There are loads of jazz piano tutorials on YouTube but most of them make improvisation look hard. The truth is, it can be really easy. Piano improv, at its simplest, isn’t rocket science and I’m making this tutorial today to try to prove that. To get started with improvisation, all you need to know is that you can improvise on just one note. Let’s say middle C. If you’ve never improvised before, just sit at the piano a while and do this with your thumb. Play around, see what different rhythms you can come up with. It might seem silly, but stick with me. After a while, you might want to branch out. So don’t go too far – got for two notes. Start using an E flat with your second finger. If you’ve never seen any of my other piano tutorials, this is the way I teach people how to improvise. You start small and you grow. Let’s for for three notes. Add an F with your third finger. Keep playing around with those rhythms. When you get confident with that – and it might take a little while, but keep at it – Add a G flat with your fourth finger. Try playing two notes at a time. Remember the piano’s a percussion instrument. In jazz piano and blues piano, improv is as much about the rhythm as the notes. Last one for now, let’s go for a G (We’ll look at the left hand in a second) Use your fourth finger on the G as well. Look how you can slide from the G flat to the G with your fourth finger. That’s a crush note. Try a tremolo. You might have to practise this for a while, but as you can see, it’s not magic. It does get easy. Piano improvisation needs a left hand as well as a right hand. So let’s add a really simple one. If that’s too hard at first, just practise it by itself. See what I’m doing? Very simple, just two notes at a time. A dead easy pattern to copy. When you’ve got it, start adding the right hand one note at a time. I’m using a tiny bit of pedal to stick it together but not too much. When you’re comfortable with that you can branch out, add a B flat and a top C, maybe add an A and a D, and before long you’ll be using the whole of the blues scale, which is one of the key scales of jazz piano and obviously of blues piano. It’ll take time to perfect that, but if it makes your brain hurt it means you’re doing it right! So there you go. That’s the very, very basics of blues or jazz piano improvisation in four minutes. That is all it takes. It is not magic.