by Gjermund Sivertsen
Here are three important techniques in how to play block chords on piano.

When I started out with Jazz Piano I was deeply fascinated with the block chord style. However, I had no clue in how to play block chords myself. I found it hard and clunky to figure out how I could play block chords on piano, even after listening to Bill Evans, Milt Buckner and George Shearing playing the block chord style. 
But then, I discovered a guy called Alan Broadbent. Not only is he a great composer, arranger and musician – but he uses the block chord style like no one else. So I give my credits to why I know how to play block chords on piano to him as well as Bill Evans.

So: I’ve extracted the block chord style into something I believe will work well for you!
Have a look at my YouTube videos here:

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Here are the steps I talk about in the lesson:
1. Get to know the major bebop scale.

The bebop major scale is for example the C scale, but you add a G# to it. Simply that.

2. Play the block chord between the octaves.
So you basically play the C scale in octaves, and add a 6th or 7th to the chord on every other scale note.
Then you add a diminished 7 chord on every other scale note too.
3. Play the II-V-I exercise.

If you really want to learn to play block chords on piano, you should do these exercises. These exercises has helped me a lot.
Download the exercises here if you haven’t already.

4. Listen to the block-masters.

Those who truly know to use this style are jazz pianists like Bill Evans, Milt Buckner and George Shearing. Again: I also recommend listening to Alan Broadbent when you want to study the block chord technique. 
You will not be able to really crack the code unless you also listen a lot to the people who master this way of playing.

5. Copy the block-masters note by note.

This is maybe the most important step to truly get it. However, this can be hard for many people to copy just by ear alone. 
A good solution to the problem if you have a hard time copying by ear, is to buy a transcription from someone else. 
If you do, make sure you don’t rely on the written music but only use it as a blueprint only while you play together with the music.