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Arts & Entertainment

Listen and Learn: “Watermelon Man”

Herbie Hancock

Lesson time 5:45 min

For his final solo performance, Herbie chooses one of his most popular compositions. A study in bluesy playing, it showcases the possibilities you can find in simple structures if you stay open to the moment.

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.

I found this class with Herbie Hancock to be more inspirational than educational, but that is great ! I am a beginner finding his way and I loved the personal connection to someone that I admire. I can't wait to move on from here.

Looking at music and life on a whole different level. Encouraging to say the least. Thanks maestro!

This class really gave me amazing hindsight from a very experienced jazz legend--Herbie Hancock!

It wasn't what I thought it would be, but lessons that were great for the character and the mental of one who creates. I highly encourage this being a template video for anyone whom may struggle with, second guessing, lack of inspiration or feeling victim to the work that was once a joy.


Mike F.

I would like to see more breakdown of techniques in slow motion to learn them

Marcus M.

The 3:58 mark!!! So dope how he can make what I would make sound like a mess sound incredible!


Love this piece and this particular solo v. much as both jazz and contemporary classical! But am I LOL not gonna pass this class until I can play this at tempo? Buddhist class picked up one of your Norton Lectures! It was optional but they can tell whether you watched it on

Franco E.

And this is what it's all about. Thank you Herbie. Now, I have to go practice like crazy. :)

A fellow student

I can't read music sheet could you provide MIDI file for each lesson so I could practice with my DAW

Jonathan S.

Some of the mind-blowing variations are so cool they make me laugh. Brilliant! Look what happens when you combine hard work with genius. Thank you for sharing yourself with us Herbie.


This master class is truly inspirational. I know I will never be able to play like Herbie, the man is a genius on so many levels but his philosophies make you want to be a better musician and person also.. For me he is the best 'jazz' pianist alive today. I love Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett but I have never heard anyone use the piano like a percussion instrument as HH does - after all the piano is a percussion instrument. His use of rhythm is mind boggling, but it's the melodic lines he can pull out of the air that leaves me gob smacked. Like he says I just hope I can be a better musician tomorrow.

Max C.

I truly appreciated the human being and the kindness of HH. I know his genius since Blue Benson, the first record I am really remembering about Herbie, where he shows a blues that makes me shiver. Thanks

Susanna R.

Great creativity for a free soul that plays. Thanks to Herbie for the deep message. I will listen all lessons over and over again, many times :)))


What a great surprise! Love “Watermelon Man” so much and am loving Herbie’s playing of it. Wow! Thanks Herbie and for all your life wisdom. Ps: I keep accidentally deleting my PS but I found that it was so very worth it to actually play Herbie’s arrangement!!! If not for the popup saying, “Hey did you look at this? It’s important to the course!” I almost missed Hancock’s world class composition/arrangement: the runs are beautiful, the tone clusters, LOVE when the melody comes back on 3rd to last page(!) and my cat loved it, too! To the last freaky chord, FGFA. PPS: Got stymied on bottom of page four, too and that was worth looking at. As well as other places I did not hit in time!...But am glad to have played it and glad to have it printed.