How to compose a Jazz piece

This tutorial is aimed at musicians without a background in jazz

About this course

There are several ways to approach a jazz composition and this is one ‘method’ that my students have had a lot of success with at GCSE level.  This tutorial is divided into clear, easy-to-follow sections, with integrated listening tasks and practical activities for you to do on your instrument.

I’ll guide you through the process of creating a jazz piece from thinking up the first melodic idea to putting making a recording.  I’ll compose alongside you, using the 12-bar blues chord sequence as a basis, so that you can see the process and then try it for yourself.  

A couple of quick tips for getting the most out of this course:

  • Don’t be afraid to add your own ideas and ‘twist’ to make your piece unique!
  • I’ve used Sibelius notation software to create my piece but you can use any programme, including a DAW (such as Cubase, Logic, Garageband etc) – the musical process is the same.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at GCSE (or equivalent qualifications) students.

Course summary

  • compose a jazz melody
  • develop the melody
  • compose a bass riff
  • create a 12-bar jazz chord pattern
  • structure a jazz piece
  • compose a jazz solo section
  • write a piano part
  • arrange your ideas for a jazz ensemble
  • make a recording of your piece

Course Information

Estimated Time: 5 hours

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Course Instructor

Rachel Shapey Rachel Shapey Author

Unlimited Access for 12 months

1 year of access

Access this course as many times as you like for the next 12 months for a single price.