To start learning jazz piano, one must have a basic knowledge of music theory, such as chords, scales, and key signatures. Jazz music is based on improvisation and requires a deep understanding of these fundamental concepts.
One source that can be used to learn music theory is the book “The Jazz Piano Book” by Mark Levine. It covers topics such as scales, chord voicings, and improvisation techniques in a clear and concise manner.
Once a strong foundation in music theory has been established, it is important to listen to jazz recordings and learn to play jazz standards. This can be done by purchasing sheet music or by transcribing recordings by ear.
A useful tool for transcription is the software program Transcribe!, which allows the user to slow down recordings and loop sections for repeated listening. Another source for learning jazz standards is the Real Book, a collection of lead sheets for many jazz tunes.
To develop improvisation skills, it is helpful to practice over chord progressions using different scales and modes. The website Learn Jazz Standards offers a variety of resources for practicing improvisation, including backing tracks and practice exercises.
Additionally, studying the playing styles of jazz pianists such as Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, and Herbie Hancock can provide insight into the unique approaches and techniques used in jazz piano.
In summary, to start learning jazz piano, one should begin with a strong foundation in music theory, learn to play jazz standards, practice improvisation over chord progressions, and study the playing styles of jazz pianists. Utilizing resources such as books, software programs, and websites can aid in this process.