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Topic Options
#2286336 - 06/05/14 09:13 PM Introductory Blues Book
MLFLY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/14
Posts: 24
I can play some pop, classical and movie music but I've done little with blues. Are there any introductory blues books that might be of interest? Ideally, it would be instruction with some nice songs but relatively easy songs with playing notes would work too.

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#2286344 - 06/05/14 09:33 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
noobpianist90 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 360
Loc: India
Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano

http://www.amazon.com/Improvising-Blues-...ds=tim+richards

It's really good. I had finished a third of this book before I moved to other things. I'll come back to it in time.

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#2286356 - 06/05/14 10:25 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: noobpianist90]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1233
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: noobpianist90
Tim Richards: Improvising Blues Piano

http://www.amazon.com/Improvising-Blues-...ds=tim+richards

It's really good. . . .


+1. I'm working through it now.

It's the precursor to Tim Richards two jazz-piano books.

. Charles

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#2286391 - 06/05/14 11:51 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
MLFLY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/14
Posts: 24
Looks good and excellent reviews. Thanks for the suggestion.

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#2286851 - 06/07/14 02:17 AM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1822
Loc: Pennsylvania
My experience with the Tim Richards book is that it gets very difficult very fast. I have never gotten very far with it. I would be interested in some words of encouragement in that regard from those that have actually made some progress in the book...maybe a posting or two demonstrating a portion of the book they have reached with a decent level of proficiency.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2286883 - 06/07/14 05:30 AM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: dmd]
noobpianist90 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 360
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: dmd
My experience with the Tim Richards book is that it gets very difficult very fast. I have never gotten very far with it.
This is an excerpt from the book:

"If you get stuck on a piece that seems too hard, move to the beginning of the next chapter. When you've played through each chapter as far as you can, go back to the pieces that seemed too difficult first time around. Don't underestimate the earlier pieces, as they may contain key concepts that will smooth the way later on."

I remember when I started this book, I progressed until I got stuck at "Trill Blues". I just wasn't able to trill while running a bass line. Then I moved to chapter 2.
Originally Posted By: dmd
I would be interested in some words of encouragement in that regard from those that have actually made some progress in the book...maybe a posting or two demonstrating a portion of the book they have reached with a decent level of proficiency.
It's been a few months since I played blues, so I might be a bit rusty. If you could tell me specifically which one you had difficulty with, maybe I could help?

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#2286918 - 06/07/14 09:35 AM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: noobpianist90]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1822
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: noobpianist90
It's been a few months since I played blues, so I might be a bit rusty. If you could tell me specifically which one you had difficulty with, maybe I could help?


Any page from that book that you feel comfortable with I would be interested in hearing played. I would just like to hear someone actually play something they have gained enough skill to play. That would let me know that with perseverance ...it is possible. Otherwise, it is just talk.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2286925 - 06/07/14 09:59 AM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: dmd]
noobpianist90 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 360
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: dmd
Any page from that book that you feel comfortable with I would be interested in hearing played. I would just like to hear someone actually play something they have gained enough skill to play. That would let me know that with perseverance ...it is possible. Otherwise, it is just talk.
Cool, I'll be free next week, so I'll record something and post it.

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#2286932 - 06/07/14 10:26 AM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: noobpianist90]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1822
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: noobpianist90
Originally Posted By: dmd
Any page from that book that you feel comfortable with I would be interested in hearing played. I would just like to hear someone actually play something they have gained enough skill to play. That would let me know that with perseverance ...it is possible. Otherwise, it is just talk.
Cool, I'll be free next week, so I'll record something and post it.


That will be great. Thank You
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2286949 - 06/07/14 11:26 AM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
David Farley Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/13
Posts: 266
Loc: Illinois
I discovered when I went to look at that book that it was already on my Amazon wish list, along with many other things.

It won't be all blues, but if you're looking for easier pieces to play, you might want to try the Martha Mier "Jazz, Rags & Blues" series, or the Christopher Norton "Microjazz" series. These are graded books so you could pick your level, and they are all original compositions. (The Norton stuff is particularly nice because you also get backing tracks for every song, including both separate parts if it's a duet.) For a graded series that contains arrangements of standards, you might look at the Helen Marlais "In Recital with Jazz, Blues and Rags."

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#2287325 - 06/08/14 11:42 AM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: dmd]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1233
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: dmd
. . .
Any page from that book that you feel comfortable with I would be interested in hearing played. I would just like to hear someone actually play something they have gained enough skill to play. That would let me know that with perseverance ...it is possible. Otherwise, it is just talk.


These are embarrassing. They're unedited, and done before breakfast. The little red light is unforgiving:

https://soundcloud.com/cpcohen1945/blue-fifth-boogie-straight-tim-richards

https://soundcloud.com/cpcohen1945/syncopated-boogie-swing-tim-richards

. Charles



Edited by Charles Cohen (06/08/14 11:45 AM)

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#2287334 - 06/08/14 12:14 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: Charles Cohen]
noobpianist90 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 360
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: Charles Cohen
These are embarrassing. They're unedited, and done before breakfast. The little red light is unforgiving
What are you saying!? It sounds great. I think I'll revisit blues sooner rather than later! grin

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#2287345 - 06/08/14 01:35 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1233
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
I'm glad you like them.

The problem is that Richards is teaching you how to play _blues_. He's not teaching you how to play _piano_. So if you're a raw beginner, his stuff is going to be hard!

The last piece in his "Boogie" chapter - "Back in the Alley" -- is significantly harder than what comes before it. That one is going to severely test my skills, and probably make me develop some new ones.

. Charles

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#2287535 - 06/08/14 10:24 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
noobpianist90 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 360
Loc: India
I think learning the blues is good for learning to play the piano as well. You need to play a bass line with the left hand and play chords/melody lines with the right hand. This is good practice for any style of piano playing.

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#2287568 - 06/09/14 12:48 AM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1822
Loc: Pennsylvania
Charles: Thank You. What you played is exactly what I wanted to hear. Someone "Learning" to play this stuff but not yet a "Pro". You played it very well.

How much time (on the Calendar) do you figure you have in on this particular book, so far ?
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2287585 - 06/09/14 02:37 AM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: dmd]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1233
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: dmd
. . .
How much time (on the Calendar) do you figure you have in on this particular book, so far ?



I posted an early-in-the-book "Barrelhouse Blues" on Soundcloud almost a year ago. So it's been about a year.

That's more a measure of my age (69) and every-two-weeks lesson schedule, and inadequate practice time, than of the inherent difficulty of the music. I'm sure an enthusiastic teenager could get through it in well under a year.

But we each go at our own pace. That's the advice I give everyone else here.<g>

. Charles

PS -- one of the nice things about the book is that Richards teaches _principles_ of blues. It's not just a collection of "play-as-written" pieces.

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#2287828 - 06/09/14 07:19 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
Maarkr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/14
Posts: 46
Loc: Maine, USA
any recommendation for a more 'beginner to intermediate', play by ear and not read music -type of player? or even a tut on learning 'bluesy' playing... theory, chords, scales, riffs, easy songs?
_________________________
Privia PX-5S, XW-P1, Roland Juno-G, Roland Lucina Axe, Korg MicroSampler...

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#2287837 - 06/09/14 08:13 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: Maarkr]
noobpianist90 Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 360
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: Maarkr
any recommendation for a more 'beginner to intermediate', play by ear and not read music -type of player? or even a tut on learning 'bluesy' playing... theory, chords, scales, riffs, easy songs?
Try this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v9GKaSnYgQ

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#2287840 - 06/09/14 08:28 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: Maarkr]
EM Deeka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/13
Posts: 148
Originally Posted By: Maarkr
any recommendation for a more 'beginner to intermediate', play by ear and not read music -type of player? or even a tut on learning 'bluesy' playing... theory, chords, scales, riffs, easy songs?


You will need basic reading skills since most books have to use notation to convey ideas. Mark Harrison has an ebook for less than 3 USD. And a more detailed book as part of the Hal Leonard Keyboard Series.
Blues Piano For Beginners
Blues Piano: Hal Leonard Keyboard Style Series

Alfred has
Blues Keyboard Method Complete (Book & CD)

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#2288623 - 06/11/14 05:34 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: Maarkr]
JamesPlaysPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 118
I've recorded several podcasts about blues changes and the blues scale that might fit the bill. Because they are audio, they obviously don't involve reading music (although there are notated examples on the show notes pages):

Here are links to the episodes:

The 12-Bar Blues Progression for Beginners
The 12-Bar Blues Progression for Intermediate Players
The Blues Scale for Beginners
The Blues Scale for Intermediate Players

HTH!

James



_________________________
Facebook groups: Jazz Piano Chat Blues Piano Chat Pop Piano Chat
Learn to play on YouTube: The Pretty Pop Piano Thingy

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#2290231 - 06/15/14 10:13 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
Barry1963 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/25/13
Posts: 46
Loc: Nashville, Tennessee
Thanks for posting all these links and suggestions.I'll be getting the Hal Leonard Blues Piano book.
Plan to listen to your audio links also James.
_________________________
start date: August 25th 2013
currently Alfreds book #1
Hallet & Davis Co , spinet

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#2290236 - 06/15/14 10:47 PM Re: Introductory Blues Book [Re: MLFLY]
MLFLY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/14
Posts: 24
Just got home from a 7 day vacation and caught up. A little more than a week of 4g - oh, the pain smile I appreciate the suggestions

Charles - sounds great!

The YouTube link was very interesting as well.

I received the Tim Richards book for Father's Day so I'll give it a shot this week. I'm sure I'll have some questions. It didn't look insurmountable but it's going to take some work.

Mike

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