Don’t limit yourself when learning how to play jazz piano

When I hear a jazz piano teacher tell their student this:
“Don’t play any root position 7th chords with your right hand, only use A and B voicings.”

I think:
“Well, I’m glad no one ever told that to Bud Powell!”

When I read this in Downbeat magazine:
“The Dorian mode is the first choice to use over a minor 7th chord.”

I think:
“That’s so misleading, because while it may be true for a iim7 chord, it’s certainly not true for a tonic minor.”

When someone said to me when I was starting to learn jazz:
“No – don’t play that chord. This one is much hipper.”

I think:
“Says who? And why is it “hip” to play a chord that I don’t even like?”

These statements are akin to saying “Don’t put tomatoes in your salad. Cucumbers are so much hipper.” Ridiculous, right?

Don’t limit yourself yourself when learning how to play jazz piano. Explore various options, and you’ll enjoy a lifetime of real musical development.

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