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Joined: Nov 2018
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Hi all,

I come from a classical background and am learning Jazz with a stop over at the Blues on the way. One thing I struggle with is getting the timing right in particular on RH triplets when paired with swung eight notes. An example would be the variations on the boogie woogie licks from Arthur Migliazza's book. What I have been doing is allocating 3-5 minutes (mostly 3) to a particular sequence and then moving on. I may do this 2-3 times a day. Slowly I am getting more comfortable with them and the speed is increasing but it can take awhile. I am doing this with a basic left hand pattern. The question is that as I move forward I am keeping with the same left hand pattern. it's pretty dull but it's one that I have a solid grasp of an can play it without thinking about it. My thought is to use the limited practice time I have and focus on right hand licks and then after I get enough licks where I am comfortable to solo with go back and some other left hand patterns and match them up with the RH licks I already know. I think just learning the right hand licks is going to be more that enough work at this time. Any thoughts on my approach?

FYI I am still practicing basic stride left hand patterns as I learn the scales but I am not really matching them up with anything in the right hand at this point. Part of the stride practice is physical therapy for my left hand.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Tom


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Your approach is sound (ha ha) and will bear fruit over time.

Re: Playing triplet/swing time
One trick is to think of swing time as an accent (e.g. kinda like speaking straight English with a swung Southern American accent). Get the lilting rhythmic “accent” in your ear and play everything you know with swung notes. You can help your ear/brain internalize the “accent” by switching between straight and swung time - every other measure. If you really want to get “jiggy-with-it” - try switching within the same measure (e.g. play it straight on 1 & 2, swung on 3 & 4 - using the same riff/lick).

It’s a simple trick that can make any riff/lick spicier and more interesting to play.

Re: LH Patterns
Personally, I found it useful to pick 3 LH patterns and just practice those (1 from each group in chapter 2). Since each group of LH patterns (in the Boogie Loogie book) are variations on a basic pattern, practicing one you like from each one will make it easier, later on, to play the other variations. Personally, the basic shuffle, Yancey and basic New Orleans LH are my go-to patterns. Later I added a classic, walking octaves and stride LH pattern to round it out. So 6x in total, but ones that give me easier access to their other variations.


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Books are great to learn from.
What you need to add is immersion. Listen. A lot. To the music you desire to play. To the player you want to emulate.
Listen everyday, all the time; obsession is your friend.

Develop your inner ear. Play the books from within.

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Thanks for the responses. I'll try to work in a second left hand pattern. Part of the issue is playing the LH pattern with the RH licks but that's what practice is for. smile

Chrisbell, I have been listening to lots of boogie woogie pianist and Jazz standards on YouTube and to go against conventional wisdom I actually think they can at times be discouraging. I can listen to any version of Boogie Woogie Stomp and can't see any path where at my skill level I ever get close to that. Heck I would settle for playing like the YouTube clips that go with the book. At some point I hope my physical capabilities to play will allow me the freedom to get inspiration from these performances but for now I would settle to play one pass through the 12 part blues with the variations of the first lick in the book at any speed that sounds like boogie woogie piano. smile


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Not a fan of reading blues. It has its place, but you wont find blues artists reading chards. Here are my suggestions, learn to swing very simple left hand patterns, make your own up. You could for exampole use the root, fifth and major 6ths. Swing is often thought of as two ties triplets followed by the last triplet. Ther are a ton of resources on Utube.
Once you can get a shuffle pattern going, learn the blues scale. Take a couple of notes from that and make something you like, add a third. Then develop patterns using the blues scale. Learn the "major blues scale" this is C D Eb E G A C and the pentatonic scales. Make patterns with these using hte same left had. The trick is to get the right hand to reflect the shuffle. It take a while and can be boring to start with, but as your repertoire of blues licks increases you will start gaining fluency.


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