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#3173490 11/26/21 09:09 PM
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I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos of jazz piano, and really enjoying it.
Im used to playing something more along the lines of classical , where im using pre written arrangements .
Im just curious for people that do or have done both, what is more full filling and enjoyable for you? Jazz or classical piano?


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I'm more into reading from sheet music, mostly classical pieces. I know a bit of "practical theory" like chord progressions and I sometimes fool around improvising in various styles (not just jazz) but that is not my main interest.

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It's possible to use "pre written arrangements" to play jazz. There are literally thousands of note for note transcriptions of jazz performances by the great jazz pianists. There are also books of composed jazz arrangements at all levels.

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Advanced players don’t always read Jazz & Pop sheet music note for note. Some sheets are notated with the bass line & chords on top as lead sheets. There is room for improvisation.

In the Baroque music of the 17th & 18th century movements from dance suites were written with top & bottom parts and repeat on both. Students would play a repeat as exact copy of a section. Advanced players would add ornaments to embellish the repeat not to sound exactly the same.

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I'd rather be able to improvise and play out the ideas in me on the piano, than to play note for note from sheet music of centuries ago, regardless of how valuable and enjoyable any given sheet music is. However, at my level, I don't think I have much choice, as the pieces are supposed to be mainly etudes to improve technique.

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Originally Posted by meghdad
I'd rather be able to improvise and play out the ideas in me on the piano, than to play note for note from sheet music of centuries ago, regardless of how valuable and enjoyable any given sheet music is. However, at my level, I don't think I have much choice, as the pieces are supposed to be mainly etudes to improve technique.

OR... You could also consider them as tools to build your improv skills. IMO, mindset can make a huge difference.


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You do not need to rely on classical music and exercises to develop technique. Go find a good jazz teacher and learn the music you want to play.


"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

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Originally Posted by Jitin
I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos of jazz piano, and really enjoying it.
Im used to playing something more along the lines of classical , where im using pre written arrangements .
Im just curious for people that do or have done both, what is more full filling and enjoyable for you? Jazz or classical piano?
I've dabbled with jazz, but find it pretty boring. A little of it goes a long, long way. That goes for listening to it too. After one Tatum 'improv', I can pretty much guess what he's going to do with everything else he plays. Personally, I think 'jazz' is best deployed as part of one's classical arsenal, as used by the likes of Stravinsky, Copland, Shostakovich, Barber, Bernstein, Adès etc.

When I improvise, I can throw in jazzy stuff (chords & harmonies etc), and I can also 'jazz up' classical pieces (though never Mozart - he's sacred) for the he*l of it, but my normal improv is based on Classical and Romantic models. I find it much more satisfying - and fun - to sight-read 'classical' (i.e. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, late-Romantic to Contemporary Classical) pieces that I've never heard before, and discover new riches that way. And once in a while, I'll even discover a piano piece that I want to learn properly, that I never heard before. Sometimes, I won't even have heard of the composer before - for instance, in the past few years: Hélène de Montgeroult, Mel Bonis, Vítězslava Kaprálová, Dora Pejačević, Alissa Firsova.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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