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#1126929 - 02/05/09 10:37 PM My future with jazz? Learning - where to start...
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Hey Guys, I don't often post here because I'm mostly hanging in the Pianst Corner. I have played classically my whole life and the more Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum I listen to, the more I want to play jazz.

But where to start?!?
My teacher is also classically trained but has taken a few jazz classes that in her own words "got too crazy, and had to stop taking them". Apparently she couldn't grasp how intense jazz is or something but I am really determined to learn.

I'm in 10th grade, and playing the beginning levels of the advanced rep. but as it begins time for highschoolers to get jobs, I have become a lounge lizard so to speak. The money is not bad and I really enjoy doing something I love to do rather than bagging groceries and bussing tables like other kids my age.

I'm a really good improviser (so I've been told), but these come off as much more...I'm not sure how to describe it... new-agey, less jazzy. I've also got a pretty good ear, great relative pitch but no perfect pitch. Figuring out songs by ear is not problem for me, and from what I've seen and read, jazz has a lot to be said through actual music instead of being written down note for note.

As I get closer to college, I'm thinking about music. I'm nowhere near the level of the "piano monsters" that tear up the high level competitions but I'm pretty sure I've reached a level that I could do something in college if I keep working. I'm not positive with it, but does someone have a better shot of making a career in music with studying jazz or studying classical performance? Maybe even both! \:D What can one do with a jazz degree?

I feel so connected to jazz right now for some reason. It's so fun to listen to, but ultimately, I would like to learn how to play some.

Should I find a teacher? Or are there method books that I should look into?


Thanks for your patience with me :p
Matt

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1126930 - 02/06/09 12:51 AM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start...
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I think you should get a teacher for sure.

I am not sure doing jazz is any easier or harder than classical, most jazz majors practice anywhere between 5-8 hrs a day in college to get their jazz chops up. its important to specialize and focus at one point

If you are starting jazz, you should consider it as a long term commitment, something you will take a lifetime to master. And it's really up to the individual to decide how far you want to go. It may not take that long to play standards on a wedding gig.. but it may take 10+ years or more to get to the point where you are playing with the top cats in New York.

Personally I think a classical degree will be better for finding teaching job, as far as being a performer, the most important thing is decide whether that lifestyle is right for you. A lot of people stop music after college not because lack of ability, but they realize that life as performer was just not right for them.

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#1126931 - 02/06/09 02:26 AM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start...
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
First off, listen and look at as many jazz piano videos available on youtube. Look at how many players approach playing standards like Misty, All The Things You Are, Solar, There Will Never Be Another You, Moon River, Green Dolphin and many more styles.

Try to jam with as many jazz players you can, get transcribing software like Amazing Slo-Downer and get to work listening and learning solos and voicings from Bill Evans, Oscar P, Tatum, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Ahmad Jamal, Hank Jones, Bud Powell.

Study transcription books by leading players and find a jazz teacher who doesn't "play at jazz" but is really comimtted to the art. Try to get into jazz master classes if available too. Good luck and get your scales together, you are going to need them for sure to play jazz

katt

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#1126932 - 02/06/09 03:29 PM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start...
quiescen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 215
Loc: San Diego
Hi Matt,

You're going to love this! When I first started out on this piano journey of mine, I scoured local bookstores, music stores, and libraries for information that would allow me to express myself freely at the piano.

Well, one of the first things I came across was something by Jamey Aebersold. Aebersold is a "jazz" man. But don't let that stop you from learning from him.

You see, Jamey brilliantly put down in one slim volume almost everything a modern piano player needs to get started in terms of theory. His scale syllabus is really something special and explains the modes, and scales in a way that you'll really appreciate.

And here's the best news of all. He's giving away his entire groundbreaking book for free! I couldn't believe it myself. But it's true nonetheless.

Visit http://aebersold.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=JAZZ&Category_Code=_HANDBOOK to go to his download page where you'll see the book arranged by chapters. I highly suggest you take a look at ALL this material for it's extremely useful!

----------------------------
Play New Age Piano
http://www.newagepianolessons.com
_________________________
Edward Weiss
Quiescence Music
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1126933 - 02/07/09 01:01 PM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start...
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Thanks quie. I have many Aebersold books and this link is invaluable.

katt

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#1193702 - 05/05/09 11:36 AM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start... [Re: nitekatt2008z]
sunfly Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 12
Loc: UK
Yes very useful.Thanks

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#1193957 - 05/05/09 05:49 PM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start... [Re: LiszThalberg]
Hrodulf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 831
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Debussy20
Hey Guys, I don't often post here because I'm mostly hanging in the Pianst Corner. I have played classically my whole life and the more Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum I listen to, the more I want to play jazz.

But where to start?!?
My teacher is also classically trained but has taken a few jazz classes that in her own words "got too crazy, and had to stop taking them". Apparently she couldn't grasp how intense jazz is or something but I am really determined to learn.

I'm in 10th grade, and playing the beginning levels of the advanced rep. but as it begins time for highschoolers to get jobs, I have become a lounge lizard so to speak. The money is not bad and I really enjoy doing something I love to do rather than bagging groceries and bussing tables like other kids my age.

I'm a really good improviser (so I've been told), but these come off as much more...I'm not sure how to describe it... new-agey, less jazzy. I've also got a pretty good ear, great relative pitch but no perfect pitch. Figuring out songs by ear is not problem for me, and from what I've seen and read, jazz has a lot to be said through actual music instead of being written down note for note.

As I get closer to college, I'm thinking about music. I'm nowhere near the level of the "piano monsters" that tear up the high level competitions but I'm pretty sure I've reached a level that I could do something in college if I keep working. I'm not positive with it, but does someone have a better shot of making a career in music with studying jazz or studying classical performance? Maybe even both! laugh What can one do with a jazz degree?

I feel so connected to jazz right now for some reason. It's so fun to listen to, but ultimately, I would like to learn how to play some.

Should I find a teacher? Or are there method books that I should look into?


Thanks for your patience with me :p
Matt


There are books on how to improvise, with exercises you can do. Improvisation is a musical skill that can be practiced like any other. I got a book awhile ago on how to improvise on the organ but unfortunately never cracked it. I can improvise on piano but only a little bit. I use it to try to get away from writer's block. I think improvising stimulates the development of musical ideas you can use to compose. This is from personal experience, one time I deliberately improvised on Joplin rags (changing the melodies wherever I could) for about an hour, and then was able to write my own rag because the musical ideas just came to me. So I think there is compositional value to improvising as well as personal value.

Another thing you can do is put on a record and try to play along, making up your own notes. I used to do this when I still played guitar with rock and roll albums.

As for the jazz style I think the best thing you could do is expose yourself to as many different jazz performers as possible and when you find something you like, see if you can transcribe it or play something based on it. A lot of jazz is about taking a single melody or idea and transforming it into something based on it, but something that is also so much more. For example, I saw a video (sorry, I don't have the link) of someone who was completely reinventing the maple leaf rag. It was truly wild. As for technique, playing the fast runs in a lot of jazz music will probably benefit from the same techniques that assist in classical, scales, hanon, etc.

Remember, there's no way to improve without doing the work.


Edited by Hrodulf (05/05/09 05:49 PM)
_________________________
Learning:
Beethoven op 27 no 1 allegro vivace
J.S. Bach wtc book I prelude 10, fugue 10
Exercises

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#1194309 - 05/06/09 07:46 AM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start... [Re: Hrodulf]
majones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 331
Loc: Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Go for the music degree with a teaching certificate, by the time you get your BA you'll know if you want to perform full time or get the masters so you can teach.

Two of my friends went this route and are now teaching at private Universities. And of course performing on the side. Most musicians I know do have a day job.

Relate to your after school job. I dug ditches and toted whatever no one else wanted to carry while my best friend taught square and line dancing at the dude ranches in the hill country to young girls from Houston. Go figure....

Good luck


Edited by majones (05/06/09 07:48 AM)

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#1203070 - 05/20/09 09:58 PM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start... [Re: LiszThalberg]
paulette Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Virginia, USA
Listen listen listen. So many recordings can help you! One of the best texts I have found is "The Jazz Piano Book" by Mark Levine. He has some suggestions for listening too!Get a copy of"The Real Book Vol. 1 " published now by Hal Leonard.Find a teacher who can help you find your own palette of chord voicings and how to get you started improvising.

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#1203073 - 05/20/09 10:07 PM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start... [Re: paulette]
Dr. J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/08/09
Posts: 134
Loc: Oregon
So many great ideas and study materials. I think the most important idea expressed here has been to think about the lifestyle you want and then start planning how to get there in the most efficient manner whether it is private study or a university degree program. And, start making connections with jazz players if you decide to go that route and/or classical musicians or teachers. Interview people - ask questions - get answers - then make plans. Good luck!

Dr. J - The more you play the better your day!
http://www.playpianosongstoday.com
_________________________
Dr. Jordan is a professional piano teacher and performer,
offering creative online piano tutorials to adult beginners.

Dr. Js blog http://playpianotodaywithdrj.wordpress.com/

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#1203246 - 05/21/09 07:26 AM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start... [Re: Dr. J]
sunfly Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 12
Loc: UK
Check out willie myette online he is a Berkely trained musician and jazz teacher.

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#1227213 - 07/04/09 11:29 PM Re: My future with jazz? Learning - where to start... [Re: sunfly]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: sunfly
Check out willie myette online he is a Berkely trained musician and jazz teacher.


I second that. He's at www.jazzpianolessons.com and he's got loads of video lessons, complete with midi and pdf files, from beginner to upper intermediate level. You can join as a member for about $30 a month and get unlimited access to all of his jazz/blues/boogie-woogie lessons. He's an excellent teacher and a very nice person/honest.

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