Author: Johnson Gail
Copyright © 2000
Published by Hal Leonard
I haven't had the chance to go through this book, but I'm including it here because players I know have told me that it contains a lot of signature material. Phrases, progressions, voicings, all legit, all in use by big funk keyboard players. Gail Johnson has a massive pedigree as an educator and author, anything she puts out is probably going to be of a very high quality.
It includes a well received CD of the material as well.
Explore the chords, rhythms, and techniques used by the greatest funk keyboardists! Subjects covered include: common chords and progressions; classic funk rhythms, licks and patterns; synth bass & multiple keyboard playing; and pitch wheel and modulation. The accompanying audio includes 81 full-band tracks. The audio is accessed online using the unique code inside each book and can be streamed or downloaded. The audio files include PLAYBACK+, a multi-functional audio player that allows you to slow down audio without changing pitch, set loop points, change keys, and pan left or right.
Here are a few review excerpts from around the web:
"The Best Funk Keyboards Book thus far..."
The best keyboard book bar none. My only complaint is that it is WAY TOO SHORT. Gives you a great intro into playing chords on your different keyboard types on today's Roland or Yamaha or Nord (i.e., Rhodes, B3, Clav, Wurly, etc.) and how to put together funk riffs...
Well if you are expecting every single version of every single funk song, then you better look elsewhere. This book contains progressions, licks, grooves ect., to get you into the feel of funk and includes a few pieces at the end.
She encourages you to LISTEN to pieces she suggests because that is the best way to learn this style. Transcription of records would more than likely be a must. With this stlye, including R&B, jazz and even blues, transcribing records or even buying transcription books is the best way to learn these styles, although there are some very good, thorough books on the blues that teachers you everything you need to know.
"A good tool"
I'm a classically trained pianist who has thrown herself into jazz and gotten pretty serious about it over the past year. I am now hooked on funk. I want to eat it for breakfast every morning. I got this book because I needed some ideas, know somewhat little and I'm a visual learner.
You've got to immerse yourself in this world, but this book will point you in the right direction, give you some tools, slap your face off with some rhythmic concepts, give you some melodic and harmonic information, which is basically all a book about funk can really do. You've got to listen to the recordings she suggests and find some of your own favorites, practice practice practice, play along with recordings, and maybe get some lessons.
For me, I couldn't have learned as much as I have and it is really valuable to me. It is also straight forward and to the point.
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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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