Now offering Zoom lessons! Contact Jake for details. 

Jake is a dedicated music educator and piano instructor. He currently offers private lessons via Zoom in piano performance, composition, music theory and fundamentals such as ear training, rhythm, sight-reading. Students must have access to a piano or electronic keyboard. Jake has experience teaching all ages, from 3 to 89 and beyond, and a wide variety of genres, including jazz, blues, rock, pop, folk, classical and many popular styles! If you want to learn more, contact Jake to set up a lesson!

Can’t wait to start learning? Jake also teaches on YouTube and Soundslice!

Soundslice Courses

Jake Smolowe’s first Soundslice course is available—buy it now for $7

Buy Now – Harmonizing a Diminished Line – From Arpeggio to Brad Mehldau-style Progression

In this lesson we’ll take a simple diminished 7th chord arpeggio and harmonize it in different ways. We’ll go through several steps of harmonization, progressively transforming the original line while paying special attention to good voice leading, until we end up with a complex, Brad Mehldau-style chord cycle.

You can follow along live with the notation as it highlights every note played; choose sections to loop; speed up and slow down as you please; and even transpose using the synthetic player. Viewable on the web, on your tablet or even on your phone.

Interactive Free Preview 1 – Harmonizing a Diminished Line – From Arpeggio to Brad Mehldau-style Progression

Interactive Free Preview 2 – Harmonizing a Diminished Line – From Arpeggio to Brad Mehldau-style Progression

Soundslice Feature Demo

What you get in the course:

– 1 fully-notated introductory improvisation
– 13 fully-notated harmonic exercises
– 2 bonus short-form improvisations based on exercise #’s 10 and 12
– 1 fully-notated, 6-chorus improvisation based on exercise #13
– A PDF of all the exercises and improvisations
– iReal Book Pro files of exercise #’s 3 and 6-13

Buy the course now for $7 here!

Check out the full course (non-Soundslice version) on YouTube: https://youtu.be/7pe1RtWVzzw

YouTube Tutorials


  • B.A. in Music with Honors in Composition, Stanford 2006
  • 15 years teaching private lessons to all ages, 2005-2022
  • 17 years assisting a jazz lecture class for adults at Stanford with the director of the Stanford jazz program and Stanford Jazz Workshop, Jim Nadel, 2003-2022
  • 4 years as a rhythm section and piano coach for Stanford Jazz Workshop’s Giant Steps middle school big band, 2015-2018
  • 1 year teaching volunteer piano and group theory lessons with Stanford community outreach group MELODY at John Gill Elementary school, 2002-2003
  • 22 years playing jazz, blues, rock, reggae, electronica and folk professionally in the Bay Area, 2000-2022
  • Toured throughout the U.S. and Canada with internationally renowned blues harpist and vocalist John Németh, 2009
  • Toured throughout the Far West, Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions of the U.S. with rock band Sioux City Kid, 2010-2014, including an appearance at South by Southwest 2011
  • Has performed at Yoshi’s Oakland, the Great American Music Hall, B.B. King’s New York, the Independent and Shoreline Amphitheater, among other venues
  • 34 years studying and playing piano
  • 31 years composing, including compositions for big band, small ensemble, film, electronics and solo piano.
  • 29 years studying and playing jazz
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