i've played for 5 years, and i really want to learn jazz piano. i'm not sure where to start, i self-taught myself to play so i've never really had a profressional instructor. any help?
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you came to the right place!take a good look around.......
i have been hanging around this site for a couple of years.
asking questions, picking brains, taking advice, reading the wealth of material, dipping in and out of levine, listening to the music suggested on this site. i am "self taught" but i have been to a few lessons recently and the guy, on hearing me play said last night:

"..you say you are self taught??" (in an amazed tone!)
"..do you realise how good you are?"

this may sound like i am bragging but what i am trying to say is stick with this site, it will transform your playing.

i have a similiar relationship with ljp, in that it has improved my playing in a quantum way.  i credit all the regulars who hang here and are so generous in what they share.
i too am self taught and i consider that a pretty good alma mater when i look around at all the jazz piano players who came up that way.
ljp is my personal teacher!


left hand alone and two-hands voicings...

with that,you'll play all the standards!

p.s.: of course it isn't that easy, but i think it is a good start...

p.s.2: the old advice...transcription...copy, imitate, take wath you like!

p.s.3: don't give up. jazz is not easy, but rewarding!
hi jazz beginner,

i would highly recommend first of all concentrating on blues until you develop a level of fluidity with this genre. what helped me alot was first of all moving anything i learned into all 12 keys so as to even out my playing and becoming familiar with the various chord tones in all keys. moving 12 bar blues progressions through all 12 keys is a great way to progress. as time moves forward and you become fluent with the standard chord progressions (basic) in blues then you can begin to jazz up the progressions at a steady pace and gradually move into the jazz style. besides its great fun doing it this way also. when i started i tried to dive straight into jazz and bought books like the levine book etc but for me this did not work in terms of improving my playing. what did revolutionise my way of approaching improvisation however was an article called "forward motion" by hal galper. this de-mystified alot for me and i still hold it as my best read to date. going back to what i stated about the blues, i would recommend first of all listening to a few blues records and finding something that you like and then transcribing this from the record and then moving this idea through all 12 keys for fluidity. the forward motion article that i just mentioned is fantastic for explaining what is happening with these ideas etc. you are guaranteed to progress this way, it would never be time wasted.

anyway this is just my take on this.

best of luck to you  

tim richards has a book called "improvising blues piano" which is highly recommended. if you work through that book and move all exercises etc through all 12 keys you cant go wrong.
i am working with tim richards improvising jazz piano - you can move on to this after the blues book - it is excellent.
i agree with elwapo.  there is an old chestnut called "st james infirmry blues".  i played that song many times in different keys before i was ready to do any kind of intermediate jazz.  some of the ellington songs were good to start on too.
good luck!
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