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#1997637 - 12/10/12 11:00 PM jazz piano
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
If you have been trained as a classical pianist, and taken some grades, does it make learning jazz piano easier? I guess you already have the fundamentals and just need to learn to play in a jazz/blues fashion. If you can already play with two hands to a reasonable standard, then I would say you are half way there already.

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#1997829 - 12/11/12 11:04 AM Jazz piano [Re: adultpianist]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Step 1: Ask a question.

Step 2: Answer your own question.

Step 3: All done.
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1997844 - 12/11/12 11:47 AM Re: jazz piano [Re: adultpianist]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5504
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Hi, adultpianist -

Since you've been over in the ABF, too, this thread might be of interest to you:

Jazz piano discussion and ideas for beginners in jazz piano in the ABF

It'll give you some idea of the skills jazz pianists develop, and a lot of ideas on how to do that.

The thread isn't as frequented as it was when it started, but if you post in it so that it comes to the top of the ABF it's likely that someone in the ABF will see it and respond. And jazzwee and the others are extremely helpful, and have been exactly where you are now - at the very very beginning!

The skills that classical players have definitely overlap with the ones that jazz players need, and jazzwee took some classical lessons to help develop those. But there are other skills, too, that classical pianists rarely if ever use, and jazzwee took lessons from a jazz piano teacher to specifically develop those.

There's also a thread in this forum on the Joy of Improvisation (JOI) and there are several people working thru that. You might find that interesting.

There's a new thread in the ABF on Tim Richards' Blues Piano book that might be a lot of fun for you, too.

All three of these threads are what we, in the ABF, have called "study groups." People who are working on the particular theme of the thread and helping each other out as they go.

We're a pretty friendly bunch here at PW, and especially the ABF. There's a lot in those study groups to give you some idea of what jazz piano is about.

Cathy
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#1997914 - 12/11/12 02:23 PM Re: jazz piano [Re: jotur]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 629
Loc: Chicago
I'm a classically trained guy who switched to jazz. The bottom line is that your classical training will help physically but not mentally. What I mean by that is that your ability to play notes, chords, runs, etc, will all be very useful and put you ahead of the learning curve.

That said, jazz is mentally a fundamentally different way of approaching music. Some classical people think that just like Bach sounds different than Debussy, jazz is just a different sounding kind of music. It isn't. It's a different way of approaching music, primarily focusing on chord progressions and how to improvise over them.

I could not have come as far as I have given the given time I've spent without the classical training. So you will benefit from all of that training. But be prepared to learn a new method of making music. For me,it's been one of the most rewarding journeys I've undertaken.

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#1998087 - 12/11/12 10:39 PM Re: jazz piano [Re: jjo]
Steve Nixon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/10
Posts: 216
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: jjo

That said, jazz is mentally a fundamentally different way of approaching music. Some classical people think that just like Bach sounds different than Debussy, jazz is just a different sounding kind of music. It isn't. It's a different way of approaching music, primarily focusing on chord progressions and how to improvise over them.

I could not have come as far as I have given the given time I've spent without the classical training. So you will benefit from all of that training. But be prepared to learn a new method of making music. For me,it's been one of the most rewarding journeys I've undertaken.


Well said sir. +1
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#1998094 - 12/11/12 10:54 PM Re: jazz piano [Re: jjo]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2300
Loc: Sydney
Originally Posted By: jjo
I'm a classically trained guy who switched to jazz. The bottom line is that your classical training will help physically but not mentally. What I mean by that is that your ability to play notes, chords, runs, etc, will all be very useful and put you ahead of the learning curve.

That said, jazz is mentally a fundamentally different way of approaching music. Some classical people think that just like Bach sounds different than Debussy, jazz is just a different sounding kind of music. It isn't. It's a different way of approaching music, primarily focusing on chord progressions and how to improvise over them.

I could not have come as far as I have given the given time I've spent without the classical training. So you will benefit from all of that training. But be prepared to learn a new method of making music. For me,it's been one of the most rewarding journeys I've undertaken.


Perfectly put. +1

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#2000876 - 12/17/12 08:47 PM Re: jazz piano [Re: adultpianist]
Chad F Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 15
Loc: Vancouver, BC
Nicely put jjo. I was classically trained up to a college diploma level, then fell in love with Jazz and started my journey. It was a tough transition mentally as jjo mentioned. One of the big challenges was to adjust to playing (and hearing) simply again. Going from playing complex arrangements to plunking out shell voicings under a melody felt like I was going backwards at first. However, if you really make an effort to keep it simple, you'll start to experience the freedom that comes with improvising. I think the natural tendency for many classically trained improvisors (myself included) is to overcompensate for a lack of understanding, experience playing within a particular style, and/or listening with too many notes or musical ideas.

So in short, yes it will make it easier for you, but keep it simple. Especially at first!

Cheers
_________________________
Web Academy of Music

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#2005214 - 12/27/12 10:15 PM Re: jazz piano [Re: jjo]
JamesPlaysPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 118
Originally Posted By: jjo
I'm a classically trained guy who switched to jazz. The bottom line is that your classical training will help physically but not mentally. What I mean by that is that your ability to play notes, chords, runs, etc, will all be very useful and put you ahead of the learning curve.

That said, jazz is mentally a fundamentally different way of approaching music. Some classical people think that just like Bach sounds different than Debussy, jazz is just a different sounding kind of music. It isn't. It's a different way of approaching music, primarily focusing on chord progressions and how to improvise over them.

I could not have come as far as I have given the given time I've spent without the classical training. So you will benefit from all of that training. But be prepared to learn a new method of making music. For me,it's been one of the most rewarding journeys I've undertaken.


Very well said! I like to imagine a "bar graph" representing a classical pianist's skills, and another representing those of a jazz pianist. Some items are on both charts at high levels. Other items are on both charts but are emphasized differently from one discipline to the other. And other items are only found on one chart, and not the other.

A typical, say, intermediate classical student who is transitioning into jazz, then, would presumably have a "lopsided" chart, as it were. Some items would be strong, others weak or possibly missing. Lessons would then include lots of focus on bringing those lower items up. I always tell students right away how awesome it is that they are so strong in certain areas- "there are lots of conversations we won't even have to have, because you're already there!" And moving forward is simply a matter of recognizing that this is a fundamentally different approach, as you said, and giving oneself permission to sound "basic" all over again, knowing that it's a perfectly natural aspect of the process. Easier said than done, of course, because it's so humbling! But in the end, attitude and an understanding of the process can make the "transition" a very pleasant one. smile
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#2005251 - 12/27/12 11:52 PM Re: jazz piano [Re: JamesPlaysPiano]
davefrank Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/09
Posts: 672
excellent

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