Timing It Right
When you think about playing the piano, you probably imagine having to read lots of little black dots on the page. Well, that's not really true if you learn to play piano with through a chord method. If you want to play solo piano, you will probably want to read melody notes (unless you play by ear) but that's all you will need to read.
So if melody and note-reading is not the challenge, what is? First, you need to know your basic chords. Then it's all in the rhythm. Everyone needs to work on this, me too! Here is a great exercise that will help you.
First, play a simple scale in the left hand. The C or G scale will do. Go up and down. Now, I want you to add a chord in the right hand after every other note. This would be after the first and third beats. Every note in the scale is considered one beat. So you will play C in the left hand, then a C chord in the right hand. Play D in the left hand, then E. Now play the C chord again. Get it? Try to play the chord at the last possible second before the next scale note comes in.
This exercise will help your coordination with both hands AND will give your jazz playing a "swing". Practice this daily using different scales and your hands will coordinate better with your songs.