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There's one thing that it's kind of difficult for me to get right. It is the long term timing of practice.

I mean, when I'm studying a piece or set of pieces of classical music i know how long does it take to get them to an acceptable level. So i know how many days or weeks or months i must practice and the pace the improvement may be expected.

But when dealing with jazz exercises i have no idea. Probably because of lack of experience. So when i start studying any new jazz concept such as keys, walking bass, harmony, ear training, whatever, i don't know at all how much improvemt should i expect after any amount of time.

I think that this should be considered in the path of becoming a jazz virtuoso. Knowing the long term timing of your practice would allow you to have the necessary patience and perseverance and to detect errors in your practice.

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Originally Posted by Ubu
There's one thing that it's kind of difficult for me to get right. It is the long term timing of practice.

I mean, when I'm studying a piece or set of pieces of classical music i know how long does it take to get them to an acceptable level. So i know how many days or weeks or months i must practice and the pace the improvement may be expected.

But when dealing with jazz exercises i have no idea. Probably because of lack of experience. So when i start studying any new jazz concept such as keys, walking bass, harmony, ear training, whatever, i don't know at all how much improvemt should i expect after any amount of time.

I think that this should be considered in the path of becoming a jazz virtuoso. Knowing the long term timing of your practice would allow you to have the necessary patience and perseverance and to detect errors in your practice.

In the guise of a classical pianist, on the one hand, you study a wide range of pianistic techniques, on the other hand, a pianistic repertoire with a fixed note text and the art of interpreting music of different genres from different composers of different eras.
As a jazz pianist, you study a specific genre with its specific repertoire from different periods, where the fixed text, if it exists at all, often says nothing about the end result; because the pianist has to take on the role of arranger and improviser (which, in my understanding, is an undercooked composer). In fact, in genuine jazz, the fixed musical text is what is being played at the moment. The range of pianistic technique in jazz is much narrower than classical, but based on it. Thus, a preliminary baggage of the classical technique is necessary, which is being adapted in some senses.

Now you can understand the reasons for the long training period for a jazz pianist. After this period, the study of each next piece will take a relatively short time.

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Originally Posted by Ubu
There's one thing that it's kind of difficult for me to get right. It is the long term timing of practice.

I mean, when I'm studying a piece or set of pieces of classical music i know how long does it take to get them to an acceptable level. So i know how many days or weeks or months i must practice and the pace the improvement may be expected.

But when dealing with jazz exercises i have no idea. Probably because of lack of experience. So when i start studying any new jazz concept such as keys, walking bass, harmony, ear training, whatever, i don't know at all how much improvemt should i expect after any amount of time.

I think that this should be considered in the path of becoming a jazz virtuoso. Knowing the long term timing of your practice would allow you to have the necessary patience and perseverance and to detect errors in your practice.

Ubu, you ask how long does one have to spend ? A reasonable question. I'm not a "jazz virtuoso" , but I consider myself a highly skilled pianist like many on this forum. My answer (to use a well worn cliche). is that this whole trip of being a pianist is a JOURNEY not a DESTINATION.

What Nahum said about the "preliminary baggage of the classical technique is necessary" is pertinent to my understanding. The practice of scales in particular ingrains the topography of playing the keys in a wide variety patterns - and eventually these fingerings become unconscious.

Another thing is that in the Great American Songbook - largely but not exclusively songs from Broadway musicals - becomes part your stock repertoire. And hopefully over time, with the work you've been doing - you should begin to notice patterns. The most significant pattern to my way of thinking, is ROOT MOVEMENT. That whole confusing Cycle of 5ths. To me the takeaway in playing jazz standards is the use of root movement UP A 4th. Once you begin to notice root movement , you'll hopefully eventually be able to "hear" that root movement UP A 4th...understanding, recognizing and hearing that will facilitate learning and retaining this repertoire. And of course there are other root movements, but UP A 4th hugely prominent.

And I'll add a quote that I've remembered for many years but can't recall who it was attributed to: I'd rather be a second rate originator than a first rate imitator. So many of these would-be, wanna-be "virtuosos"....are scrambling, racing to try to be another Oscar Peterson. Being a replica of Oscar would suit them just fine. The jazz tradition , at least back in its golden years, has been to develop ones own musical identity or sound... I'd much rather identify with this ethos. The testosterone fueled race to become that "jazz virtuoso" ? It's mostly to impress other aspiring jazz virtuosos. I'll take Duke Ellington over Oscar Peterson anytime. Of course everyone's mileage will vary (YMMV).

Last edited by indigo_dave; 04/16/21 08:36 AM.
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Originally Posted by RinTin
Talk more about breathing.

Japanese Study - The Relationship Between Musical Characteristics and Temporal Breathing in Piano Performance (2016)
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00381/full

There are observations here that are worth paying attention to. On the other hand, IMO there are serious gaps:
1. None of the subjects sang during the playing , so there is no comparison of breathing during the performance of the same fragment only on the piano and combined with singing (melody);
2. And again: the concept of melodic intonation does not exist here either, although the difference between breathing in the performance of scales is mentioned in comparison with Hanon. Try to ask a question (intonation of the question) and immediately answer it (intonation of the answer) in one continuous breath .
Scientific research in classical pianists confirms that there is a complete confusion in this area that neither percussionists ( Konnakol, Babatunde , Beatboxing ), nor horn players, nor jazz pianists have(Scat).

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Originally Posted by indigo_dave
Ubu, you ask how long does one have to spend ?

https://www.tedrosenthal.com/practice.htm

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Here's my attempt at thread's title "How to become a virtuoso jazz pianist?"

I'm all for all the lecture style posts what playing jazz entails but reality suggests it would take a lifetime to distill all of them properly.

Not sure what I am about to suggest is a full proof method of becoming a virtuoso but one part of practicing should be to learn everything in this video <the solos are all stella, the song is the basic chords of most songs, everyone is very familiar with the song> by: listening a zillion times, transcribing without writing down some of the solos, catching the groove, how they are listening to each other, the phrasing, the dynamics, etc., then I think you will be on your way to greatness along with studying with great teachers and watching YT videos, and so much more...



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Originally Posted by 36251
I'm all for all the lecture style posts what playing jazz entails but reality suggests it would a lifetime to distill all of them properly.

..
Yes, a lifetime , if to devote it only to talking about virtuosity. I always listened to Art Tatum for 10 minutes; and then sat at the piano and tried to reproduce - completely independently, there were no textbooks or teachers!

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Have you given this subject alot of thought Nahum?

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Originally Posted by Dfrankjazz
Have you given this subject alot of thought Nahum?
Oh yeah ; and continue without stopping.

Last edited by Nahum; 04/16/21 02:38 PM.
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ok buddy)

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Originally Posted by RinTin
what i do is sing the rhythm very accurately and softly as i solo, but only roughly approximating the pitches. if at all; its as if pitch wise i sing more a rough shape and contour of each phrase, but the rhythm of the line i sing precisely... but sometime i don/t get enough oxygen!! i am also a left heal tapper, which i love doing.
I don't see a problem. I recall the recording of K. Jarrett, where he mumbles on one note during full-fledged phrases.
Most revealing is the combination of breath and keyboard that melodica offers. Detailed articulation can be practiced on one pressed key , and then transferred to each note of the riff. For those who do not play melodica and not familiar with its technique , detailed articulation is carried out when the tongue, mouth and diaphragm work together - against the background of continuous exhalation and finger legato, with the exception of short notes and endings of phrases. Another type of less detailed articulation is suitable for shooting fast passages with jabs - impulses, which occurs with the help of only diaphragm, without the involvement of the tongue.
https://disk.yandex.ru/d/or3G1YtISHvCoQ

There is some kind of distorting effect of recording sound from a speaker, which once was not there; and can't find what the matter is.

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Ah but the problem is I don’t take in enough oxygen because I’m sitting in the rhythm and then I become lightheaded and fatigued! Especially when I do it on solo piano gigs where I have to play three or four 45 minute sets, like a marathon run. I try to take deep breaths between phrases, like a swimmer, but still it’s not good enough and often times I simply forget to deep breath. I enjoy the under the breath Rhythmic singing, but it really takes a physical toll. By the way I like to sing syllables “vaaa-va” and also “daa-ba” for the stronger accents. Of course I don’t think about it, it’s a flow of consciousness or from subconsciousness.


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@Nahum

I'm listening to Jarret at the 1986 Estival Jazz festival right now on Medici, and he is for sure on a single note for many phrases. It's interesting to listen to him and compare what he's singing and what he's playing.

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I think a good start is learning the blues scales, 7th chords, playing 12 bar blues with a I IV V progression, that sort of thing. I've been learning this on guitar and its fun. The chords sound quite different on piano of course and can require a stretch to make, although there ways around it. And yes I mentioned blues but jazz snd blues are very closely related, both genres being centred around improvising.


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Originally Posted by LarryShone
I think a good start is learning the blues scales, 7th chords, playing 12 bar blues with a I IV V progression, that sort of thing. I've been learning this on guitar and its fun. The chords sound quite different on piano of course and can require a stretch to make, although there ways around it. And yes I mentioned blues but jazz snd blues are very closely related, both genres being centred around improvising.

Yes, it makes sense for complex inner work, to take simple material for a start.

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Returning to McCoy Tyner's phrase: disassembling into elementary (for it) melodic patterns of the first level is only the initial stage of work. There are also intonation and fingering patterns that become prevalent in virtuoso playing, as well as improvisation.

[Linked Image]

In virtuoso improvisation, the proportion of random starting points increases significantly, and then immediately begins to lead intonation hearing, coupled with fingering patterns.

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What does it mean ?

“n virtuoso improvisation, the proportion of random starting points increases significantly, and then immediately begins to lead intonation hearing, coupled with fingering patterns.”


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Originally Posted by RinTin
What does it mean ?

“n virtuoso improvisation, the proportion of random starting points increases significantly, and then immediately begins to lead intonation hearing, coupled with fingering patterns.”
The process of improvisation combines either conscious or random choice. The proportions between them depend on various factors; but also on the overall tempo: at a slow tempo, you can control almost every note, every sub-motive , every chord ; but with acceleration, control is transferred from individual notes, chords and submotives to harmonic patterns, motives, phrases as chains of motives, and even whole sentences as chains of phrases; and all this is regulated by intonation hearing and fingering patterns ( I'm sure -also by patterns of forearm movement) ). Those ,each time the scale of the structure is lengthened - when the control is on its starting note, but this control becomes more and more rarefied.

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All this applies to the same extent to the rhythmic side.

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Excellent analysis, thanks you’ve got me thinking about “random choice”


Jazz piano Instructor. Technical Editor for Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book". Studied with Mark Levine, Art Lande & Mark Isham (1981-1990). Also: Barry Harris & Monty Alexander (1993-present)
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