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Hi all, a little background I'm a fairly decent pianist however I'm completely clueless when it comes to "jazz" I know some harmonies and chords etc and have a decent ear but still I don't know where to start with learning standards etc for instance accompanying the melody in jazz. Usually what I play would be stylistically wrong. I've heard of certain books like "The Jazz Piano Book" but basically I just need kind of step by step advice on what to do with actually learning the standards. My goal is to be able to play Solo jazz piano in like bars and hotels and stuff like that. Stylistically I like ballade-y lounge type stuff haha. I hope someone can help.
Some thoughts: 1. You'll need to the the Real Books or (my preference), the New Real Books. Those are the lead sheets for the commonly played standards. 2. As a former classical player who now plays jazz, you'll need to re-program your brain. Jazz is a different animal. Rather than thinking so much about the notes you are playing, you think about the groove and the harmonic structure. You'll need to learn about chord progressions. 3. I can't recommend books or websites, as I study with a teacher. Teachers are great, and many use the internet to give lessons. 4. You don't want to use the Jazz Piano Book, even though it's my bible. One reason is that it's really a reference work, not a method book. The other reason is: 5. Playing solo and playing with a group involve different skills. When there is a bass player, you generally use rootless voicings. For solo piano, you'll be playing the bass line in some fashion (the Jazz Piano Book is more focused on playing in a group context). Playing solo is harder than playing in a group, but it can be fun. 6. Listen, listen and the listen some more. Find people who play solo jazz piano that you like. You won't play like them, but you'll absorb the rhythm and feel. You can get lots of recommendations here. I recently wanted to play some solo blues piano, and found Ray Bryant's Alone With The Blues. You can't learn jazz without spending hours listening to that masters (and that's not exactly at chore!).
Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it. Yeah at the moment im doing my funny valentine by ear. and my arrangements...well idk there's this lingering Chopin vibe going on so its getting used to this style change. Also where can I learn about what certain type of chords are I vaguely understand altered chords etc but there's chords I have found and am starting to recognise by ear but still have no idea what they are and example and I'll use C. A C dominant 7 in left hand (C E Bb) and then a d major in right hand (d F# a d) and also a c dominant 7 left hand But this time the right hand is playing Gb major chord inverted for example (C E Bb Db Gb Bb) like what even is that haha it sounds nice but I like to know what I'm doing.
Also yeah thanks jjo the bit about listening stands out a lot. Can someone give me some great players to listen to particularly Solo jazz piano. I do like trios etc aswell but I want to listen to more solo stuff.. By now obviously I've listened to Tatum, Evans et al but who else plays solo piano I should be checking out. Dmd I will have a look at them links now thanks
The chords that you were mentioning YoungNoir are upper structure triads (USTs). They can really transform your playing. I have lessons on them at my site.
In a nutshell, there are 5 common USTs in use on dominant chords, II, bIII, bV, bVI and VI, all major, the roman numeral referring to the scale degree of the triad. For example, a C7 with a II UST would be a C7 with a D major triad. C7 with a VI UST would have an A major triad.
There are others and can be used on qualities other than dominant (although that's where they work best).
Write me for more info!
BTW dmd, do you have a CFX? What do you think of it?
BTW dmd, do you have a CFX? What do you think of it?
I rarely use any of my VSTs.
I really cannot give you anything specific that makes me feel that way other than the sound I get with my ES8 (modified with mixer and ES8 parameters) is more to my liking than any of my VSTs. I wished it were not true but it is so I have sort of bowed out of the VST world.
Perhaps a part of that is my sound system, I do not know.
Casio PX-S1000, Focal Professional CMS 40 near-field monitors, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs (Seldom Used), Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface, Yamaha MG06 Mixer
Can someone give me some great players to listen to particularly Solo jazz piano...but who else plays solo piano I should be checking out?
My favorite is Bill Evans but an often overlooked pianist who could play great solo jazz piano is Dave Brubeck. He usually is lumped in with his old quartets, but he could play very hip, forward-looking solo piano for his time:
Yeah this is exactly what I was talking about, I didn't know there was a name for it "UST's" this has opened my eyes a lot. I'm intrigued to know where else they are commonly used other than dominant. Have you got any ideas about how to improvise and start learning standards in the correct style. I'm optimistic but at the moment it feels like a mountain, mainly because you don't really know where to start or what to even practice with these kind of things. Hope you can help.
Will check out the links being posted, thanks guys. I really like Nat Cole's block chord style aswell but I know it's more geared towards accompanying himself singing, albeit he was an absolute monster at the piano. Any info on that anyone. Cheers. YN
You could try transcribing the trumpet solo in So what (don't cheat by looking at the sheet music for this solo). Then you have that as an inspiration for your own soloing. Also, learn soloing by singing a phrase and repeat it on your piano.