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Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book #2590017
11/25/16 03:21 PM
11/25/16 03:21 PM
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Noonie Offline OP
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I like the sound of jazz piano, solo, trios, etc. I listen to it often. I would like to learn some beginner jazz piano. I'm not interested in improvisation...I've seen lots of books on this topic, and I understand the concept and why it would be taught, but I'm just looking to play from existing sheet music on my own, versus dropping in some improv solo or with a band!

My skill level - got through most of Alfred's level 1 (last few songs). I don't want a book that takes me beyond this skill level, however. Just something I can practice and play on my own (well, would share with my teacher and have her teach while I'm learning).

Any book recommendations? Thanks.

Last edited by Noonie; 11/25/16 03:23 PM.
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Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590052
11/25/16 06:33 PM
11/25/16 06:33 PM
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Richmond, BC, Canada
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Originally Posted by Noonie
I like the sound of jazz piano, solo, trios, etc. I listen to it often. I would like to learn some beginner jazz piano. I'm not interested in improvisation...I've seen lots of books on this topic, and I understand the concept and why it would be taught, but I'm just looking to play from existing sheet music on my own, versus dropping in some improv solo or with a band!

My skill level - got through most of Alfred's level 1 (last few songs). I don't want a book that takes me beyond this skill level, however. Just something I can practice and play on my own (well, would share with my teacher and have her teach while I'm learning).

Any book recommendations? Thanks.


There are two problems:

First:

. . . Playing jazz is _hard_.

Tim Richards has an excellent 3-volume series ("Improvising Blues Piano", "Exploring Jazz Piano (I and II)". It _starts_ at the "intermediate skills" level, which is well above where you are now.

There may be a "pop piano" series, with simplified arrangements, that you could use. If no responses here, check the "Piano - Non-classical" forum.

Second:

Quote
I'm not interested in improvisation.. .


Then (IMHO) you won't be playing jazz.

But you can improve your sight-reading, develop better technical skills, and then find a book of "jazz standard piano scores". Start learning them.





. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590159
11/26/16 08:11 AM
11/26/16 08:11 AM
Joined: May 2012
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Owen Sound, Ontario
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Greener Offline

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Can't suggest a book, but jazz standards sound like the way to go from what you describe. There are tons of them.

You may not be into improv., me neither, but you will want to learn lead sheets to play in the style you describe, which means you will need to start coming up with your own interpretations. And you'll need to learn chords. Talk to your Teacher about lead sheets and learning chords. It's a different world.

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590206
11/26/16 11:52 AM
11/26/16 11:52 AM
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raleigh, nc
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CHeck out any of Larry Minsky's books. He has them in several levels and all of his tunes are enjoyable to play and authentic.


Bill
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Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590618
11/28/16 08:14 AM
11/28/16 08:14 AM
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With all due respect "learning to play jazz" with a desire to play ONLY what is written AS written seems (to me) a bit like trying to learn a language by ONLY learning the phrases of the language phrase book, i.e. never constructing your own sentences or expressing your own thoughts.
I think most people's working definition of "jazz" probably includes improvisation, which I think of as composition (or arrangement) in real time - much as we converse in sentences that we "compose" in response to what we hear and at the time feel.
I can't help but wonder what point there is in wanting to ONLY parrot the words of others.


Anyway, in addition to the above suggestions you may want to check out Kent Hewitt and Dave Frank.
You will NEED theory, you will NEED good knowledge of chords and their inversions, chord progressions, scales, on and on, from the end of Alfred 1 the path is long and HARD.



Last edited by R_B; 11/28/16 08:15 AM.
Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590623
11/28/16 08:24 AM
11/28/16 08:24 AM
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Belgium
johan d Offline
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Maybe try out some books with simple Jazz pieces in it.

Ben Crossland's Get Set Jazz! series (start with Volume 1)
Pam Wedgwood's (Easy) Jazzin' About series
Martha Mier's Jazz, Ragg and Blues series

They are the easiest stuff you will find and still sound great, look for youtube to get an impression.

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590687
11/28/16 11:50 AM
11/28/16 11:50 AM
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Noonie Offline OP
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I think the feedback you've provided is valuable, though it has certainly turned me away from wanting to play jazz piano. Maybe this is a good thing, as it would be too challenging right now. I will instead spend some time looking for pop/modern song books...as I know from perusing these before that if it's a good arrangement at my level, it should work with a moderate amount of practice.

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590712
11/28/16 12:31 PM
11/28/16 12:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 585
NYC
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mission accomplished haha)

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590713
11/28/16 12:31 PM
11/28/16 12:31 PM
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NYC
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mission accomplished haha)

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590791
11/28/16 05:28 PM
11/28/16 05:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,353
south florida
JimF Offline
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Noonie,

Don't be discouraged. If you like the sound of jazz standards and just want to play a few, try something like this....

top 50 jazz standards - easy piano arrangements by Dan Coates

At your level you will need to work on these. Some are easier than others.

Another similar book with easier arrangements...

The Best Jazz Songs Ever - Hal Leonard

Understand that at the beginner level these arrangements are "thinner" than what you might have heard in recordings. But I can attest that most of them do make for a pleasant experience when you are just starting out. Have fun!

Jim



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Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: R_B] #2590816
11/28/16 08:40 PM
11/28/16 08:40 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,386
Owen Sound, Ontario
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Greener Offline

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Originally Posted by R_B
With all due respect "learning to play jazz" with a desire to play ONLY what is written
...

Do you mean as the lead sheet has it written? You still need to come up with the accompaniment and rhythm style you will play it.
Originally Posted by R_B
...
I think most people's working definition of "jazz" probably includes improvisation, which I think of as composition (or arrangement) in real time - much as we converse in sentences that we "compose" in response to what we hear and at the time feel.

Yes, this is how I think of it too. However you do not have to do it all the time to play cocktail jazz type piano. Most standards are AABA and there is nothing wrong with them the way they are. If you are up to it you can take a jazz chorus. You do not have to. Jazz is not only about adlib all the time. It sure isn't to me. Only when it is done well can I even tolerate it usually. If any it should be kept in moderation when playing standards. Maybe one verse and chorus and make it AABABA, or something. It always has to come back to the original theme too.


Last edited by Greener; 11/28/16 08:56 PM.
Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590985
11/29/16 02:45 PM
11/29/16 02:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
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Well, snipping bits of posts out of context to pick them apart is a whole 'nother pastime - and basically I want to NOT play that.

My interpretation of the O/P's post was that they wanted to play notes "as written" (from sheet music with ALL the notes FULLY WRITTEN OUT), not to follow chord symbols from lead sheets.
From the root post I gathered that they are a LONG WAY from lead sheets anyway.

As to how much improvisation is too much and when to come back in... I believe that to be ALL subjective.

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2590995
11/29/16 03:33 PM
11/29/16 03:33 PM
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Steinway publishes books of decent solo piano jazz style arrangements (cocktail piano). They are not bad.


Casio PX-360 digital piano, Mojo 61 digital organ, 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.
Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2591004
11/29/16 04:18 PM
11/29/16 04:18 PM
Joined: May 2012
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Owen Sound, Ontario
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Greener Offline

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Take it as you want to. I wasn't picking anything apart. Just making a point that you do not need to wait until you can improvise on the fly before you play any type of jazz piano and nearly any jazz standard. This is relevant to the OP. Sorry I quoted your post to make this point. It was not meant to offend. Sorry if it did.

As to how much and when you come back in after an adlib., well that was just my suggestion. Take it or leave it, as with all other suggestions made in these forums. Nothing is gospel. Well, some things are factual, but nearly everything else is subjective and where wise choices matter.

Transcriptions are fine until you get to lead sheets (better). At least they should teach to stick to the theme before reinventing everything.

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2591155
11/30/16 05:36 AM
11/30/16 05:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
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Noonie Offline OP
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I came across the Tim Richards thread, read a bit of it. I then searched the book on the Internet. I came across a video where Tim shows you lesson 1. You're playing CEGEC... Left hand, and chords C, E or G left hand. You can play the chords on or off (didn't knownwhatbthat meant, now do). I fiddled around with this for a few minutes - I like the sound of it. So I may not throw out this idea entirely. Might spent a bit more time with his videos online before I give up the idea of jazz/blues.

FYI - I didn't know what a lead sheer was, but I think I now do and can already appreciate that perhaps jazz music isn't laid out on paper the same way as classical. I'm learning already :-)

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2591182
11/30/16 08:22 AM
11/30/16 08:22 AM
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If someone hit all ten fingers on piano keyboard and you can name every single note that was executed, then you surely are qualified for jazz improvisation. Many I know who brag about being able to improvise advertise nothing but their savagery. This bunch are musically illiterate full of hot air.

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: johan d] #2591234
11/30/16 11:30 AM
11/30/16 11:30 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
David Farley Offline
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Originally Posted by johan d
Maybe try out some books with simple Jazz pieces in it.

Ben Crossland's Get Set Jazz! series (start with Volume 1)
Pam Wedgwood's (Easy) Jazzin' About series
Martha Mier's Jazz, Ragg and Blues series

They are the easiest stuff you will find and still sound great, look for youtube to get an impression.


Here's a couple more to go with those:

Christopher Norton's Microjazz series
In Recital with Jazz, Blues and Rags - edited by Helen Marlais
New Orleans Jazz Styles - William Gillock

Quite a bit more here:

http://thepianoteacher.com.au/articles/repertoire/jazz-resource-file-part-1/

http://thepianoteacher.com.au/articles/repertoire/jazz-resource-file-part-2/


Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2591249
11/30/16 12:34 PM
11/30/16 12:34 PM
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tend to rush Offline
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also this book of Gershwin arrangements of some of his own tunes.

Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2591428
12/01/16 02:16 AM
12/01/16 02:16 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,268
Belgium
johan d Offline
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Fifteen Easy Jazz Pieces for piano:

This first piece, I did with my teacher and sounded nice, when played by her. Here are the sheets. On his site, there are also the mp3's to have a listen.

More of him: http://www.varelas.net/dmitry/download.htm




Re: Want to learn Jazz - looking for song book [Re: Noonie] #2591470
12/01/16 08:28 AM
12/01/16 08:28 AM
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Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania
Here are some authentic sounding jazz tunes written for late elementary players.

They also have more for intermediate players.


These also include an "improvisation" section written out. Of course, it is not really improvisation since it is written out for you but it sounds like it.

http://www.onlinesheetmusic.com/jazz-montage-level-2-late-elementary-piano-solos-p316003.aspx


Don

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