Printer Friendly

Play Jazz, Blues, Rock: Piano by Ear, Book 1.

Play Jazz, Blues, Rock: Piano by Ear, Book 1, by Andy Ostwald. Mel Bay Publications (#4 Industrial Dr., Pacific, MO 6306.9), 2003. 108 pp. $19.95.

Piano by Ear is an innovative approach to developing the aural skills essential to playing jazz, blues and rock piano. It is designed for those new to playing music by ear and improvising, but also would be quite helpful to those with some experience who need to develop better aural skills. Students will need to be able to play blocked seventh chords in one hand while playing single notes in the other hand, and read treble and bass clefs. Teachers need little to no previous knowledge of jazz, blues or rock piano because the instructions are clear, and an accompanying CD is an excellent source for instruction and inspiration, which also provides an excellent "should-sound" model.

Most jazz educators and jazz instruction books recommend transcribing to develop aural and improvisational skills. This book teaches transcription in a well-organized, step-by-step approach. The theory you need is presented clearly and succinctly as you need it. The directions are clear and easy to follow.

The organization of the book is based on key and scale structures, with each chapter introducing a new scale: C, F, G, B-flat, D, E-flat, A-flat and D-flat major respectively. Chapters include scale, chord and rhythm studies; listening and an "Improvisation Workshop." At the conclusion of each chapter is an absolutely wonderful "Practicing Page" that reviews all the skills and concepts introduced in that chapter and offers clear instructions about what and how to practice.

There is no doubt that author Andy Ostwald is an experienced and effective teacher. The organization of the book, the clarity of the explanations and the ingenuity of the "Practicing Page" clearly demonstrate mature pedagogy.

Piano by Ear, Book 1 definitely is going on this reviewer's jazz piano workshop "Recommended Materials" list, and the opportunity to examine Books 2 and .3 of the series is eagerly anticipated. Mark Levine, internationally recognized and highly respected author of The Jazz Piano Book, is quoted: "Piano by Ear is a welcome, modern, and original approach to ear training literature. It is a user-friendly, wisely written book series, and I highly recommend it." Reviewed by Ann Collins, Macomb, Illinois.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Music Teachers National Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Collins, Ann
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 2004
Words:378
Previous Article:When Music Resists Meaning: the Major Writings of Herbert Brun.
Next Article:Alternative Strings--the New Curriculum.
Topics:


Related Articles
Shifty-Eyed Blues and More Contemporary Character Pieces.
The Hobbyist's Guide to Playing the Piano.
Jazz Chord Hanon: 70 Exercises for the Beginning to Professional Pianist.
New Orleans Jazz Styles, More New Orleans Jazz Styles, Still More New Orleans Jazz Styles with Interactive Instrumental Accompaniments.
I Used to Play Piano: for Adults Returning to the Piano and MIDI.
EZ Jazz: Seven Easy-to-Play Jazz Piano Solos for Any Age.
Jazz Piano for the Young Beginner.
Modern Jazz Piano: An Intermediate Guide to Jazz Concepts, Improvisation, Technique, and Theory (w/CD).
30 Easy Piano Studies in Classical, Jazz and Popular Styles.
Piano Essentials: Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences for the Contemporary Pianist (w/CD).

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters