How to Transition from Classical to Jazz Piano

The piano is an instrument that can be used to create a variety of musical styles, from classical to jazz. If you are a classical pianist looking to transition into jazz, there are a few steps you can take to make the transition easier. First, it is important to understand the basics of classical piano. Taking classes with a classical music teacher is a great way to learn the fundamentals of Western notation and piano technique.

Once you have a good grasp of the basics, you can start to diversify into different styles. Transcribing music is one of the best ways to train your musical ear and learn jazz. Start by transcribing four bars of something that appeals to you, such as Miles Davis' solo on the song “So What”. This will help you understand the tones and rhythms of jazz music.

It is also important to understand jazz theory. Familiarize yourself with some concepts of jazz theory and study common jazz chord progressions. Learn how jazz pianists play over those chords and practice transcribing licks from famous jazz musicians. Finally, it is important to apply your knowledge of jazz theory and improvisation to real music.

Learn songs from the standard jazz repertoire, such as All The Things You Are, Misty, Autumn Leaves, Satin Doll, Girl From Ipanema, Fly Me To The Moon, Summertime, and Cherokee. This will help you understand the meaning of the music and develop your own language in the context of the jazz tradition.