Let’s get one thing out of the way: you need to learn to play your instrument before you can start learning to play jazz. Trying to improvise over an Eb-7 chord when you are still trying to remember whether it’s a D-flat or D-natural is challenging, but it’s impossible if you are at all unsure of the fingering for a high Eb! There are many foundational elements that every musician must master regardless of their genre of specialty, including instrument-specific technique, music theory, and stylistic fluency. But how to build this foundation is a hotly contested topic in the world of jazz education.
My classical journey: