- Spiral-bound: 306 pages
- Publisher: Sher Music Co.; First Edition edition (1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0961470151
- ISBN-13: 978-0961470159
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.7 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 151 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Jazz Piano Book Spiral-bound – 1989
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If you are a relatively accomplished pianist with an understanding of theory, command of scales etc. this is an excellent compendium of jazz knowledge. Even so, it's more of a guide book than an actual method. For example, it might ht take months to digest and apply what's in the first chapter.
If you're a relative beginner and want a book to get you started playing jazz piano, I would not advise. This book assumes you have a lot of knowledge already.
This is not a method book by traditional definitions. As a piano teacher, I define a method as having short, easily digestible modules delivering information and giving you songs to practice those skills. This book delivers the information densely, then turns you loose to practice, more or less on your own. As an analogy, imagine a book on woodworking explaining how to make various joints, then instructing: "Okay, go build a bookcase, two desks and three china cabinets."
All that said, if you do want to get serious about jazz piano, this book is indispensable.
Best advice I can offer though: take it slow, and be okay taking it slow. This is a DENSE book. You can spend a month mastering a page of material. When it comes to getting voicings, riffs, chordscale relationships etc under your fingers, there's no shortcut. There's a lot in here.
Unconventional layout that, yes, requires patience but in what seems at first jumping ahead then back again only to make the subject notice that difficulties haven't reared their head later when trying to fit together the various ideas combined within. This is invaluable, you just can't beat that approach save sitting with a professional on a bench where practical ideas can be fleshed out for you. All students can't have their hands held constantly.
Make sure your record collection is healthy or you have the means to do so, Levine doesn't pull any punches when emphasizing this and frankly, really shouldn't.
It's a little trial by fire, but, just use your head and you'll benefit greatly from this.