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Arrangements & Lead Sheets
#2853076 05/28/19 10:04 AM
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Jazz pianists & jazz piano teachers, how much time do you spend working on or teaching classical piano repertoire or arrangements, versus playing from a lead sheet? I am asking because my education was from a classical perspective and I am self-taught with jazz, so I am curious to know what jazz teachers typically do in lessons?

Last edited by Mason&Hamlin57; 05/28/19 10:04 AM.
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Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
Mason&Hamlin57 #2853222 05/28/19 05:51 PM
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I studied classical as a kid, and then as an adult started studying jazz. My jazz teacher and I have never worked on classical pieces, but then again, I already had pretty good technique. When we play tunes, it has always been from a lead sheet (except when I learn a piece by ear).

When I began my lessons, however, the very first thing I did was work on the ii-V-I progression in all 12 keys. That has included working on voicings for that progression all three scenarios: playing solo piano; left hand comping when playing a solo with a bass player, and two handed comping when playing in a group with horns.

Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
jjo #2853354 05/29/19 12:27 AM
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Thank you so much! :-)

Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
jjo #2853395 05/29/19 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jjo
I studied classical as a kid, and then as an adult started studying jazz. My jazz teacher and I have never worked on classical pieces, but then again, I already had pretty good technique. When we play tunes, it has always been from a lead sheet (except when I learn a piece by ear).

When I began my lessons, however, the very first thing I did was work on the ii-V-I progression in all 12 keys. That has included working on voicings for that progression all three scenarios: playing solo piano; left hand comping when playing a solo with a bass player, and two handed comping when playing in a group with horns.



....and then do the same thing with various forms of blues.

Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
Mason&Hamlin57 #2853398 05/29/19 03:58 AM
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In the college where I work, there is a division according to teaching profiles: for the first year, the student usually studies with a completely classical teacher, and after passes to me. In first year there is also a parallel course on classical theory and harmony. In the second year, the student begins to study either pop or jazz piano ,including arranging on keyboard , rhythm and feel . Of course, the work takes place with charts, as well as with the recordings of pieces. At the same time, time is necessarily allocated for technical work on Cherni, Clementi, etc. etudes ; as well as musical work on small works by Bach, Chopin or Haydn. For example, one of my students is currently preparing a "La fille aux cheveux de lin" of Debussy.

Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
Mason&Hamlin57 #2853407 05/29/19 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Mason&Hamlin57
I am curious to know what jazz teachers typically do in lessons?


There is no such thing as 'typically', jazz teachers are as idiosyncratic as jazz players. A good teacher should work with the individual student to help them achieve their potential and all students are different. Judging by what Nahum says above it appears that colleges are also very different from each other - I had to really push to get any classical lessons at my college because the classical and jazz sections were so separated. I have never had a jazz teacher look at classical pieces with me although plenty of time was spent looking at compositional techniques of classical composers.

Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
Mason&Hamlin57 #2853434 05/29/19 07:47 AM
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Hi

I've had private lessons with 2 professional Jazz Pianists in England. As BeeBoss says Jazz Piano Teachers are as different as the players. These 2 had differing attitudes, the first just happy to help with whatever I was interested in that the time, and the 2nd (and definitely the better of 2 - Terry Seabrook) advising me to start as jjo did and work from there. Neither advised studying any classical repertoire.

Both were beneficial to me different times (mid 80s and mid 2000s). For the last 15 years or so I have done my own thing and play all sorts of stuff from all sorts of genres and styles. I play from chord charts, lead sheets and read classical. None to a very high standard, but I enjoy them all and would miss the different disciplines if I had to limit what I played and practised.

Cheers


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




Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
Nahum #2853441 05/29/19 07:59 AM
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Thank you Simon! That is helpful.

Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
Simon_b #2853474 05/29/19 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Simon_b
Hi

I've had private lessons with 2 professional Jazz Pianists in England. As BeeBoss says Jazz Piano Teachers are as different as the players. These 2 had differing attitudes, the first just happy to help with whatever I was interested in that the time, and the 2nd (and definitely the better of 2 - Terry Seabrook) advising me to start as jjo did and work from there. Neither advised studying any classical repertoire.



I know Terry quite well, it's a small world!

Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
Mason&Hamlin57 #2853486 05/29/19 09:40 AM
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It's best to start students in jazz who have had some classical background and can read notation and play scales. Only if they are lacking in this area will I introduce any notated jazz pieces to help bolster their reading. I like Larry Minky's pieces for this purpose. Very authentic yet approachable.

Otherwise, I start my students with a thorough discussion of the 5 types of 7th chords (maj7, 7, -7, -7b5, dim7) in all 12 keys and then have them read lead sheets to solidify the chords in their head and hands.

Once they can do this I talk about how to voice lead the chords in iiVI progressions (major and minor) using rootless voicings, unless they are young and I'll take the intermediate step of discussing voice leading with root-based chords.

The rootless voicings take a long time to get happening (usually a year) and then I spend about that much time exploring repertoire using the rootless voicings to get them deep into their head and hands.

From this point, we can talk about solo playing or get deeper into group playing with two-handed voicings and also usually start some improv work.

Everything I do is based on lead sheets so I don't use any notated pieces other than for the purpose I mentioned above.


Bill
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Re: Arrangements & Lead Sheets
Mason&Hamlin57 #2853791 05/30/19 07:09 AM
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Hi Beeboss

I studied with Terry in 2005/2006.
Not for that long sadly, as it was a busy time in my life.
I was playing in about 3 different bands, finishing off an Open University degree, and had just started taking Karate seriously.
As well as doing a Job....

If he lived a bit nearer to me I'd probably still be studying with him now.
Send him my best wishes if you speak to him.

Cheers

Simon


Simon
Yamaha CLP535
Vox Continental 73
Yanagisawa AW10 (alto Sax)


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





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