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Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? #2738018
05/19/18 05:03 PM
05/19/18 05:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
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GoldmanT Offline OP
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I'm (finally) going to buy one of Mark Levine's books, but not sure whether to buy the theory book or the piano book, or even what the difference is.

I've played organ and guitar before so know some theory outside of the context of piano, but will mainly using it to play piano jazz.

What would I be missing from the theory book if I bought the piano book?

edit: also, do they cover how to construct musical phrases and build solos, or is it just the theoretical building blocks and it's up to you to turn them into something that sounds coherent?

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Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2738038
05/19/18 06:01 PM
05/19/18 06:01 PM
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Chicago
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jjo Offline
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I'd recommend the Jazz Piano Book. In addition to covering theory, it had chapters on comping and latin playing, for example. In other words, it covers rhythm and melody, not just theory. The Theory book is more comprehensive, but doesn't cover anything but theory.

One word of warning; it's not a method book where you go chapter by chapter and slowly learn to play jazz piano. It's more like a reference work. Each chapter, even if only 5 or 10 pages, contains concepts that you could work on for 6 months. But it is right on point in that you know if you learn something from it, you're learning the real deal. My jazz piano teacher refers to it a lot.

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2738042
05/19/18 06:15 PM
05/19/18 06:15 PM
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GoldmanT Offline OP
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Thank you - yes I've got enough of an understanding that I could dip into it as a toolbox, not looking for a guided tour of how to play jazz.

Another thread recommended one or more of Hal Crooks improv books, for the rhythmic side of playing, anybody have any experience of them?

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2738135
05/20/18 02:40 AM
05/20/18 02:40 AM
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Israel
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Nahum Offline
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In Jazz Theory book Mark Levine expands and deepens the materials from Jazz Piano Book, and also demonstrates their practical use on examples of solo great artists, and not just pianists. At the end, there are 28 pages of repertoire and 27 pages of discography with details to listen to.

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2738154
05/20/18 05:17 AM
05/20/18 05:17 AM
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GoldmanT Offline OP
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I'm keen on sax and guitar jazz so should I maybe get the the Theory book rather than the Piano book, to get a wider context for the theory?

edit - actually forget that, I'll get the theory book because it's 522 pages as opposed to 307 pages for the piano book! The theory book also was written second so that's probably why it expands on the content of the first piano edition. Thank you!

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2738171
05/20/18 08:34 AM
05/20/18 08:34 AM
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tend to rush Offline
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Not familiar with either book, but I'd still say likely both. Failing that, the piano one. When I took jazz improve - a long time ago - our teacher - David Baker at I.U. - held additional weekly sessions with piano players alone. Chord voicings are very important in jazz piano, but they aren't covered, obviously, in instruction for single-note instruments.

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2739831
05/27/18 11:14 AM
05/27/18 11:14 AM
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I studied the Jazz piano book from beginning up to chapter 11. I decided to take a short break as I found it really boring. That was about a year ago. I may resume my studies soon. But I haven't had the enthusiasm or desire

http://www.cmajorninekeyz.info/index.html


I am learning to play the piano. My main influences are Gospel, R&B and Jazz piano
Visit http://cmajorninekeyz.info/index.html

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2739983
05/28/18 12:51 AM
05/28/18 12:51 AM
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Groove On Offline
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The Mark Levine jazz books are good solid references, but - for me - they tend to sit on the shelf. If you're looking for something more active & practical - take a look at Jazz Keyboard Harmony by Phil DeGreg.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: Groove On] #2739990
05/28/18 01:39 AM
05/28/18 01:39 AM
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Israel
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Nahum Offline
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Nahum  Offline
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Originally Posted by Groove On
If you're looking for something more active & practical - take a look at Jazz Keyboard Harmony by Phil DeGreg.
Sounds good! Always a book with background tracks is more preferable than just a dry set of rules.

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2740011
05/28/18 04:35 AM
05/28/18 04:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
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Groove On Offline
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I just noticed in the book description for Jazz Keyboard Harmony it says “strongly recommended by Mark Levine”, ain’t that interesting!

Aside from the play-along background tracks, the book also includes several pieces of music so you can apply and experiment with all the concepts in the book.

One warning - the book is designed for classroom work and/or self-study, but keep in mind it is written for college level students.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2740879
05/30/18 11:48 PM
05/30/18 11:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 412
LA CA
Rob Mullins Offline
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Hi all,
The Levine book consistently outsells my voicings book 10/1.

Some of my students have brought it into my teaching studio
over the years.

Each time I looked it over, it seemed rambling and not sequential.
I'm sure it is a fine book since it is so popular.

I still won't use it in my curriculum for my students since they
eventually all end up telling me that it is not step by step and sequential enough.
My two cents.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2740999
05/31/18 01:15 PM
05/31/18 01:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 266
Kent, UK
Simon_b Offline
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Hi

I can vouch for Phil DeGreg, he is a very good musician / Pianist.
He was one of the Piano tutors on the Jamey Abersole courses I did many years ago.

I have both the Levine book and the DeGreg book and wouldn't say one was better than the other.

Cheers


Simon
Yamaha CLP535

Play what you enjoy listening to, listen to what you enjoy playing!




Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2741009
05/31/18 01:51 PM
05/31/18 01:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 560
So.Cal.USA
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Mike A Offline
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There's plenty to learn from the Levine books, but you might also find it interesting to read this critique:

http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/mto.00.6.1/mto.00.6.1.rawlins.html

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2743154
06/09/18 02:55 AM
06/09/18 02:55 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 412
LA CA
Rob Mullins Offline
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Rob Mullins  Offline
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Howdy and happy Friday night.
My students as I said before in this thread found his book to be rambling and non-sequential.
That being said, I'm sure there is some great stuff in there.
On the broader level, it really does come down to you finding a teacher and them assessing
what you need to work on in my opinion.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2743205
06/09/18 10:58 AM
06/09/18 10:58 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,656
Israel
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Nahum Offline
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Nahum  Offline
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Israel
Originally Posted by Rob Mullins

My students as I said before in this thread found his book to be rambling and non-sequential.
.
This is an obvious exaggeration; perhaps it was necessary to more systematically group materials on chords, voicings, scales, rhythms and comps.

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: Nahum] #2744629
06/15/18 06:51 AM
06/15/18 06:51 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 412
LA CA
Rob Mullins Offline
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Rob Mullins  Offline
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LA CA
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Rob Mullins

My students as I said before in this thread found his book to be rambling and non-sequential.
.
This is an obvious exaggeration; perhaps it was necessary to more systematically group materials on chords, voicings, scales, rhythms and comps.

Yet, it wasn't grouped that way...hence my students comments.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: Simon_b] #2744717
06/15/18 03:59 PM
06/15/18 03:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,318
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Sir Lurksalot Offline
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Originally Posted by Simon_b
Hi

I can vouch for Phil DeGreg, he is a very good musician / Pianist.
He was one of the Piano tutors on the Jamey Abersole courses I did many years ago.

I have both the Levine book and the DeGreg book and wouldn't say one was better than the other.

Cheers



I know Phil. He's a terrific pianist and teacher, and the main reason why my son attended the conservatory where Phil was the jazz piano professor (he retired a couple years ago). Now he's a big reason why my kid is able to support himself as a pianist.

At the risk of straying too far off-topic, here's Phil's cool arrangement of Lady Madonna:

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2744948
06/16/18 06:07 PM
06/16/18 06:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 266
Kent, UK
Simon_b Offline
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Sir L

Thanks for posting that - wonderful.
Must admit I hadn't looked on YouTube for his videos, as its about 13 years since I did that course and met Phil.

I will check out a few more!

Cheers


Simon
Yamaha CLP535

Play what you enjoy listening to, listen to what you enjoy playing!




Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2767765
09/26/18 01:06 PM
09/26/18 01:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Rochester, NY
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NittyRanks Offline
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Rochester, NY
I just got the Levine book at my teachers request.It has some cool ideas but I think most people want more step by step types of things.

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2768287
09/29/18 03:51 AM
09/29/18 03:51 AM
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GoldmanT Offline OP
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Yeah I did eventually buy it and it's definitely a reference book. It contains a lot of good stuff. I understood most of it, I can recognise some of it when I hear it on a recording, and I can execute only a very small proportion of it. smile It's ordered in a kind of conceptual order, not in the kind of order you should learn these concepts in, and without extra guidance it would be difficult for a beginner or intermediate to know how to navigate it.

I sight read through most of the examples which was a great ear training experience, I think it's important to read it with your fingers on the keys rather than away from the piano.

Re: Levine - Jazz Theory book or Jazz Piano book? [Re: GoldmanT] #2769282
10/03/18 11:19 AM
10/03/18 11:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
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Rochester, NY
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NittyRanks Offline
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Yeah I think so also. It's a good reference book my teacher said last week.


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