using approach notes

Using Approach Notes in Your Improvisation


In this piano video tutorial, we will explore the best way to learn approach notes and transform your piano improvisation. In the intricate world of piano improvisation, breaking free from the confines of linear motion can be a game-changer. This piano video tutorial delves into the transformative realm of Approach Notes, a concept that is often underestimated but is fundamental for elevating our jazz piano improvisation skills.

The Challenge of Linear Motion:

After investing time in learning a bunch of scales, chords, and phrases, many modern piano students face a common struggle—expressing themselves effectively on the instrument. The culprit? A lack of diversity in melodic motion is the direct consequence of the linear up-and-down practice of scales.

Unlocking Diversity with Approach Notes:

One of the ways to promote melodic motion is by using approach notes. By doing so, piano students can enrich their melodic motion across the scales, which will open up a new world of possibilities for them to craft more nuanced and engaging solos.

What is an Approach Note?

An approach note is a note adjacent to our destination note. We have two adjacent notes, a top, and a bottom adjacent note. And we have two types of approach notes, we have diatonic and chromatic approach notes.

approach notes

The chromatic approach notes are the notes half step below, or half step above the destination note, and the diatonic approach notes, are the notes diatonically above, or diatonically below the destination notes, diatonic notes are the notes that belong to the scale being played.

chromatic and diatonic

On this example the note is both chromatic and diatonic at the same time. It’s chromatic because it is a half step below the destination note, but it is also diatonic, because the note belongs to the scale.

Practical Application:

To put these concepts into action, we provide downloadable PDF exercises through the following link Download PDF. These exercises will serve as a practical guide for incorporating approach notes into your practice routine.


As you immerse yourself in your practice, remember that mastering jazz piano improvisation is an ongoing journey. Approach notes are a small step to unlocking the door to creativity and allowing you to navigate the vast landscape of improvisation with more finesse. Stay tuned for the next video, where we continue to unravel the mysteries of jazz piano.

Enjoy your practice! 🎹🎶 #JazzPiano #ApproachNotes #PianoImprovisation