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Piano jazz book recommendation please...

piano jazz beginners

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#1 hammer action

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 09:44

I'm maybe looking for something that doesn't exist, but i have two mature adult piano students (beginners) who love jazz and would like to learn well-known jazz pieces.  I've explained to them that jazz isn't easy for beginners and they're aware of that.  They've both completed the Microjazz Absolute Beginners book and i've written out a couple of very easy jazz pieces with left hand just playing root notes.  One of the students finds playing with both hands together incredibly difficult.  I've searched for other jazz standards that would be suitable but can't find any easy enough.

 

I have the Piano Time Jazz book plus Jazz, Rags & Blues book 1 but i know they would struggle with them.

 

Is there such a thing as a book with very easy jazz pieces (preferably popular) for beginners?  


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#2 Piano Meg

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 10:55

The only ones I know are either that level or above or jazzy tunes (rather than jazz standards) - Chester has a series of books - blues, rags, etc. but I haven't used them myself.

 

I'd probably go with improvisation duets (you could start with 12 bar blues or similar and teach a different rhythm/melodic phrase each time - they could play just a bass note per bar/2 bars) or a more challenging piece that you work on over time alongside whatever else you're doing.


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#3 ontheblackkeys

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 12:12

At the beginner (around Initial) level, there's Really Easy Jazzin' About by Pam Wedgewood and Get Set Jazz! by Ben Crosland (the first one in the latter book was set for Trinity Initial a while back).  Both books are grades 0-2 and there are a few pieces (especially in the Crosland) that are one hand and then the other, rather than totally HT.  Maybe they would work as little duets, if you were to play one hand?

 

ETA:  Just did a quick search for Piano Adventures and jazz - there is a supplementary book called Chordtime Piano: Jazz and Blues which is around the level of PA level 2B (so in between initial and G1).  There is a sample page on musicroom.com, so you can see the difficulty level and the book contains the following pieces:

 

  • Ain't Misbehavin'
  • Baby Face
  • Dill Pickle Stomp
  • Do Wah Diddy Diddy
  • God Bless' The Child
  • Left Hand Louisian'
  • Ol' Man River
  • Tea For Two
  • Tuxedo Junction
  • Watermelon Man
  • When The Saints Go Rockin' In
  • Where Is Love?
  • Whistle Stop Blues

There's also Playtime Piano: Jazz and Blues in the same series, which is level 1, absolute beginner, 5 finger positions, HS, which includes Moon River, Jeepers Creepers and Ain't She Sweet (according to the blurb).  There's no complete list of songs for this one, but there is another sample page on musicroom, looks very easy.


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#4 Ilewydh

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 12:12

How about Up-grade Jazz 0-1?  It does have some original compositions but also some easy versions of these well known pieces as well.

 

I Got Rhythm (George & Ira Gershwin)

Blueberry Hill (Lewis, Stock & Rose)

Pennsylvania 6-5000 (Gray & Sigman)

The Lady Is A Tramp (Rodgers & Hart)

The Bare Necessities (Gilkyson)

My Favourite Things (Rodgers & Hammerstein)

What A Wonderful World (Thiele & Weiss)

Little Brown Jug (Traditional)

Blue Moon (Rodgers & Hart)

Sentimental Journey (Brown, Green & Homer


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#5 Latin pianist

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 13:50

I've got the Playtime Piano Jazz book. The pieces are very easy and have nice teacher duet parts.
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#6 hammer action

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 21:02

Thank you very much for all the above suggestions.  Some of these books i haven't heard of before but i like the sound of them.  I'm afraid my small local music shop doesn't carry a huge variety of books so it's hard to know what's available.  Thanks again to all who answered.  


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#7 Chomp

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 09:44

Bill Boyd has a book called Jazz Starters which is quite but still not for total beginners. Otherwise they might like Magic Beans from Ben Crosland which is contemporary mixed with jazzy.

 

But really I think getting rid of the books and teaching 12 bar blues, popular jazz chord sequences and some pentatonic and blues scales might be a better approach. If you're not familiar with them yourself then there are lots of youtube videos to inspire you.


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