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Arts & Entertainment

Listen and Learn: “Maiden Voyage”

Herbie Hancock

Lesson time 8:53 min

Herbie performs one of his most famous compositions alone at the piano. Listen and practice along to learn about how to play ballads and use the sus4 chord.

Herbie Hancock
Teaches Jazz
Learn to improvise, compose, and develop your own sound across 25 video lessons.
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Find Your Sound

Herbie Hancock's jazz career started in his family's living room, listening to his favorite records and trying to play along. Now, he's one of the most celebrated musicians in the world. Join Herbie at the piano as he shares his approach to improvisation, composition, and harmony. Gain access to 10+ original piano transcriptions, including 5 exclusive solo performances.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.


Herbie helped remind me to keep my mind open to all possibilities. Too quickly we got bogged down with what we like and know and that makes us think we know whats right. But there is no right and wrong. There's just making the best of what you got day to day. Thank you for all of this!!

I love Herbie even more now! Most of all, I felt motivated to keep learning and improving, and be me. Each musician has its own voice and story to tell.

First, i was worried about how it would help me, as jazz pianist, but the way you can see Herbie´s hands almost whole the time is very useful! The lessons are short, but every of them has its own depth. I can only recommend.


Marcus M.

Such a great musician. I'm not familiar with the song, but he is incredible!

Heather H.

Beautiful rendition. Thank you Herbie Hancock, a true creative genius. Can the technical problem with the sound be addressed, please? There is some limiter or compressor messing up the real dynamics (volume) in some passages. It wrecks it for me. Help!

Dave S.

Wow! This is a gold mine. The video, audio and transcription. I'm going to be busy for quite awhile dissecting this. THANKS!!


Love how there are some minor 7ths as well as extended Major harmonies. And all so smooth and beautiful.

Judy G.

Here it is, with Herbie playing plus the print for those of us transitioning from visual to auditory. Manifique! Thank you!

David A.

Beautiful! I always admired how freely Herbie is able to walk within a frame, seemingly not being hindered by harmonic boundaries! Love that album that he did with Brecker, Holland and Roy Hargrove with the Coltrane tunes. Man - I didn't know what you could do on the basis of a Dm-chord! Only - too bad with the sound here! Did the soundguys put a noise-gate on? On the low passages the notes often seem to break off.

Bradley Y.

I love Herbie Hancock. He has always been one of my favorite pianists, and I continue to learn from him every day just listening to his music. This is a rare opportunity to be able to listen and to WATCH his hands closely. What Herbie has created here is a sublime improvised "Sonata" on his composition "Maiden Voyage" that is stunningly beautiful. His singular and vast harmonic vocabulary easily enables him to transform his brilliant original composition (which as we all know is a jazz classic) a composition that is actually made up of primarily "sus chords" into a tapestry of every conceivable chord structure, chord scale, and voice leading technique we can imagine. What emerges is something of unimaginable beauty and spontaneity - I can watch and listen over and over. I hope that in the future, Herbie can be persuaded to do another Master Class, one designed for musicians that are at a more advanced stage - where he can really take his time, and explain exactly what he is thinking and doing when he creates those exquisite voicing that are his alone. My only complaint - (and its not really a complaint) - is that I wish there was more time for Herbie to explain how he selects each note he chooses to create his voicings. Sometimes, everything he is saying flies by so fast! Anyway, we can keep going back, rewinding, and watching again and again. Maybe next time, there could be a Master Class with Herbie where he focuses on his VOICING TECHNIQUES alone! Anyway, Im loving this course. Thank You Herbie (NYHRGK!!), and Thank You to The Master Class organization for creating these outstanding online lessons.

Arno S.

Thank you Herbie, for introducing me to Chris Anderson, what a master of harmonization... I found a playlist of his work, album called From the Heart, hope everybody else enjoys it as well.

Elliot H.

Amazing to hear how Maiden Voyage has evolved from the original recording in 1965 to this version now. I think it shows Herbie Hancock"s own musical growth to some extent, although even in 1965 the seeds for this were there.

Robb C.

Very deep and soulful. I loved the inventiveness of very sparse movements to achieve a whole different mood. Herbie truly is a Master.