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Understanding Jazz

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I have a piano student who wants me to teach him jazz...a style i love, but have no knowledge in whatsoever.

Does anyone, and I mainly speak to Robin here, have recommendations on books that will teach jazz right from the basics, and eventually will allow us both to grow in the field of jazz.

I know there is nothing like having a teacher to personally guide you, but, yea...thats not what I'm asking for a response on.

Any ideas?

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Amazon.com: Jamey Aebersold Volume 1 Jazz How To Play and Improvise Book & CD (Standard): Electronics

Ta daa!!

I assume you're talking from a performance standpoint - how to play jazz, right? Aebersolds are invaluable, in that it gets you playing - with a serious rhythm section and start you off with simple/basic modes, chord/scale stuff, ii-Vs, and build from there. An excellent resource. Vol. I is a good place to start...then II, III and then they're all good!

Also, piano specific - re: comping and voicings and such:

Amazon.com: The Jazz Piano Book: Mark Levine: Books

...

:) Hope this helps!

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Another thing I've found invaluable is to listen to as much jazz as possible. The more "listening experience" you have, the easier it is to grasp the concepts. Atleast for me. ;)

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...ive ordered the aeborsold.

stupid amazon. the 'used' ones dont ship to australia. I had to buy the most expensive one on the list! HOW CRAP?!?!?!?! Robin, your life is on the line :P It had better be good :laugh:

i wont get it for about 30 days. although, i ordered martha argerich's evening talks which was supposed to arrive on september the 3rd...but instead, arrived on august the 11th. Which was exciting.

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Trust me, the Aeb is good. They have their pros and cons. BUT, for a developing young player, they're invaluable.

Lemme know if you want to "sample" it before it arrives ;)

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The Levine book can get into very complex theoretical discussion without any application, but to an advanced classical student this might be a more welcoming start. Here's some important stuff: Get a Real Book, try transcribing tunes off recordings, learn a ton of chords and use them in the context of the Real Book, practice licks in all 12 keys. Improvise over the changes in the Real Book. And Listen, especially live jazz at a club, but listen to jazz as much as possible.

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I recently found a jazz cords book for piano that has all of the cords that are found in common jazz music. It was in the music section at Borders.

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I have a piano student who wants me to teach him jazz...a style i love, but have no knowledge in whatsoever.

No offense, but it sounds like it would be best for your student to seek out another teacher who has more foundation in what he wants to learn. Trying to cram jazz knowledge in quickly, so you can start teaching someone else is a recipe for disaster. Basically a student teaching a student. If you want to learn jazz on your own- that is one thing. But trying to learn it quickly so you can teach and mold someone else is quite another....

Just my thoughts on this.

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I would have to echo the sentiments of Nathan. This does not sound like a good idea. I don't want to get into the whole "You have to feel the music man" cliche but Jazz is really not something you can learn from a book. No matter how good your musical background is a few pages of reading is not going to teacher you jazz. A lot of being able to play jazz well is about listening to Jazz music, constantly, pretty much whenever you are not playing if you want to get good. So I would be careful before you started trying to teach it.

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...it sounds like it would be best for your student to seek out another teacher who has more foundation in what he wants to learn.
...Jazz is really not something you can learn from a book. No matter how good your musical background is a few pages of reading is not going to teacher you jazz.

True...BUT, having someone - ANYONE - be supportive and help steer you in the right direction is always a good thing.

Ridgewinner will not be teaching someone to play jazz - it can not be taught, only learned.

Something he CAN do, is focus the students energy on learning basic musical principles, which just happen to be rooted in jazz: modes, chords, rhythms.

All the hard scraggy (feel, time, etc.) the kid'll have to figure out on his own...

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True...BUT, having someone - ANYONE - be supportive and help steer you in the right direction is always a good thing.

Ridgewinner will not be teaching someone to play jazz - it can not be taught, only learned.

Something he CAN do, is focus the students energy on learning basic musical principles, which just happen to be rooted in jazz: modes, chords, rhythms.

All the hard scraggy (feel, time, etc.) the kid'll have to figure out on his own...

yea thats what i was gonna kind of do. in a way, i wouldnt be teaching him, but rather sitting down with him and figuring things out. jazz has a lot of personal flavour in it, and so we could even come up with our own style of jazz.

i do agree with the 3 of you that said this is a method for disaster, but the financial situation his family is in would not allow him to get a professional jazz teacher. I charge 10 dollars AUD for a lesson for all my students. So that is why we are doing it this way.

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There is little doubt that the harmonic knowledge and idiomatic insights required to excel at jazz piano are not going to be gained whilst the teacher is but one step ahead of the student but having classical technique lessons and spending some time listening to, watching and talking to jazz pianists may allow for some progress. THe problem with affordabilty re: lessons is a very real one. Music lessons of

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