#1 Can You Learn Jazz Without Classical Training?

I often hear people (usually classical piano teachers) say that you need a minimum of grade 8 Royal Conservatory training before you should begin to improvise on the piano. For some reason, this opinion is not held for guitar the same as it is for piano.

I believe that this is false.

A classical background has it’s advantages when learning to improvise, swing or do whatever it is that you feel you want to do while playing the music you’d like to call jazz. This being said, it is not necessary other than the fact that you will already “know how” to play the piano. But that can be learned at any age.

Some guidelines to keep in mind are:

1)Everyone can benefit from regular lessons with an experienced teacher. No matter how much or how little you know or are able to do.

2) Stay on exercises and repertoire for long enough that you can assimilate what you’ve learned. This is some times much longer than you would expect.

3)Practice things that can build a solid and wide foundation for you. The fundamentals of music are melody, rhythm and harmony. Spend enough time learning from each of these so that anything you learn can have a foundation to rest upon.

4) other fundamentals to do with learning music are technique, time, ears and creativity. You can break these down further and work on them individually.

5)Balance the stuff you need to do with the stuff you want to do. Let loose on your instrument and let yourself go all-out. But, make sure you balance that with focused, disciplined practice of fundamentals.

6) Perhaps this should have been number one. There is no ideal age to learn at and it is never too late. Different people at different ages have different skills and weaknesses and as long as you are able to commit to your practice, you will succeed.


  1. Truly inspiring, touching and moving true stories. Every human being is a bunch of different life stories. Let us keep knowing and learning.

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