Dan Bennett's Philosophical Approach to Jazz Piano
  On a personal 'note'...

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On a personal 'note'...submitted:
2013/12/17 05:45:47
2013/12/18 08:56:03

Despite the title of my post, this is not a 'personal note' in the way the reader may have assumed, but rather an implied title to encourage a little internal dialogue... but what do I mean?

As either an established pianist or a pianist 'en herbe' as the French say ('in the grass', up-and-coming, etc.), one does well to consider what is most pleasant to the ear when listening to jazz. It goes without saying that Jazz is a very wide idiom (perhaps too wide for my own liking, but I digress) so there are many nuances to pick up on and implement in our own playing. The problem, as I now understand it, is that there is too much to digest and pianists (in and above the grass) are quickly overwhelmed by techniques, 'educational' YouTube videos and bland advice of the genre "listen to as much as possible". Far worse, in my deeply-reflected and honest opinion, is the fact that most are not encouraged to look inwards; outwards (the fingers, sitting position, etc.) being given top priority.

If you would be so kind as to view my blog and read a few posts I have made of late ( ), you will quickly see how my articles tend towards the sub-title of the blog itself: 'Learning to play from the inside out'. This means that one should take a good look inside and discover genuine reasons and sentiments about why they choose to play the piano at all; sure, for fun is a great answer, but therein lies a limit at both poles and obliges the question: How good do I want to be?" Perhaps not virtuoso in all 12 keys, but at least a good knowledge of chords and extensions and a 10-song repertoire with some basic improvising ability? Answering these questions will help you towards becoming a Purposeful Pianist, the epitome of a tickler of ivories, no matter the level of brilliance.

At the time of writing, Christmas is fast-approaching and no doubt many New Year's Resolutions shall be made (and probably broken!), and I am aware that music-related resolutions are quite popular; starting a new instrument or even focusing more on what we passively did in the previous year. And so I find myself writing this article in the hope that those new electric pianos for Christmas, to be played upon as part of a genuine New Year's Resolution, will not be used for wasted hours of difficult scales and uncomfortable finger positions, endless scores of boring exercises (you know the score, 'scuse the pun)... but rather, used by a Purposeful Pianist who has given thought to what he enjoys most in jazz and to how he feels he wishes to sound. Only then can a structured, focused and more rewarding adventure through jazz begin.

Seasons Greetings.


 jay norem
Re:On a personal 'note'...submitted:
2013/12/17 20:26:12
2013/12/17 20:28:11

Three and a half quid?

May I casually and quietly suggest that you go stuff yourself. This is not a place to flog merchandise, it's a place to share art, to share music.

Re:On a personal 'note'...submitted:
2013/12/18 08:55:39
2013/12/18 08:55:39

How gentlemanly of you. I shall remove that portion of my post which was unnecessary as you kindly pointed out.


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   bgp 20131026