The Jazz Piano Course: What is functional harmony, and why should you care? (Lesson 1)

Jazz Piano
Welcome to the first video in my full jazz piano course series! Course playlist:

I hope to create a full set of lessons (released approximately once a month) which will take you from a relatively beginning stage to a more advanced harmonic and melodic understanding of jazz piano. We’re going to delve deep into theory over time, so come and join me for the ride!

I know it’s very tempting to skip over the first videos and get to the “good stuff”, but please take a little bit of time to review them anyway and make sure you internalize the ideas of functional harmony, tension and so forth before moving on.

Link to the Piano Quickie series (basic theory):

In this first lesson I’m going to introduce you to the concept of diatonic (or “functional”) harmony. We’ll talk about scale degrees and how to harmonize simple songs using only the tonic, subdominant and dominant degrees. Yes, we’ll start slow, but it’s important to build your understanding slowly. Even if what we do here seems “obvious” to some of you, please stick around, things will become complicated very quickly :).

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