École de jazz à Paris | Cours d'instruments et de théorie

Level I

Course description and objectives:

  • Study (or revision) of 5-note chords in close and open position,
  • Right and left-hand exercises,
  • Progressive harmonization of standards employing 2 to 6 voices.

Once able to apply the rules studied in class to harmonize standards, students are introduced to more complex harmonizations. Improvisation is approached via a series of exercises and progressively used in themes. At the end of the year, students should be able to play by heart and improvise over several standards of their choice, using a balanced and personal harmonization.

Level required: by audition


Levels II and III

The course objective is to firmly reinforce the four fundamental notions acquired in Level I, namely:

  • Rhythm
  • Harmony
  • Melody (phrasing)
  • Repertoire


Through a series of progressive exercises, the student acquires a sense of rhythmic precision (placing of the left hand, independence, syncopation, and use of modes, triplets, sixteenth notes, etc.).

Harmony: focus on acquiring a knowledge of the principal chord positions in all keys (voicings, large and extra-large structures, block-chords) and voice leading (inter-relation of positions, use of counterpoint, etc.).

Melody: focus on enriching melodic ideas and phrasing. The objective is to enable students to hear what they want to play before actually playing it in all keys. All of these elements are put into practice in as many tunes students are able to learn by heart as rapidly as possible so that they can build up a repertoire. In all of these classes, particular attention is paid to the quality of sound production.

Level required: by audition