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#1963334 - 09/23/12 07:56 PM From classical to jazz
mazeppa777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/11
Posts: 21
Hello everyone, i have been playing piano for years, but have been studying almost entirely classical. I am pretty good with music theory, and am very good with technique. As someone who is advanced in classical, is there a book series that would be a good starting place. Ultimately i would like to be able to read fake books and be able to play the melody and the chords and have both sounding half decent, and will also be playing in an ensemble.
Thanks!

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1963352 - 09/23/12 08:32 PM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 593
Loc: Chicago
I started jazz about 5 years ago; my training was all classical. All of your technique will serve you will, but mentally, jazz is completely different. The first thing to do is start listening to jazz, preferably at least some every day. You've got to absorb the feel and sound of it.

As for instruction, I've had a teacher for the past five years. The book we use as a reference is the Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine. It's more of a reference guide than a course book, however, so I'm not sure that it would be possible to sit down with the book and learn. I'm sure others will chime in with better suggestions on books or internet sites to learn on your own.

Certainly get a set of Real Books right away. I like the New Real Books. You'll want to start playing from them as soon as possible.

Here's a preview of the biggest change. Classical music is all about playing what's on the page of music. Jazz is all about playing a harmonic sequence, with an appropriate rhythm. The written page is just a guide, and one you soon want to do without. Good luck. Jazz is an fantastic form of music and the tremendously rewarding if you stick with it.

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#1963354 - 09/23/12 08:37 PM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2938
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Hi Mazeppa,

At first, it may be a good idea to overwhelm yourself with all sorts of information, and then naturally sort out what seems appealing to you.
A good way to do that is get one of the best seller of jazz piano, which is Mark Levine's Jazz piano book.

Read through it, then start applying the advice to the tunes suggested.

at the same time, there are plenty of quality arrangements that you can play. The Steinway series is very good:
http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Stylings-Great-Standards-Volume/dp/1929009135/ref=pd_sim_b_9

There are also tons of great transcriptions, for example of Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson or Chick Corea.

Meanwhile, it's very important to listen to a lot of jazz. Oscar Peterson is great, Wynton Kelly, Bud Powell, Keith Jarrett, Art Tatum.
Listen and see what's appealing to you. Your taste will probably change over time.

Have fun.

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#1963535 - 09/24/12 05:59 AM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2261
Loc: Sydney
I agree with jjo and knotty that your top priority is to listen to jazz.
Do you want to play standards in a jazz style full-stop ?
Or do you want to take it to the ultimate step which is to improvise ?

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#1963573 - 09/24/12 08:20 AM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
Steve Nixon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/10
Posts: 216
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: mazeppa777
Hello everyone, i have been playing piano for years, but have been studying almost entirely classical. I am pretty good with music theory, and am very good with technique. As someone who is advanced in classical, is there a book series that would be a good starting place. Ultimately i would like to be able to read fake books and be able to play the melody and the chords and have both sounding half decent, and will also be playing in an ensemble.
Thanks!


Hey Mazeppa,
I think you're experience is quite common. I also played classical first as a kid. I then moved on to jazz and blues and haven't really looked back since.

Keep in mind the whole approach to learning jazz is different than classical. Some of the techniques you used to learn classical will work like a T and many others won't transition as well to jazz.

There are lots of popular books. Some of which are better than others. Many people enjoy "The Jazz Piano Book" by Mark Levine for example. I remember having some nice breakthroughs when I first encountered it many years ago. smile

On a related note I also wrote an article about 6 months ago with some additional tips on making the switch from classical to jazz. I hope you find it useful.

http://www.freejazzlessons.com/classical-to-jazz-piano/


I think there are a lot of resources out there that you would find useful. First and foremost you should be listening deeply to the style. (Like the other great posters have mentioned).
Alot of the deep information and nuances of this style can't be written out on and must be learned by listening.

If your theory chops are good and you can figure out what you hear then sitting with a recording for a few hours will pay huge dividends!


_________________________
Free Jazz Piano Lessons Online
www.freejazzlessons.com

Blues Piano Masterclass on DVD
http://www.learnbluespiano.net/

Learn Piano Online
http://www.pianolessonsonline.com

Online Jazz, Blues, & Rock Piano Lessons
http://stevenixonmusic.net/lessons.cfm

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#1965339 - 09/27/12 03:23 PM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
AnonymousInvention Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/11
Posts: 142
Loc: Florida
I agree with the above - Mark Levine's book, Real Books and listen, Bill Evans is great. Also, just start improvising using the theory that you know and your ear. Start simply and grow with practice.
_________________________
Anonymous Inventions
http://www.anonymousinventions.com

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#1965487 - 09/27/12 09:13 PM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 781
Loc: Northern, Northern California
I love this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Metaphors-For-Musi...or+the+musician

Check out the reviews and read the table of contents and first pages.

Here's the author playing:





Edited by TromboneAl (09/27/12 09:25 PM)
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1965510 - 09/27/12 09:57 PM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Listen to all the master classes posted on this forum by Dave Frank - he's terrific and easy to understand. Here's his last lesson

Master Class

Google: Dan Haerle; Jamie Aebersold; John Mehegan. Very fine source material.

Welcome to the light! and good luck.


Edited by daviel (09/27/12 09:58 PM)
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1966497 - 09/29/12 07:50 PM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 392
Loc: Westchester County, New York
Maz,

Double, triple and fourple what has been said about Dave Frank. DO listen to these master classes. Get his Joy of Improvisation learning centers and go to work. You will particularly love what he calls "Jazz Hanon" - time to practice!
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

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#1966697 - 09/30/12 08:41 AM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
John Mehegan had a 3 or 4 volume set of jazz styles, from the stone age to the late 60's, that includes an easy description of modern Bill Evans type playing. I think there are newer one book editions of his teaching.
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1967034 - 09/30/12 07:24 PM Re: From classical to jazz [Re: mazeppa777]
Ken. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 284
The books by Noah Baerman:

Beginning Jazz Keyboard
Intermediate Jazz Keyboard
Advanced Jazz Keyboard

The beginning book assumes you have completed Level 1 of the Alfred piano method books so technically you should be more than equipped to start with that. I think the Beginning book actually says it would be suitable for classical players wanting to learn jazz.

Also this book is suitable for self-study and covers similar territory as the Levine book, whereas the Levine book is probably better done with a teacher if you new to jazz.
_________________________
Monk - Straight No Chaser
Bach - Two Part Invention No.12

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