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#1961003 - 09/19/12 06:45 AM TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
I was interested in learning something about playing the blues, and in my search for a good book I found this one on Amazon. The reviews were excellent. Then I came here to PW and did a search to see if anyone was using it. I found several threads recommending it, and one in the Pianist Non-classical forum started by folks who were using it. That thread has more or less died out, but there was great enthusiasm for the book.

Then I listened to a series of contributions in the Piano Bar by an ABFer: Weiyan. I listened to his contributions from May to August and his progress was very clear - I was both inspired and convinced!

So... I ordered the book, and it arrived this past Saturday and I plunged into it with gusto!

I had already learned how to do the 12 bar walking bass, but in the very first lesson I learned a MUCH easier (and smoother) fingering for the pattern. What a great way to get started.

I've found that the theory is very clearly presented, easy to understand. There are assignments, suggestions on how to vary the exercises and encouragement to ad lib.

I also like the fact that Mr. Richards encourages you to clap out the beat. Normally I'm very good with managing beats and rhythms, but with the blues the rhythym can be syncopated and I do find it a bit harder.
He also encourages you to sing the notes outloud.

Now... I've really resisted the idea of solfegge when my teacher suggested it, but working with such different material.....I caved in and gave it a try. I was quite surprised at how much it helped.

One thing I found really interesting was singing the first five notes of 3 different scales. For the first time I consciously "heard" the half tones. I've known the pattern of tone tone semitone etc since grade nine, and I can figure it out at the keyboard or sounding out things by ear... but this was the first time I consciously heard and felt the half-tone as I was singing. It was an odd sort of "ah ha!" moment.

I think my biggest challenge (for starters) is going to be maintaining the left hand patterns while trying to play the right hand. I don't really think I'll be ready to do any serious improvising for a while, but I've already been delighted at seeing how certain sounds are easily achieved and I feel that this book is going to take me a long way.


All to say.....is anyone else using this book?
Do you care to chip in with advice, show off your progress as we work through the chapters? Offer encouragement in moments of frustration? Get crazy with enthusiasm with successes?

I really hope that some ABFers will join in and have fun with this book!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1961014 - 09/19/12 07:56 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
Thanks for the recommendation -- just yesterday I was at Amazon looking for something -- this book is now on my Wish List.

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#1961051 - 09/19/12 09:54 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
DinaP,

Hope your dream come true.

Before playing piano, I play classical guitar. Had learned blues but never success. Blues seems very simple. Had a standard format, just improvise. So reading books to learn improvisation theory. Finally I found the theory is useless until your finger is within your control.

What differentiated Tim's from from the rest is it has a system to develop your finger skill and blues sense.
There are a lot of progressive etudes for daily practice. My finger skill and music sense improving day by day.

I hope more blues enthusiasts join together. Share what you learned and encourage each other.
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1961064 - 09/19/12 10:43 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
Originally Posted By: casinitaly

Do you care to chip in with advice, show off your progress as we work through the chapters? Offer encouragement in moments of frustration? Get crazy with enthusiasm with successes?


Cas, glad you have found this!

I suggest in addition that you listen to a lot of Blues. Lots of it!

Traditionally, Blues music has been learned / handed down by listening rather than thru notation, and listening is very helpful to ingraining the rhythms, and the leads (solos) that one plays. (Not that there is anything wrong with using Notation/books also)

A short list of good Blues pianists include: Otis Spann, Memphis Slim, Charles Brown, early Ray Charles, Maceo Merriweather.

Here are 2 links to Otis Spann playing with the Muddy Waters Blues Band (another suggestion to listen to):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G9DIFFwByk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a29PEkEUD_4

ps...also check out the hot link in my signature line to a Blues shuffle I did. Lots of piano in it.

Best Wishes!
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1961071 - 09/19/12 11:07 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Dina.... what great timing - I hope you get your book quickly!

Weiyan you're right - the TR book gives you a system for making sense of the blues. Already I am delighted to have discovered how certain specific sounds are achieved! It is really exciting.

Rocket88 thanks for the links, I'll check them out. We've got a fair amount of blues music in our CD collection - and I LOVE Memphis Slim!

I am listening to the link in your siggy as I type ...wow!!!! That is great! You're really rockin'!
I think to play music like this, one of the first things you've got to be able to do is to get your left hand going on autopilot ...which is going to be a challenge for me!

Just loved that piece ! (My husband just walked in the room and said, "That's sounds neat, what is it?" ...He's impressed too.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1961075 - 09/19/12 11:14 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
Thanks! The tune is off my CD.

You are absolutely correct . . . LH Rhythmic independence is super important to playing this music. Unfortunately, it is one of the greater challenges.

Also, there is disagreement about working with a metronome, and that is a valid discussion regarding Classical music.

However, with Blues, a rock-steady rhythm is essential. I suggest using a metronome/drum machine and practicing LH rhythms daily. It will come, but takes time.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1961089 - 09/19/12 11:58 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 984
Loc: Italy
Rocket88, that's great! Makes me want to put Bach & Co. away for good wink
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#1961101 - 09/19/12 12:52 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Thanks for the encouragement Rocket88 !

I practice daily anyway, so ...I'm used to that at least smile
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1961125 - 09/19/12 01:51 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
You folks are very kind. Thank you.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1961253 - 09/19/12 06:58 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
Rocket88,

Thank you for your advice. Had listened your playing, it sounds great.
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1961430 - 09/20/12 06:50 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Was about to buy, but I only buy kindle books now, using the kindle app on my PC monitor to display scores etc.

Hopefully one day it will make it to a kindle version, then I'm buying.

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#1961560 - 09/20/12 12:56 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Do kindle versions of sheet music books also come with MP3s instead of audio CDs, or is the kindle user just out of luck when it comes to the recordings that come with the paper books?
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Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

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#1961587 - 09/20/12 01:57 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: tangleweeds]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
Do kindle versions of sheet music books also come with MP3s instead of audio CDs, or is the kindle user just out of luck when it comes to the recordings that come with the paper books?


I think that's a question deserving of its own thread. Not everyone will be interested in this blues thread so I think not a lot of folks will see your question.

I'm curious too - but in an academic way. I can't imagine using the computer for reading music at the piano.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1961679 - 09/20/12 04:23 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 265
Loc: Virginia, USA
Why use Kindle? I use an iPad for sheet music. It is a lot easier to flip pages! I have apps that have my bands set list that allows me to bring up sheet music and lyric sheets for every song. There are teaching apps galore available for it. It fits right on a music stand and is readable in on a dark stage.


Edited by Kbeaumont (09/20/12 04:26 PM)
_________________________
A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....

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#1961785 - 09/20/12 08:36 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Doesn't have to be in kindle format as long as the books available for ereader sw that works on my pc (or PDF). Just that when I'm searching for a book, amazon is the place I mainly try and chances are if it hasn't made it from paperback to kindle format, it hasn't made it to any other ereader format either.

Not by my music setup at the moment, tomorrow will post a pic and you will understand why for me and my home setup, reading the score on the pc is the only viable option.

I do have an iPad and I also have the kindle app for it smile

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#1961786 - 09/20/12 08:38 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
TR's latest book Exploring Latin Piano has no Kindle version, there is no lucky with Blues book.

Kindle is not a suitable E-Book format for music, as most comments said. The music notation is a scanned image.
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1961909 - 09/21/12 02:21 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: tangleweeds]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 984
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
Do kindle versions of sheet music books also come with MP3s instead of audio CDs, or is the kindle user just out of luck when it comes to the recordings that come with the paper books?


They don't (actually the basic Kindle reader doesn't even have sound), but with an iPad (or some other tablet, including the Kindle Fire I guess) you can look for recordings on YouTube without even moving away from the piano - plus you can google music theory stuff etc.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#1961933 - 09/21/12 03:33 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
I am currently re-work on Blue Berry Hill. Use a metronome as suggested by Rocket88. Will post a record next week.
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1961961 - 09/21/12 06:39 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: Weiyan]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Originally Posted By: Weiyan
TR's latest book Exploring Latin Piano has no Kindle version, there is no lucky with Blues book.

Kindle is not a suitable E-Book format for music, as most comments said. The music notation is a scanned image.


Originally Posted By: sinophilia

but with an iPad (or some other tablet, including the Kindle Fire I guess) you can look for recordings on YouTube without even moving away from the piano - plus you can google music theory stuff etc.



I think I might be being misunderstood. I'm not saying I have a kindle (my wife does though), I'm saying I use the kindle player for my purchased ebooks on both my ipad and my PC.

I also view PDF scores on them too.

Just like on the ipad, I can instantly google youtube etc on my PC without moving away from the piano.

Some sheet music may well be badly scanned, all the music books I've brought on Amazons Kindle store have been first class crystal clear quality except one, that's very very very slightly out of focus (many people wouldn't even notice), but on a large 24" monitor, it's still very very easy to read.

Many people own 88 key weighted keyboards of one description or another that use them in a computer orientated environment with a PC/mac based DAW. For a lot of them, Ebooks are the way forwards.

I have the ipad3 yes it's crystal clear, it's also 10" compared to my high end 24" monitor. So if I did use it to read my music on, I would be staring at a tiny screen in comparison to my PC screen.

If you look at the pic of my set-up, you can see I have an 88 note Korg Triton Extreme with a Korg M3M above it and my 24" monitor above that. There's no point mounting my ipad to the left when I get a bigger area right in front of my eyes.



This pic shows one of the pages from one of Alfreds books displayed on my main PC monitor, as you can see, perfectly clear.




My right hand monitor rotates and should I ever need to, as you can see form this pic, I can use that in portrait mode should I so wish.



My eyesight isn't all that good, I would have to have the ipad mounted 6" away from my eyes to make reading the score comfortable on that sized screen.

I fully understand that on-stage etc an Ipad would be brilliant, I'm just saying that for my music use, it's ebooks all the way on my PC.

If a publisher doesn't release some form of electronic version for a book I want, they loose out on a sale.

As a family we read many books a month, two years ago we were buying 4+ books a month in paper format, in the last year we haven't brought a single one and have no intention of cluttering up shelf space by doing so now. My wife has many friends who also read and have kindles, they no longer buy paper books either.

So if any publisher decides not to release an electronic version of their book, chances are, they will be loosing out on many many more sales than just mine.

Apologies for the off topic comment.

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#1961978 - 09/21/12 08:21 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: Ojustaboo]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 984
Loc: Italy
Nice setup!

What I meant is just that Kindle books don't have links or embedded mp3 inside them. So the device you use to read them doesn't really matter. Some iPad apps are interactive books with sounds and videos inside them and somebody might well devise a way to make a score and the actual music available together.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#1962027 - 09/21/12 10:51 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
I don't understand why not publish ebook, for ebook is an intermediate product of modern printing. Why not send an email to Tim?
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1962048 - 09/21/12 11:53 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: sinophilia]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
Nice setup!

What I meant is just that Kindle books don't have links or embedded mp3 inside them. So the device you use to read them doesn't really matter. Some iPad apps are interactive books with sounds and videos inside them and somebody might well devise a way to make a score and the actual music available together.


Ah,sorry for the misunderstanding.

I have a couple of Ipad app/mags that do exactly that.

I did buy one kindle book that I had to email them and they replied with mp3 files for the book I brought. Long winded way of doing it but it worked.

Maybe when it comes to lesson books the likes of Amazon should offer an additional download for say £1 or $1 to download the media to accompany it (only allowing such downloads to those that have brought the book).

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#1962535 - 09/22/12 11:28 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
I'm still on the first unit - though I have jumped ahead and noodled about abit with some of the later excercises. I find that I still have a lot of trouble being smooth in the transitions between the chords, but there are signs of progress.

I tried doing some improvisations with the right hand, but it sounded pretty lame, and I had trouble maintaining a smooth flow in the right.

I have my first lesson with my new teacher on Tuesday and I hope he'll have some suggestions... I am pretty sure though that the first thing I'll hear is that I need to do a lot of repetitions!

Weiyan I'm looking forward to hearing your new version of Blueberry Hill!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1966057 - 09/29/12 04:43 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Well, I had a week of "disruptions" so to speak. I started with a new piano teacher on Tuesday and he asked me to work on some specific things, so I've been doing that rather than focusing on the Blues. He did say to go ahead with the blues book and we'll look at it at the next lesson, so I hope to get some tips on how to improve my skill at maintaining the smoothness of the bass line. I feel pretty hopeless at that. I can play it if that's all I'm doing, but as soon as I add in the right hand it becomes very irregular! grrr.

I think the answer is going to be "practice"! But at the same time I hope that there might be some help in terms of HOW to practice better for this technique!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1968050 - 10/03/12 12:06 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3180
Loc: Maine
I just got this (based on the recommendation here) and I am in love!

Learning to play a walking bass, with a cool efficient fingering.  Learning to play a turnaround.  Learning a rhythmic variation for the right hand.  Getting the idea of improvising in a basic chord position (and allowing it to be inverted).  And this is all in the first six pages.

I like technical exercises, and my brain is busy buzzing with ideas for exercises, and how to isolate and get better at each component, and then how to put them together.... I can see spending a long happy time refining and experimenting with just what I've learned so far.

Plus -- oh, this is so fantastic! -- I think I can use the CD for ear training.  For a long long long time I've felt like I needed simple music to practice my aural skills with, and twelve bar blues would be a great place to start because the chord changes are predictable.  Yes, even knowing in advance that the chord is going to change from I to IV, and exactly when, I still struggle to understand what it is I've just heard.  So here on the CD are 72 12-bar blues pieces, arranged in slowly progressive order of difficulty, and it even comes with an answer key! in the form of the book itself.  So instead pf reading the music, and then listening to the CD, I'm going to listen to the CD first and try to work each piece out by ear, and then use the score to see how close I have gotten.

Something about the book and the idea of the blues give me freedom to improvise, at the same time as there is a structure.  This is part of what makes the first six pages so rich for me, because they're not just about learning to play whole notes against a walking bass, or memorizing a syncopated melody by brute force.  Instead, they're a doorway into countless experiments and varied exercises (remember, I like exercises), and learning to play music by really understanding from the inside what you're trying to do with it.

casinitaly, I look forward to continuing to compare notes (oh dear, no pun intended) with you.
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#1968175 - 10/03/12 10:20 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Pianostudent88, I'm delighted to see how happy you are with this book! I agree with you about how exciting the first few pages are - what a great intro indeed.

I haven't done a lot on this as I'm getting into the groove with my new teacher, but I am practcing the walking basse and turn around in different keys to get my left hand well trained!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1968203 - 10/03/12 11:35 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Stephen300o Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/12
Posts: 62
I'm not quite ready to dive too far in to this book yet. But bought it for the future, as they have a habit of going out of print.
Glad it's so good and look forward to getting to grips with it in the future.

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#1968313 - 10/03/12 04:49 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3180
Loc: Maine
Interesting lessons from listening to the CD, on loop:

* first step is hearing that there is a difference when the chords change. I pass! Yay! (This was not a given.)

* actually, the real first step might be hearing that the sound is the same when the chord does not change. I pass on this too! Yay!

* there are other things like hearing that all the notes of the walking bass in a measure belong to one chord, but because I know that these are straight 12-bar blues (for the most part, at least), I don't have to worry about detecting that. Instead I can focus in learning "all these sounds belong together as one chord/harmony).

* the first pieces all use V V I I in the last line, and I could hear the difference when they started using V IV I I. And I didn't even know they were going to switch to that. Yay! (I was primed by being more familiar with the V IV I I form, and wondering if it would show up. Otherwise I wouldn't have known what the second chord was, and I probably would have even doubted my ears that I was hearing a change.)

* I've learned to ignore the melody and listen to the LH. Yay! (I have usually found harmony/accompaniment/chords really hard to hear. Some later time I'll practice listening to the melody and hearing how it fits with the harmony. But not yet.)

* Interestingly, I don't hear the I-IV change as "up a fourth.". I do hear it as "up", and then later when they start playing it as "down a fifth" I do hear it as "down", but again, have no idea by how much, apart from music theory telling me the answer. My ears don't tell me the answer, and they don't think that it sounds like any of the reference songs I've tried to learn for intervals. So this is interesting to me. I can distinguish up from down, so: Yay!

* Similarly, I do hear the I-V change as "up" (or "down", when they start playing it down), but I don't hear it as "up a fifth" or "down a fourth.". And I hear the V-IV change as "down", but not as "down a whole step". I think you could convince me it's down by anything from a half-step to a fifth. But at least Yay! for being able to hear a change as small as what I know from theory is a whole step.

* I hear the I-IV change as different than the I-V change, and that the V target is higher than the IV target, at least when the changes go up. (Haven't paid attention yet for down changes.) This is major Yay! to be able to hear the difference between two events four measures apart. Yay! Yay! Yay!

I'm trying to write about this to show the kinds of component skills that can go into something that might seem as basic as recognizing a chord progression, or recognizing an interval, neither of which I'm very good at in the conventional kinds of ways that I think of for being able to test for these things.

There are other things I can think of to do, like play and record some progressions that are almost twelve bar blues, but not quite: change a chord here or there. Also record some twelve bar blues progressions. Then shuffle them and see if I can tell which are the twelve bar blues. That would tell me that I'm actually recognizing the IV and V as such, even though they don't make me think "fourth" or "fifth.". Or whether all I'm hearing is "up" or "down", and III and VI (for example) could be substituted without me detecting the difference. That's the kind of thing I think of as an unconventional way of testing for being able to hear an interval or a progression.

I'm very happy with all the things I've discovered I can hear. It wasn't in any way a given that I'd be able to hear them, even with being given the chord progression on a silver platter.
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#1968695 - 10/04/12 01:22 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
rocket88 Offline
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Blues is wonderful music, and I hope that all you folks do well with this book.

I would suggest that, if you are not doing it, add to your studies a steady diet of listening to good Blues music.

I prefer the older artists, such as Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Otis Spann, Howling Wolf, early Ray Charles, Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim, etc.

Listening is key to grasping this music; It is often said that Blues is "caught" rather than "taught", i.e. you internalize it by listening.

Also, as you listen, try to zone in on one instrument, such as the Bass, or the Drums, etc. Study what that instrument is doing...try to map it out.

One reason why the old masters is preferable here is because the modern players learned by listening to the old guys, so IMO I would rather go to the source, rather than a second or third generation removed.

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#1968709 - 10/04/12 01:45 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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Thanks rocket88. I have done without adding music to my smartphone for several years, but blues music has inspired me to change that.

It is very helpful to have a list of musicians to listen to. I like going back to the source.
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#1968896 - 10/04/12 10:39 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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I've worked around the circle of fifths in the initial walking bass pattern. The given fingering works just more than half way around. For Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, and F, because of where the black keys lie, it feels more comfortable to change the fingering for IV. For all of those except F, it also feels more comfortable to change the fingering for the turnaround.

All the practicing I've been doing over the past year with major triads is paying off, because as I worked around the circle of fifths, my LH just seemed to know where the notes were.

Now to add my RH.
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#1968953 - 10/05/12 02:21 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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Welcome Stephen300o!

Rocket, I agree with you- and fortunately my husband was really into blues well before I was and he's got a great collection. Recently we've been listeing to Memphis Slim, and his stuff really is fabulous!

Pianostudent88 ---- I am really enjoying all that you're writing - I've been super busy this week so haven't replied in any detail, but I have experienced many of the things you are talking about and it is very exciting to see you reporting on these new skills.

I truly felt that I started hearing music differently a couple of years ago when I started on piano - now I feel I've hit a new and different (and richer) level of listening skills.
Ah, the adventure continues!

Weiyan..... where are you? smile
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#1969650 - 10/07/12 12:57 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
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Rocket88, thank you for the recommendation. I like those old time blues too.

In recent days I practice Blueberry Hill again, focus on the rhythm part. The RH chord change is not easy. Accent 2nd and 4th beat, keep the bass line running.

Here is the sound file:
http://www.hypedsound.com/music/songs.php?action=listen&id=26271
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#1969691 - 10/07/12 06:34 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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Well done Weiyan, that's nice and steady with good stress patterns.

Did you feel relaxed playing it?
I find I still get a bit tense tying to keep the focus. I wonder how many months it will take for this sort of thing to feel more comfortable for me?
We shall see!
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#1970482 - 10/08/12 08:16 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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I have been intrigued by this book and this thread. So I just placed my order for it online. Hopefully it will be here soon! I'm guessing ~2 weeks. Sounds like fun so I'm really eager to get it!
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#1970514 - 10/08/12 09:23 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: Weiyan]
rocket88 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Weiyan
Rocket88, thank you for the recommendation. I like those old time blues too.

In recent days I practice Blueberry Hill again, focus on the rhythm part. The RH chord change is not easy. Accent 2nd and 4th beat, keep the bass line running.

Here is the sound file:
http://www.hypedsound.com/music/songs.php?action=listen&id=26271


Accomplishing smooth chord changes is always a significant challenge. If they are not easy, practice them until they are easy.

Suggestions:

1. Go Slower. As slow as necessary so you can make the changes 100% smoothly.

2. Practice playing the chords in groups of two, in the sequence in which they occur. Here, play one of the first chord, (The "one") then one of the second, (The "four") then back to one of the first. Cycle that back and forth. That is the most common change sequence in the song, so do it slowly over and over to get your hand very comfortable.

3. Then Practice the "one" chord followed by the "five" chord, which is another chord sequence. Then do the "five" followed by the "four".

4. Go slower. laugh The #1 mistake people make is to go too fast. You are learning (practicing) it. Playing it at performance tempo is done after it is learned. I know, slow is hard to do, but do it anyways.

Slow and precise...its like the turtle and the rabbit...slow wins.
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#1970615 - 10/09/12 01:30 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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rocket88, thank you for this advice. I found it very helpful tonight and I already feel a difference in my playing. I may be going to be a tortoise, but I am going to be a tortoise with the best darn walking bass and off-on RH possible, in all keys.

I'll report in in three months when I start to learn my next tortoise skill smile .

It feels really good to slow down and focus on building my skills step by step.
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#1970628 - 10/09/12 02:17 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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It is interesting that sooner or later we all come to acknowledge the need to go slower.
I think what is ironic is that we build up some skills - which means we can go faster with the things we know...... then we start on new material (and in this case a whole new style) and we think we should be able to have a decent level of speed. But no. It is not so.

Nice to have you around as our coach Rocket88!
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#1970633 - 10/09/12 02:32 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
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I forget the important of slow playing. Newbie like me always playing faster to show off.

Use Rocket88's method to practice again.

I think Tim Richard not suppose a newbie to play the rhythm part.

Casinitaly: Relax is not easy. When the my ipod recorder is on, I am stressed. Members here called ti RED LIGHT SYNDROME. So I keep on posting here to try to overcome it.
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#1972165 - 10/12/12 02:29 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
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In recent days slow playing, I get something fast playing can't have. I can better control the 2nd / 4th beats accent. The chord change is smoother.
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#1972764 - 10/13/12 01:19 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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I thought it would take longer, but four days of slow careful practice on just walking bass and on-off in just C, and I've got it solid. Then three days more and now I've got the rest of the white keys. They came really fast after the foundation in C. Now I've started the black keys, continuing clockwise around the circle of fifths, so my first black key is Db. Back to slow careful practice because the fingering is different, but after just one session of that, Db is feeling pretty good.

Today I discovered that I can now keep the beat going when I screw up. Screw up the RH, and LH just keeps walking up and down. Screw up the LH notes, and I can keep pounding out some kind of LH notes on the beat until I can find my way back to the correct notes. I couldn't do this when I started.

Had to do some adjustments: my LH finger 2 was getting strained from reaching from IV back to I, so I'm retraining myself to keep my LH hand shape closed instead of extended as I make those moves. OK to reach between thumb and 2, not so OK to reach more than small distances between any of 2-5.

Getting strain in my right side of my back; not sure where that's coming from. Experimenting with wiggling around in the bench as I play, to try to find where I'm holding tension. I've never experienced this before, so I believe it's something linked to the repetitive chords in the RH, which I'm not used to.

I have very much enjoyed playing just rhythm, but I'm starting to hear how it would sound even better with a melody, so once I've finished the circle of fifths with the black keys, I'll be eager for the next couple of pages of the book.

I'm a real believer in the value of lessons, but one thing that's nice about doing this on my own is that I can go entirely at my own pace. No feeling of self-imposed pressure to make a certain amount of progress in preparation for my next lesson. It's really nice to have the book as the teacher though, because this is not the sort of thing I personally would be able to pick up from listening. Maybe once I've learned the book, I'll have the experience to start to be able to pick up new ideas by ear, but that's just not a strong suit of mine now, and especially not for being able to pick up enough to put a whole piece together.
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#1972767 - 10/13/12 01:32 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Clarifying tiny technical point: F# is a black key, but I'm playing it with the same fingering as the white keys, so I'm counting it as a white key above: C G D A E B F#.

But that reminds me, I need to practice it thinking of it as Gb, too. Maybe eventually I'll just think of all the keys as just patterns of black and white notes, but for me, the names of the notes are fused with the keys (both physical keys, and what key I'm playing in). So for example when playing blues in F# major, IV is a C# triad (not Db) and its notes as I play them are C# E# G# (not C# F G#). Some of the note names are dropping away: for example I'm now automatically knowing that the triad based on the first of the set of three black keys is the three-black-key triad (instead of thinking,as I had to when I was learning it, "F# A# C#"). And I'm starting to feel the turnarounds as patterns of black and white keys, and distances, rather than specifically as the names of the notes in the key. So maybe I'm moving away from needing the note name as part of my linkage to what I'm playing, at least sometimes. This is interesting.
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#1972951 - 10/13/12 10:39 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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Playing rhythm of Circle of Fifths is a good practicing strategy. May be I can use the BlueBurry Hill rhythm play on other keys.
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#1973484 - 10/15/12 08:08 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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Nice work Pianostudent88 and Weiyan.
I think working round the circle of fifths is a great idea.

I'm a bit "behind" in progress here because
a) I started working more hours! (good!) and b) I'm still very much in the "get to know you stage" of working with my teacher. (also good) - I know I could be doing it on my own, but I'm also trying to get up to speed up on general scales and arpeggios (he has to see what I can do) and he really wants to focus on technique, so he has me working on some familiar pieces that I want to improve. (I've seen some great progress in giving nuance of sound to a few pieces and it is very rewarding.)

I have not given up on the blues, ....I'm just delaying it for a bit.

I will probably wait a few more weeks before getting back into it. In the meantime I'm going to follow your posts and see what you're up to!

Cheers!
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#1977830 - 10/24/12 02:32 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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Blueburry Hill RH melody with LH base.

I had recorded this song song some months ago. Today I take a second record. This time focus on improving rhythm.

http://www.hypedsound.com/music/songs.php?action=listen&id=26577
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#1977832 - 10/24/12 02:39 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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Hi Weiyan, I remember listening to your earlier version.
I can see - or rather hear! - the work you've been putting into this one. I think it is as challening to play this kind of bass with a melody as it is to play things from the classics that have the Albertini bass under a melody - it takes great focus, not to mention the coordination!

Good for you!
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#1977904 - 10/24/12 08:39 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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After a delay, I'm now 3/4 of the way around the circle of fifths. Eb, Bb, and F remaining.

Then to start on the next exercise, which I believe is a combination of playing the RH in both root position and first inversion, and playing a melody and then improvising with the RH.

We shall see how solid my LH is once I start adding things besides the root position off-on RH to it!
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#1978243 - 10/24/12 09:56 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
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Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Hi Weiyan, I remember listening to your earlier version.
I can see - or rather hear! - the work you've been putting into this one. I think it is as challening to play this kind of bass with a melody as it is to play things from the classics that have the Albertini bass under a melody - it takes great focus, not to mention the coordination!

Good for you!


The LH rhythm is not easy. The second beat rest at first 2/3 time, then play a staccato and go to 3rd beat.
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#1978246 - 10/24/12 09:57 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: PianoStudent88]
Weiyan Offline
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Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
After a delay, I'm now 3/4 of the way around the circle of fifths. Eb, Bb, and F remaining.

Then to start on the next exercise, which I believe is a combination of playing the RH in both root position and first inversion, and playing a melody and then improvising with the RH.

We shall see how solid my LH is once I start adding things besides the root position off-on RH to it!


Which chord are you using? Do you use major chord only for the circle?
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#1978665 - 10/25/12 09:36 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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I can't wait to join in on the fun. I ordered the book about 2 weeks ago. It may arrive tomorrow.

Weiyan I can't listen to your pieces on my phone. I will try later from my regular computer.
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#1978697 - 10/25/12 11:06 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: ZoeCalgary]
Weiyan Offline
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Originally Posted By: ZoeCalgary
I can't wait to join in on the fun. I ordered the book about 2 weeks ago. It may arrive tomorrow.

Weiyan I can't listen to your pieces on my phone. I will try later from my regular computer.


Congratulation! Waiting for you submission.

The website require flash. Next time post to another cloud.
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#1978739 - 10/26/12 01:33 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: Weiyan]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Weiyan
Which chord are you using? Do you use major chord only for the circle?


I'm practicing the major key walking bass blues pattern, with turnaround, which is the first thing taught in chapter 1:
I I I I
IV IV I I
V V I I

and each LH chord is played as 1 3 5 3.

I'm practicing this in each major key.
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#1978777 - 10/26/12 04:41 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: PianoStudent88]
Weiyan Offline
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Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Originally Posted By: Weiyan
Which chord are you using? Do you use major chord only for the circle?


I'm practicing the major key walking bass blues pattern, with turnaround, which is the first thing taught in chapter 1:
I I I I
IV IV I I
V V I I

and each LH chord is played as 1 3 5 3.

I'm practicing this in each major key.

I missed this section. Thank you for reminding me.


Edited by Weiyan (10/26/12 04:41 AM)
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#1979632 - 10/28/12 11:28 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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Hi everybody! I got the book on Friday. It looks really good and well thought out. I just fiddled around with the first few pages and was having great fun. I will try to post more when I have had a bit more time with the book. This is going to be fun to work through.
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#1979658 - 10/28/12 12:46 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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I've finished working around the circle of fifths with the basic pattern. That's the first three pages. Now for the next four pages. These introduce, for the RH, first and second inversion chords, playing a melody, and improvising a melody. For the LH, three new patterns.

That's seven new skills, and I want to work around the circle of fifths for each one. If I take one day per skill per key, that's 7 x 12 = 84 days = 12 weeks. Ok, see y'all in 3 months smile .

I'm not sure if I'm nuts for wanting to take this so slowly and methodically. If I didn't work around the circle of fifths, it would take less time of course. But I don't want to get locked into only being able to play in a few keys. Plus the circle of fifths practice gives me lots and lots of practice at the skills, so they get really solid.
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#1979806 - 10/28/12 07:28 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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PS88 - you are being very methodical and I'm quite sure your skills are increasing dramatically as a result! I wonder if I should do something similar. But the book looks so interesting I'm very tempted to skips parts. I will have to hold back and make sure I really understand each skill and concept.
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#1984351 - 11/08/12 08:35 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
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ZoeCalgary: Cogratulation. You have a good start. Hope you enjoy your music journey.

PS88: You seems like hard working at first then enjoy the fruit later.

This is my newly played Blueberry Blues. Its on the page 186.
https://www.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_3903091124
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#1984573 - 11/09/12 10:05 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
ZoeCalgary Offline
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I think this book is going to be a lot of fun! I am planning on recording the first few pieces this weekend. My favorite so far is Blues Thirds or Thirds Blues ((can't remember the exact name!). I can't play the triplets with the cool LH part yet but I can play the rest of it. It's very fun. Stay tuned and I'll post in the next day or so.

Weiyan I couldn't find your Blueberry Hill in the link you provided. Can you double check it? Thanks.
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#1984646 - 11/09/12 01:08 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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I'm happy to see you folks moving along!
I've been busy getting to know my new teacher and working on some specific technical aspects of my playing - I do hope to plunge back into this book soon!!!

Weiyan I couldn't access your music either?
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#1984828 - 11/09/12 11:11 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: ZoeCalgary]
Michael_99 Offline
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I saw the book at the music store today and see you have mentioned it. I would like to hear how you are doing. I am a beginner so I thought even book one was a little steep for me.

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#1985761 - 11/12/12 03:44 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
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Loc: Belgium
Hi

First time post here - but i've been following this forum for quite some years ;-).

Some background :I have done a few years of music evening school for adults (alfred 1&2 and some of the simple numbers in the anna magdalena book were some of the books we used).

After i stopped i also found this wonderfull book of blues. However, i hit my limit very fast in this book:

1) pag 15 : beginners blues is ok but the second variation exercise , with the "do sol-mi do" bassline patern is hard. i'm losing a little bit of confidence with that, is persistence the key ? hands apart is ok but together i do get confused with this number.

2) pag 18: Beginners Boogie : Here also the second chorus gives the same problems, especially the parts where both hands are moving different.

The Bach parts also did take some time to learn, some months if i remember well, i'm a very slow and not well gifted learner.

Are there any specific tricks that could help me with learning these number ?

Thank You !

Wim

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#1997599 - 12/10/12 09:22 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
This is my recent play.

Riff Blues
No. 21 Improvising Blues Piano by Tim Richards

This is practice of sixth chords.

update: Change the link enable public access.

https://www.box.com/s/ucxf96razrzv1rapndtw


Edited by Weiyan (12/11/12 08:39 AM)
_________________________
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#1997712 - 12/11/12 02:46 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: Weiyan]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Weiyan
This is my recent play.

Riff Blues
No. 21 Improvising Blues Piano by Tim Richards

This is practice of sixth chords.

https://www.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_5088830134


I can't access the file Weiyan !
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1997774 - 12/11/12 08:20 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 769
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Originally Posted By: Weiyan
This is my recent play.

Riff Blues
No. 21 Improvising Blues Piano by Tim Richards

This is practice of sixth chords.

https://www.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_5088830134


I can't access the file Weiyan !

Thank you. I updated the link of original post for public access.

https://www.box.com/s/ucxf96razrzv1rapndtw


Edited by Weiyan (12/11/12 08:39 AM)
_________________________
Fake Book player
Ragtime beginner
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com

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#1997865 - 12/11/12 12:24 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Ok that works now!

Way to go Weiyan! You are really getting to be very good at this
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1997876 - 12/11/12 12:52 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
bessel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 242
Loc: Ohio, USA

Thanks for the book recommendation, cas... I've been thinking about getting a blues piano intro book, since my son's teacher has him doing a little of this. I've put it on my wish list on amazon, hoping that maybe it shows up in my stocking. smile
_________________________
Started playing: February 2011. Still having fun.

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#2110552 - 06/30/13 10:43 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1846
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hello .....

I have the book IMPROVISING BLUES PIANO and am considering making another run at it.

Just wondering if the interest and enthusiasm shown at the beginning of this thread, about a year ago, is still burning brightly or has the reality of the "work" involved served to extinguish that flame ?

Anyone ?
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2110556 - 06/30/13 11:07 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: dmd]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: dmd
Hello .....

I have the book IMPROVISING BLUES PIANO and am considering making another run at it.

Just wondering if the interest and enthusiasm shown at the beginning of this thread, about a year ago, is still burning brightly or has the reality of the "work" involved served to extinguish that flame ?

Anyone ?



Hi Don,
I think Weiyan has been working away on it. I got side tracked when I started with my new teacher back in September.

I'd like to work on it over the summer and see what kind of progress I can make.

Maybe your post here was just what I needed to kick-start the project!

Let's see what we can do!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2110565 - 06/30/13 11:28 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1846
Loc: Pennsylvania
Sounds good.

Well, I am now working on Beginner's Blues on page 15. LOL ...

I will be asking my instructor to help me with this also so maybe this time I will make some progress.

How far have you progressed in the book ?
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2110566 - 06/30/13 11:34 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
Not far at all, in fact I will start from the beginning again as it has been more than six months since I even opened it!!! I think that before I may have started on the second unit, but truly, I don't remember!

A fresh start is in order, and I can only hope that what I have learned over the past "school year" will have made a difference to my abilities in this area smile

We shall see!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2110569 - 06/30/13 11:45 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1301
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
I started it, and am quietly working through it (with teacher). Now at about page 65. The fun hasn't worn off.

I looked ahead, and found that he has "Blue Monk", which I've always loved, and never knew how to play. So the book really does go somewhere I'm interested in. And the improvisation suggestions are excellent.

For what the blues _really_ sounds like (as opposed to Tim Richard's simplified versions), I've been listening to a Smithsonian CD:

http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Piano-Blues-From-Smithsonian/dp/B0018OAOQW

I have a long way to go . . .

The book is suggested for "intermediate" pianists. But the fingerings are all written in, and they're pretty natural. I think a "beginner" could tackle it, slowly.

. Charles

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#2110571 - 06/30/13 11:46 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1846
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
I can only hope that what I have learned over the past "school year" will have made a difference to my abilities in this area smile


It probably will. As you know, just the passage of time seems to improve some things that you had worked on previously.

Well, this will be slow-going so I do not expect this thread to stay in the fore but when I have something to post or inquire about ... I will. You do the same. Good Luck

AND ... anyone else who joins in ... please do the same.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2110573 - 06/30/13 11:50 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: Charles Cohen]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1846
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
I started it, and am quietly working through it (with teacher). Now at about page 65. The fun hasn't worn off.

I looked ahead, and found that he has "Blue Monk", which I've always loved, and never knew how to play. So the book really does go somewhere I'm interested in. And the improvisation suggestions are excellent.

For what the blues _really_ sounds like (as opposed to Tim Richard's simplified versions), I've been listening to a Smithsonian CD:

http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Piano-Blues-From-Smithsonian/dp/B0018OAOQW

I have a long way to go . . .

The book is suggested for "intermediate" pianists. But the fingerings are all written in, and they're pretty natural. I think a "beginner" could tackle it, slowly.

. Charles


Hi Charles,

Nice to hear from someone who is actually making progress.

Curious as to how long you have been at it ?
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2110581 - 06/30/13 12:06 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3180
Loc: Maine
I hit a wall trying to improvise the RH over the LH. And I didn't feel as if learning a blues piece from notation and then trying to improv on it was getting to the heart of the matter for me. I'm inspired by Dave Frank's thread and video on modal vamping improv to tackle improv again, but probably not from Richards' book -- wonderful as the book seems to be for other people.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2110592 - 06/30/13 12:34 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: PianoStudent88]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1846
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
I hit a wall trying to improvise the RH over the LH. And I didn't feel as if learning a blues piece from notation and then trying to improv on it was getting to the heart of the matter for me. I'm inspired by Dave Frank's thread and video on modal vamping improv to tackle improv again, but probably not from Richards' book -- wonderful as the book seems to be for other people.


I hear you.

This stuff is tough.

We all have high hopes and we work on it for awhile and when things get bogged down, we (at least I do) tend to lose interest and move on to something else. That just seems to be the nature of the beast.

That is why having someone like Charles around can be a big help. Maybe he can give us the "tips" we need to get moving again when we come to a stop.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2110931 - 07/01/13 12:48 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: dmd]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1301
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: dmd


Hi Charles,

Nice to hear from someone who is actually making progress.

Curious as to how long you have been at it ?



Two or three months. It's not easy work. When I played a blues version of "Silent Night" (over Tim Richards' LH pattern) and my teacher started laughing, I figured there was hope for me.

To improvise RH over LH, two suggestions:

. . . Have the LH part learned so well you don't have to
. . . think about playing it;

. . . Slow down the tempo, because you _will_ be thinking
. . . about the RH part, not just playing it.

People don't improvise "from scratch". They improvise from a toolkit of stuff they've practiced. Combinations of chords, patterns, rhythms that form "chunks" in the player's musical vocabulary. That's one of the lessons that Tim Richards teaches. [This may not apply to Keith Jarrett, but it's how most other people work.]

. Charles

PS: A friend once got two versions of Sonny Rollins (I think) playing "Night in Tunisia", made ten or twenty years apart. There's a fantastic riff at the start of the piece. He listened to both recordings, and said:

. . . "They're identical. He memorized it. I feel better, now."

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#2111013 - 07/01/13 06:46 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: Charles Cohen]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1846
Loc: Pennsylvania
Charles:

2 or 3 months ? I expected much longer.

I hope I can reach page 65 by the end of the year.

It would be great/motivational if you could post your rendition of one of the Blues pieces from the book. Something you are pretty comfortable with ... including the "improv".
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2111331 - 07/02/13 02:35 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1301
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: dmd
Charles:

2 or 3 months ? I expected much longer.

I hope I can reach page 65 by the end of the year.

It would be great/motivational if you could post your rendition of one of the Blues pieces from the book. Something you are pretty comfortable with ... including the "improv".


Don't judge your progress by looking at someone else. You run _your_ race at _your_ speed. (That might make it a "journey", instead of a "race".)

Here's what I came up with - and the "warts" are obvious (this was only my thirteenth "take", today):

https://soundcloud.com/cpcohen1945/barrelhouse-blues-tim-richards

I already had a SoundCloud account. They're free, and the site is dead simple to use.

Enjoy --

. Charles

PS -- I've used 6th's (inverted thirds) where TR uses thirds, in many cases. Just style. And he covers it in the next section.

PPS -- the SoundCloud area includes some testing of the PX-350 "half-pedal" function -- please ignore that.

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#2111437 - 07/02/13 09:12 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: Charles Cohen]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1846
Loc: Pennsylvania
@ Charles:

Great Job !!!

That was very, very good.

The rhythm and timing was right on. No hesitations.

Like I said ... very motivational.

Now, here is the test .... LOL ...

Can you come up with another recording of that with a different improv section right now ? LOL ...

I know ... I am asking for a lot. But that is the goal ... Right ?

If not, that is fine. You did a great job on this and it will help me to keep pluggin' away.

Thanks.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2111523 - 07/02/13 11:32 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
joyoussong Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 735
Loc: Canada
I think of this as a long-term project. I bought the book about 6 months ago, & haven’t gone past the 12-bar blues in the 1st couple of variations. But I play it for a bit from memory practically every day, sometimes included in practicing scales & transposed into a couple of other keys. So far, the left hand is second nature, but coordinating it with the right hand isn't past a certain very slow speed. So I'll play with that for as long as it takes.

Charles, thanks for mentioning the Smithsonian CD; our local library has it, & I’ve placed a hold. Also, the idea of improvising other simple pieces over the LH sounds promising - I may try out the Soft Kitty Song Blues later today :-) & NICE PLAYING, btw!
_________________________
Carol
(Started playing July 2008)



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#2111547 - 07/02/13 12:08 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: joyoussong]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1846
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: joyoussong
I think of this as a long-term project. I bought the book about 6 months ago, & haven’t gone past the 12-bar blues in the 1st couple of variations. But I play it for a bit from memory practically every day, sometimes included in practicing scales & transposed into a couple of other keys. So far, the left hand is second nature, but coordinating it with the right hand isn't past a certain very slow speed. So I'll play with that for as long as it takes.

Charles, thanks for mentioning the Smithsonian CD; our local library has it, & I’ve placed a hold. Also, the idea of improvising other simple pieces over the LH sounds promising - I may try out the Soft Kitty Song Blues later today :-) & NICE PLAYING, btw!


Thanks for chipping in here Carol.

If you feel up to it, I would love to hear something you can do from this book.

I think the more we hear each other progressing, the better.

It all helps to keep us moving along.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2288969 - 06/12/14 04:31 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: dmd]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1846
Loc: Pennsylvania
THREAD REVIVAL:

Ok, I am starting in again ... so I thought I would revive this thread.

I have decided to skip the boogie-woogie (Beginner's Boogie) because that technique is very taxing on my wrist and arm. The angle my hand is in to accomplish the technique is somewhat awkward. That style of blues is not really what I wish to do anyway.

So, I am jumping over to page 22: Blue Third Blues. I like that style and I can actually do it. Of course, I haven't worked with the adlib part yet. So, we will see how it goes.

Any suggestions here are welcome.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2290037 - 06/15/14 10:30 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
EvieLyn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/13/14
Posts: 1
Loc: Northern California
I was inspired by this post so I bought the book. I'm a beginner (again) and played mostly classical. I did learn Satin Doll about 8 years ago--took me about 6 months. I'm learning Fur Elise now but thought I would throw in some Blues.

Any help would be appreciated!
_________________________
Always Beginning Piano

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#2290286 - 06/16/14 02:17 AM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5020
Loc: Italy
I haven't opened up this book for ages, but now that this thread is revived and there are others taking the plunge, I think I'll get back into it over the summer!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2302830 - 07/15/14 11:13 PM Re: TIM RICHARDS - Improvising Blues Piano Book 1 [Re: casinitaly]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1301
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Still plonking away . . . but with fewer apologies -- some old muscle-memory is coming back . . . and I've learned a lesson about "relaxation", after my right shoulder started to hurt.

"Back in the Alley" -- Cow-Cow Davenport / Tim Richards

https://soundcloud.com/cpcohen1945/back-in-the-alley-1-cow-cow-davenport-tim-richards

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