rhubarb asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicJazz · 10 years ago

What do you think the most typical difference between classic players and jazz players?

I started (formal) piano lesson at the age of 5, and being not a really classic player

I started studying jazz only 3 years ago.

My teacher says I got improved. probably right.

However, I do realize there is something very clear about 'being classical vs being jazzy'

NOT from my technique or length of my experience, what would you call that?

'nature', for example?

I'm serious, no harsh messages, please.


Thanks for rich comments.

If you focus on the PLAYERS themselves,

do you see jazz players more flexible in their character while classic people are a bit stubborn, for example?

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a general answer:

    1. Classical players do have to do much more effort to master their instrument technically, jazz piano players have to put much more effort to understand the harmony and theory of the music they play. you can say that a jazz pianist is also always a little bit of a arranger of composer, since he for example have to choose how to voice his accompagnyment chords.

    Also, because there is not ONE way to play jazz, a jazz player is able to avoid being stuck up with technical problems, he can (till a certain point) avoid to play things he technically is not able to.

    An example for this is telonious monk.

    2. classical player train to read much more, jazz players train to transcribe and play by ear.

    3. Teaching classical music is much more determined and clear than jazz playing, simple for the fact that there is much more history and books of classical music than jazz. Teaching jazz at Music schools began in the 70's, teaching classical music began in the 17 century.

    4. All great professional jazz players can play a second instrument very well- for example most pianists can play also drums- this is due to 1. Most classical player just play their instrument.

    5. IN my opinion, the jazz player is much more forced to develop his creativity and has to confront himself personally in the music more than the classical player, because jazz is improvised music.

    ( maybe the classical guys will hate me for this)

    Source(s): jazz teacher
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  • 10 years ago

    combining a couple of the other answers: classical players play "straight" time while jazz time "swings" ; classical playing is about recreating a written piece authentically, while jazz playing is about improvising something that may not necessarily be on the written page

    SimpleMan, I disagree with almost all of your premises. Playing any style well or any instrument well requires serious effort. Jazz players absolutely can read, often better than classical players who are stumped by altered chords and non-diatonic harmony. The ability to substitute another chord does not eliminate any possible difficulty one might encounter in trying to play a piece. Ability on a second instrument is not limited to the style one pursues, nor must a "great professional" player play some other instrument. All that matters is that the 'great professional' player plays his primary instrument well.

    Source(s): studied both classical and jazz in pursuit of my music degree; forty years performance experience
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  • 10 years ago

    In my opinion, there is a completely different feel. in classical, the composer puts their feeling into it, and the musician playing it does'nt nessicarily have much room to feel what they want in it. In jazz, the whole the feel changes to slight changes, change up the bass if yuo want, add a few different fills than written, add a note here or there. in esscense, you just gotta feel the jazz as it comes. hope this helps=]

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  • 10 years ago

    classical players read the music exactly as written

    jazz players take certain liberties in the written part

    both play with tremendous feeling

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