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Jazz Piano from Scratch: a how-to guide for students and teachers (ABRSM Exam Pieces) Sheet music – 27 Mar 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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  • Jazz Piano from Scratch: a how-to guide for students and teachers (ABRSM Exam Pieces)
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Product details

  • Sheet music: 208 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (27 Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860960154
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860960154
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 1.6 x 29.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Jazz Piano From Scratch is a much needed and very intelligently organized book for the beginning student or jazz piano teacher. I think it will inspire students to practice and continue study since the exercises are quite a lot of fun! (Randy Brecker)

. . . brilliant, lucid and thorough going. (Piano)

This is real recognition that jazz has equal musical value to the whole of the Western classical tradition, says Richard Michael (jazz musician and music teacher). Unlike others who pay ample lip-service to this fact, the Associated Board is putting its money where its mouth is. (The Scotsman)


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Sheet music
If you are like me then your piano teachers reduced piano playing to an exercise in pressing the right buttons at the right time in the right way without much emphasis on actually understanding what's going on. This book is the path out of that mire. It is ideal for those at say grades IV/V in the classical ABRSM syllabus who are wanting to get more out of music, with the emphasis on jazz improvisation masking what they're really trying to do, which is improve your general skills as a musician rather than your skills as an autistic button presser.

Now this book is "jazz piano from scratch" not "piano from scratch" nor "music from scratch"; if you don't know what "C major contrary motion" means you would be better off getting lessons for a couple of months to go over the absolute fundamentals.

It comes in three parts and has a CD. The CD illustrates a few points throughout the book, if you are intending on earing your way through it without reading music then you're in for a shock! Broadly speaking the first part deals with rythym, melody, and harmony in isolation, while the second part glues them all together. The third part is some pro tips for those going through the ABRSM jazz exams (which I am not) although it has a useful bundle of "vamps" (left hand patterns) you can splice into things you are playing.

This book requires work but it pays off. The first part especially could seem quite tedious to those who are already functional at the piano but you need to force yourself through the exercises, because a) they're harder than they seem and b) your aural skills are probably rubbish and if you want to improve as a musician you need to get them a lot better.
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By A Customer on 9 Jan. 2002
Format: Sheet music
I recently added this to my collection which includes books by Mark Levine and Jerry Coker which many users of this site recommend. This is a great book for a number of reasons. Firstly it deals with aspects which are often overlooked in other books such as rhythm skills and so forth. These are often the things you miss out on while trying to get to grips with the vaious modes and exotic chords that comprise jazz. It also has a CD with many very useful examples. I'd also like to point out that this is the best presented music book that I own. Often jazz books appear to have paid little attention to presentation. This is an exception. Printed on very high quality paper the music examples are very clear. The sample lead sheet from one of the music boards test pieces is also a revelation. Most jazz lead sheets are ambiguous, this is anything but. My single gripe (which is the same with most music books) is that it is not spiral bound.
1 Comment 52 of 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Sheet music
This is a great book for beginner to intermediate players. It is well structured, teaching first rhythm, then melody and finally harmony (roughly speaking, its not quite so cut and dried as that). The style is so easy and light you'll wonder why more Jazz literature can't be this way.
What I like most about this book is it is good fun. It really is just a whole bunch of pointers, ideas and hints to make practising more fun. So you can either work methodically through it, or dip in whenever your wondering what to practice, or feeling in a bit of a rut.
Excellent presentation as well as content. Full marks to the authors, they have done a great job here.
(Oh the CD is the icing on the cake, with a large selection of audio cues to fill out the concepts in the book).
Comment 42 of 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Sheet music
I found this book (and CD) very useful. Not only has it expanded my horizons on jazz music, it has also caught the imagination of my sister (who has yet to give it back to me!!!)
If you just want to keep your skill fine tuned on a basic level, I recommend this book to anyone. Also, if you want to be a better player - GET THOSE SCALES BOOKS :0)
For intermediate and professional level, it seems to be rather basic...however, provides insights to the beginner level.
In conclusion - this book is ideal for beginners - upcoming, in their infancy musicians.
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By A Customer on 7 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
I have been playing the piano for a few years but have never classed myslef as very good. This book could not have helped me more. I did not in any way have to be any good at theory or be able to sight read like a pro. This book teaches you the esentials. This however is not a book for those people who have never touched a piano. You must have a little knowledge of playing the piano. If you do, this is the book for you.
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Format: Sheet music
An excellent introduction to Jazz piano improvisation for those with a modest prior knowledge of the piano and music theory (I have studied for ABRSM grades one and two in classical piano in the UK, and find that the text explains theoretical concepts in a clear and accessible way). Elements of rhythm, melody, harmony and form are introduced in a sequence that makes sense to the beginner, without overwhelming the reader. Those hoping to learn Jazz piano without using basic musical notation will be disappointed, but I suspect that nothing worthwhile can be achieved without tackling both this and some musical theory. The presentation of theory is different (and perhaps more accessible) than in texts for those aiming to learn classical piano. The accompanying CD is a vital learning tool, which complelements the written text well. Good value for money.
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