Jazz Piano Book Reviews on LearnJazzPiano.com

Review: Jamey Aebersold Play Alongs by Jamey Aebersold

The Aebersold Play Along Series Puts You a Step Ahead When Learning Tunes
Jamey Aebersold Play Alongs by Jamey Aebersold - review and discussion

Author: Jamey Aebersold
Published by Jamey Aebersold


When you're coming up as a jazz pianist it's often difficult to find guys to play with so you can practice trio music. The Aebersold collection of play along CDs and books are an invaluable resource for not only learning the nuances of comping (the piano is in one track, you can play along and then turn it down) but also learning how to improvise over the chord changes of almost every jazz standard there is.

For the beginning and intermediate player who isn't quite ready or old enough to hit the pro jam sessions at clubs around town, these books will prepare you to play with the pros.

Practice note: The one downside to these books is that the rhythm section obviously does not respond to your playing. Do not get into the habit of just playing a bunch of notes that fit without listening to the bass and drums. Make sure you try to respond and play with all the nuances and hits they give you because if you don't, you will play foolishly on stage when you're with real people.

Make sure you gather your jazz friends together every once in a while to get live musician experience or what will happen is you will be one of those robot players who ignores the people around you and just plays notes. This you do not want.

With that said, these books and CDs are the best tools for learning tunes and learning how to play over them.

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Jazz Piano Notebook Series
Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 1 - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.

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Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 2 - jazz piano tricks of the trade you can use today

Volume 2 has 14 jazz piano exercises and tricks of the trade, and quite a bit of it is Calypso jazz piano related material, including some Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo style grooves. Jazz piano education is through the ears, but books like this can help.

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Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.

Tim wrote the well known "Exploring Jazz Piano" and "Improvising Blues Piano" books and has several others to his name.

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Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 4 is by Jeff Brent, a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and author of "Modalogy" and other acclaimed jazz theory and education books. In this book Jeff shares detailed analysis of transcriptions of live performances. He covers everything from the shape of the songs to the tricks and licks he uses in improvised lines to the ideas behind his lush chord voicings.

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