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How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
#2963160 04/03/20 04:08 AM
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Hi,
I am a new member in this forum (thanks for having me here!!) I'd like to post a few questions.
I used to play guitar and bass for +/- 10 years (I am 45 now) and I discovered my love for the piano 6 months ago. I have piano lessons (classical) every 14 days and since I have a musical background I seem to make good progress! ...another factor is trying to play 1-2 hours a day I guess...

My goal when starting the piano was clearly to play Jazz but I really like the classical stuff I am playing with my teacher. I know that I am lacking technique and experience in playing (my knowledge in jazz theory is much bigger due to my guitar and bass past) but from your experience : after how many years of classical piano and acquiring technique can I try to take Jazz lessons?

Another question I have is on the instrument itself. I read in an article that players say that piano x is good for ex. Bach...piano y more for Beethoven...and another piano clearly better for Jazz.
Is that a matter of voicing the piano? Are certain brands better for Jazz than others?
I ask this because when buying a piano in a near future (and assuming I'd like to play classical AND Jazz on it I'd prefer an allrounder)...what should I try to look for in a piano? ...I have the possibility to put a grand in my living room up to 2m15.

Thanks for your help!!
Rob

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Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2963180 04/03/20 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rsoby

but from your experience : after how many years of classical piano and acquiring technique can I try to take Jazz lessons?


Start straight away, even if it is just some basic improvisations exercises. Of course proper jazz lessons are better.

Originally Posted by rsoby

Another question I have is on the instrument itself. I read in an article that players say that piano x is good for ex. Bach...piano y more for Beethoven...and another piano clearly better for Jazz.


A Steinway D is good for classical or jazz. A good piano is a good piano. Of course it is a personal thing which piano you like but your choice is more likely going to be limited by what you can afford. A 25 year old Yamaha grand is likely to have the best value/quality ratio.

Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2963219 04/03/20 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rsoby
after how many years of classical piano and acquiring technique can I try to take Jazz lessons?

I think for jazz it's most important to acquire a decent chords technique, so you wouldn't struggle with every chord when you play. I'm not sure how much time it takes, it's probably individual, just wait until your 4-notes chords sound good without much effort.

Originally Posted by rsoby
I ask this because when buying a piano in a near future (and assuming I'd like to play classical AND Jazz on it I'd prefer an allrounder)...what should I try to look for in a piano?

beeboss is right, Steinway is the best allrounder, especially an American Steinway. Brighter pianos like Yamahas are often considered better for jazz. I think for jazz it's also very important for the lower register of the piano to blend seamlessly with the upper register. But your ears and your personal taste is what's most important in the end.

Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2963237 04/03/20 09:46 AM
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When I take on a new student who is primarily coming from classical the first thing I work on with them is playing rootless voicings with added tension. This would be how to voice chords without using the root and adding tensions (9, 11, 13). I also show them how to interpret chord symbols at the same time. These two skills allow you to start reading from the Real Book and playing tunes that sound like a real jazz player.

The time it takes to achieve these skills varies but is usually not less than a year to gain fluency. Once you have your chords ready to go you are set to go in a bunch of different directions, like adding improv, learning other voicing techniques like solo playing or two handed voicings etc.

I offer a complete online course of study on all of these topics, please see www.jazzpianoonline.com. I have four completely free, full-featured lessons for you to try.

As for the piano question: it looks like you can fit up to a 7' piano which gives you a lot of options. I would take advantage of every inch of that and look at these used Yamaha's: C3 (6'1"), C5 (6'5"), C6 (6'7"), or if you can fit it the C7 (7'6") which is the benchmark jazz piano. I just saw Rick Jones had one online that sounds really nice and is a great deal.

Steinways, in my opinion, are of course very expensive (over priced imo) and very inconsistent especially the smaller instruments and don't come close to the reliability and stability of a Yamaha. (any technician will tell you this). Yes you can voice any piano to yield the sound you are looking for just make sure you are working with a top level technician before they do any voicing to your piano because an inexperienced tech can do real damage to your hammers.


Bill
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Online Jazz Piano Lessons
Yamaha C7 Disklavier DC7ENSPRO
Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2963314 04/03/20 01:28 PM
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Hi Rsoby

I can't comment on the type of Piano, however as per Beeboss and Bill I agree there is no reason to delay starting to learn Jazz Piano. In fact I'd have thought that for most people the longer and more seriously you take studying classical, the harder it will be when you start trying to play Jazz Piano as well.

There are plenty of very good on-line Jazz Piano tutors/websites/Youtube channels, both free and paid for.
I'd certainly recommend looking at Dave Frank's material, and the Open Studio guys are very interesting.
I haven't looked at Bill's (above) material, but I'm sure he is also very good.

Of course if you get your own tutor, the above is irrelevant.

Cheers


Simon
Yamaha CLP535
Vox Continental 73


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




Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2963332 04/03/20 02:33 PM
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I'm much older than you have same background of decades of Jazz guitar and bass, went to music school, but never played piano (sad about that now). I would say you don't have to do the classical thing first if not into it which was my case. I thought I should and tried the typical local piano teacher and the same books they use for everyone and it bored me to death. I tried to at least ask questions about bigger chords and fingering other scales or melodies and they dodged them. So I quit and went on my own for awhile, but realized I need someone to talk to that understood by background. I eventually found a good Jazz teacher willing to take a piano beginner because of my background. That is working well for me and I feel I'm making progress even though my body and brain aren't what they used to be.

So don't do the classical unless that interests you because being interested and motivated will do more for keeping you moving forward.

Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2963785 04/05/20 02:14 AM
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From my experience I've been brought up playing music the Classical way as long as I can remember. Recently my piano teacher got our group class into playing pieces out of the "Simply Standards: 22 most requested songs" for easy piano book. These are arrangements of Jazz tunes but notated with the Bass Clef for 2-hand piano. Everybody in class were brought up in the Classical way and don't read off lead sheets and the book wasn't written in that format either.

The first thing the teacher told us to focus on is that certain pairs of notes with the same beat value are supposed to be played with the first note slightly longer & the second shorter to give a Swing feel. Otherwise we would all be playing the notes as written (set in stone) like a Classical piece. The last thing on our mind is to make a piece more original by playing the chords in the bass in different ways to sound original such as F-A-C-E in root position played as an A-C-E-F inversion. Even adding notes or playing certain chords as an arpeggio we would decide beforehand and insert the changes into the sheet music. The idea of playing music in an improvised way with the melody line by ear & adding appropriate chords along the way is foreign to us.

Some piano teachers like John Mortensen mentioned in his online videos that Classical music can be played in an improvised way by changing the Key & notes. Many people who are taught in the Classical tradition tend to play as written. Jazz is a different style of music that requires the performer to have a different mindset. Somebody like myself who was taught to play in a Classical way would likely play Jazz tunes from sheet music written with the Bass Clef and wouldn't embellish a piece along the way.

Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2964341 04/07/20 08:42 AM
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Thanks for all the comments!!
Seems I'll continue my classical journey (because to my surprise I REALLY like it and I feel that it brings my technique a step further) and start to work on chords... I tried to play around 3 note voicings a bit (left hand bass and right hand 3rd and 7th...adding the melody in the rh) and it works pretty well...

Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2966269 04/12/20 09:37 PM
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At a bare minimum, two decades of the Russian method.


Playing professionally since 1975. Style: Straight-ahead jazz. Gear: Kawai ES110 | Mojo 61 | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2966274 04/12/20 09:56 PM
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at gunpoint.

Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2966334 04/13/20 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
At a bare minimum, two decades of the Russian method.
No, 7 years on the instrument, 3 years of jazz. From my own experience.

Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2966545 04/13/20 02:24 PM
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I wasn't really being serious.
It is interesting that you come up with 7 years and 3 years. How do you come by that prescription? Shouldn't classical and jazz be learned somewhat at the same time?


Playing professionally since 1975. Style: Straight-ahead jazz. Gear: Kawai ES110 | Mojo 61 | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: How many years Classical before Jazz? ...and a few more...
rsoby #2966574 04/13/20 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
I wasn't really being serious.
It is interesting that you come up with 7 years and 3 years. How do you come by that prescription? Shouldn't classical and jazz be learned somewhat at the same time?
In Soviet Union in the early 60s? You're crazy? I was dragged to the KGB for organizing an unauthorized jam!
7 years of classical piano - a strong pianistic basis to study jazz with the expectation of a professional level.

https://www.facebook.com/arkadiy.figlin/videos/1601752726644484/?fref=mentions

Last edited by Nahum; 04/13/20 03:34 PM.

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