I recently purchased a digital piano and started playing again after a few years during which I only played sporadically. I'm classically trained and have a rather advanced level in classical piano. Now I'm looking into transitioning into modern styles of piano, but I'm not sure what the easiest/most logical transition would be.
In terms of musical preference, jazz comes on top, but its complexity is daunting for someone who has never really improvised or played by ear before. So I learned a few blues licks and started playing some simple blues instead, which hopefully will serve as a good intro to improvisation.
How would you rate the following in terms of factors such as difficulty to learn for a classical pianist, availability of bands/groups to play with, musical complexity (from a music theoretical perspective)?
- Rock (Rock 'n roll, progressive rock, etc.)
- Modern pop
- Latin (Latin jazz, salsa, etc.)
- New Age
Is there some logical connection between these styles, so that some are "more foundational" than others? Would it be an advantage to know e.g. blues before learning all other styles? Or should one just jump in with the style that one likes the most?