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#1377532 - 02/18/10 05:41 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: beeboss]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2295
Loc: Sydney
This has been a really interesting discussion. At least Ray you started in classical. Even though the transition from classical to jazz is extremely difficult, the transition from a jazz background to classical is EVEN more difficult.

Anyway for me, my favourite artists are those that fuse classical into their jazz. Listen to Keith Jarrett seamlessly blend in Bach into his swing improvisations. Listen to how the melodies in The Yellow Jackets (pianist is Russell Ferrante) can sound almost classical. Listen to how Bill Evans can sound so Debussy-esque.

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#1377670 - 02/18/10 09:58 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: custard apple]
Ted Offline
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Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1503
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
I find listening to and playing as wide as possible a spectrum of musical idiom entirely beneficial. At the subconscious level the brain takes it all in and everything feeds everything else, making one a better musician and pianist. No, it probably is not strictly necessary to study classical in order to play in another style and neither is the converse true. However, players who embrace the whole field, as nearly as it is possible to do so in a lifetime, seem to me immeasurably the richer for it.
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#1377738 - 02/18/10 11:40 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: beeboss]
jazzwee Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: beeboss
Originally Posted By: jazzwee


Bingo. Jazz is about experimentation. Voicings is about experimentation. Classical does nothing to teach you about voicings.



Hmm, where did all those voicings that jazz musicians use come from I wonder?
Debussy was using sharp 9 chords a century ago. And generally jazz is harmonically a long way behind classical music. I think you may find that many of the best jazz musicians study classical music rather hard, and opening up ideas about harmony is just one of the great benefits.


As I said, Beeboss, Harmony is one of the benefits of Classical. But voicings is not taught to you in classical. It's an observational thing. Whereas, in Jazz, you specifically spend the time to study voicing options. It's part of the basics. No classical teacher will explain voicings.

A lot of Classical music is triad based and not even heavy on seventh chords. Lots of Octaves, unisons. In jazz, we won't waste a note on a duplication but thicken the harmony with it.

There are lots of complex classical music with dissonance. But that's not what you learn in early classical which is what a new piano student will focus on.

So at the beginning level it is not particularly helpful. I also said that at the level of Brad Mehldau, he's very heavy on studying all the harmony in classical.
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#1377926 - 02/19/10 06:31 AM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: jazzwee]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

As I said, Beeboss, Harmony is one of the benefits of Classical. But voicings is not taught to you in classical. It's an observational thing. Whereas, in Jazz, you specifically spend the time to study voicing options. It's part of the basics. No classical teacher will explain voicings.



Hi Jazzwee,
I fear you must have had very bad classical lessons. When I was learning classical piano as a kid I even studied 'keyboard harmony', which is basically harmonization at sight of simple melodies in a classical style. It was very useful, very voicing driven and in fact was an important part of what got me interested in jazz in the first place.
Probably most classical teachers don't know much about voicings and harmonization at sight (in just the same way that most jazz teachers don't know much about pedaling techniques and tone production) which is a shame, but this is precisely why a variety of approaches is very beneficial.
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#1377997 - 02/19/10 09:39 AM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: beeboss]
jazzwee Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Hey Beeboss, the only classical I was taught was for technique. My son however has been studying classical longer than I've been studying jazz and aside from knowing basic chords, I don't think he'd know a #9 #5 chord, or even the context of it. In general, it's been driven by specific use of textbooks and 'grade' focused material. And it is certainly consistent with Diane's experience.

So if such a skill was taught before, it may be at very advanced levels that he hasn't gotten to yet or it's just not in these textbooks. But as I mentioned, simple triadic harmony is part of his learning.

BTW -- a lot of my understanding of harmony came from Shoenberg, which is a Classical source. So I know exactly what you mean. So if you educate yourself, Classical knowledge can translate into Jazz. For example the understanding of the overtone series really helps in voicings and helps you think of the balance of the dynamics inside a voicing.

But you know how it is. Most jazz beginners will start at rootless voicings and most classical students will start at reading notation and sight reading. Worlds apart. And unless you're interested, they do stay apart.
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#1378196 - 02/19/10 01:51 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: beeboss]
Diane... Offline
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Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: beeboss
Originally Posted By: jazzwee

As I said, Beeboss, Harmony is one of the benefits of Classical. But voicings is not taught to you in classical. It's an observational thing. Whereas, in Jazz, you specifically spend the time to study voicing options. It's part of the basics. No classical teacher will explain voicings.


Hi Jazzwee,
I fear you must have had very bad classical lessons. When I was learning classical piano as a kid I even studied 'keyboard harmony', which is basically harmonization at sight of simple melodies in a classical style.

Beeboss,

I think that is a pretty nasty thing to say to someone! Telling someone that they must have had very bad classical lessons is just a way of saying you haven't a clue what else to say!

Classical harmony doesn't get introduced until Grade 9. At which point, this is really late in the ball game to be understanding it at this point.

This jazz instructor who came to give us teachers a day seminar on teaching jazz, all of the teachers there said they would love to play like he does, but didn't have a clue how to get there!

He mentioned that he has a lot of classically trained student come to him for lessons. He pointed out that a lot of them have a lot of knowledge, but that a lot of that knowledge was not directed correctly.

He understands jazz, and that to understand how to play jazz, what they needed was a "jazz" teacher!

Interestingly enough, he also pointed out that his "wife" was a classical piano teacher and that she has no interest in his style whatsoever!


Edited by Diane... (02/19/10 01:56 PM)
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#1378280 - 02/19/10 03:55 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: Diane...]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Diane...

I think that is a pretty nasty thing to say to someone! Telling someone that they must have had very bad classical lessons is just a way of saying you haven't a clue what else to say!



I am not being nasty. I am just commenting that what jazzwee said ("No classical teacher will explain voicings.") is completely untrue. Maybe his classical teacher did not but I had plenty of classical teachers who taught me a real lot about voicings and harmony, even improvisation as I mentioned.


Originally Posted By: Diane...

Classical harmony doesn't get introduced until Grade 9. At which point, this is really late in the ball game to be understanding it at this point.



Well, I didn't know that classical teachers have to follow a guide as to when to introduce harmony. I guess the teachers I had hadn't read that bit of the instruction manual. As a trained teacher myself I am very surprised that any other teacher would follow a syllabus like that.


Originally Posted By: Diane...

This jazz instructor who came to give us teachers a day seminar on teaching jazz, all of the teachers there said they would love to play like he does, but didn't have a clue how to get there!


That doesn't surprise me at all as I have given many jazz workshops to talented classical musicians. There are many aspects to jazz that classical musicians find difficult and some take years to learn. To many the skills that jazz musicians have seem like magic.



Originally Posted By: Diane...


He mentioned that he has a lot of classically trained student come to him for lessons. He pointed out that a lot of them have a lot of knowledge, but that a lot of that knowledge was not directed correctly.



Thats absolutely right. Improvising does not really require knowledge, or, rather, it requires a sort of 'how to knowledge' and not a 'knowing about' kind of knowledge. One can only learn improvisation by actually doing it. You can learn every conceivable thing about scales chords and voicings but they will not help a jot unless you actually improvise with them. Its a bit like learning to walk, you can't learn how to do it by reading a book.
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#1378311 - 02/19/10 04:43 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: beeboss]
Diane... Offline
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Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Well Beeboss,

I think your piano teacher was an exception to the rule. Congratulations! You win!
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#1378344 - 02/19/10 05:26 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: Diane...]
beeboss Offline
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Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1190
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Diane...
Well Beeboss,

I think your piano teacher was an exception to the rule. Congratulations! You win!


Are we having a competition?
I was just trying to explain how studying classical music can help jazz pianists. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered.
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#1378346 - 02/19/10 05:27 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: beeboss]
Claude56 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 469
Yes, playing classical music helps improvisation. Actually, as long as you learn anything and learn something new, it will improve your improvisation. The reason is because the MORE repetoire you have, the BETTER you will be at analyzing, understanding, interpreting, playing, improvising, and sight reading music.

Classical is the roots of all pop music, and will always and forever remain above pop. All the jazz chords and voicings, rock sounds, and pop stuff came from classical in one way or another.
Classical has even more voicings and polychords, and is even more diverse than jazz. There are some polychords that are used only in classical, and not present in jazz for example.

If you are serious about improv, I think that is best to improvise in many different styles so you can get a variety of different feelings. The best way to learn improv is to learn how to improvise BOTH jazz and classical, not discriminating either one from your improvisational repetoire. The more music you know, the better.

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#1378347 - 02/19/10 05:28 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: Diane...]
jazzwee Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Diane, in fairness to Beeboss, he is the exact opposite of nasty. And he is extremely helpful to everyone learning jazz. So I value his opinion. He is indeed lucky because his Classical teachers did a more free form structure.

But your experience is just the usual route for most Classical teachers. There's a fixed curriculum and the goal is sight reading Classical pieces (as well as technique in general of course). And it is tied to this "RCM Grading" thing. Long ago, I only associated these grades as being a UK or Canada thing. Now, many teachers here in my area are following this same rigid structure. The goal becomes to get to the next higher grade.
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#1378348 - 02/19/10 05:29 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: Claude56]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: noSkillz
Yes, playing classical music helps improvisation. Actually, as long as you learn anything and learn something new, it will improve your improvisation. The reason is because the MORE repetoire you have, the BETTER you will be at analyzing, understanding, interpreting, playing, improvising, and sight reading music.

Classical is the roots of all pop music, and will always and forever remain above pop. All the jazz chords and voicings, rock sounds, and pop stuff came from classical in one way or another.
Classical has even more voicings and polychords, and is even more diverse than jazz. There are some polychords that are used only in classical, and not present in jazz for example.

If you are serious about improv, I think that is best to improvise in many different styles so you can get a variety of different feelings. The best way to learn improv is to learn how to improvise BOTH jazz and classical, not discriminating either one from your improvisational repetoire. The more music you know, the better.


+1
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#1378363 - 02/19/10 05:45 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: beeboss]
RayE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 163
Loc: Rochester, NY, USA
Well I started Classical piano lessons at 8 years old, at a local music school (Hochstein School of Music here in Rochester NY), after my piano lesson, we had Music theory, and music appreciation classes. During those music theory classes we covered chord voicings, figured bass, harmony, etc. Then after playing about 6 years I switched to Jazz as my main focus. I've played piano for several big bands, including the local Army Reserve Band that I've been retired from for years. Now after playing piano for about 40 years, I'm finding myself interested again in Classical stylings, and I'm finding the focus on classical technique has definitely help my jazz playing. I do know many classical players who didn't get much in the way of formal theory training, and didn't know much about harmony. I really didn't mean to start a huge debate here, My question was merely for those of you that already play jazz, have any of you gone back to Classical, or started learning classical for the first time, and did it have a positive impact on your jazz playing? I'm not referring here to entry level classical, but things along the difficulty level of the Bach inventions, or the Well Tempered Clavier, or more difficult music by other composers.
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#1378400 - 02/19/10 06:27 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: Claude56]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: noSkillz
Classical is the roots of all pop music, and will always and forever remain above pop.


Good grief! If that's the thinking here, I'm done!!!
Going, going, poof, gone!!
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#1378690 - 02/20/10 07:31 AM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: Diane...]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
In Australian (AMEB) theory syllabus (the newest one) has students at grade one level writing simple V - I progressions, beginning to transcribe melody, and finding motives and variations in a melody (contemporary or classical). And just to be clear that it really is grade one, students also have to name notes and identify "skips and steps".

Early in grade 2 students learn chord ii and IV, begin to write chords in open or closed voicing, learn about consonance and dissonance and then learn to write every major and minor triad in root position but with varied voicings... then write inversions, figured bass numbers... ok that's enough and i only got half way through grade 2 smile

That's just a little bit of detail but I think it gives an idea of how "classical" theory syllabus has changed - at least in this country. And I'm pretty sure that jazz has been a big influence in these changes. So thank goodness students can get stuck into useful, real theory early on.

Back on topic
At the tertiary music school here it is pretty standard practice for jazz piano students to try and get some lessons with a classical teacher for technique/touch, because classical teachers specialise in teaching it. Classical students were always hopeful and encouraging that their jazz friends would be able to get a classical teacher to help them (difficult because they were so busy teaching the classical pianists). There was no better or worse, the best classical players and the best jazz players were both were considered highly skilled, admired. And there were quite a few bands that had members from both sides of this great divide. A divide that I discover on PW.
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#1378997 - 02/20/10 05:05 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: Canonie]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Learning classical music can be helpful, But I think at one point you kind of have to specialize in one or the other because of time constraints. Learning an Oscar Peterson solo can be just as time consuming as learning a chopin ballde, and it may not be realistic to work on both at the same time.

When I started practicing again after my injury, I played a lot of classical music.. I re-learned all the Bach inventions and some of the prelude. But right now, between learning poly-rhythm, odd meter, new voicings, playing/transcribing chick corea solos by ear, I just don't have time to work on classical music. Learning jazz requires a full time effort and I feel like I am spreading myself too thin if I pick up a new classical piece.


Edited by etcetra (02/20/10 05:42 PM)

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#1379740 - 02/21/10 04:49 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: etcetra]
stores Offline
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
According to recent "scholarship" (read:sarcasm) that I've read, classical music hinders, rather than helps. The required technique gets in the way, because there's too much thought involved. The necessary hours of practice with no concrete results also stand contrarily to the fruition of one's goals. Not only that, classical music, is the product of dead composers (apparently making it passe).

Note: As stated, this is according to things I've recently read, and, in no way represents my thoughts/beliefs/opinions.
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#1379810 - 02/21/10 06:28 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: stores]
jazzwee Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7060
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: stores
According to recent "scholarship" (read:sarcasm) that I've read, classical music hinders, rather than helps. The required technique gets in the way, because there's too much thought involved. The necessary hours of practice with no concrete results also stand contrarily to the fruition of one's goals. Not only that, classical music, is the product of dead composers (apparently making it passe).

Note: As stated, this is according to things I've recently read, and, in no way represents my thoughts/beliefs/opinions.


Many jazz composers are dead too smile Maybe we can call ourselves Classical music now... Or do we have to wait a century? wink
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#1380247 - 02/22/10 10:35 AM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: jazzwee]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
I guess my question is how far/at one point do you need to specialize on one or the other? People like Kenny Kirkland and Alan Broadbent made a living as classical pianists before they became established in the jazz scene.. but I don't know if they were actually doing recital in the proffessional circuit.

On the other hand you have people like Kenny Werner who flunked his first year at classical conservatory..or George Shearing who switched to jazz in his teens because classical music was too boring for him.. When I saw interviews of Oscar Peterson, he did learn classical music, but apparently he did it mostly by ear, and he didn't have the kind of formal training you get at a conservatory level.

I know that most of these guys can probably play chopin etudes, but I don't know if they will be able to play them well enough to pass a graduate recital. I know for sure that my teachers can't even though they are very accomplished players.. their chops aren't that good/clean enough to play them at an acceptable performance level

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#1380389 - 02/22/10 01:52 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: stores]
daviel Offline
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Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
""According to recent "scholarship" (read:sarcasm) that I've read, classical music hinders, rather than helps. The required technique gets in the way, because there's too much thought involved. The necessary hours of practice with no concrete results also stand contrarily to the fruition of one's goals. Not only that, classical music, is the product of dead composers (apparently making it passe). ""

So much for the dead jazz artists - anybody want all my Bill Evans material? You know reading about music is a lot like dancing about architecture. [insert toungue-in-cheek smiley icon here] The last book I read about jazz was the one on the making of Kind of Blue. I don't know what it is about jazz journalism, but I never can get through those books. I couldn't finish it. I think music journalists/critics are more interested in the culture [classical, jazz, rock, folk, whatever] than the music itself. It's like asking a non-alcoholic about what it's like to be alcoholic...well, that's probably an unfortunate metaphor...anyway I just can't get through that stuff. The other thing is I like the "necessary hours" themselves! Just the act of practicing is a result. I think about it when I practice, I do not know about y'all. Practice without thought is a waste of time. Practice is itself. I like to practice; it helps everything. And what's "concrete results"? - learning the piece, or what? do you ever really learn them? What a maroon...[not the poster who's quote I discussed, just the scholarship he referenced!] yawn
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#1380872 - 02/23/10 02:55 AM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: etcetra]
Ken. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 285
I play jazz sax and have been learning piano as a 2nd instrument. When I asked my sax teacher to recommend a piano teacher he recommended a classical teacher, which suprised me, but he thought she would be good for developing time, touch and technique. Now after 2 years I'm thinking about spending more time on jazz.

I agree with jazzwee that classical seems to be heavy on triads. I just got a classical scale book and all the chords and arpeggios are triads, except for dominant and diminished 7ths. The chords in all the pieces I've played and in my warmups are all triads. So for me when switching to jazz that would be one major difference, practising sevenths instead of triads.

Other things I would have to add are commonly occuring jazz progressions like ii-V-I, diminished scale, whole tone scale, developing a library of voicings (one-handed, rootless, two-handed), learning comping, and patterns for getting some facility in improvising.

So even though I have some classical technique, and am a jazz musician, I feel like a beginner when it comes to trying to improvise on piano.

Originally Posted By: etcetra
...Learning jazz requires a full time effort and I feel like I am spreading myself too thin if I pick up a new classical piece.

Etcetra, what do you do for practising technique? It's common for jazz musicians to use classical pieces for technique. That's one way to keep some classical in your routine.
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#1381877 - 02/24/10 11:44 AM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: Ken.]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Ken,

Nowdays I learn/transcribe people's solos for technique. Basically I listen to a solos over and over again until I can play it along with the record note-by-note, without writing any of it down on paper.

right now I am working on

Chick Corea's solos on Matrix, Light as A feather
Mulgrew Miller's solo on "thinking out loud"

The process of learning these solos is a lot like learning classical pieces.. you isolate passages, work them at a slow tempo until it's comfortable and you move up in tempo. I use amazing slow downer and I guess I am able to play the solos at about 85% of the actual tempo. I also take ideas from what I transcribe and make exercise out of them, learning them in all keys.

What I don't get about the whole 'learning classical for technique" idea is that it makes it sound as if practicing jazz stuff doesn't help with your technique.. I know a sax player who learned the entire Charlie Parker omnibook in all keys at 300bpm.. he got his chops from doing that and spent little or no time on classical pieces. I guess my question is if you are practicing correctly, does it really matter if you are practicing classical or jazz?

After all if I am learning classical music, I'd like to do it for the music, nor for it's technical benefits..


Edited by etcetra (02/24/10 11:59 AM)

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#1381916 - 02/24/10 12:31 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: etcetra]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2991
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Originally Posted By: etcetra


What I don't get about the whole 'learning classical for technique" idea is that it makes it sound as if practicing jazz stuff doesn't help with your technique.. I know a sax player who learned the entire Charlie Parker omnibook in all keys at 300bpm.. he got his chops from doing that and spent little or no time on classical pieces. I guess my question is if you are practicing correctly, does it really matter if you are practicing classical or jazz?


I bet that guys sounds a lot like Bird now smile

The thing I heard about Bird, is that besides being obsessed with practicing, he was obsessed with listening to all kinds of music. There are stories that he would often stop by a listen to street performers of all genres, sometimes for an extended period of time. He apparently had great love for music, from classical to bluegrass.

I guess that's probably what made him one of the best improviser ever, not just technically, but also in the melodies he was able to compose on the spot.

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#1381986 - 02/24/10 02:19 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: etcetra]
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 354
Originally Posted By: etcetra
Ken,

Nowdays I learn/transcribe people's solos for technique. Basically I listen to a solos over and over again until I can play it along with the record note-by-note, without writing any of it down on paper.

right now I am working on

Chick Corea's solos on Matrix, Light as A feather
Mulgrew Miller's solo on "thinking out loud"

The process of learning these solos is a lot like learning classical pieces.. you isolate passages, work them at a slow tempo until it's comfortable and you move up in tempo. I use amazing slow downer and I guess I am able to play the solos at about 85% of the actual tempo. I also take ideas from what I transcribe and make exercise out of them, learning them in all keys.

What I don't get about the whole 'learning classical for technique" idea is that it makes it sound as if practicing jazz stuff doesn't help with your technique.. I know a sax player who learned the entire Charlie Parker omnibook in all keys at 300bpm.. he got his chops from doing that and spent little or no time on classical pieces. I guess my question is if you are practicing correctly, does it really matter if you are practicing classical or jazz?

After all if I am learning classical music, I'd like to do it for the music, nor for it's technical benefits..


Still, you have learned classical at one point, so perhaps there's benefits from it that you don't notice while working on transcriptions but still is helpful to you.

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#1382083 - 02/24/10 04:27 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: stores]
eweiss Offline
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Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: stores
According to recent "scholarship" (read:sarcasm) that I've read, classical music hinders, rather than helps. The required technique gets in the way, because there's too much thought involved. The necessary hours of practice with no concrete results also stand contrarily to the fruition of one's goals. Not only that, classical music, is the product of dead composers (apparently making it passe).

Note: As stated, this is according to things I've recently read, and, in no way represents my thoughts/beliefs/opinions.

By George I think he's got it!
_________________________
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#1382346 - 02/24/10 11:09 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: knotty]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
KlinkKlink

Btw I did spend some time working on classical music, and I do agree about its benefits. I actually want to find a classical teacher but at the same time I am not sure if I can commit 2 hrs a day on a classical piece when I have so much to work on classically.

What I like about learning solos by ear is the fact that it really forces you to listen to the solos you are learning. You really have to learn the solo inside out to be able to play them.. so it works your tonal memory, your connection between your ear and your hands..etc. If the goal for every improviser is to be able to play what we hear, then I think this is the best way to be able to do that.

knotty

yea, listening is important esp. nowdays. I don't know any musicians my age that listens to just jazz. I was fortunate enough to have friends who has very different musical backgrounds.. so they got me into listening Parliment Stevie wonder.. house music.. etc. What I like about the younger players is the fact that they aren't afraid to let those thing come out in their playing/composing

btw the guy who learned the omnibook in all key won like a big jazz competition.. so i guess it worked for him smile


Edited by etcetra (02/24/10 11:15 PM)

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#1382422 - 02/25/10 02:21 AM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: etcetra]
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 309
Loc: LA CA
Hi,
I didn't work on classical at all when I was learning to improvise. I listened to famous jazz horn players and learned their solos note for note and put chords in the left hand. Worked for me.
_________________________
Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Two openings in my private lessons program starting in Nov.

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#1382452 - 02/25/10 04:12 AM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: Rob Mullins]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Rob Mullin's

Thanks!! glad to know that I am not the only one working stuff that way. I have friends that studied with Jeff Clayton, and it seems like they all studied jazz that way, just learning solos after solos.. they literally learned albums worth of stuff on their instrument.

btw I saw you play a long time ago when I was still living in LA area..It was great listening to your band, you guys all sounded great!!

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#1382939 - 02/25/10 07:07 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: etcetra]
volkov Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 2
I think that at the end it's only about the sound you get out of your instrument and the musical atmosphere you create with it. And if you, whatever music you play, need for a particular effect a simple triad or a plain octave I think that you don't have much choice here, don't you? smile The same goes of course for any thicker textures, may it be an extended chord, polychord, random cluster, prepared piano sound, whatever. At the end music tells you what she needs. Sorry for the copy-paste but regarding this interesting discussion I will leave Brad Mehldau speak. Here is his lucid insight (taken from the essay when he talks about Brahms's influence on him):

That duality is what I love about Brahms, so it might pop out in an improvisation or a composition of mine. One of the great aspects of jazz for me is the way you get influenced. First, you’re a fan. You get the goose bumps; you become bewitched by the music. If that process doesn’t take place, then whatever music – be it Brahms, Jelly Roll Morton or klezmer – won’t find its way into your vocabulary for very long, unless you’re on some weird mission to play music you don’t dig. Anything is fodder. With a kind of Pavlovian logic, what comes out of your horn will be your own happy bastardization of what you love the most – whatever music seduced you initially. "Should I study classical music?" is the wrong question for an improviser. If you don’t dig it, it won't do anything for you.

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#1383044 - 02/25/10 10:40 PM Re: Jazz Improve, does playing classical help? [Re: currawong]
Plowboy Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2269
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: Diane...
Well my first teacher was President of the RCM Register Piano Teacher's Association!... Don't think I would consider her a poor classical teacher! She also had every letter of the alphabet after her name!
If she didn't teach you to see chords in classical music then that's poor teaching in my opinion.


My teacher constantly emphasizes chords. She started me on some improvisation recently, and the jazz has improved my classical.
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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