whatsoever. Thus a DVD jazz course looks nice to learn at my own pace.

          • Ok thanks. Yeah it sounds it will be a great course for you. Thanks for your comments!

  • Rob White

    Should I be practicing root position major 7, minor 7, dominant 7, minor 7 flat 5 chords in ALL INVERSIONS in all 12 keys in both hands before adding chord extensions (9th, 11th etc…)?

    • Hey Rob, great to hear from you. I would definitely recommend just that. The more comfortable you’re with all of your root position maj7s, min7s, dominant7s, and minor 7b5s in all 12 keys the better. If you master all of those and the inversions in all 12 keys, chord extensions will be much easier to start adding into your playing. Save yourself the pain later down the road and master the fundamentals. From there everything will fall into place! Thanks again Rob for the great question and keep up the great work.
      Steve Nixon

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  • Bittu

    Sir first of all I would love to thank you for your video which really helped me to understand jazz little bit sir I want to know that is altered & diminished scale are really helpful for improvisation different chord changes