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I am looking to learn about Jazz Piano, in preparation for a composition task as a part of my GCSE Music coursework.

Could someone run through the basics of 'jazz chords' (on piano preferably), and also the characteristics of the style in general? I am a relatively experienced pianist, but I know nothing of the jazz genre.

I know that there are some interesting chords involved in jazz - how are they put together and what is the best way to use them?

Also, what's the best way to use chords to form a melody, harmonies etc?

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closed as too broad by Meaningful Username, Wheat Williams, Fergus, Shevliaskovic, Dr Mayhem Apr 6 '14 at 14:21

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

possible duplicate of How can a classical pianist learn jazz piano? – Meaningful Username Apr 4 '14 at 21:20
and also the characteristics of the style in general? - I am looking to learn about the style and how to compose it, not just how to play Jazz piano – Poben Apr 5 '14 at 10:04
I believe the answers to that question address this aspect too. – Meaningful Username Apr 5 '14 at 10:28
That may be so, but I do not feel that the answers to that question fully sate my curiosity, and so I have asked a different question. – Poben Apr 5 '14 at 23:03
Does this begin to answer your question? If so, can you expand more what you'd like to know? If not, can you be a bit more specific on what you're looking for? – Alex Basson Apr 6 '14 at 2:59
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If a jazz pianist were to ask you the exact same question about classical music (in its broader sense), where would you start?

I have taught jazz to many experienced and professional classical pianists, and I know of no shortcut to years of study and practice.

If your question was intended to mean where could you start, I would recommend The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine, which builds up excellently, presupposing no prior knowledge of the idiom, and makes no attempt to divorce theory from practice.

I'd also mention that students that want to learn jazz without being inclined to listen to a lot of it seldom achieve much.

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There are so many chords that you can use in Jazz Music. Like Major7 (maj7/M7), Major9, Major11, even Diminished which have a form like 1-3-5-7 in maj7, 1-3-5-7-9 in maj9, or 1-b3-5-7 in min7.

There are so many genres of jazz that have different chord to use. Like bossa-nova, they play basses just the 1st and 5th note. Swing, they do walking bass which a pretty difficult. Because you know nothing about jazz genres, you should check it out in youtube players like: B B King, Ella Fitzgerald, Basia, Erroll Garner, or search it in iTunes. After that, you can pick which jazz genre are you. Perhaps you can try fusion jazz or because you're new to this, try Folk Jazz, Cool Jazz or Free Jazz.

For composing a song, people often have a walk in afternoon, night, or morning to get some inspiration, that maybe can become a new composition.

You can use chromatic scale in your composition. So your song won't become mainstream to your ears. The point is: jazz is free genre, you can express your feeling via your instrument. I think the best way to answer is: pick your genre first, and then ask again if you don't understand something.

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