How to Play da Blues Piano?!
July 7, 2006 1:10 PM   Subscribe

So i'm an adult intermediate piano player, i've been playing classical for some years but would like to hammer out some blues for fun. What are some good books that you would recommend (ones with CDs especially)? Any good web resources too?
posted by storybored to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The Jazz Piano Book by Marc Levine is a standard.
Also good is 7 Secrets of Jazz & Soul, available on ebay.
posted by fvox13 at 1:39 PM on July 7, 2006

I would recommend avoiding books. Learn a blues scale in C (C-Eb-F-Gb-G-Bb). In your left hand, play C+G, then C+A, over and over again. Go up and down the scale with your right hand. Then switch to F+C,F+D. Then G+D,G+E. Play around with that for a while. Then try some minor variations. Add a minor seventh to the left hand. Try the same left hand with the right hand over a blues scale in A. In addition to learning blues piano, you might also learn better improvisation.
posted by scottreynen at 6:03 PM on July 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 9:45 PM on July 7, 2006

Levine's Jazz Piano Book is indeed an excellent book for jazz (currently working through it myself, as a classically-trained pianist), but I don't think it has anything on blues.

I've heard good things about Improvising Blues Piano by Tim Richards, but that's not a personal recommendation as I don't have that book.

As scottreynen said, for quick satisfaction you basically want to learn the chord sequence for a basic 12-bar blues, get your right hand familiar with the blues scale in a few basic keys, and then learn some classic blues riffs/licks, either from a book or from figuring them out from recordings.
posted by chrismear at 1:06 AM on July 8, 2006

Thanks scottreynan for the practical tip and chrismear for the book suggestion (it looks good)!
posted by storybored at 7:20 PM on July 9, 2006

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