i've finally finished the review for tim's book. if you're looking for a book that puts you in the driver's seat for blues piano, this is it.
thanks for the well written review. it is appreciated. a new item on my christmas wish list :)
you have to know about jazz harmony/voicings because the book start at an intermediate level. not the book i prefer for a beginner.
are you sure you're talking about the same book? i'm the author and i feel i must defend your claim that you need to know jazz harmony!
whilst it is true that some piano technique is required to play many of the pieces in the book, harmonically it starts right at the beginning, with the first chapter devoted to major triads - ie: root, 3rd and fifth in the lh bass lines and rh ideas. it then takes the reader progressively through sixth chords, seventh chords, ninths etc, a chapter for each. the first three chapters focus on learning to improvise over the most basic chord sequences - i, iv and v - often using chord tones in the rh, in single notes or thirds. there is certainly no necessity to have previous jazz knowledge!
furthermore, because every chapter is graded, it's possible for a beginner to find easy pieces at the start of each chapter and work through the book that way before returning at a later stage to master some of the harder stuff. i've used this method many times with students who have only limited previous piano experience.
some of the later pieces do include some jazzy or rootless voicings, but these are introduced gradually with full explanations! is it possible you could be confusing my book with the book of the same name by martan mann?
i just took this off the shelf to show a student and was reminded of how cool this book actually is!
Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.
Volume 2 has 14 jazz piano exercises and tricks of the trade, and quite a bit of it is Calypso jazz piano related material, including some Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo style grooves. Jazz piano education is through the ears, but books like this can help.
Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.
Volume 4 is by Jeff Brent, a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and author of "Modalogy" and other acclaimed jazz theory and education books. In this book Jeff shares detailed analysis of transcriptions of live performances. He covers everything from the shape of the songs to the tricks and licks he uses in improvised lines to the ideas behind his lush chord voicings.
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