ASCAP / New York Composer/Arranger, Member of the Blues Hall of Fame
and Jeremy Lum, Singapore Producer/Composer
Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc.
The blues is a familiar musical form that all jazz players learn early in their careers. It is probably the most used form in jazz, with countless numbers of recordings by jazz musicians.
The form of the 12-bar blues is AAB and this form cannot be copyrighted (owned) by any individual or company. However melodies and lyrics are copyrightable, while song titles are not. For example there are many songs with the title, “I Love You.”
Realizing that most piano students should be exposed to the blues, I wrote this book in an attempt to allow the intermediate pianist the opportunity of playing-a-long with a jazz combo on the accompanying tracks (Track 1), and improvising (Track 2).
There are 15 original blues songs in various styles; all are presented in a variety of style such as boogie-woogie, shuffle, rock, gospel , country, and jazz. Each of the 15 blues songs are recorded with an instrumental background including a rhythm section. Of the 50 examples cited in the book, 35 are recorded enabling the pianist to learn by listening.
A unique aspect of the book is the use of two separate piano parts. Piano (1) is for the intermediate pianist, while Piano (2) is a more advanced part for the teacher. Both piano parts include fingerings for ease of playing. Both piano parts may be performed together and or with the recorded background. The more advanced part Piano (2) contains fuller voiced chords, stylistic fills, and rhythmic” comping”. Comping means that the pianist will use rhythmic patterns for playing chords while accompanying a vocalist or soloist. The Piano (2) may be learned by the intermediate pianist as he or she progresses.
In an attempt to limit the scope of this book, I have composed 15 original blues songs and other examples in the keys of C, F, Bb and G major, and one blues song in D minor.
Jazz pianist, Charlie Freeman, has added the fingerings for both piano parts for ease of playing
Included in the book are Appendixes such as: Blues Scales; Chord Notation Used in the Book; What Makes a Good Jazz Solo?; Comping. Practice Tips; List of Jazz Pianist;, Blues, Gospel and Country Fills’ Four Blues Choruses in F Major; and a Glossary of Jazz Terms.
This book should provide an understanding and appreciation of the blues and its various styles. It will introduce the blues to the student and will broaden the understanding of the blues by the teacher.
I wish to thank the following people for their assistance in writing this book. Jazz pianist, Charlie Freeman who edited the book and provided fingerings for both piano parts for all 15 songs.
Composer and producer from Singapore, Jeremy Lum, who wrote the drum parts for the 15 songs.
English Professor from Michigan, Charlene Tiffany who helped edit the book and provide suggestions regarding content and formatting.
My special love and thanks to my wife Norma, who provided the support, patience and the encouragement that I needed to complete the book.
My special thanks to Bill Bay, President of Mel Bay Music Publishing Company and the editor for their encouragement and for publishing my second book.
About the CD
Example 1 Blues Melody
Example 2 Major Scales and Blues Scales
2.THE SOUND OF THE BLUES
Groovy Camel Blues
Tired Elephant Blues
Example 3 Grace Notes
Example 4A Blue Notes Resolving
Example 4B Resolving Grace Notes
Example 5 Drone Notes with Moving Notes
Trill Time Blues
Example 6 Tremolos and Trills
Playful Puppy Blues
Example 7A Syncopation Anticipation
Example 7B Syncopation Delay of the Beat
Strutting Horse Blues
Example 8 Blues Melody 2
Example 9 Blues Riffs
Example 10 Call and Response
Example 11 Basic Chords Used in the Blues
Example 12 Four Types of Triads
Example 13 Five Types of Seventh Chords
Nervous Monkey Blues
Example 14 Chord Inversions
Sneaky Cat Blues
Example 15 Slash Chords
Example 16. Boogie -Woogie Single Note Pattern
Example 17 Boogie-Woogie Two Note Pattern
Example 18 Walking Bass
Running Rabbit Blues
Example 19 Shell Voicings
Barrel Boogie Blues
Example 20 Stride Piano Left Hand Pattern
Example 21 Straight Eighths and Swing Eighths
Petrified Parrot Blues
Example 22 Improvise: Outlining Chords
Example 23 Improvising: Blues Scale
Example 24 Rhythmic Approach
I Can Do It Blues
Example 25 Added Chords
Example 26 Added Filler Chords
Example 27 Walk Up Connecting Pattern
Example 28 Walk Down Connecting Pattern
Bouncing Baby Blues
Funky Frog Blues
APPENDIX A Blues Scales in All Keys
APPENDIX B Chord Notation Used in this Book
APPENDIX C What Makes a Good Jazz Solo?
APPENDIX D Comping
APPENDIX E Practice Tips
APPENDIX F List of Jazz Pianists
APPENDIX G Blues, Gospel and Country Fills