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#2097239 - 06/06/13 07:08 PM Blues Piano Books
montunoman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 82
There seems to be plenty of blues piano books out there! I'm looking for a book of great RH licks. I have a good command of a few LH patterns like a walking bass and booggie. I'd just like to add some RH licks to play over what my LH can already do... Maybe a book that has riffs that can be played over the whole 12 bars and also licks that work over the I, IV or V chords. I'm not interested in learning tunes- just licks! I'd like a book that comes with a CD. I guess I'm old fashioned- I don't care for videos and onine subscription courses. Any recomendations?

Edited by montunoman (06/06/13 07:10 PM)

Piano & Music Accessories
#2097826 - 06/07/13 12:07 PM Re: Blues Piano Books [Re: montunoman]
Michael Martinez Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 516
Loc: California
The Blues Scales by Dan Greenblatt (http://www.amazon.com/Blues-Scales-Essential-Tools-Improvising/dp/1883217385/). Practical application of minor and major blues over the changes.

Or you could also get my book "Understanding Harmony ... volume 1" - pages 57+ cover Pentatonic and Blues scales. Volume 2 shows how to improvise in a diatonic context and how to use Blues scales in that context. (www.amazon.com/Understanding-Implementing-Harmony-Piano-Diatonic/dp/0988511622/)

If you listen to people experienced in playing the Blues, they don't just use a single blues scale over all the changes. They change it, so you need to learn which scales are appropriate for which chords and keys.

Edited by Michael Martinez (06/07/13 12:13 PM)
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors

#2097911 - 06/07/13 02:02 PM Re: Blues Piano Books [Re: montunoman]
RonL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 181
Blues Piano by Tim Richard is a great resource - though it covers a lot of lh patterns. The Mark Harrison Blues Piano book is good too. There is a series of books dedicated to just licks out there by Andrew...can't think of his last name - 1000 blues licks every pianist should know or 100 of the funkiest piano riffs ever. I have a couple - they come with a cd but the patterns are hit or miss and there is no logic to the organization - or very little. Includes a lot of LH patterns.

Though not strictly a blues book I love the David Baker BeBop books - I spent a year going over the first one - every day I took a pattern and played it through every key and inserted it into whatever song I was working on. The first volume covers the bebop scales.

#2097946 - 06/07/13 03:09 PM Re: Blues Piano Books [Re: montunoman]
KurtZ Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 1080
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
This will get you started while you wait for books to arrive.

30 must have blues licks from easy to advanced.

I really like National Guitar Workshop's 3 book series: Beginning Blues Keyboards, Intermediate Blues Keyboard and Mastering Blues Keyboards. They have songs in that most of the exercises are immediately followed by an application of the exercise to a chord progression. I think it's very well thought out and gets hip sounding very fast. You can see a few pages at Amazon. It's distributed by Alfred and easy to find with and without a CD.

One who does what the Friend wants done
will never need a friend.


#2098729 - 06/08/13 06:38 PM Re: Blues Piano Books [Re: montunoman]
PianoHarry Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Books are great but your ears are better. If everyone learned their licks and solos by ear there would be no need for jazz conservatories.

Honestly, transcribing is hard, but you will notice immediate results. After learning one lick by transcribing it you will notice; that that lick is more solidly under your fingers than any you learned from a book. That your ear and your hand have a closer relationship, ie that you will know better how things will sound before you play them. A must for the improviser. You will probably pick up things like a nuance in the performer's technique that you wouldn't get from the printed page.

This is not to say that there isn't a place for the printed lick. There is. They are invaluable for studying how the solo relates to the chords. And for learning a lot of licks really quickly.

But to truly get the feel of blues&jazz in your ear, heart and fingers, you can't beat transcribing.

If you need any help transcribing ( any PW folk ) I am happy to oblige. Just ask.

#2098772 - 06/08/13 07:50 PM Re: Blues Piano Books [Re: PianoHarry]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3263
Originally Posted By: PianoHarry
Books are great but your ears are better. If everyone learned their licks and solos by ear there would be no need for jazz conservatories.

Honestly, transcribing is hard, but you will notice immediate results.
But to truly get the feel of blues&jazz in your ear, heart and fingers, you can't beat transcribing.

Yes, yes, and yes.

All the Blues people whose licks you may want to learn did not learn from books.

They learned the hard way by careful and repetitive listening, and, to solidify what they learned, by transcribing.

Excellent post.

ps...even if you learn a lick from a book, which is fine, you still have to listen to the music to place it correctly.

I have had several students learn a lick or two, and then be stymied as to where to place it in the rhythm.
Music teacher and Blues piano player.


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