Jump to content


Wanting to learn jazz piano, reccomend some books?

jazz piano

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 jazzonline



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Member: 888569
    Joined: 24-June 14
  • New York

Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:25

So I just sat my ABRSM grade 8 in piano today. I've always been fascinated by jazz pianoists, and want to start learning some jazz stuff, such as scales and theory as a nice change. I know almost nothing about jazz, but am a decent pianist. So I need advice on where to start, I was thinking of buying a thick book about jazz piano, but maybe you guys have some more interesting approaches.
  • 0

#2 muffinmonster


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 793 posts
  • Member: 41676
    Joined: 09-October 08
  • East London

Posted 30 October 2014 - 13:59

I think jazz is best learned from a teacher and by playing with others, but if you want a book to get started, Exploring Jazz Piano by Tim Richards is good. And do plenty of listening!


Good luck with your Grade 8 result.

  • 0

#3 Hils



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1171 posts
  • Member: 7416
    Joined: 16-August 06

Posted 14 November 2014 - 11:01

Listen to loads of jazz!  Try to capture some of the solos you hear. If you have been a dutiful classical student up to grade 8 you may be -  as I was -  rather too wedded to the printed page for this to be entirely comfortable, but persist.  You may need to force yourself to sever the umbilical cord of notation!


If you must get a book Tim Richards' entry level book is I think Improvising Blues Piano.


How's your theory/harmony? Jazz chord naming conventions are slightly different so you could start to get fluent in that dialect too if you are not already.

  • 0

#4 corenfa



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7218 posts
  • Member: 95861
    Joined: 28-March 10
  • Here

Posted 14 November 2014 - 13:06

My housemate is thinking of taking Skype lessons from an experienced teacher whom I also know (though I'm a classical pianist with no interest in learning jazz). If you like I'd be happy to share the details over PM, as I don't want to fall foul of the forum rules on advertising.
  • 0

#5 jpiano



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2207 posts
  • Member: 1270
    Joined: 03-May 04

Posted 14 November 2014 - 22:43

A Classical Approach to Jazz piano improvisation by Dominic Alldiss is a book I've used in the past. The title may sound like a contradiction in terms, but I found it useful because it looked at the harmonic vocabulary you need from a point of view I could understand. I totally agree with the advice to listen to as much as you can, but I also think that translating what you've heard into practice can be another thing altogether. I like Hils' description of the need to sever that umbilical chord to printed music, and I found a structured approach that helped me to discover the vocabulary of jazz playing was essential.


The ARBRM's own jazz piano Teacher's Companion is also worth a look. I haven't used the Tim Richards books myself but I've seen them and they look very helpful. 


Personally I like books. They help me to work at my own pace and in my own time. 

  • 0

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: jazz piano