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#1142499 - 07/11/06 02:51 AM How to play Jazz music?
Ahha Piano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 8
I am a very classical pianist. I try to play in a Jazz combo these days. But I found it very hard to get used to the improvisation (I have never done any improvisation before). Are there any ways or any books could help me to improve my improvisation?

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#1142500 - 07/11/06 06:26 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Ahha \:\)

There is a website devoted to all things jazz piano with a huge online community who like to talk about, teach and ponder anything jazz piano related! There is already a huge amount of discussions to read that talk about classical pianists turning to jazz and the best ways to go about it.

here :- Learn jazz piano website (click)

I am sure if you ask questions in the forums over there you'll get a whole heap of help on how to go about it and the books that will help you the most \:\)


regards


Lee \:\)
_________________________
Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

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#1142501 - 07/11/06 08:42 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
You can get MARK LEVINE'S JAZZ PIANO BOOK too. It might be a lot to swallow if you don't have a solid theory background though (you don't say whether theory was a part of your classical training).

If you're really a beginning jazzer you need to know what is meant by the typical chord symbols you will see in jazz like:

Am7 D7 Gmaj7 Cmaj7+11
F#m7b5 B7alt EmMaj7 E7b9

1)Learn how to sight read from a lead sheet
2)Learn what the common extensions are on all the chord types
3) Learn what the common alterations are on all the chord types
4) Learn the common substitutions on all the chord types.

Then just memorizze and internalize everything. It's a lot to do but you can get there a step at a time.
_________________________
Haywood
-------------

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#1142502 - 07/11/06 08:55 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I'd also get a good voicing book. My current favorite is by Phil DeGreg. Frank Mantooth's is also excellent. (The DeGreg is a workbook with playalong CD, the Mantooth is more a voicing theory book for more contemporary harmonies.)
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1142503 - 07/11/06 11:05 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
Bradley Sowash Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/06
Posts: 95
Loc: Columbus, OH
Though there are many excellent resources of jazz piano, most of them are too difficult for those new to this approach. Three pages in and you are already dealing with 13th chords and the like.

"The Next Step" is a new book that attempts to fill the gap between those with a limited knowledge of music theory and the college level jazz whiz.

Preview it here:
http://bradleysowash.com/sheetmus.htm
_________________________
Bradley Sowash
Jazz pianist, Composer, Educator
www.bradleysowash.com

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#1142504 - 07/11/06 12:49 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
ipgrunt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 419
Loc: Western US
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ahha Piano:
I am a very classical pianist. I try to play in a Jazz combo these days. But I found it very hard to get used to the improvisation (I have never done any improvisation before). Are there any ways or any books could help me to improve my improvisation? [/b]
In reference to learning jazz, someone once said, "everything you need to know is in your living room".

You've had some good advice here, and I would only add that you explore the Aebersold books, but don't forget to spend more time listening to the great jazz players.

And have fun!
_________________________
-- ipgrunt
Amateur pianist, Son of a Pro

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#1142505 - 07/11/06 01:09 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
Ahha Piano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 8
Thank you for all your responses. They are all very helpful for me \:\) . I am now starting learning chord symbols. And my friend recommend me to try some worship music. Could worship music help?

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#1142506 - 07/11/06 04:58 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Worship music tends to deal with basic triads and 7th chords. If you need to work on those, then yes, it will help.

If your triads and 7th chords are in good shape, then it won't be all that useful.
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1142507 - 07/11/06 06:13 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Isn't jazz improvisation?? Being trained as a classical pianist, and having a good ear, thinking on the lines of theory first (personally) would get in my way.
I'm trying to find someone who can teach me to play jazz, by ear first. Like Ray Charles did with Jamie Foxx when rehearsing for the movie "Ray."
I know I would learn to play jazz very quickly with this method, and I would then see theoretically what I'm doing.
Just the way I learn best.
Does anyone know of a jazz teacher that teaches this way in the Pacific Northwest?
I did take a jazz workshop years ago and it was ALL based on theory. To me it did not make sense and stifled my creativity. Poor teacher.
After all jazz is based on improvisation.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#1142508 - 07/11/06 10:57 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
But jazz improvisation isn't free improvisation. And an ear is best developed when you have some guidelines.

I do agree that too many people think that jazz is all about learning theory. The theory is simply a bit of framework for the real stuff.
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1142509 - 07/12/06 10:00 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
I really think the theory helps. I was a listener of jazz long before I became a player. When I started playing I never knew how to find what I was hearing in my head and I kept playing elementary ideas and/or noodling to try to find what I was hearing.

After having studied some theory, I know what is common and possible. Having practiced from the theory, I am starting to make connections between things that are intellectual to things that are aural.

It's all simple and applied mathematics to a unique language. With any language, you gotta understand the sentence diagramming and parts of speech -- otherwise you're just noodling.

The theory is easy. All you need to do is account for twelve notes and place them in bins of varying degrees of prevalence in a given harmony. Any great player has a 'system' by which they do this.[/b]

It has become standard to put theoretical terms to the individual 'bins' or the collections of 'bins' containing the twelve notes, etc. Putting a name on a concept makes it easier! Not harder! [/b]

Learn the theory.
_________________________
Haywood
-------------

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#1142510 - 07/12/06 02:06 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
I'm all for putting a name on a concept, and I agree it makes it a lot easier. But you first need to learn the concept. I do know keyboard theory. But what I would like to find in a jazz piano teacher is to learn (and he/she can label what is being played) by demonstration and ear first!
Instead of giving me a sheet of paper and saying these are the chords used, go practice them, in all inversions. Here are the modes used (they're all written out, now go practice them) Here is lead sheet music, go read it and practice it.
No thanks! Don't get me wrong practicing scales and inversions are fine, and should be done, but the music should be the reason for this practice. Improvising. I prefer to use my ear, especially with jazz.
As far as diagraming sentences and learning grammar. Think about it... is this how we learn our native tongue? We first learn to speak, then we learn how to read and learn grammar. I feel the same way when it comes to learning music, after all music is aural; it is just like learning a language.
Again, I am all for learning theory as long as it is applied, and isn't learned in order to play the music, but instead learned to have a better understanding of it.

Hgiles, after reading your post again, it sounds like this is exactly what you have done, which makes sense! Perhaps having a teacher helping you "noodle" around, using some guidlines, etc...
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#1142511 - 07/12/06 04:23 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
paul milando Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/06
Posts: 265
Loc: westfield Indiana
Having played with Dizzy Gillespie in 1985, I asked him if he had any great secrets to reveal about jazz.
His reply, wear cool shoes!. I recall he was wearing a pair of white patent leather shoes at the time!
_________________________
Talking about music is like dancing about art. If the truth will set you free, what do prunes do?

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#1142512 - 07/13/06 12:21 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
virtuosic1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 523
Loc: NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ahha Piano:
I am a very classical pianist. I try to play in a Jazz combo these days. But I found it very hard to get used to the improvisation (I have never done any improvisation before). Are there any ways or any books could help me to improve my improvisation? [/b]
Jazz is nothing more than phrasing. There are no special notes, chords, voicings, lines, etc. that have been played in "jazz" that didn't already exist in Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, Bartok, Ravel, Ives, and countless others who came long before "jazz". The notes themselves are of lesser importance than how you attach and attack them!

Take a simple Bach invention and push (swing) each other eight note, as though the first eight note gets the value of the first eight note of an eight note triplet and the third note of the last eight note in an eight note triplet. Take a diminished run from Liszt and do the same thing as the Bach. Or a pentatonic run from Ravel. Sound familiar? Yep. "Jazz".

The swing, the push on every other eight note is half the story. The other half is each note being given its own life, its own independence of attack, decay, sustain, and release (its envelope) from the notes than precede and follow it. It's own dynamics. Take that same Bach invention, swing the eights, and experiment with differeing dynamic patterns. Emphasize every third note, or every fourth note. Emphasize with an accent whenever you "feel" it. That's jazz. Not the notes. Not the voicings. Jazz, is a way of playing.
_________________________
My version of Lennie Tristano's "Scene and Variation":

http://d.turboupload.com/d/1410287/R1_0010.MP3.html

A downloadable file with examples of my jazz improvising (Accompaniament on Fender Rhodes, lead lines on Acoustic piano):

http://d.turboupload.com/d/229801/R1_0001.MP3.html

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#1142513 - 07/13/06 12:35 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
Seth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 38
Loc: Centerville, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
I'd also get a good voicing book. My current favorite is by Phil DeGreg. Frank Mantooth's is also excellent. (The DeGreg is a workbook with playalong CD, the Mantooth is more a voicing theory book for more contemporary harmonies.) [/b]
Phil DeGreg's books have allowed me to expand exponentially on jazz piano. I actually have had the opportunity of receiving instruction from him at a Jazz Camp this past summer. Another book for just beginning is Jamey Abersold's books - they help you internalyze all of the chords and show you the tones that are best for improv...good luck with the jazz piano...I am not a serious jazz pianist - most of my focus is on classical, but jazz is a break from standard playing and allows me to have freedom with the keyboard.
_________________________
Seth
CHS Class of 2008

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#1142514 - 07/13/06 01:45 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Right on Virtuosic1!!
That is jazz! Exactly what I'm looking for. I will give your advice a try. I've also heard that instead of starting an A Major scale (for example) on the tonic, start on any note of that scale and play it with it's key signature (Bb,Eb,Ab,Db) ending on, who knows... and maybe modulating to (this is where a little instruction with theory might help) would it be the same as classical (sub-dominant, dominant, relative or parallel minor?) As long as the theory is applied and I'm playing it, that is what I'm craving!
Thanks for your post!! \:\)
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#1142515 - 07/13/06 01:56 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
I was recently teaching Joc cu Bata (Stick Dance) the first dance in a suite of Roumanian Folk Dances by Bartok. There are some wonderful chords in the LH bottom first page, that need to be played very legato. When I was showing my student how to practice these chords, I demonstrated how to practice them in different rhythms (not as notated.) It sounded so cool. Especially when adding a RH melody, if you want to call it such. I improvised the RH (sorry Bartok!) It was a great way to practice those LH chords and practice some improve and (jazz?) at the same time.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#1142516 - 07/13/06 02:46 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
ahha piano.

Looking at the world famous piano jazz players like Fats Waller, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Earl Hines, George Shearing (blind from birth) and many, many more. They all had formal teaching and played the 'classics'.

It is surely no bar to playing improvised jazz. Most certainly a big advantage. I wish I had been trained but as a child I always played by ear and that strange way progressed leaving me far clear away from any taught playing.

Virtuosic1 is indeed spot on with his opinions.

Another factor comes into play; that of a style of jazz piano! There are many styles that appear historically and perhaps students of jazz piano might benefit from that study.

Personally, I have a cut-off point and that is bebop I tend not to go that route but stick to the more dance-band rhythms in the jazz style of Benny Goodman's sextet and pianists of that era.

There is still a huge following of the more jiving music that sets your bodily reflexes in motion. It's that livelyness and beat that attracts me.

I find finger practice on the table top with both hands, great for losening the joints and at my age I even have to take a diet of anti arthritus food !

So as I said, new jazz enthusiasts might be best served to look at all stages of jazz and read the biograhical tales of many of the greats to see their reason for what style they played.

You could get the DVD of Bill Evans entitled 'The Universal Mind of Bill Evans.' That is about self teaching and the creative process.

It's good for modern style adaptaions.

Alan,

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#1142517 - 07/13/06 03:12 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
tolovemoon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/06
Posts: 152
Loc: South Carolina
I have been paying attention to a lot of big band swing music and waltzes.
I really enjoyed this site The origins of big band music..A history of big band jazz as it helped me to understand and feel more jazzy..
Instead of playing by reading notes I try to play by memory but my memory is horrific so I end up with tons of improvs.. Makes it fun and really interesting if you add some slides up and down the white keys ever so often makes it really flavorful...
Just have fun and you will soon catch your own jazz style.. I believe after learning a bit more about the well known trumpeters in jazz is that every jazz musician developes a unique sound or style of playing... Perhaps a piano jazz performer would too.. ;\)
_________________________
Peace!

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#1142518 - 07/13/06 05:54 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
mmmmaestro007 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 420
Loc: australia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
But jazz improvisation isn't free improvisation. And an ear is best developed when you have some guidelines.

I do agree that too many people think that jazz is all about learning theory. The theory is simply a bit of framework for the real stuff. [/b]
there's jazz improvisation and free jazz improvisation.
free jazz improvisation is where you discard the harmonic structure which IMO sounds like crap!
to improvise well in jazz, you need a thorough understanding of jazz theory IMO \:\)
_________________________
"musical training is a more potent instrument than any other because rhythym and harmony find their way into the inner places of the soul" -Plato

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#1142519 - 07/13/06 08:57 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
Pianobuff and Ahha Piano:

I wish my ear were good enough to where I could listen to something and know what the framework/underpinning is. My ear is simply not that good yet. If you can listen to a passage of music and say: "That's C maj7, F#7, Fmaj, G7, Am, etc" or somehow conceptualize what you're hearing in mathematical terms than your ear is good enough. I cannot do that without playing along with it on my instrument.

Here's an anecdote for you. My dad has been playing piano for years, by ear mostly, and he plays rather well, but has a certain stylized way of doing things. I used to try to explain and even show him some concepts of jazz, but just was not able to articulate it well because I just wasn't a good piano player and he had no concept of the terms that I was using to explain it.

Well I started playing more piano since then while studying more Jazz theory (LEVINE book) at the same time. After having not seen my dad in those years, I developed some repertoire and when he came down I played some stuff for him and he was knocked out and immediately committed himself to studying theory from the LEVINE book that I had given him 10 years prior.

If you can hear a passage of music and immediately do harmonic analysis on it, then you don't need the book. You're ear is good enough. Just go listen to the greats. I need to know what to listen for before I can know enough what it is to analyze it.
_________________________
Haywood
-------------

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#1142520 - 07/13/06 03:25 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
virtuosic1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 523
Loc: NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianobuff:
Right on Virtuosic1!!
That is jazz! Exactly what I'm looking for. I will give your advice a try. I've also heard that instead of starting an A Major scale (for example) on the tonic, start on any note of that scale and play it with it's key signature (Bb,Eb,Ab,Db) ending on, who knows... and maybe modulating to (this is where a little instruction with theory might help) would it be the same as classical (sub-dominant, dominant, relative or parallel minor?) As long as the theory is applied and I'm playing it, that is what I'm craving!
Thanks for your post!! \:\) [/b]
You're very welcome! Too many aspiring jazz pianists listen only to other pianists and perceive that there are "jazz lines", and "non-jazz" lines. Of course certain jazz pianists and instrumentalists have their signature cliches and riffs that they pattern a solo on, but jazz harmony and melody, the vertical and linear are no different than any other music.

For instance, check out the score for Ives' "Central Park in the Dark", an incredible piece written around 1908. Ives is constantly expanding his intervallic harmonic counterpoint, first voicing the strings with open augmented chords, then chords with open 4ths, then fifths, then fifths with flatted ninth roots, etc., etc. In essence, Bill Evans, to McCoy Tyner, to Keith Jarrett, to Lennie Tristano!

Jazz is all about push and note inflection, that is, the color that you impart to each individual note to shape your stretches. The piano is extremely limited in its ability to totally inflect a note. Once a note is sounded, you can't increase its dynamic, or bend it. You can't impart vibrato. All the colors that a vocalist, string player, or wind player has at their disposal is absent at the piano. What pianists do have is the ability to create differences in attack and dynamics between successive notes.

Listen to more jazz instrumentalists and vocalists, rather than just pianists. I have my students scat with solos as well a play them, paying particular attention to duplicating the manner in which the artist shapes each note, each line. The shape is more important, more indicative of jazz than its musical components, which are common to all music! What isn't common is the feel. To put this sound in your head, before you can duplicate, then emulate, then find your own voice, you must listen, listen, listen.
_________________________
My version of Lennie Tristano's "Scene and Variation":

http://d.turboupload.com/d/1410287/R1_0010.MP3.html

A downloadable file with examples of my jazz improvising (Accompaniament on Fender Rhodes, lead lines on Acoustic piano):

http://d.turboupload.com/d/229801/R1_0001.MP3.html

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#1142521 - 07/13/06 10:02 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Improvising is more a state of mind than anything else. To enter this new state, just start "noodling." Play a theme or melody snippet that you like, then play whatever you just played makes you feel. Don't judge your noodling, just do it. And continue doing it until that's what you wake up in the morning wanting to do. When you wake up wanting to make music that comes from deep inside you, you will have entered the improvising state of mind.

virtuosic1 is right re advising you to take what you already know and learn to express it differently. And Jazz is known, in part, for pressing the boundaries of harmony, but I expect that vistuosic1 is also correct about the great master composers having used these same harmonic devices. You might find that using the pentatonic scale is also a useful device. Those notes fit comfortably above many chords.

Ultimately, tho, it may be that you'll have to let go of the sources of music which you now know and just play what you feel.

It may help to recall that Chopin loved to improvise when performing and that Bach would sometimes go to a gig with no plan at all and just sit down and start playing. Improvisation was also expected in China as far back as c.1000 years ago, when the Chinese wrote down the rules for what they considered to be their best music.

From a long-term point of view, *not* improvising is an aberration.

None of the above is meant to disparage learning. It's just that all the knowledge and skills in the world won't help you to improvise until doing that feels completely natural to you.

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#1142522 - 07/14/06 09:13 PM Re: How to play Jazz music?
dpvjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 287
Loc: phoenix az
When I was first exposed to jazz in 1971 I decided to become a jazz pianist and never looked back or doubted that I would accomplish my goal of becoming a proficient player being able to play and solo in a group setting. My journey has taken me many places and provided many wonderful experiences all because I decided to do what ever it takes and followed it through whether I had a private teacher or took classes at college and playing with others whenever I could. I would and still go to concerts to check out what is being played and try to listen to everything and I mean everything. Once you make your mind up that this is what you are going to do your mind starts looking for ways to make it happen and after a while musical results start to flow. There are some people here posting really good advice and some it stuff you would have to pay a teacher to get but its free here so act upon it just don’t read it and dream about it. The other day I was doing a gig with a quartet and the young bass player has been studying about 2 years at the college level and he has the concepts down you know how to move from note to note and he has one of the best teachers in the country but he has never listen to the body of recordings and it shows. Yeah everything is right but there is no connection to the music and he has never heard the tunes being played by different players like Lester’s Body and Soul compared to Coleman Hawkins Body and Soul. Sure a good method or concept can show which notes come first and which chords can be better choices plus which tunes you should master but if you never listen to the music it will not matter something will always be missing. I am seeing more of that in younger players schooled in methods and concepts but they do not know the tunes. I just recently started with a new teacher and he is a professional player and educator with 30 plus years in the Boston and New York area. He studied with Charlie Banacos and with one of Lennie Tristano’s disciples and is teaching me some great stuff you know like the things people here post. I could just read it but it takes a teacher to really put it together in lesson form weekly and to check my progress to make sure I understand how to apply it correctly. Everyone is different and no one concept or method is going take you where you want to go but it is a combination of many different concepts and methods combine into your own to accomplish your goals. This was one of my most productive years playing piano and it started in July 5 05 when I purchased a new grand piano and it inspired me to play everyday a least 3 hours or more a day. In addition to 2 hrs solo piano on weds and numerous gigs and concerts plus at least 3 Sundays a month at church I have a full plate musically. I was 36 the last time I had lessons and I am 53 now. I have been deconstructing and rebuilding my approach to practice and playing and it is not easy but I have decided to do whatever it takes to become a better jazz musician. DPVJAZZ

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#1142523 - 07/15/06 02:54 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
dpvjazz,

Spot-on my friend. I agree 100%. As an amateur player for 70 years now, mostly at home and never with a backing group,here is my view.

May I say that I think the brain can store up sub conscious reactions to what you do in music, whether it be whistling, singing, or instictively knowing where fingers go on the piano keyboard to provide the sound you wish to hear....with practice! I have learnt the notes and chords by ear, purely.

I play that way and although a blind pianist can have braile to learn the theory, jazz is still a imprompu instant reaction as singing must be, together with nuances and thythm.

Don't most people have that instinctive rhythm beat in their blood? It surprises me that some cannot cope with a beat. It does take practice to 'off the cuff'and combine rhythm and melody within a set pattern of timing. I have the beat in my head and use the right or left foot to pound out that part. Or play along (I must get some special play along rhythm CD's.)

I always listen to jazz, blues and swing whilst working on my cars or computing etc. And playalong which is also good practice for ear playing in my view,

Listening is vital surely and everyone wishing to play jazz should do it constantly as a background when doing other things. The brain will absorb it for sure!

Jess Stacey was another inspiration and the other evening I played along to him on one of my many LP's. Him and Teddy Wilson of whom the latter,I met in (1978) I think are great swing pianists. Cannot match Wilson's perfectly timed up and down runs and arpegios of course.

I have a collegue in Phoenix and he always says I should visit him, he is in Automobile Engineering as I was and has been to my house in England a couple of times.

I know the feeling of playing a new Piano and I hope to aspire to a grand again soon.

Alan.

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#1142524 - 07/15/06 11:54 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
dpvjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 287
Loc: phoenix az
Whether you hum, sing or whistle the tunes you love I agreed that is still some of the best practice and plus it will keep your spirits up through the day when away from the piano. If you should ever be out this way please drop by and say hi and we can trade some musical ideas and stories. DPVJAZZ

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#1142525 - 07/26/06 04:05 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianobuff:
I'm all for putting a name on a concept, and I agree it makes it a lot easier. But you first need to learn the concept. I do know keyboard theory. But what I would like to find in a jazz piano teacher is to learn (and he/she can label what is being played) by demonstration and ear first!
Instead of giving me a sheet of paper and saying these are the chords used, go practice them, in all inversions. Here are the modes used (they're all written out, now go practice them) Here is lead sheet music, go read it and practice it.
No thanks! Don't get me wrong practicing scales and inversions are fine, and should be done, but the music should be the reason for this practice. Improvising. I prefer to use my ear, especially with jazz.
As far as diagraming sentences and learning grammar. Think about it... is this how we learn our native tongue? We first learn to speak, then we learn how to read and learn grammar. I feel the same way when it comes to learning music, after all music is aural; it is just like learning a language.
Again, I am all for learning theory as long as it is applied, and isn't learned in order to play the music, but instead learned to have a better understanding of it.
[/b]
LOL, I'm sorry but you are dreamer and I have seen many beginners fail with your attitude. All the talent and ambition in the world won't help you if you are not willing to work hard at practicing the things you say "No thanks!" to. I don't understand such arrogance and laziness. It seems a very American attitude these days.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1142526 - 07/26/06 04:09 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
 Quote:
Originally posted by virtuosic1:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ahha Piano:
I am a very classical pianist. I try to play in a Jazz combo these days. But I found it very hard to get used to the improvisation (I have never done any improvisation before). Are there any ways or any books could help me to improve my improvisation? [/b]
Jazz is nothing more than phrasing. There are no special notes, chords, voicings, lines, etc. that have been played in "jazz" that didn't already exist in Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, Bartok, Ravel, Ives, and countless others who came long before "jazz". The notes themselves are of lesser importance than how you attach and attack them!

Take a simple Bach invention and push (swing) each other eight note, as though the first eight note gets the value of the first eight note of an eight note triplet and the third note of the last eight note in an eight note triplet. Take a diminished run from Liszt and do the same thing as the Bach. Or a pentatonic run from Ravel. Sound familiar? Yep. "Jazz".

The swing, the push on every other eight note is half the story. The other half is each note being given its own life, its own independence of attack, decay, sustain, and release (its envelope) from the notes than precede and follow it. It's own dynamics. Take that same Bach invention, swing the eights, and experiment with differeing dynamic patterns. Emphasize every third note, or every fourth note. Emphasize with an accent whenever you "feel" it. That's jazz. Not the notes. Not the voicings. Jazz, is a way of playing. [/b]
If that was realy true, then every classical pianist in the world could just use swing phrasing and articultion and be a great jazz player. The reality of it is far from that.
_________________________
1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.

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#1142527 - 07/26/06 11:44 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
While I agree with pianobuff's sentiment, you don't really need a teacher to learn by ear. You just listen to a lot of live music and recordings and try to pick out what's going on.

Of course, without a strong knowledge of scales, chord voicings, and basic theory, that's going to be very difficult to do.

The things pianobuff doesn't seem interested in are the tools he needs to make the other stuff possible. Aye, there's the rub.

 Quote:
Originally posted by rintincop:
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianobuff:
I'm all for putting a name on a concept, and I agree it makes it a lot easier. But you first need to learn the concept. I do know keyboard theory. But what I would like to find in a jazz piano teacher is to learn (and he/she can label what is being played) by demonstration and ear first!
Instead of giving me a sheet of paper and saying these are the chords used, go practice them, in all inversions. Here are the modes used (they're all written out, now go practice them) Here is lead sheet music, go read it and practice it.
No thanks! Don't get me wrong practicing scales and inversions are fine, and should be done, but the music should be the reason for this practice. Improvising. I prefer to use my ear, especially with jazz.
As far as diagraming sentences and learning grammar. Think about it... is this how we learn our native tongue? We first learn to speak, then we learn how to read and learn grammar. I feel the same way when it comes to learning music, after all music is aural; it is just like learning a language.
Again, I am all for learning theory as long as it is applied, and isn't learned in order to play the music, but instead learned to have a better understanding of it.
[/b]
LOL, I'm sorry but you are dreamer and I have seen many beginners fail with your attitude. All the talent and ambition in the world won't help you if you are not willing to work hard at practicing the things you say "No thanks!" to. I don't understand such arrogance and laziness. It seems a very American attitude these days. [/b]
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1142528 - 07/27/06 01:00 AM Re: How to play Jazz music?
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Kreisler and rintincop,
You guys are completely missing my point!
I never said theory is not important, it is, and it is a must!! So are practicing scales chord inversions etc... I'm all for that. But again, as I had posted earlier, what I would like to find in a JAZZ teacher is someone that can demonstrate, someone that has two pianos in their studio, that way I can also learn from demonstration and ear, we can also play off of each other and make music!!
I am standing by the fact that music is a language. We first need to play it then we can learn to read it and label it theoretically. What part of this do you not understand?!!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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