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Blues fakebook, now what
#1431418 05/07/10 11:26 AM
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Hi everyone!

So i bought this blues fakebook from Hal Leonard, it's called "The Blues Fake Book" and this is the one i'm talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Blues-Fake-Book-Leonard-Corp/dp/0793558557

So there's a lot of songs in there and I've bought it with two things in mind:
- First of all I think a fakebook is a good source of inspiration. Just look through it and pick a song
- Second, it's easier to play the song because there's no need to find out the chords/melody/etc.

Anyway, because I'm still learning I thought well let's just fire up youtube, enter "title+piano cover", copy what is being played, and hopefully become a better blues pianist this way.

But I'm having a hard time finding such piano covers. A lot of songs are played with guitars, trumpets, etc.

So my question is, are there any blues artists that primarily use the piano, so I 'copy' their playing? If so, which artists?

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Re: Blues fakebook, now what
snakechaser #1432837 05/09/10 07:47 AM
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Hi snakechaser
I’m posting this as no-one has answered. I’m not an expert on Blues but I find that listening to horns and woodwind can sometimes be more beneficial than listening to piano in terms of melodic phrasing. Horns and woodwind players have to breathe so they have rests, whereas pianists can continuosly play measure after measure.

Professor Longhair is an entertaining blues pianist.

You will also enjoy this film which features pianists only.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Piano-Blues...&s=dvd&qid=1273405540&sr=1-1

Re: Blues fakebook, now what
snakechaser #1433243 05/09/10 10:21 PM
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Hi Snakechaser,
There are a # of great blues piano players. Here is just a sample you should check out. Otis Spann, Ray Charles, Chuck Leavell, Ken Saydak, and Johnnie Johnson.
The pinnacle Chicago blues sound in my opinion is Otis Spann. For starters though in terms of copying sounds I would start with Johnnie Johnson. He played extremely soulful blues but sometimes would play simpler lines.

I also teach online blues piano lessons. I toured the world for a number of years playing blues. I was fortunate enough to work with and jam with many blues stars. Let me know if you have any further questions!

Last edited by Steve Nixon; 05/09/10 10:22 PM.
Re: Blues fakebook, now what
Steve Nixon #1433311 05/10/10 01:34 AM
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Thank you both very much for your responses. I'll be checking out these artists soon!
I've ordered that movie as well so I'm very eager to dig into this.

Re: Blues fakebook, now what
snakechaser #1433378 05/10/10 05:28 AM
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It's my pleasure snakechaser.
Please report back on what you think of the movie !

Re: Blues fakebook, now what
custard apple #1433663 05/10/10 03:03 PM
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Blues fake book! How many variations of I-IV-V can one document? Slow blues in ?,Shuffle in ?

If you pulled out a fakebook at a blues gig,you can imagine the expression of the other member's faces as you pass out the lead sheets. It's called "Wing it"! grin

Last edited by pianobroker; 05/10/10 03:04 PM.

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Re: Blues fakebook, now what
pianobroker #1433665 05/10/10 03:10 PM
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Yes I know, I don't use sheet music often. I just hoped it would speed up the blues learning a bit. The sheets are really more then simply I IV V though, still that does not make the fakebook worthwhile. But selling it seems a waste as well...

I'm trying to become a reasonable singer too though, so it would've been helpful for that. But priority is now with piano playing, singing will come somewhere down the road perhaps.

Re: Blues fakebook, now what
snakechaser #1433736 05/10/10 04:25 PM
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Not strictly "blues" pianists, but all in that same blues/gospel/rock category (much like Chuch Leavell): James Booker, Dr. John, Nicky Hopkins (played extensively with the Rolling Stones), Billy Payne (of Little Feat), and the guy from Skynyrd (think he's another Billy). These folks all have a lot to offer soundwise.

loxley11

Re: Blues fakebook, now what
loxley11 #1435213 05/12/10 02:23 PM
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So I watched Clint Eastwood's Piano Blues today and I'm real pleasantly surprised! It featured a lot of blues pianists (I think some 15). Just to name a few: Ray Charles, Jay McShann, Pete Johnson, Otis Spann, Henry Gray, Dr John, Professor Longhair, Huey Schmidt and more.
Many pianists were interviewed and subsequently played and sang something. Fats Domino, and some others, though were featured but not interviewed.

I particularly liked the scenes with Ray Charles. Clint asked him about his history/youth, how he came in touch with music, etc. I think it was really inspiring and informative, my vocabulary of blues pianists has just been expanded a lot smile

A downpoint of the movie, in my opinion, is that it's not all about blues/boogie-woogie etc. After a while there was a lot about jazz, bepop and the like. Really good pianists, but not exactly what I was hoping to see.

But all in all a really nice DVD, I got it used for a couple of bucks (€ actually), but the 7GBP amazon asks is a very decent price too.

Re: Blues fakebook, now what
snakechaser #1435318 05/12/10 06:04 PM
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Cool snakechaser, I'm pleased you liked it and I agree with your thoughts.
Otis was great. Pete Johnson too, even though he wasn't playing blues. It was a privilege to see the rare footage of Art Tatum although he wasn't playing blues either.


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