The language is the same and the applications of the theory are mostly the same when it comes to the composition. The techniques aren't restricted, though classical fingerpicking was made around the idea of polyphonic lines and homogeneous (harmony + melody; can't remember right term) textures, and you could probably do some pretty interesting stuff when you take that idea and make it jazz.

I honestly say study both.
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Get genre labels out of your head and you can murder it in both. Improvisation isn't a jazz thing. It's just calling on all of your sensibilities and experiences as a musician in one moment during either an individual or group effort at communication. Studying classical music just makes that a part of your personality, Bach and Bill Evans are closer than you think. I personally think ravel has made me a better jazz player



that said, learn some theory beyond 16th century stuff. do some fun theory

and ultimately you may find one isnt for you (god knows I dont play classical) but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy/learn from it (god knows I love impressionist and russian late romantic composers). And never stop improvising, it's always one of the best ways to learn about music, yourself, and how the two overlap.
Jazz came into the existence because there were so few brass quartet pieces, so they said f it and rebeled.

Anyhow, both only differen at the advanced level and almost purely on genre linked stylistic choices both in instrumentation and voicing harmony.

For understanding harmony it's the same, where jazz strives more in bringing out personal nuances, and classical often focuses more on one idea and makes every instrument complement it as well as it can.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Dec 3, 2013,