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Author Topic: Best books for teaching blues, funk and pop piano?  (Read 4211 times)
hbarrett
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« on: February 07, 2007, 02:02:11 AM »

Hello,

I have a student who wants to learn to play some blues, funk, pop and jazz piano.  He says he likes some Billy Joel and Ben Folds stuff.  I am a jazz pianist so I can teach him jazz OK, but I was wondering if anyone could suggest some good books I could get to help cover the other styles (blues, funk and pop).  Here are some I have come across so far:

Blues:
Beginning Blues Keyboard and Intermediate Blues Keyboard (Alfred publishing);
Blues Piano - Mark Harrison (Hal Leonard) (Not sure if the material covered in this is also covered in Harrison's The Pop Piano Book [see below]);
All about blues basics for beginners - Michael Furstner;
Creative Keyboard's deluxe blues piano solo book - Matt Dennis & Paul Smith;
Blues - arranged by Frank Booth;
Improvising blues piano : the basic principles of blues piano explained for the intermediate-level pianist in an easy-to-grasp fashion - Tim Richards.

Funk:
Funk Keyboards - The Complete Method

Pop:
The Pop Piano Book - Mark Harrison.

Can any of you advise me on what the best choices to make would be?

Thanks alot
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Bob
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 02:48:49 AM »

I like the Alfred ones.  They have jazz too, but you probably already knew that.  Beginning, intermediate, mastering

Some fake books?  Sher has some "Real Easy" real books, vol 1 and 2 for leadsheets for beginners.

Does Aebersold have anything useful?
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hbarrett
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2007, 08:27:30 AM »

What do you think are the best books for teaching rock piano (like Billy Joel for example)?
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Bob
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2007, 10:02:44 PM »

I haven't seen anything for rock that comes to mind.  I remember a book with "rock voicing" in the title, but it was for the jazz/pop style.  That's about as close as I've seen.  I've always been under the impression that someone who wanted to play "rock piano" would study jazz -- That rock would be a watered down form of jazz piano.
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sue81
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2007, 05:42:28 PM »

Hi,

Not sure if this is a good idea or not but perhaps you could get sheet music for certain songs that the student is most familiar with to help him learn the basics? I know Billy Joel's "Piano Man" is a popular sheet music item.  Just a thought.

Also, since you are a jazz pianist, could you help me out? I'm looking for a book that can help me learn jazz. I'm at an advanced level but was thinking I should look for something more intermediate to start out with. Thoughts?

Thanks!
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stevehopwood
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2007, 09:52:51 PM »

See if there is anything for you at http://www.rockschool.co.uk/rsl/index.aspx

No idea if this will help, but no harm in looking.

 Cheesy
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sue81
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2007, 02:20:53 AM »

Thanks, I'll check it out  Smiley
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hbarrett
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2007, 01:08:12 PM »

For jazz, get "The Jazz Piano Book" by Mark Levine.  It's excellent.
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sue81
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2007, 05:48:38 PM »

Thank you! Appreciate the advice.
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keyofc
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2007, 11:26:51 PM »

Sue,
There's also a great book by Randy Halberstadt (think I spelled his name right)
called Metaphors for Musicians

In my opinion, it's the best.
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sue81
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2007, 01:43:44 AM »

Hi, thanks for the tip.  Smiley
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checki85
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2013, 09:47:43 PM »

I can only recommend Tim Richards' Improvising Blues Piano. He manages to divide what sounds first very complex into small and easy to learn pieces. He also helps you to carry out your first improvisations. I've attached my latest impro for you to have a look at. If you want to see more of my project, head over to my blog: http://improvisingpiano.blogspot.de/



* Sixth Blues.jpg (425.09 KB, 2550x3300 - viewed 58 times.)
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checki85
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2013, 09:48:18 PM »

I can only recommend Tim Richards' Improvising Blues Piano. He manages to divide what sounds first very complex into small and easy to learn pieces. He also helps you to carry out your first improvisations. I've attached my latest impro for you to have a look at. If you want to see more of my project, head over to my blog: http://improvisingpiano.blogspot.de/



* Sixth Blues.jpg (425.09 KB, 2550x3300 - viewed 16 times.)
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nick_op
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2013, 10:16:38 PM »

I'll second the recommendation for the Tim Richards books. He has great facility in breaking down complex subjects and explaining them in a way that is so easy to understand. His Blues and Latin books are great, but for me the two Jazz books he's written are incredible. The jazz books include some funk stuff. All of them have original material and great arrangements of standards.

For learning pop stuff I can't recommend any books. My electric guitar teacher taught me a lot of theory in a very practical way (we rarely learned songs, most of my lessons were spent improvising or working from chord charts in a large range of styles). This allows me to pull apart and transcribe songs which I've found very important for developing my pop and rock playing. Also, joining a band that plays mostly original material forced me to integrate this knowledge very quickly.

Being a jazz pianist you of course know the importance of playing with other musicians. So, along with any books to learn from I would get him to play with other musicians.

Another thing that may be useful would be to do a "bluffer's guide" to a range of different styles. I've found when I've taught in this way it reinforces my understanding of the basic idioms of each style and allows the student a taste of styles that may not be familiar. Even if you're not overly familiar with certain styles you'll be able to define what the main characteristics of each are.
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