Faculty-Authored Piano Books

A Modern Method for Piano Scales by Suzanna Sifter

This book covers the most essential and widely used scales in modern styles of music. We explore the relationships between scales and chords, which will enhance your technique, composition, and improvisation. Scale theory is followed by fingerings in 12 keys and multi-genre études.

Solo Jazz Piano: The Linear Approach by Neil Olmstead

Learn to improvise using the techniques pioneered by piano greats Lenny Tristano and Dave McKenna. This methodical approach to learning the art of solo jazz piano improvisation will free your creative sense of music. It begins with a review of chord symbol interpretation, walks through bass line development, and ends with how to play several melodic lines simultaneously in stimulating musical conversation.

Piano Essentials: Scales, Chords, Arpeggios, and Cadences for the Contemporary Pianist by Ross Ramsay

Beginning with basic concepts and advancing to challenging studies that will serve as a reference for years to come, this book will also help you to master the most common chord progressions in pop, rock, and jazz.

Berklee Practice Method: Keyboard – Get Your Band Together by Russell Hoffmann, Paul Schmeling, and the Berklee faculty

This is the first-ever method that teaches you how to play in a rock band. Learn what all the great musicians seem to know intuitively: how to listen, interact and respond, improvise, and become part of the groove. The book and play-along CD will help improve you timing, technique, and reading ability. Become the great player that everyone wants to have in their band.

Hammond Organ Complete: Tunes, Tones and Techniques for Drawbar Keyboards by Dave Limina

The secret to creating funky sizzles and classical Hammond sounds is mastering the combined use of the drawbars, expression pedal, and the Leslie speaker speed switch. Sound complicated and intimidating? It doesn’t have to be! This hands-on guide takes you through the techniques of playing the drawbar organ step-by-step, one skill at a time. Whether you’re comping a rock tune or playing lead in a jazz trio, command of the Hammond organ will make you a sought-after player. Groove with this fun and comprehensive organ method!

Instant Keyboard: Play Right Now! by Paul Schmeling and Dave Limina

This revolutionary new book will have you jammin’ right away. No matter what your level of musical knowledge, this is a simple, fun method for students of all ages who want to start playing the keyboard. Pop in the accompanying CD and jam with the band in a variety of musical styles, including rock, blues, country and funk.

Contemporary Piano Technique: Coordinating Breath, Movement and Sound by Stephany Tiernan

Develop expressive, virtuosic, and healthy piano technique for contemporary and classical styles. Step by step, through integrated written direction and video examples, you will see exactly how to move your fingers, wrists, arms, feet, body and breath to achieve maximum expressive effect and technical facility. Developed by Stephany Tiernan as a continuation of the groundbreaking work by Madame Margaret Chaloff, this approach to piano technique has been used by thousands of pianists worldwide. The DVD demonstrates each technique in isolation and in the context of playing repertoire from jazz, rock, new age, Latin, and classical styles.

Latin Jazz Piano Improvisation: Clave, Comping and Soloing by Rebecca Cline

Improvise on the piano in Latin music settings. This book breaks down the harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic techniques used by the greatest artists of Cuban piano music, such as Rubén González (Buena Vista Social Club), Pedro “Peruchín” Jústiz, and Lilí Martínez Griñán. The exercises and play-along recordings will help you orient yourself to Afro-Cuban grooves and to develop a sense of how to hear and use the clave as the central grounding force behind your solos and accompaniments.

Berklee Jazz Keyboard Harmony: Using Upper Structure Triads by Suzanna Sifter

Enrich your playing with advanced jazz harmonies. This workbook will help you play with a contemporary jazz sound, interpret lead sheets, and use upper-structure triads to expand your comping palette. By considering tensions in terms of upper structure triads, you will develop an organized and intuitive means of using more advanced structures in your playing. These practical exercises and concise descriptions will help you develop your sight-comping and create full and colorful voicings for all chord types. The accompanying CD lets you hear and practice these techniques with a jazz quartet.

Jazz Piano Comping: Harmonies, Voicings, and Grooves by Suzanne Davis

Learn the essentials of accompanying soloists and playing in jazz ensembles. Comping is the practice of using chords to accompany a melody. Whether supporting a soloist, playing in an ensemble, or performing solo, this book will help you to use chords effectively and appropriately to create a rich jazz sound and enhance the sonority of your whole ensemble. It begins with triads and voice leading and progresses through altered seventh-chord spread voicings for two hands, covering many different techniques for using harmony and rhythm. The accompanying CD lets you practice with a small jazz combo. The book is suitable for all major jazz styles.

Chord-Scale Improvisation for Keyboard: A Linear Approach to Improvisation by Ross Ramsay

Use harmony to its maximum creative benefit. Learn to interpret chord symbols and their harmonic context into expressive soloing. Gain a comprehensive understanding of a wide variety of modes, and learn to use them effectively to simplify your note choices while expanding your creative palette.

Modern Method for Piano: Foundations of Jazz Harmony by Jeff Covell

This organized approach establishes a thorough foundation of knowledge of and proficiency with keyboard theory, which is necessary for the study of jazz harmony, improvisation, composition, and arranging. It is designed for pianists, composers, arrangers, vocalists, and other instrumentalists who want to develop piano skills and theoretical strength.

Modern Method for Piano: Jazz Harmony for Piano (Part 1) by Jeff Covell

This organized approach develops a thorough knowledge of common harmonic vocabulary used in contemporary jazz harmony, arranging, and composition. Practical and theory-intensive, foundation materials established in Volume 1 (Foundations of Jazz Harmony) are applied to one-handed and two-handed voicings by way of construction and supportive exercises. This approach is designed for pianists, vocalists, and other instrumentalists who want to develop piano skills.

Modern Method for Piano: Jazz Harmony for Piano (Part 2) by Jeff Covell

This organized approach develops a thorough knowledge of common harmonic vocabulary and chord progressions used in contemporary jazz harmony, arranging, and composition. Practical and theory-intensive, harmonic and melodic exercises presented in Volume 2, Jazz Harmony for Piano (Part 1), are continued and expanded with one-handed and two-handed voicings, by way of construction and supportive exercises. This approach is designed for pianists, vocalists, and other instrumentalists who want to develop piano skills, an increased aural awareness, and theoretical strength.