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#1130753 - 07/25/05 11:24 AM Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
black_coffee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 23
Loc: York, England
Practice I know!!

But what kind of practice? Scales only seem to get you so far - is the best type just to simply jam as much as possible? Will this improve you tho, or do you need to take time to learn licks and riffs very slowly and speed them up?

What do people think??
_________________________
He got smaller as the world got big, the whiz man never fit him like the whiz kid did...

Ben Folds (legend)

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1130754 - 07/25/05 01:20 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
Play more music! You learn something new with everything you can play.

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#1130755 - 07/25/05 01:26 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
Paret Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/04
Posts: 82
Loc: Keller, TX
Play songs. Play songs. Learn songs.
You don't practice turning the steering wheel over and over before you go drive. You just get in the car and learn to drive. Turning the steering wheel is used in context and learned properly. Same with songs. You'll learn the chords in the right context, playing songs, music.

Have fun.

_________________________
Luis D. Paret
K1LDP

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#1130756 - 07/26/05 12:19 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
Learn NEW pieces all the time and don't simply regurgitate the music you already now. Every new piece will contribute to skill, speed, technique, chops, etc.

Rodney

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#1130757 - 07/26/05 04:17 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
Try playing your scales in 3rds. In 4ths. Up 3rd, then a second...

Use Patterns to get around the scale.

Learn a lick then transpose it around the cycle.

Eventually you will start to hear these 'licks' in your head when you are improvising and they'll just come out.
_________________________
Haywood
-------------

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#1130758 - 07/27/05 07:00 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
DantheMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 62
Loc: Chicago
Scales, and Music.

I started by borrowing some books (sheet music) from the library! Dave Brubeck has some great sheet music.
_________________________
"Life is a thirty-second note. Live it Forte!"
Quote by me,
-DTM-

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#1130759 - 08/05/05 11:24 AM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 309
Loc: LA CA
Hi,
I wrote a book specifically to answer your question. It is called "Blues Step by Step." You can get it at www.planetmullins.com/book.htm.
_________________________
Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Two openings in my private lessons program starting in Nov.

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#1130760 - 08/05/05 11:45 AM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
Rob, That short MP3 of C JAM BLUES is AWESOME!!!
_________________________
Haywood
-------------

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#1130761 - 08/07/05 07:29 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 309
Loc: LA CA
Hi,
Thanks for the props hayman. The book shows the way.
_________________________
Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Two openings in my private lessons program starting in Nov.

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#1130762 - 08/19/05 02:14 AM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
Pete the bean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 450
Loc: Canada
If you are looking for what to practice, I would highly recommend you pick up a copy of Modern Jazz Piano by Sarah Jane Cion published by Hal Leonard. This book seems to cover the topic of what to practice extremely well. It covers chord and scale theory, drop 2 voicings, bass lines, and more with practice routines. Also, there is a nice cd included. The book includes all the tunes on the cd with her solos transcribed. If I had this book 20 years ago I would have saved myself a lot of time trying to put it all together.

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#1130763 - 08/19/05 01:01 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
ipgrunt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 419
Loc: Western US
 Quote:
Originally posted by hgiles:
Rob, That short MP3 of C JAM BLUES is AWESOME!!! [/b]
Is this available online?
_________________________
-- ipgrunt
Amateur pianist, Son of a Pro

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#1130764 - 08/19/05 02:26 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
dpvjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 287
Loc: phoenix az
Ever tried recording what you play or practice? I may sound like a broken record here but the mikes don't lie. What they record is what you and everyone HEARS and if it doesn't sound right to you it probably doesn't to us and then you can really work on what is needed to make the music flow. This includes recording your practicing. Scales are the foundation of music, what kind house you want to build will depend on your dedication to learning and mastering the scales. I started to use jam cds and records to hone on specific tunes that I had trouble on years ago and I had the most success when I realized that instead of relaxing I was tightening up. The same problems would always pop up so in certain songs I played them over and over maybe hundreds of times to really feel and understand the tune, but most importantly be really relax and become familiar with the changes. Riffs and licks are in everyone bag of tricks but you do not want to become a RIFF master you want to play music. Riffs and licks are just another part of the whole. I believe John Cintron made one of the best suggestions put on a concert and perform what your practicing. It seems that a little closure CAN BRING A FREEDOM in your playing and you can move on to other challenges. Grab your relatives, neighbors or friends invite them over and play away recording your performance good or bad you can asses it later and make changes. Just remember to enjoy to performance part and take up the critical part later.

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#1130765 - 08/20/05 01:16 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 309
Loc: LA CA
Grunt,
Yes it is available online. Go to http://planetmullins.com/book.htm and scroll down to Blues Step by Step.
_________________________
Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Two openings in my private lessons program starting in Nov.

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#1130766 - 08/20/05 05:03 PM Re: Best way of improving at blues / jazz piano...
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
Hi, Black Coffee.

I saw Teddy Wilson playing at York Uni. way back in about 1970 or earlier. I bought one of his LP's

If you listen to enough blues piano you will remember the theme that is basic to the blues.

The old guys like Jay McShane and even Dave Brubeck have recorded blues. Some female pianists too. Also the vocalists can be inspiring. I can get right into the blues theme and it just flows with phrasing and repeats of the final few bars which leads you back to another start and the theme. Sorry not to be more technical but it works for me.

The blues are very much a jazz thing but I believe they must conform with the original basics to be called blues. Take St Louis Blues as a base for example.

I have mentioned this before but Clint Eastwood did a long program TV film, all about the blues with many artists of all flavours. From Ray Charles to Dave Brubeck. And Oscar and Art Tatum too super inspirations.

It might be available somewhere.

Alan

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