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Topic Options
#1554039 - 11/09/10 12:03 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: dissyfingers]
boogieman52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: dissyfingers
Hi Walkfar...There are a lot of great exponents of blues a nd boogie on Utube...one I like is Matthew Ball (boogiewoogiekid) he plays at a very measured speed you can hear clean notes...well worth a view..Doug


For those who don't know Matthew Ball, here is his channel on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Boogiewoogiekid?blend=2&ob=1

Enjoy! :-)
b-52

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1554105 - 11/09/10 02:45 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi boogieman52..Thanks for posting the link...I didn't want to push my agenda as to who I like playing boogie and blues .... there is a lot of young talent in Europe as well.... this is your forum on TRB and learning to play blues....Matthew Ball is also a very competent blues player ..just doesn't play it but feels it..hope the link connects some people to watch him play both Blues and Boogie......you wont be dissapointed....Doug

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#1554494 - 11/09/10 06:14 PM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
Manachi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hey all,

I've been going through this book with my piano teacher for about 18 months now on & off. He hasn't taken me through page by page, but rather has taken important pieces & areas from it to focus on. I think this book is fantastic, and as we've done new standards & pieces outside the book, very often I'll get the feeling of 'the penny dropping' as I relate something explained earlier in the book to other pieces. I really like it.

I'm actually VERY keen to get onto the jazz book, but now that I've read a number of people say to complete the blues book before moving onto the jazz one (which is what my teacher also says) I'll do just that...

I have to say though, that like ALL textbooks of this style, I think I'd find it difficult, if not entirely impossible to work through it from beginning to end on my own. I need a teacher there. I think this is a better way to learn, but more fundamentally I have just never had the patience to be able to work through a book like that end to end. I know a lot of people feel the same. I have a number of jazz books, a few highly regarded, but I was never able to persist through them until I started seeing a teacher. So my 2c is simply that if you can work through it with a teacher, give it a shot - you might find it a lot easier. I for one admire anyone who is able to actually go through the books on their own and get to the end - but don't be surprised, or feel defeated if you can't smile

Regards,
Manachi

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#1554663 - 11/10/10 12:15 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi Manachi .. It would be unusual for someone to go through this book from start to finish in that order as some of the pieces don't appeal...this is probally a reason that Tim says to play music that appeals to your hearing .. thus jump to different parts of the book you can cope with...This type of music requires confidence and once you have a piece sussed out ..it does start to fall into place..I use it as a reference to other pieces I learn and play...I steal right hand riffs and left hand from it to make up my own pieces..
If a teacher helps you ...and you can afford it..thats the way to go...especially if they are interested in what you want to learn and play....I have the two Tim Richards Jazz books they are excellent as I play a few standards and I also use them as reference books..they have helped me with comping left chords..as I like the way Erroll Garner plays...useing his left hand like a guitar strumming chords...Hope you stay with us on our quest to become good blues players......Doug

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#1554668 - 11/10/10 12:32 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: dissyfingers]
Manachi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 90
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hey dissyfingers,

I'm glad to hear it's not just me that finds it difficult to digest a textbook like this straight through from beginning to end smile (goes for any textbook in my experience) To go a bit off topic, I also have the book "Jazz Piano" by Mark Levine after having it recommended on this forum (amongst other places) and I still haven't got around to properly going through that. Even though it seems to be highly praised, so far I've found Tim Richard's books easier to comprehend.

dissyfingers, out of interest, did you find that you needed to 'internalise' most of the Blues book before going into Tim Richard's Jazz books? Or did you have a go at diving into the jazz books early?

To be honest I actually veered off the textbook for some time and went through some standards from real/fake books with my teacher, and while that has been great fun, and I gained a lot from it, I'm wanting to come back and fill in the gaps from this book that I missed, and hopefully get onto the jazz book soon too smile

Glad to have found this thread btw. Good one!

Cheers

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#1554669 - 11/10/10 12:56 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi...Hey...Manachi...The good thing about blues and boogie is way you can adapt it into even the real/fake books..a typical example is Swanee River... use a left hand shuffle with it and it becomes the Swanee River Boogie..Theres a lot of simple 3 chord songs which can be adapted to this...its all about having some fun without getting to serious about it...I don't have any problem with the jazz books as I understand the theory of how scales are made up and chords 9-11-13th are used ...one of my favorite chords is a major 7th ..sometimes it pays to give the texts away for a couple of weeks and just concentrate on playing.......Doug

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#1554697 - 11/10/10 02:35 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: Manachi]
boogieman52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Manachi
I have just never had the patience to be able to work through a book like that end to end. I know a lot of people feel the same. I have a number of jazz books, a few highly regarded, but I was never able to persist through them until I started seeing a teacher. Manachi


Welcome Manachi! :-)
I have just never had the patience to be able to work with a teacher! :-)
6 months were enough: all that Hanon... the posture... the pink this way, not that way... :-))))

So I prefer to struggle against IBP all by myself, rather than practice things I do not love, but I understand people who are able to study with a teacher, in particular if they don't play only Blues. And I probably do envy them a little... :-)

Regards! :-)
b-52

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#1554699 - 11/10/10 02:43 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: dissyfingers]
boogieman52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: dissyfingers
...its all about having some fun without getting to serious about it. Doug


That's the main point, Doug.

Sometimes the Blues is about sufferance, but it doesn't have to be a cause of sufferance.

So when I'm getting too serious about IBP, I stop and do something else.
In this way, when I come back to the piano and IBP I feel better and I start playing with a new energy!

Keep on posting, Folks! :-)
b-52

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#1554701 - 11/10/10 02:49 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi...boogieman52......I'm with you ..I'll struggle along the same as you...once I have found some mp3 software to load the piano into.. I'll start sharing with others with my progress on the thread..
It's very hard to find a teacher who is completely structured to abide with what you want to learn and not try to steer you into another direction...I'm happy just plodding along..having fun and this great TRB thread to talking to you guys.....Doug

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#1554702 - 11/10/10 02:52 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: Manachi]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Hi Manachi, good to have another enthusiast on board!

I agree wholeheartedly with what you've written about the advantage of having a teacher to work with, even with great "guided" books like IBP and Tim's Jazz books.

I'm a recent convert to Blues/Jazz having studied classical piano with a teacher for the last five years. I live in Germany (Originally from Wales) and if I could find a Jazz teacher here who would work with me through Tim's books as well as - importantly! - whose English language skills were up to it, then this is the route I would take too.

You're right, it takes a lot of focused discipline to work alone, even with great books like Tim's. As I posted earlier, I've already had a couple of "false starts" with IBP, at the time lacking the commitment to persevere. Now that I've put the classics on the back burner I'm hoping this will change.

Another problem for me - and it is a problem! - is that I tend to want to do things "by the numbers" if you understand me. Instead of a more flexible approach, which I think Doug (dissyfingers) and b-52 adopt, I tend to want to plow through all the material in order, whether I actually enjoy all the pieces or not. On the other hand there are valuable lessons to be learned at all stages in IBP, none of which I want to miss. As I work through IBP this time I'm trying really hard to be more flexible in my approach.

As you, Manachi, and Doug have suggested, I also think it's important not to take the blinkered approach with IBP and study only this excellent book for what could be a very long time. I think this would be a recipe for giving up again. In parallel with my IBP studies I would like to be able to learn some Blues/Jazz pieces worthy of performance, so that my enthusiasm is maintained. Bearing in mind that I'm not a beginner at the piano, I could do with some help here smile

EDIT: Great replies from Doug and b-52!

Mike


Edited by cruiser (11/10/10 10:06 AM)

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#1555304 - 11/11/10 12:16 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: cruiser]
boogieman52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Italy
Three years ago I bough my first piano because I wanted to play Pinetop's Boogie Woogie...

I got Colin Davey's transcription (+ his great Boogie Woogie book) and of course... I failed! :-)

So I bought almost all the Books, CDs, DVDs, internet lessons available and I became a Golden Member of a good internet site, but...

I was feeling that all those bass lines, blues scales and tons of riffs lacked a good harmonic approach.

So one year ago I went to a piano teacher -a good one, who could play some great Blues- but I already told you how I had to study and practice a lot of things that (at age 57) I didn't think to have the time to learn... :-)

Then I saw Tim Richards' Improvising Blues Piano. At first glance I told myself "No, not another book... Furthermore it's to difficult for you, poor guy without a classical training...!"

But last month I could not resist, I got it and... my Blues life has canged! :-)

Of course sometimes I go back to other sources I have, but Tim Richards' book has almost everything I need at the moment.

Included a Pinetop's Boogie Woogie excerpt that now I'm studying and (maybe...) learning!

And I feel a small part of that great Blues and BW tradition I have loved all my life!

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#1555317 - 11/11/10 12:33 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi boogieman52...Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and take charge of your life on your own terms ...and you will succeed at what your doing ..even though it may take a little longer to achieve your goal..This is a great forum to help each other even if it only gets you try playing only simple pieces ..it will give a sense of achivement..Pinetops Boogie is achievable and its just about plodding along at your own pace.....Doug

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#1555384 - 11/11/10 04:48 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: dissyfingers]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Great posts Doug and b-52!

You know what? I'm going to loosen up a bit, forget the teacher and go along for the IBP ride with you guys.

"Pinetops Boogie Woogie" (THE original Boogie Woogie) is one of my favourites too, along with "Just a closer walk with thee" (Blues and Boogie versions).

I'm going to spend some time on "Closer walk" and maybe post a recording later.
Mike

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#1556000 - 11/12/10 01:04 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
boogieman52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Italy
Thank you Doug and Mike for appreciating this Topic!

Glad to hear that you Mike are going to loosen up a bit: yeahhh... go along with this IBP ride with all of us! :-)

I am very excited to study Pinetop's BW: it's going quite well and I like to integrate the IBP excerpt with some bars from the Colin Davey's transcription.

Another transcription is available here http://boogie-online.npage.de/ but Colin Davey has done a good job, so I don't think to need it.

Well, now let me go back to my piano and the Pinetop's climbdown!

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#1556487 - 11/12/10 06:58 PM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi boogieman52...Having a go at Pinetops boogie is a challenge that will a feather in your cap once achieved
..I have been learning Albert Ammons ..Monday Struggle ( April 16 1939 version)for four months and can play the first 3 pages..out 10...there are 6 solo patterns through out the piece and the rest is reoccurring ups and downs..Its just a matter of keeping at it....I also use Smartscore ..Scan the sheet of music and it will convert it into midi ..It also allows me slow down to 30 bpm and I can loop 4 bars to repeat so I can play along at this speed and learn those bars..anything to help overcome this music...It will give me great satisfaction when I can sit down at the keyboard and play it right through..still a year away !!..Doug

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#1556494 - 11/12/10 07:08 PM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi cruiser....Great to hear you are going to take a more layed back approach..I feel if one is relaxed you will defiantly achieve more..I was very ill for part of my life and found meditation and yoga got me through ..Life is far to short not to be enjoying something you want to achieve and enjoy..you can do it...Doug

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#1556668 - 11/13/10 03:15 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: dissyfingers]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Originally Posted By: dissyfingers
Hi cruiser....Great to hear you are going to take a more layed back approach..I feel if one is relaxed you will defiantly achieve more..I was very ill for part of my life and found meditation and yoga got me through ..Life is far to short not to be enjoying something you want to achieve and enjoy..you can do it...Doug


Wise words indeed, Doug... thank you!

Yes, as I fast approach my 60th birthday in January next, I'm very conscious of life's fragility and impermanence - we're just dust in the wind of eternity, here for a fleeting moment, then gone.

Interestingly my wife and I are also into Yoga as one of the ways we try to make the most of our lives whilst also trying to cope with the madness in this world of ours.

You know, one of the reasons I've stepped back from the Classics and the lessons I was having is that, most of the time, I simply wasn't enjoying it! I always seemed to be struggling and putting myself under pressure to master the next piece, which was usually too difficult for me anyway. Curiously, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

My wife always says "The path unfolds as we walk it". I'm glad that my path has led me in a new musical - and spiritual! - direction towards the freedom (In improvisation) and joy of Blues, Boogie and Jazz.

My best to you, b-52 and all IBP-ers
Mike

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#1556679 - 11/13/10 03:38 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
boogieman52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Italy
Dear Doug and Mike,

your words make me so happy.

Here we are, from different parts of the world, different stories, different cultural backgrounds... and we share the same feelings!

It's really a pity that English is not my first language, because I would like to tell you better what I'm feeling now.
But I'm not sad, because I know you can understand me.

So let's play this wonderful, soulful and happy (yes... happy) Music and if it takes more than a year to learn a tune we love... well, that's fine! :-)

My best to you and -as Mike says- all IBP-ers!
b-52 Adalberto

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#1556687 - 11/13/10 04:30 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi boogieman52..&..cruiser...I have had a quiet afternoon just listing to Tim's CD that comes with the book ..played it through 2 times with the book in hand and just relaxed listing to all the pieces..I have a theater room with great seating and its easy to relax and listen to it through the sound system..Tim has done a great job of this book and if followed anybody should be able to play some great blues or boogie if you desire to follow his instructions..Sometimes you have to revise the way your trying to approach things..but still take it easy ...I tend to want to learn to much.. mainly r/h riffs..and after a few days its slips to one side while you are concentrating on the major pieces you are trying to master....Doug

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#1556689 - 11/13/10 04:41 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi boogieman52...Nothing wrong with your English..and expressing your feelings about what you are achieving is great...you will get only get support and encouragement from me right through the thread while its active ....keep at it .. Doug

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#1556700 - 11/13/10 06:33 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: dissyfingers]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Originally Posted By: dissyfingers
Hi boogieman52...Nothing wrong with your English..and expressing your feelings about what you are achieving is great...you will get only get support and encouragement from me right through the thread while its active ....keep at it .. Doug


+1 from me b-52.

I think your English is great and that you express yourself more than adequately, if I may say so. Great to have and Doug as "cyber friends"!

ok, back to IBP for me smile


Edited by cruiser (11/13/10 06:34 AM)

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#1557200 - 11/14/10 12:29 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
boogieman52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Italy
Thank you, Mike and Doug!

Back to IBP:
I don't find each single bar in Pinetop's BW very difficult, but it's difficult to put the tune together!

I play the first 6 bars (tremolo) from the Colin Davey's transcription, then the last 6 bars of the chorus according to Tim Richards.

In the second chorus I play the nice riff with all those grace notes (Chorus F in the original Pinetop's BW by Davey) + again the last 6 bars by Tim.

At this point I play all the IBP excerpt, but when I come to the climbdown I'm so excited that my fingers do the mess around... Well, actually this is not the mess around suggested by Pinetop Smith in his spoken lyrics! ;-)))

This morning I feel like playing some easier tune, so I'm back to Sixth Blues and I really enjoy to play it and improvise.

P.S. Yesterday I got my brand new Clavinova CLP 370PE and now I have to live up to it!
b-52

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#1557246 - 11/14/10 03:28 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi boogiemman52..Congraulations on your new piano..very nice!!..I think you are going the right way about how you are going to attack Pinetops boogie..you will have a unique start and this is the way to go if you want to improvise and attach you own signature...Its easy just to swap and change to start with and if you feel good about it..go with it..I have the Colin Davey copy so I will be able to follow what you are doing...I have found the same with Monday Struggle I can play it through perfect with right hand up to where I have studied..put both hands together and parts of it is woefull to say the least but other sections I can coordinate quite well..Theres no doubt about it just persistence and eventually it will all come together....Doug

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#1557282 - 11/14/10 04:55 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
Bullitt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 76
Loc: Norway
I just wanna say I really enjoy reading this thread. Slowly getting back into piano playing and IBP myself, and I'm currently working on "Down Home Funk", "The Other Side" and "St Louis Blues". I usually to a few bars of one song hands togheter as slowly as possible over and over again, and when I get tired of that I switch to the next song and do the same. If I do that over time I know the breakthrough eventually comes.

I've pretty much gone through the book up to where I am now, but have skipped a few songs and gone back and done most of them. I've boughth a lot of books before I found IBP and was trying to learn to much and to difficult pieces in the beginning. If it hadn't been for IBP I don't think I would have played the piano today. It's systematic approach and well explained nature has learned me more than I ever thought would be possible. I remeber 2 songs I really struggled with. "Blues for Booker" and especially "Back In The Alley". Once I've managed to play "Back In The Alley" I was sure that if I can do this one, I'm able to play any song in the book (and some) if I practice enough. What a nice feeling smile

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#1557678 - 11/14/10 05:24 PM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi Bullitt..Your doing well if your playing "The other side"..this is a great Blues-jazz piece with great chord comping sections..you have a great outlook at approaching your commitment to playing Blues --ie:(I was sure that if I can do this one, I'm able to play any song in the book (and some) if I practice enough)---just keep at... Doug

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#1558018 - 11/15/10 02:03 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: dissyfingers]
boogieman52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 92
Loc: Italy
Welcome aboard, Bullit! smile
Glad to hear you enjoy reading this thread!
Actually here we have just a few people writing and many people reading, so maybe in the future more people like you will share their thoughts about IBP. Keep on playing and posting!

Doug, my new CLP 370PE is amazing and I can't stop playing it.
Today I keep working on Pinetop's Boogie Woogie: I have added a riff similar to Chorus 2 in PBW Take 1. I already played it, so it fats the tune without a great effort!

In these days I'm not studying new tunes, but I'm practicing the "old" tunes I love the best, such as Barrelhouse Blues, Blues with Pick-ups, Ninth Blues and so on. I'm trying to dig into these tunes and get a better and more solid sound, in particular when I improvise.

A good week to everybody!
b-52

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#1558027 - 11/15/10 02:32 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Welcome Bullitt and congratulations b-52 on your new CLP 370PE... great piano! thumb

I've been spending some time on Pinetop's Boogie too but I'd like to learn it in its more recognized piano solo version eventually, i.e. without the the spoken intro part. Maybe I should get hold of a transcription to help.

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#1558032 - 11/15/10 02:41 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi boogieman52..What have you done with your other piano's !!!...the 370 would have a great feel and sound about it..your on the right track playing the old tunes as they soon disappear from the repertoire they get hard to play if you don't play them regular ..I learned a few extra riffs and if I don't keep including them in the practice boogie ..I soon loose the momentum to play them smoothly...
There sure have been a lot of hits on the thread...a pity we haven't got a few more participating ..great to see there is an interest in the Tim Richards ..Blues Piano.. just keep at it...Doug

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#1558043 - 11/15/10 03:08 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: boogieman52]
dissyfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/10
Posts: 140
Loc: Australia
Hi cruiser...You can acquire the recognized transcription from Colin Davey ..at his learn how to play boogie woogie site..in fairness to Colin you need to buy it from him as he has done the work in transcribing it...there is a copyright on it anyway..its only about $10.00 US..which is cheap in Euros...you have another option..there is a site in Germany..WWW.Boogie-online.npage.de his name is Wolfgang and is very easy to deal with... He has a lot of boogie transcriptions and are priced in Euros..They range from 15 to 25 Euros and are downloaded PDF to your computer.. this might suit better as your currency is Euros..When you go to the site you will see in the left hand index.. catalog/prices..you'll have to email him for the catalog..I would post it but it has a security lock and stops you from copying it..I have brought his Yancy Special..(Albert Ammons may 18 1942) its spot on..it is a future project....Doug

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#1558053 - 11/15/10 04:17 AM Re: Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano [Re: dissyfingers]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Thanks for the info Doug, I've contacted Wolfgang
Mike

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