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Classical player learning jazz?
#2901172 10/17/19 10:17 AM
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Okay...I play classical music at about grade 8 or 9. Went back to it in my 20# and skipped theory. Paying for it now!

Now in my 50s, I’m crazy for standards and jazz, and trying to really understand how to play it. I have bought Mark Levine’s books (both piano and jazz theory), and was told that once I understand it— which means working on one page every 6 months! Lol— that it will be great.

Problem is, I don’t GET IT at all! I don’t get what he means about “charts,” etc. I’ve heard that there are supplements that will teach me to understand what Levine means. Such as?

Does this resonate with, or make sense to, anyone!?? Help?

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Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2901197 10/17/19 11:13 AM
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I hear your pain! Your classical background provides lots of advantages to learning jazz but the process is going to be vastly different from your classical studies.

You will need to internalize the 5 essential chord types (maj7, dom7, min7, min7b5 and diminished) in all 12 keys and then armed with this knowledge start plowing through the Real Book and learn the repertoire by playing LH chords and RH melody. This is just the beginning! Once the chords are in your hands, you need to learn rootless voicings and then spread voicings which will help you play solo and with a bass player or small group (if you want to).

I see lots of students like you and can help you out. Check out my site for free lessons:

Five Essential Seventh Chords
Easy and efficient method for learning seventh chords

Improv- The Concept
Goal note method for learning how to improvise a melody line

Major ii-V-I Progression
Everything you need to know about jazz's most important progression

Lydian Ending
A great sounding ending to any tune

Mark Levine's book is a great reference but it is NOT the place to start your studies.


Bill
bill@jazzpianoonline.com
www.JazzPianoOnline.com
Online Jazz Piano Lessons
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Re: Classical player learning jazz?
JazzPianoOnline #2901298 10/17/19 02:35 PM
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>>>You will need to internalize the 5 essential chord types (maj7, dom7, min7, min7b5 and diminished) in all 12 keys and then armed with this knowledge start plowing through the Real Book and learn the repertoire by playing LH chords and RH melody. This is just the beginning! Once the chords are in your hands, you need to learn rootless voicings and then spread voicings which will help you play solo and with a bass player or small group (if you want to).<<<

That’s information!! This is exactly what I need. Thank you so much! I will certainly check out your site.

What do you mean by “the Real book”? When I was younger I remember “fake books, “and wonder if that’s something similar or different ??

Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2901501 10/18/19 08:08 AM
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Decent upright bassist; aspiring decent pianist
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Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2901506 10/18/19 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bluegrassdog

Problem is, I don’t GET IT at all! I don’t get what he means about “charts,” etc.


It can be hard to assimilate and use the knowledge necessary to play jazz. I would say your best bet is to get some lessons with a real teacher, you will make much much faster progress than by reading a book. Also listening to lots of jazz is important.

Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2901518 10/18/19 08:54 AM
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You can try; JAZZPIANOSCHOOL, JAZZEDGE, JAZZPIANOONLINE, OPENSTUDIO. There are many others.


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Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2901575 10/18/19 11:22 AM
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I'm a former classical player who switched to jazz in my 50s. It can be done and it's great fun! The chops you developed in classical will serve you well, but you've now got to re-wire your brain to learn a completely different mental approach to playing piano. It's not the notes on the page, its the underlying chord progression that is the key to everything.

What jazzpiano has said about learning the 7th chords in all keys is the right start. The next step will be learning the ii-V-I chord progression in all keys.

However, a teacher, online or live, will make is MUCH easier. The Levine books are awesome, but they are like encyclopedias. They are not method books to teach you jazz piano step by step.

Re: Classical player learning jazz?
TheophilusCarter #2901696 10/18/19 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter


I have this book. I also have the Mark Harrison and Mark Levine books.

By far the best book I have has been Exploring Jazz Piano by Tim Richards. I think it is by far the most interesting, comprehensive, useful and practical book to get playing Jazz out of all the books I have seen so far. In fact the series (there's also Improvising Blues Piano) are probably the best music method books I have seen full stop.

Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2901760 10/18/19 05:09 PM
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I found browsing a local music store to be most helpful to find learning books.

Jamey Abersold has a huge collection of Jazz books and play along content which I like.

http://jazzbooks.com/

Kent Hewitt taught at Berklee College of Music and has some fantastic jazz videos on YT. The levels vary from "beginner" to "advanced". I think a lot of his video content is sourced from his book (which I don't have yet); you can preview some of the pages here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1eW0pUYM8U&feature=youtu.be&t=968

http://www.kenthewitt.com/

I have some of the Bradley Sowash books which I like. He has some videos that I don't watch.

https://www.youtube.com/user/bradleysowash/videos

Re: Classical player learning jazz?
AndrewJCW #2901857 10/18/19 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by AndrewJCW
Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter


I have this book. I also have the Mark Harrison and Mark Levine books.

By far the best book I have has been Exploring Jazz Piano by Tim Richards. I think it is by far the most interesting, comprehensive, useful and practical book to get playing Jazz out of all the books I have seen so far. In fact the series (there's also Improvising Blues Piano) are probably the best music method books I have seen full stop.


I was a similar predicament a few years ago, but managed to make the leap (like jjo). A big, big thumbs up for the Tim Richards books. It was a bit of a trial and error as I searched for books myself, but the best ones (to me) in the end were Tim Richards Exploring Jazz Piano Vol 1 and (particularly) 2. I do believe it is still possible to find them even though they were published a little while back. As you likely have a solid background in music theory you may be able to progress quite rapidly with these. I was unsuccessful at finding jazz piano teachers where I live so had to get creative.

The other books that I purchased in my long quest are mostly gathering dust ...

Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2903106 10/22/19 01:25 PM
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Jazz is not chords; jazz is rhythm! Therefore, I constantly recommend that beginners first learn to walk with these Count Basie records :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-d...z5rmv8NtzgUXrGPYqmgdbwvFk7cQ&index=3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exw...z5rmv8NtzgUXrGPYqmgdbwvFk7cQ&index=5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPQ...z5rmv8NtzgUXrGPYqmgdbwvFk7cQ&index=9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heY...5rmv8NtzgUXrGPYqmgdbwvFk7cQ&index=11


The transition to real jazz tracks takes place only in this way, and no books (almost)! Do not forget to emphasize beats 2 and 4 ( with a weak leg )while walking. The next stage will be the study of harmonic scheme of simple blues -

||: I7 / / /| IV7 / / / | I7 / / / | I7 / / / |

| IV7 / / / | / / / / | I7 / / / | VI7 / / / |

| II-7 / / / | V7 / / / | I7 / / / | II-7 / V7 / :||


Then learn to play these chords exactly in the rhythm and groove of walking with an emphasis on 2 and 4 , this is not easy at all ! Then transcribe the walking bass for at least 24 bars and play along with the recording.

When you learned this, it's time to open the books!


Last edited by Nahum; 10/22/19 01:26 PM.
Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2903210 10/22/19 05:13 PM
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Bluegrassdog, I just watched Dave Frank’s session in Budapest. Since you already play classical piano at that level, why don’t you send him a PM? I believe he gives lesson on Skype.

Last edited by TomLC; 10/22/19 05:14 PM.

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Re: Classical player learning jazz?
TomLC #2903231 10/22/19 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TomLC
Bluegrassdog, I just watched Dave Frank’s session in Budapest. Since you already play classical piano at that level, why don’t you send him a PM? I believe he gives lesson on Skype.


Also check out Dave Frank’s forum posts— he has posted several free jazz lessons here.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2903295 10/22/19 07:48 PM
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OK. 51 in-depth online master classes, all free. Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Keith Jarrett, Dave McKenna, Grateful Dead, Eric Dolphy, Dick Hyman, Erroll Garner, 5 on Lennie Tristano, 2 on Frank Zappa, Beginning Improv 1-4, Walking Bassline Clinic, Charles Ives, Charlie Parker, Bruce Hornsby, The Music of Carl Stallings, Beginning Improv Using Modal Vamps, Breakthrough to Blues Improv, Paul Desmond, Playing outside the changes, 15 Stylistic Elements for the advanced jazz pianist, ear training, how to sing with master solos, flow, phrase, breathe, and many more. You can watch em in your feetie pajamas all here, $0 at the door, no drink minimum:

http://www.davefrankjazz.com/masterclasses

Now I can die, thanks)

Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2903333 10/22/19 08:38 PM
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Wow Dave ! I have seen some of your masterclasses but never realized there were 51❤️
Have you thought about posting the link to the masterclasses in your forum signature?


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2903352 10/22/19 09:19 PM
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thanks doggie)

Re: Classical player learning jazz?
kanadajin #2904605 10/25/19 08:12 PM
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The Tim Richards book was terrific: I bought it overnight and have been really enjoying it. Also started lessons with a local jazz pianist, and it's very helfpul....

and there is so much great info on here!

Re: Classical player learning jazz?
Bluegrassdog #2904619 10/25/19 09:09 PM
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Dave Frank's "Joy of Improv" books are excellent as well. Someone with classical technique could get a lot out of them.


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