Winter Session starts January 5th, 2019 - Performances TBA

The Grip System – Jazz Harmony for Single Note Instruments,
Jared Hall,
Tuesday, 5:30-7:00pm

Class ID: CLTGS1


This class is not currently scheduled. It may be offered Winter 2018

The Grip System – Horns Meet Piano

The Grip System is designed using chords, scales, and structures which jazz artists and educators are fluent in.  “It’s about the approach—it’s just a way to deal with this stuff,” says Whit Sidener, creator/educator of The Grip System—University of Miami. The approach through the grip system was developed to be accessible to students without overwhelming them with massive and complex philosophies.

The system provides students with:
  • Development of jazz piano skills specifically for the non-pianist
  • Comprehensive understanding of chord-scale relationships
  • Various ways to understand chord structures and scales, including their applications
  • Terminology for labeling upper structures of chords
  • Additional aural acuteness related to jazz harmony and chord progressions
  • Visualization skills in relationship to chord symbols, intervals, and transposition
  • Tools for learning improvisation
Whit Sidener: “You’re going to get much better at intervals. You’re going to get much better at recognizing triads, triads in inversions, and in your head and in your ears—visualizing and hearing.” Sidener’s method addresses many of the major concepts within jazz theory which can aid an individual in successful improvisation.
Using the grip system students can learn a variety of:
  • Chord structures including  major, minor, dominant, half-diminished, diminished, altered, augmented, whole tone, suspended
  • Scales including the modes of major and melodic minor, diminished, augmented, pentatonics, tritone
  • Piano voicings
  • Other concepts related to improvisation such as inversions, triad pairs, common chord progressions, chord substitutions, and transposition

What students are saying about the class:

Jared is an effective teacher and really knows his stuff. The class has been fabulous and helps me in several different areas at once. While training me to be able to play through a tune’s changes on the piano (which I couldn’t do before and now can do), the class has also really helped my ear, especially in recognizing extended, complex harmonies, given me a better understanding of those harmonies and their uses, and has given me a lot of insight into ways to approach those harmonies on my horn to boot.  – Eric Beck


Student Requirements

Students must have at least Jazz Harmony – Level One knowledge including intervals, triads, scale degrees, seventh chords, traditional harmony, and the major scale tonal system.  Any student pursuing the grip system approach to playing piano must have a basic knowledge of the piano and piano skills including knowledge of the names and written notation of notes in relation to the keyboard. Access to a keyboard is essential for practice/homework.

Class meets 1.5 hours weekly

Registration and Payments

Registration requires payment in full by the first meeting of a session (unless special arrangements have been made). Seats are filled on a ‘first-come, first-serve’ basis and cannot be assigned unless payment is received. Payments can be made by cash, check, or credit card.

Please refer to our Policies page for information regarding important information about registration and payment.