Use of piano can be found in most forms of Western music. Pianists have a wide variety of styles and repertoire to choose from, including classical, jazz music and other popular music. Many people around the world play the piano, some tend to be really talented, some mediocre and some just fair. The masters of piano music have played this beautiful musical instrument from a very young age.
Pianists face the difficult task of sight reading while playing classical music. Being fluent in reading melody and rhythm is a must for classical pianists. One of the most tedious and arduous tasks of playing classical piece is reading sheet music. Pianists need to follow many guidelines while playing such music since they are mostly relied upon sight reading music. Most of the songs are created by legends such as Sebastian Bach, Bartok, Hadyn, Mozart and the like. There are even advanced classical techniques, which are very complex and strenuous. It may take several months for average classical pianists to learn such pieces.
On the other hand, jazz music is totally based on improvisation. Many think that it’s easy because it is free spirited. However, it is surely not the case and it is also originated from classical background. Often, we can find the use of complex chords in jazz which are not used in classical music. For people listening to classical music, the sound of extended chords like flat 13ths, 9ths, etc. might be dissonant. It may take some time for many people to appreciate jazz music.
Theory is the most complex elements in classical music. Students learn lots of theory while learning classical music; however most of the students don’t prefer to depend on them while playing their pieces. Rather they prefer to practice the music from sheets until they become perfect and it is set on their memory.
Students of jazz music needs to learn many different inversions and chords. It is important if they want to improvise rhythms and melodies. It is an integral part of jazz music to understand music theory. Compared to classical music pieces, changes in jazz chords are very irregular and complex. Both the jazz and advanced classical students learn all the scales with different keys. However, students of jazz will use this knowledge progressively than the students of classical music.
Both genres of music require strong finger technique. Neither of them can be said harder than the other though there are some more complex classical riffs. A person can’t turn into a classical or jazz pianist overnight. It takes many years of practice and dedication to master the complex jazz and classical riffs. Proper finger technique will tell how well one can do in both of these genres.
In conclusion, we can say that both can be challenging in their own aspects. They have different challenges and obstacles that students will need to face and surmount. Comprehensive knowledge of both genres is necessary for a real master pianist.