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#1141782 - 05/20/07 10:21 AM Daily routine for jazz
slidemasterx Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 28
Loc: Philippines
I just started getting back into piano playing after 3 years and I'm also fairly new to jazz.

I was wondering what a good daily routine would be for practicing jazz. I was thinking of doing 30 mins sessions of:

1. scales from Jerry Coker's "Patterns for jazz"

2. Sightreading anything I can find

3. Studying "Jazz Keyboard Harmony" by Phil Degreg

4. Doing exercises from Tim Richard's "Improvising Blues"

So this would add up to 2 hours of practice. What do you think of this routine? Is it efficient? Thanks

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#1141783 - 05/20/07 03:34 PM Re: Daily routine for jazz
sylvainiris Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 46
Loc: France
depends on your weak points. Mine is my left hand so someone in the non classical forum very kindly suggested
JAZZ piano, THE LEFT HAND,
Steinway library of Piano Music;
I find it hard but if you are determined, it might be worth the while ;
Iris

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#1141784 - 05/20/07 04:57 PM Re: Daily routine for jazz
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Instead of "Patterns for Jazz," you may want to chek out Tim Richard's "Exploring Jazz Piano," vol.1. If you already have "Improvising Blues Piano" - I'm working thru it now - you've seen what a superb teacher he is.

I'll soon be buying "Exploring...," based on his teaching ability. Here's a link to his hompage. Click on Education.

Please do not discount the value of spending some time each day playing tunes that you like. "All work and no play..."

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#1141785 - 05/20/07 05:33 PM Re: Daily routine for jazz
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Jazz being an unorthodox idiom based on improvisation, I would say study one on one with an accredited recommended jazz player/teacher. I've noticed that all the great jazz teacher/players have their own organized approach to teaching jazz. It's all in playing tunes and building your vocabulary. Theres no wrong notes in jazz. The more you know ( you can't know it all) the more creative in your improvisations. I wish I could practice what I preach and practice,practice and more practice
Oh well! life gets in the way ! You have to make time,discipline etc. etc. If you try and do this on your own with these Jazz instructional guides which are a great aid and resource you are limited in your progress. I speak from first hand experience Good luck
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#1141786 - 05/20/07 07:33 PM Re: Daily routine for jazz
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
As for Patterns...just be sure you know how they fit into chords and tunes.

Time might be better spent starting with one bar phrases from transcribed solos of jazz masters (Tommy Flannagan, Wynton Kelley, Hank Jones, Bud Powell, horn lines of Bird, early Miles, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins...start w/ the beboppers, they are the "Bachs" of modern jazz) Transpose these phrases to ALL KEYS. These are NOT patterns but an actual part of JAZZ VOCABULARY ! One advantage of this , is you can see how the lines relate to chord changes...very important! This is can be very tedious, but this is how you start "buiding a jazz vocabulary" !!
You really see the results a year down the road.

The same goes for voicings. Take a voicing (two-hand or LH) that interest you, transpose to all keys. Start w/ the circle of fourths, chromatically, up and down in both minor thirds and major thirds. Again, this can get VERY TEDIOUS but down the road the hard work pays off!

Back to the solos/lines. Play the line against a left hand voicing to hear how these solos/lines sound in context. Eventually you want to progress to playing the solos/lines with both hands, two octaves apart..ala Phineas Newborn, Geoff Keezer, Oscar Peterson....this an advanced concept....make sure you're solid with the voicing/line first.

Practice this alternating in and out of time, eventually striving for IN TIME. Start very slow and legato!!!!

Make sure you are learning tunes ! (standards and jazz tunes) Practice w/ a metronome with the click on 2 and 4. This is VERY IMPORTANT to developing a swing feel early on.
For those new to jazz, I recommend starting at 56-60=half-note (felt on 2 & 4 ).

If you can't play lines/solos, comp, play solo IN TIME .....SWINGING......all the info/books in world mean NOTHING.
THIS is the MOST IMPORTANT CONCEPT to grasp early on!!! ( As Duke Ellington said.." It don't mean a thing....")

You can make a LOT of PROGRESS in a year...IF you are practicing the RIGHT STUFF!! Two hours a day is a lot, if spent productively !....take this from someone who wasted a few years early in life "spinning his wheels in mud"

More later on suggested materiel.

PLAY IN TIME..TRANSPOSE EVERYTHING !!!!
(Sight reading is always very good... a lot of jazz people, even pros neglect this area)
_________________________
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2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1141787 - 05/21/07 01:42 AM Re: Daily routine for jazz
Pete the bean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 450
Loc: Canada
There are suggested practice routines worth looking at in the appendix of Exploring Jazz Piano Vol. 2 by Tim Richards

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#1141788 - 05/21/07 12:23 PM Re: Daily routine for jazz
pianojazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 359
Loc: dearborn, mi
There's nothing wrong with what has been said above, but I think the most important thing is LISTENING! By that I mean get some CDs of your favorite jazz players, pick out a song you don't already know, learn the tune the way they play it, then play along with them. Repeat steps one through four for the rest of your life.
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#1141789 - 05/23/07 11:03 AM Re: Daily routine for jazz
slidemasterx Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 28
Loc: Philippines
Thanks for all your suggestions. At the moment, I do a lot of listening. About practicing tunes, I've thought about that but I decided that when I get through a few chapters of "Jazz keyboard harmony" then that's the time when I'll start memorizing tunes.

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#1141790 - 05/23/07 03:16 PM Re: Daily routine for jazz
Par Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 64
Loc: S. California
Listening, imitating, transcribing...

Find exact transcriptions of your favorite tunes & study them.

My teacher recommends practicing scales & chords every day (or as regularly as possible). He says it speeds up the process of being able to play in any key.

Take note of RH/LH patterns/voicings you like to use and practice them in all keys.

Use a metronome for rhythm practice.

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#1141791 - 05/26/07 04:25 PM Re: Daily routine for jazz
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
I have also said on many similar posts that listening is the finest way to learning to develop a style that you like in jazz improvisation. You could copy styles of your choice then. If you read music, there are plenty of good transcriptions available from many posts, on these forums for jazz players. Though in the end you need to develop a style of your own, no shortage of styles available. See other posts by me. There is no need to compose your own rendition, just re-hash one of the masterpieces with your own interpretation.

Alan

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#1141792 - 05/28/07 02:19 AM Re: Daily routine for jazz
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
To add to the above. See my post on this non-classical forum on the Bill Dobbins topic. If you get the DVD you will, I think, be amazed. He explains by playing 24 variations,coupled to the most influential pianists from the beginning of jazz to the present day,based on the song 'All Of Me' The man is a genius.

As with most art-forms. I believe it is not a subject one is taught with the exception of basic hand, ear and memory,to help natural development.

Any artist,and in our case music,is in my opinion, something you naturally acquire from one or more of the senses and in musical terms,the ears.This is an art form and none of us can know what the next person can hear, taste, feel or think. These are matters that prevent, complete teaching, of an art-form. We can be advised and given physical training but the art of music is in the person's mind and emotional senses. Is that right?

Some famous musicians have given in depth lectures and these often show the great minds they have. So all in all if we feel these natural urges and sense the vibrations of music we are lucky. By no means have all of us got that sense. We see this all the time with the way some folk have very low attentive love of music. We who love it passionately are blessed.

Alan.

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#1141793 - 05/29/07 05:52 PM Re: Daily routine for jazz
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Check out the Bill Dobbins book:

"A Creative Approach to Jazz PIano Harmony"...Advance Music.

Based on Clare Fisher's harmonic method of improving chord voicings.
Can be very advanced, the early chapters are certainly within reach for an intermediate student.

This is a lifetime study type book...I've been on pg. 96 for almost a year now.

Highest recommendation !!!!!
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1141794 - 06/03/07 06:19 AM Re: Daily routine for jazz
jwjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 278
Loc: New York
Why does every one say to get transcriptions rather than do the transcription yourself? This is lazy and you don't develop your ear or absorb the vocabulary as much. Best advice was given by daveferris and pianojazz.
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working on:
Goldberg Variations

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#1141795 - 06/03/07 07:03 AM Re: Daily routine for jazz
ktom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/07
Posts: 212
Loc: Somerset UK
I agree with jwjazz above.. there is some great advice here.. wish I had some of it many years ago! - I would just like to add a couple of comments..
= one from me - "jazz" includes a huge range of styles - find what you enjoy!
= one from my late great piano teacher who taught me classical but inspired me for a lifetime with his awesome jazzing - the last piece of advice he gave me, in fact - "I can see you know the sound you want.. keep playing and it'll come".
= and finally one from I am not sure where - "feel without technique is jazz - technique without feel is notes"
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#1141796 - 06/04/07 02:53 AM Re: Daily routine for jazz
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
This whole thread is good, but limited in my opinion.

You can only verbalize so much over an internet forum.

A art form as deep as jazz improvisation requires one on one interaction from a good teacher and many years of playing w/ the right musicians and listening to the RIGHT stuff.

I could be communicating w/ someone about what to work on...but without hearing what level this person is at renders a lot of this advice useless.

Can you swing ? Play in time ? How do you comp behind soloists ? Have you ever even played w/ a rhythm section? Can you you play up tempo ? How is your ballad playing ? How about Latin or 3/4 ? Do you know any tunes ? How's your reading ? How are you w/ singers ?....This is real world stuff.
Without a lot this info or someone hearing you play....well....I don't know.

PLAYING WRITTEN PIANO TRANSCRIPTIONS DOES NOT MAKE YOU A JAZZ PLAYER !
IT IS NOT IMPROVISING !!!!
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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#1141797 - 06/04/07 03:55 AM Re: Daily routine for jazz
jwjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 278
Loc: New York
Just to recap the initial post:
 Quote:
Originally posted by slidemasterx:
I just started getting back into piano playing after 3 years and I'm also fairly new to jazz.

I was wondering what a good daily routine would be for practicing jazz. I was thinking of doing 30 mins sessions of:

1. scales from Jerry Coker's "Patterns for jazz"

2. Sightreading anything I can find

3. Studying "Jazz Keyboard Harmony" by Phil Degreg

4. Doing exercises from Tim Richard's "Improvising Blues"

So this would add up to 2 hours of practice. What do you think of this routine? Is it efficient? Thanks [/b]
You are missing the most important thing which is applying your study exercises to a real playing situation. You actually have to practice playing tunes and improvising, and playing with other musicians is indispensible.

Also, most of these guys who wrote those books don't have any recordings out. That says alot.
Go check out the masters, becuase these guys are not a direct source.
_________________________
working on:
Goldberg Variations

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#1141798 - 06/04/07 07:20 AM Re: Daily routine for jazz
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Um...here are Phil DeGreg's recordings:

http://phildegreg.com/recordings.html

And Tim Richard's webpage lists several recordings as well:

http://www.timrichards.ndo.co.uk/

And Bill Dobbins seems to keep busy as well:

http://www.esm.rochester.edu/faculty/?id=90

So I'm not sure what you mean by "most of these guys who wrote those books don't have any recordings out." Seems to me they all have pretty decent performing careers.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1141799 - 06/06/07 05:12 PM Re: Daily routine for jazz
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
After recieving more than a few PM's., I thought I might list a few suggestions for daily practice.

I have used these books frequently in conjunction with transcribed solos over the past 25 yrs. or so. I feel they are one important part of a building block to becoming a better jazz improviser and helpful in navigating any genre of modern jazz.

In no particular order:

MARK LEVINE
"The Jazz Piano Book"
"The Jazz Theory Book"...both are good places for beginner/indermediate to begin.
"Jazz Piano Masterclass...the drop 2 book"
Sher Music

JIM MCNEELY
"The Art of COMPING" (nice play along CD included) Advance Music

DAVID BERKMAN
"The Jazz Muscian's Guide to Creative Practicing"
great new ways to look at Giant Steps
Inpirational and RECOMMENDED !
Sher Music

LUKE GILLESPIE
"II/V7/I Voicings for Keyboardists"
Jamey Aebersold Jazz

JEFF GARDNER
"Jazz Piano..Creative Concepts and Techniques"
Aspiring students as well as seasoned pros would highly benefit from checking out this voluminous resource book. (500pgs.)
Many modern-hip concepts. Expensive but worth every $ !! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
French publisher Henry Lemoine...This is somewhat of a "underground" book. Try Caris Music Services(upbeat.com/caris/) or the author's webpage.

BILL DOBBINS
"A Creative Approach to Jazz Piano Harmony"
As stated earlier in the thread, a lifetime method to developing creative chord voicings and increasing your harmonic awareness.
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION !!!
"Herbie Hancock-Classic Jazz Compositions and Piano Solos.
"Clare Fisher-Alone together/Just Me...solo piano improvisations"
Arguably, the greatest jazz piano transcription feat ever!
One way I've used this book, is to take little segments of one or two chord voicings that spark an interest, transpose to all keys, move around the circle of fourths, chromatically up and down, go up and down in major and minor thirds. Bill has these voicings NAILED. Pretty unbelivable one could catch all that info. Great voice leading as well.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
All by Advance Music

WALT WEISKOPF
"Intervallic Improvisation-The Modern Sound"
"The Augmented Scale in Jazz" (one of Michael Brecker's favorite scales)
"Around the Horn-21 Modal Scales and Arpeggios Every Jazz Musician Should Know"
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
All by Jamey Aebersold Jazz.

JERRY BERGONZI
"Inside Improvisation for all instruments" in 7 volumes. I have used:
VOL.2 "Penatonics"
VOL.5 "Thesarus of Intervallic Melodies"...very advanced concepts on visualizing new lines. Not always piano friendly due to wide intervals, but very inspiring w/ all the "ear-stretching" lines.
RECOMMENDED!
VOL.6 "Devloping a Jazz Language"
The title says it all. RECOMMENDED!
VOL.7 "Hexatonics"
Studies on polychords..advanced level
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!
All of Gonz's stuff by Advance Music.

DAVID LIEBMAN
"A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody"
A lot of 20th century classical concepts.
Includes a voicing compendium by the great Richie Bierach, as well as a line compendium by DL.
A lot of the lines have very wide intervals and are geared towards saxophone. One approach might be to split these lines up with two hands to make the flow more piano friendly.
Advanced level. Ear opening materiel throughout.
RECOMMENDED!...Advance Music

As stated, many of these studies are not intended for the beginning student. More for intermediate/advanced-very advanced levels. However,with the help of a good teacher and hard work, I feel a lot of this materiel is possible to absorb on any level.

These books, again, are only one piece of the puzzle. Their authors would echo my words.
They cannot replace years of hands on, listening and playing experience. I don't know of any book that will teach you to swing or play w/ deep feeling and soul.
They are valuable tools in opening your ears and increasing your vocabulary within the jazz idiom.

To a lot of you familiar w/ the jazz education process many of these titles will be already known. Hopefully, some of my suggestions might spark interest w/ people new to the jazz world.
These books are the tip of the iceberg! There's a whole industry built around jazz education today,
books/instructional DVD's/play alongs/etc.

I hope this helps and keep practicing.
The art of jazz improvisation is a beautiful thing.

DF

CODA: Coming late this year or early next.....
"Creative Ideas for Piano" by Dave Ferris.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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