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#2001360 - 12/18/12 07:44 PM Chord tremolos is boogie woogie  
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pianoloverus Offline
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pianoloverus  Offline
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New York City
As a mostly classical pianist beginning to play boogie and New Orleans style piano I have a question about the ever present "chord tremolos". For example, when what I would call a C major chord tremolo is notated it is usually written with the C and E in one eight note and the upper G and C in the other eight note. I find this kind of tremolo extremely awkward and it rarely if ever appears in classical music.

Much easier for me would be to tremolo between the low C and an upper triad of E,G,C. Is this how it's usually done or do the best boogie players actually tremolo according to the notation?

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#2001609 - 12/19/12 08:48 AM Re: Chord tremolos is boogie woogie [Re: pianoloverus]  
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jjo Offline
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jjo  Offline
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I know very little about how to play boogie woogie, but I'd suggest that when you leave the classical domain, you should stop worrying about what it notated and simply listen to how it sounds. If the way that is easier for you sounds right, it is right. If the other way sounds better, than it is worth working on. The best boogie players probably haven't looked at much sheet music in years.

#2001619 - 12/19/12 09:18 AM Re: Chord tremolos is boogie woogie [Re: jjo]  
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pianoloverus  Offline
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Originally Posted by jjo
I know very little about how to play boogie woogie, but I'd suggest that when you leave the classical domain, you should stop worrying about what it notated and simply listen to how it sounds. If the way that is easier for you sounds right, it is right. If the other way sounds better, than it is worth working on. The best boogie players probably haven't looked at much sheet music in years.
But I think there should be a reason why people who notated the famous boogie solos chose to do it the way I mentioned unless it's just convention to notate it that way but play it the second way I gave. Also, what sounds right to a very inexperienced boogie player(or classical player) like myself is not necessarily right when one becomes far more experienced.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/19/12 09:19 AM.
#2001637 - 12/19/12 09:59 AM Re: Chord tremolos is boogie woogie [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Kbeaumont Offline
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Kbeaumont  Offline
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Virginia, USA
Many boogie players I have seen use just two notes. The tonic and a lower 3rd. For example in a C chord they alternate between C and E an octave lower. For G it would be G & B, etc. Like a 1st inversion chord without the 5th. I have seen them use whole chords like Fats Domino does in Blueberry Hill. But many of the real fast boogie players just use the 2 note chord shell.


A long long time ago, I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile....
#2001670 - 12/19/12 11:42 AM Re: Chord tremolos is boogie woogie [Re: pianoloverus]  
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rocket88 Offline
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rocket88  Offline
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Most early practitioners of Boogie-Woogie, Blues, and New Orleans styles of music did not learn from scores, because scores simply did not exist.

Instead, they learned by listening to the music...That is why the best thing is to learn as they did...listen to the music, and pick it up that way...something that most Classical musicians are not skilled at.

About the tremelos, listen to the original, and, if you use the score, treat it as a guide, rather than an exact blueprint to be followed note for note, and adapt the tremelo to your technique ability.

Also, Boogie-Woogie requires different techniques than does most Classical.
I have tried to teach this music to several accomplished Classical players, all of whom had considerable difficulty despite their prowess with Classical, and they were shocked that they could not relatively easily pick it up.

It has different rhythms, and different technique challenges.

I wish you all the best with this endeavor...Boogie-Woogie is joyous music, well worth the diligence it takes to play it well.


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.

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