2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
38 members (CraiginNZ, AndyP, Animisha, C. L., DeckardWill, 8ude, AJB, Aritempor, 8 invisible), 635 guests, and 243 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
I've been playing more jazzy/popular styles of music lately, so I'm looking for a recommendation for a good instructional book that introduces how to play from lead sheets or a fake book. What I'm hoping to find is a book that introduces chords and technique (jazz/blues/pop technique) in the context of learning songs, rather than a book with exercises but no repertoire, or a book that teaches a bunch of theory and has repertoire shoved in the back as an afterthought.

I found this resource, which is exactly the kind of instructional approach I want. It has the lead sheet (RH part, melody plus chord names) on the first page, then the next two pages are the chords (LH part) written out in the same order as the lead sheet. And then the last two pages is an actual full score (RH, LH) fully written out.
I bought this, but it's only the one song. Anyway, here's the link:
https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/titl...onal-series-digital-sheet-music/21986136

I also found this book, but some of the reviews make me think it's not what I'm looking for:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/063400206...IA&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it_im

Basically, I'm looking for one-stop shopping, a book I can open up and play through, using the RH pages, then the LH pages, and then trying to improvise it on my own.

I have Tim Richard's Improvising Blues Piano and Exploring Jazz Piano. I decided EJP is too advanced, and IBP is ok but it's not geared to teaching how to play from lead sheets. I also just ordered his "Beginning Jazz Piano bk 1" but it hasn't arrived yet.

Some background about myself in case it's relevant: I have been playing piano for 20+ years and have a lot of passive understanding of music theory. In other words, I have a lot of conceptual understanding of chord theory, for example, but if you throw out a chord name, I'm not going to be able to sit down and play it without working it out. I am also very confident in my ability to read music and play while reading, so I would prefer something that's written on the page -- Mainly because it's just faster (for me) than, say, trying to poke around the internet and find videos with instruction etc. Also, my ear isn't super developed, as in, I can't "play by ear" -- but I'm also not interested in spending time trying to do that, again because I am such a solid reader that it's just faster to use those skills since I already have them. In terms of repertoire, I play a lot of George Winston, Ludovico Einaudi, David Nevue, Alexis French etc.

I'm posting this in ABF and the Non-Classical forum, so apologies in advance for double-posting.

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 11/28/21 12:49 PM.

Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,924
C
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,924
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
. . .
I have Tim Richard's Improvising Blues Piano and Exploring Jazz Piano. I decided EJP is too advanced, and IBP is ok but it's not geared to teaching how to play from lead sheets. I also just ordered his "Beginning Jazz Piano bk 1" but it hasn't arrived yet.

Some background about myself in case it's relevant: I have been playing piano for 20+ years and have a lot of passive understanding of music theory. In other words, I have a lot of conceptual understanding of chord theory, for example, but if you throw out a chord name, I'm not going to be able to sit down and play it without working it out. I am also very confident in my ability to read music and play while reading, so I would prefer something that's written on the page -- Mainly because it's just faster (for me) than, say, trying to poke around the internet and find videos with instruction etc. Also, my ear isn't super developed, as in, I can't "play by ear" -- but I'm also not interested in spending time trying to do that, again because I am such a solid reader that it's just faster to use those skills since I already have them. In terms of repertoire, I play a lot of George Winston, Ludovico Einaudi, David Nevue, Alexis French etc.

I'm posting this in ABF and the Non-Classical forum, so apologies in advance for double-posting.

FWIW (I have my own struggles with this) --

(a) If "Beginning Jazz Piano" is as good as "Improvising Blues Piano", it should be pretty close to what you're looking for. I didn't know it existed, and now _I_ have to buy a copy too.<g>

(b) You're doing something that may be counter-productive, in the long run:

. . . You're trying to use the skills you have (because it's easy to do that),
. . . rather than developing new skills (because that's hard and time-consuming).

I suspect that that's going to limit your progress, severely. Jazz is very much an aural skill. _Hearing_ a ninth chord -- and knowing what voicing is being used -- seems to be a fundamental skill. To "play jazz" means to "improvise jazz", and to do that, you need to be able to "hear jazz", before you hit any keys.

So I think you should expect to find the path difficult, going forward. "I can't play by ear" means you've never developed the skill:

. . . but it's something you can train yourself to do.

((
There are some people who are truly "pitch-deaf", but you're probably not one of them. It's tough for them to learn an instrument, because they can't hear (during practice) that they've made a mistake.

. . . .That's not you.
))

There is a pay-off for all the hard work. You'll be able to listen to someone's great riff, and say "I can play that!", and use it, without seeing it written down first.

Keep in touch -- it's nice to read about progress --


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
(a) If "Beginning Jazz Piano" is as good as "Improvising Blues Piano", it should be pretty close to what you're looking for. I didn't know it existed, and now _I_ have to buy a copy too.<g>

There are actually two volumes of Beginning Jazz Piano, both came out this year (I believe), so they are pretty new. I ordered bk 1 from the Book Depository, which will ship it for free, so it comes out to be maybe $5-6 (USD) less than ordering from Amazon. Definitely check out the Book Depository and compare.

Quote
(b) You're doing something that may be counter-productive, in the long run:

. . . You're trying to use the skills you have (because it's easy to do that),
. . . rather than developing new skills (because that's hard and time-consuming).

You may be right here... Time will tell, of course, but I'm actually hoping that I use the skills I have to develop those new skills (i.e., I'm not trying to avoid developing new skills). More below....


Quote
I suspect that that's going to limit your progress, severely. Jazz is very much an aural skill. _Hearing_ a ninth chord -- and knowing what voicing is being used -- seems to be a fundamental skill. To "play jazz" means to "improvise jazz", and to do that, you need to be able to "hear jazz", before you hit any keys.

So I think you should expect to find the path difficult, going forward. "I can't play by ear" means you've never developed the skill:

. . . but it's something you can train yourself to do.

Right, re the part I bolded. And I don't mean to sell myself short. I think I have a pretty good ear actually (in some respects...) I can (could) tune a guitar, I can tell if a chord is major/minor, beyond that I might not be able to pick the right word but when I'm playing "jazzy" arrangements in a written score, I can tell when they're voiced in interesting ways etc.

But I learn through my eyes, I always have. (At my day job, I teach at a uni and do research -- so I read a lot, write a lot, etc.) But back to music...

I have done enough poking around online to find how-to videos to know that I am not interested in learning without the assistance of a written score in some form. It's far too time-intensive, esp. compared to when I do have a score or have chords written out or other musical notation as a base, and then can build off of that.

I also have been playing long enough to know that I don't enjoy learning something for the sake of learning it, it needs to be in the context of repertoire, a song or a piece that I'm learning/playing.

In that regard, the Tim Richards books are great, because he teaches something, and then there's a song where you can play it in context. (Hal Leonard, on the other hand, has a whole slew of books that are most useful as kindling because they intro these isolated musical thoughts and have 4-6 measures of music without even any resolution or conclusion, so it's not satisfying to play. I play through them like an encyclopedia, and when I'm done, nothing has stuck in my head. And because it's not in the context of a song, I'm not motivated to memorize it either. Very unsatisfying.)



Quote
There is a pay-off for all the hard work. You'll be able to listen to someone's great riff, and say "I can play that!", and use it, without seeing it written down first.

See, I don't really care about that... Why does it matter than I could play something without seeing it written down first? (That's a rhetorical question, i.e., it doesn't matter to me)....

But having said that... it's sort of dishonest for me to say that because I obviously want to add a skill set (jazz and lead sheet playing) that I don't currently have...

But for the longest time I was not interested in playing by ear or developing my ear because I could - can - play far more complex pieces from a score than I ever could by trying to improvise on my own... In any case, I am not motivated by wanting to play by ear... I am motivated by wanting add more styles (and in particular, more explicit control of chords and ability play in a more jazzy style) to my current piano skill set.

One other detail... Right now, I have very limited time for piano because of stuff at work. I have had periods like this, months where I fight to get 20-30 minutes of piano time in. And then it mellows out and I'm back to have more time (1-2 hours daily). What I have found is that I can use that very short amount of time in ways so that when I'm back to having more time, I've actually progressed rather than regressed. One of my previous piano projects was sightreading, like 5-7 minutes a day, but it had a huge impact on how quickly I can learn new material, for example.

So I am hoping to find a book that I can work through over a year or so, sit down, open it up and work on pre-set "lessons" (so to speak)... Like the Fly Me to the Moon score that I linked above, that's like a one-shot lesson, all packaged up and ready to use. That approach fits into how I already learn and would let me take advantage of the skills I have to build those new skills.

At least, that's what I'm going to try. Anyway,this has gotten quite long so I'll just arbitrarily stop here! whome

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 11/28/21 08:21 PM.

Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,966
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,966
Open Studio has a Jazz Piano Lead Sheets Breakdown video course
https://www.openstudiojazz.com/jazz-piano-basics-lead-sheet-breakdown

They also have Package Memberships with tons of video courses included:
https://www.openstudiojazz.com/memberships

*** Black Friday discounts end at midnite tonight Nov 30, 2021.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
Thanks for the links, GrooveOn. I'll take a look, but what I'm really looking for is something in book form.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,183
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,183
There is a low resolution PDF to preview most of the book here

https://en.schott-music.com/shop/beginning-jazz-piano-no359133.html?___SID=U

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
Thanks!

Yep, it looks like it's set up very similarly to Exploring Jazz Piano and Improvising Blues Piano. I think this will be a good resource for me. I've already ordered it, but it's coming through Book Depository so it will be awhile before I get it...

I'll post a review of the book when I do.

In the meantime, if anyone has any other books to recommend, please do! smile


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,183
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,183
Tim Richards has a 4 minute video walking through his new book "Beginning Jazz Piano"


And intermediate book "Exploring Latin Piano"

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
newer player, thanks for those links, I hadn't seen either of those videos.

Re the Beginning Jazz Piano book, this does seem like a good approach. I will definitely post back once my copy arrives. (I didn't watch the video for the Latin book).

I still think it would be great to have an entire book's worth of songs presented like the Susan Staples Bell instructional set I linked above (Fly Me to the Moon). But so far, I'm not seeing anything like that.

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 11/30/21 04:45 PM.

Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
Sorry, separate from that, I have to say I was surprised to see Tim Richards play with such a flat-fingered style (and those fingernails!!)

/offtopic


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,183
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 3,183

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
Hmm, those courses include downloabable PDFs, that might work for me as well.
Thanks!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,173

Unobtanium Supporter until Jun 020 2020
3000 Post Club Member
Offline

Unobtanium Supporter until Jun 020 2020
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,173
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
...I still think it would be great to have an entire book's worth of songs presented like the Susan Staples Bell instructional set I linked above (Fly Me to the Moon). But so far, I'm not seeing anything like that.

I'm not sure if this is what you seek, but I'll say that, as someone trained in classical music trying to edge into jazz, I love the John Kember collections. There are three in this series, and between the three, he addresses many of the great standards.

https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Leave...p;qid=1638885487&s=books&sr=1-10

For each song, he provides both a version with simple chord structure and lyrics, and an example of a fully notated version (with a helpful demonstration CD).

The book's introduction discusses how to build a bridge between the chord structure and one's own personal version of a song.

It's not a "fundamentals-up" approach like Richards's, but I find it fascinating.


[Linked Image]

"The great thing about music is, if the plane goes down, everyone walks away."

-- David Bowie
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
Clssclib, thanks for the suggestions!

If you go here, look to the right and there's a sample page:
http://www.johnkember.com/jaznad.htm

Would you say that all the scores look like that... wait, you said there are two versions of the sheet music for each piece?

Ok, I looked at all the books in this series (here: http://www.johnkember.com/sdxjpp.htm )
From what I can tell, you're right that this isn't exactly what I'm looking for, but it looks like it's very close and checks several other boxes and looks like excellent collections in terms of the songs included (and the CD).

Hmm, I might get one of these books, thank you so much for recommending them!

BTW for anyone else reading, if you haven't already, be sure to compare book prices between Amazon and the Book Depository (esp. if you're in the US and wanting a book from the UK). The Book Depository is often a little, and sometimes a lot, cheaper.
https://www.bookdepository.com/Jazz...80571531578?ref=pd_detail_1_sims_b_v2v_1

Now can someone help me figure out how to convince my husband that it's ok that I'm ordering like two new piano books every other week? whome


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
BTW, as I go back and forth with all the suggestions people are kindly making, I've started to realize that one of the other ways of explaining the kind of book I want is to say that I want a "songbook" as in, something that is like a collection of repertoire, but pedagogically prepped.

I don't want a book of exercises, esp. not like the ones in the Hal Leonard books where each exercise is a disembodied string of measures with no resolution...


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,871
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 2,871
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Now can someone help me figure out how to convince my husband that it's ok that I'm ordering like two new piano books every other week? whome
I have been ordering a lot of printed scores lately. At this time of the year it's easy to sneak them in:
- Going to get my parcel?
- Again?
- Christmas gifts! <grin>

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
grin

Yeah, I figured I wasn't alone here in suffering from SMPS (sheet music procurement syndrome) whome


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,173

Unobtanium Supporter until Jun 020 2020
3000 Post Club Member
Offline

Unobtanium Supporter until Jun 020 2020
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,173
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Clssclib, thanks for the suggestions!

If you go here, look to the right and there's a sample page:
http://www.johnkember.com/jaznad.htm

Would you say that all the scores look like that... wait, you said there are two versions of the sheet music for each piece?...

Yes, and I just checked my copy of that book to confirm. What you linked is "version 1" -- lyrics and simple chord structure. The second version that Kember provides for each song (version 2 always immediately follows version 1) is a fully notated realization of the same song -- it's just like any other solo piano score, except for that fact that, for some songs, the eighth notes need to be "swung" and not played as a classical musician would play them. For those of us new to playing jazz, the CD helps make that understandable.

As a repertoire collection, the Kember books are danged near unbeatable for my purposes. The "version 2" realizations are all attainable by dedicated intermediate-level players, but the arrangements are much more full-sounding than most intermediate-level arrangements of standards. I don't love each and every one of them, but I'd be happy studying seriously at least half of the pieces (maybe more), which is FAR better than my reaction to most collections.


[Linked Image]

"The great thing about music is, if the plane goes down, everyone walks away."

-- David Bowie
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
7000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,649
Thanks for this follow up info Clssclib!! I think I may get one then. smile


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,173

Unobtanium Supporter until Jun 020 2020
3000 Post Club Member
Offline

Unobtanium Supporter until Jun 020 2020
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,173
Again, this isn't a direct response to your goal, but this new offering from the good people at Tonebase looks very interesting, and it does relate to making the transition from classical piano to jazz piano:

https://tonebase-emails.s3.amazonaws.com/2021/re-engagement/Q4W10/pno-thursday.html


[Linked Image]

"The great thing about music is, if the plane goes down, everyone walks away."

-- David Bowie
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
A Little Piece of History
by Aritempor - 05/20/22 03:24 AM
Great composers you don't think an entire...
by pianoloverus - 05/19/22 08:23 PM
Ethyl's Silly Nap Center Pin Lube and Cleaner
by Chernobieff Piano - 05/19/22 07:45 PM
Buying an upright: 3 (4?) way decision paralysis. Help?
by SchubertRock - 05/19/22 04:56 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics213,150
Posts3,193,020
Members105,317
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5