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jazz for classical player

Posted By: Masteusz

jazz for classical player - 10/25/12 12:58 PM

Hello community Im a pianist from ireland just working on my senior cert ( step lower than dyploma ) . I always wanted to learn jazz and so i tryied utube and looked for some books . Though it didnt work for me as i had the feeling that most of tuem are written for people that know quite a lot bout jazz allready. I also looked for a teacher though there is none where i live.So here is my question . What is the good way to start ? and what is the best way to apporach it ? Masteusz .
Ps . I know that there is probably milions of such threads BUT i m rather intrested in actual music sheets , books or whatever might help me to start my adventure with jazz.
Posted By: jjo

Re: jazz for classical player - 10/25/12 01:59 PM

1. Start by listening to a ton of jazz. Books help, but you really learn by listening and imitating. Books help you understand what you're listening to, so they can shorten the process. You should listen EVERY day to some jazz.
2. Next, I recommend the Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine. It's what my teacher has used with me. It's not a lesson book, but more of a resource, but it will give you a lot to work on.
3. Buy a fake book, such as the New Real Book. Your goal is to be able to play a tune by just looking at the melody and the chords, and that's the the fake books give you.
4. Later, buy not at first, buy a book of solo transcriptions. Maybe the Omni book which transcripts Charlie Parker solos, or maybe a book of Bill Evans transcriptions. Pick a solo and learn to play it in time. I suggest this for later because you shouldn't think jazz is something you learn by studying written music. But after you get a basic feel for how to improvise, it's good to see how the masters do it. Transcribing a solo on your own is best, but buying a written transcription is good, too, and easier.

Good luck!
Posted By: Steve Nixon

Re: jazz for classical player - 10/26/12 05:20 AM

Hi Masteusz,
I would recommend you do a few things in the beginning.

1. Start learning some tunes from the standard jazz repertoire.
There are lots of supplementary exercises you can do but ultimately it's all about applying any new musical concepts you learn to tunes. You can start by learning some easier tunes like Autumn Leaves, Satin Doll, Misty, All of Me, etc. etc.

2. Aural Tradition and learning the Jazz Language
Although alot of jazz concepts can be written out you must still keep in mind that it comes from an aural based tradition background. So, it's very important that you begin to deeply listen.

Try transcribing some of the concepts you hear on recordings. Start simply and just figure out 4 bars of something you like. Ideally it will be on a tune or a set of chord changes you are already familiar with.

Listen for pitch, rhythmic placement, and articulation. It can be very different than classical. You don't have to write out these concepts but you should be able to at least play along w/ the recording. Rhythm and articulation are HUGE components in jazz music. Never forget that. It's not just the pitches it's how you play them.

3. Jazz Theory Concepts
Spend time getting familiar w/ some jazz theory concepts. Learn some common chord progressions. Learn some good solid chord voicings that jazz piano players would play over those chords. Things like spread voicings, rootless voicings, shell voicings, etc. The fundamentals.

(There is lots of chord lessons on my jazz lessons site and you can also do a search for stuff on this forum as well). Tons of info.

4. Start to acquire some jazz vocabulary.

Study some licks of master players. I would recommend you learn a few II-V-I licks. It's the most common chord progression in jazz. So, that vocabulary can be applied everywhere.

It would be even better if you analyzed how the licks are built so you could come up w/ your own variations on the licks. This is a great way to begin developing your own language w/ in the context of the jazz tradition.

There of course are lots more things you can do but this should get you started. Hope this helps!
Posted By: daviel

Re: jazz for classical player - 10/26/12 05:57 AM

Search the forum and look at Dave Frank's video lessons/classes.
Posted By: kayvee

Re: jazz for classical player - 10/27/12 12:23 AM

I'm no professional, but these are what I'm using with my jazz teacher:

1) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1864692073/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i01

-just as a good intro to the blues feel, etc, before we move into more jazz - basically, to limit what we learns so as to not

2) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0634060384/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00

-pretty standard real book to purchase

A list of other books that I've gathered from this forum:

Posted By: Ben Crosland

Re: jazz for classical player - 10/27/12 01:06 PM

May I take the opportunity to plug my books? They're not method books, but they have a variety of repertoire which is aimed at the classical student who wants to explore jazz and blues. None of them are heavy duty, and they should provide a nice, gentle introduction to the kind of rhythms and phrasing that are often found in the genre.

@Masteusz - you might find the third book (grades 4-7) has some suitable stuff for you, as the pieces will probably be easy to learn for someone at your level, but won't sound too simplistic.

You can hear some of the pieces here:





Posted By: Music Me

Re: jazz for classical player - 10/28/12 03:25 AM

Hello Ben-
I visited your youtube and I really liked what I heard. Is your music available for purchase? I really liked "The Moon, the Pearl." Please let me know.
Posted By: Ben Crosland

Re: jazz for classical player - 10/28/12 08:42 AM

Hi smile

Yes, it is available, but you will have to order it from the UK, which will add a fair amount in postage.

The book with "The Moon, The Pearl" is here:

Get Set Jazz! Grades 4-7

If the delivery times/costs are too crazy, send me a PM and I'll see if I can help, as I have a few copies spare at the moment.

I do have a couple of pieces available in digital format, too - link is in my signature.

Thanks smile

Posted By: Nikolas

Re: jazz for classical player - 10/28/12 02:28 PM

Can I plug further for Ben? I got his book for grades 4-7 and all the tunes are straight forward and lovely! ^_^ And his delivery was great and speedy (considering he's in the UK and I'm in Greece, right?).

Other than that, thanks for the thread. I do need some suggestions for jazz, etc, and these will come in very handy... smile
Posted By: Masteusz

Re: jazz for classical player - 11/07/12 06:29 PM

Thank you guys so much for advices . They were all extremely helpful .
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