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#1878982 - 04/13/12 02:50 PM The best way to learn smooth jazz  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Nostradamus Offline
Junior Member
Nostradamus  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Hi all,

I'm new here and I'd like to ask you a question. First please excuse me if my English is a bit quirky, because I'm not a native English speaker.

I'm an average pianist, synthesist and keyboarder and I now want to learn and play some smooth jazz and nu jazz music. My question now is, how deep do I have to dive into all that jazz harmonic stuff and improvising etc. I just want to learn this for my own pleasure, no live gigs planned at the moment. What is the best way for a quick and easy start to get me up and running? Any book recommendations?

Thanks.

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#1878989 - 04/13/12 03:00 PM Re: The best way to learn smooth jazz [Re: Nostradamus]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,379
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member
chrisbell  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,379
Stockholm, Sweden
find an artist that you like and play a long with the recordings. Learn by listening and doing.

#1879270 - 04/13/12 11:44 PM Re: The best way to learn smooth jazz [Re: Nostradamus]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,462
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Diane...  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,462
Western Canada
Originally Posted by Nostradamus
Hi all,

I'm an average pianist, synthesist and keyboarder and I now want to learn and play some smooth jazz and nu jazz music. My question now is, how deep do I have to dive into all that jazz harmonic stuff and improvising etc.


Tim Richards has an "Exploring Jazz Piano"! Lots of smooth jazz pieces in these two volumes. Volume 1 (with CD) and Volume 2 (with CD). I would highly recommend you finding a jazz (if you can find one; easier said than done) teacher who themselves, knows the ropes. And can teach. Some jazz players are too busy playing in public, and they don't want to be bothered teaching.

A jazz teacher is the quickest because when you have questions, they should be there to help!

I use these two volume books with my students and it's fun!

Hope this helps some.

Last edited by Diane...; 04/13/12 11:45 PM.

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Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher
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#1879599 - 04/14/12 02:52 PM Re: The best way to learn smooth jazz [Re: Nostradamus]  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 201
piano_shark Offline
Full Member
piano_shark  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 201
The best way to learn smooth jazz is probably forgetting it...

#1879692 - 04/14/12 06:35 PM Re: The best way to learn smooth jazz [Re: Nostradamus]  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Nostradamus Offline
Junior Member
Nostradamus  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Thanks for your answers and suggestions.

@Dane: Unfortunately I can't take lessons from a jazz teacher due to my job. I'm a technician, doing on-site support sometimes. That means traveling around and that happens quite unpredictable. All teachers I've asked so far are too inflexible, they don't allow to postpone any lessons which means that I'd have to pay, but I couldn't take the lessons sometimes. I'm not quite sure whether I really need lesions because I'm not a beginner.

@piano_shark:
??

#1879843 - 04/15/12 01:52 AM Re: The best way to learn smooth jazz [Re: Nostradamus]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 442
erichlof Offline
Full Member
erichlof  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 442
Hi,
There are some books over at Amazon.com that deal with piano style in Smooth Jazz:
http://www.amazon.com/Smooth-Jazz-P...mp;ie=UTF8&qid=1334467456&sr=1-1

And if you are wanting to learn actual songs, these 2 books are filled with THE smooth jazz classics:
http://www.amazon.com/Smooth-Jazz-S...mp;ie=UTF8&qid=1334467456&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Smooth-Jazz-F...mp;ie=UTF8&qid=1334467723&sr=1-9

The price of these books is not bad at all. This would be a great way to learn by yourself at your own pace, and to also learn some of the smooth jazz favorites that would be requested.

Also, it would help to review your left-hand rootless voicings, as most smooth jazz piano is played with electric bass, guitar, and drums/percussion behind you. For the right hand, the melody will do, but if you want to improvise like the smooth jazz artists do, you might review your pentatonic major and minor scales, blues scales, and a couple of modes like Dorian (over a iim7) and Mixolydian (over I dominant7 or V7), and Altered (over V7 with sharp 9/sharp 5). I hear a lot of that altered V7 in most generic smooth jazz, usually towards the end of an 8 bar phrase.

Good artists to start out imitating are:

http://www.amazon.com/Aint-Nobody/d...p;s=dmusic&qid=1334468489&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Carmel/dp/B00...p;s=dmusic&qid=1334468663&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Smooth-Piano/...;s=dmusic&qid=1334469013&sr=1-17

http://www.amazon.com/Masques/dp/B0...p;s=dmusic&qid=1334468762&sr=1-1

Good luck in your endeavor!

#1879972 - 04/15/12 11:33 AM Re: The best way to learn smooth jazz [Re: Nostradamus]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 933
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member
daviel  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 933
Waxahachie, Texas
http://www.jazzbooks.com/ [never used this myself but it has a lot of choices]

http://www.homespuntapes.com/Instruments/Keyboards [great site - I have used this one to learn the styles I like]

and, I am a big booster of the "listen to the albums and try to figure them out and play along with them" school.

You-tube. There are on-line lessons, too. Some teachers show up on this forum occasionally.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck with it. A lot of people have learned styles this way.

Last edited by daviel; 04/15/12 11:39 AM.

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
#1880059 - 04/15/12 02:52 PM Re: The best way to learn smooth jazz [Re: Nostradamus]  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Nostradamus Offline
Junior Member
Nostradamus  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
Hey,

Thanks for your kind help. That's really appreciated. Lot's of useful tips.


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