hi

my blues playing has hit the wall and i now dread playing a blues. i use to love it, but now it never seems to get going properly. what to do?
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listen to some more solo piano blues (from different players than you are used to).  who do you listen to?   have you tried listening to new orleans players like james booker and dr. john?
play bluesy versions of standards like georgia on my mind / stormy weather and ellington tunes like i got it bad.

listen to oscar peterson night train album.
hi superjames,
try slowing it down for a while, and remember that less can be more when you're just getting into a tune. i think when you slow it down your brain relaxes, and after a while the good stuff comes out again and you'll like it again. i'd also listen to oscar peterson night train.
  
gill
i like marksdg sugestion of listening to people that play diferenty from you. right now i'm listening and transcribing "fredie the freeloader" those guys play stuff that i'd never think of!
i don't know what "my blues playing has hit the wall" means.  
you need to use more specific musical terminolgy to explain your problem. i have no idea what to tell you. give us mp3 clips of your playing if you are serious.
in any endevor, whether it's golf, tennis or music, we hit a certain level and it's hard to get above it to the next level. that is something you yourself will have to solve again and again if you are going to improve. that is what seperates the good players from the bad.
check out the monty alexander "montreaux alexander" recording.  it's rather inspiring as far as blues and jazz blues goes.  i'm not embarrassed to say that i've gotten a lot of my blues stuff from that recording.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

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gene harris has a great blues/gospel sound.
oscar peterson plays good blues.
what you need is to get a book of blues licks and get the basic vocabulary down first. once you are used to the language then it will come naturally. if all you know is a blues scale with no idea about articulation and phrasing of blues, then it will be harder. i went through this process and i had to work on blues for an entire year.
true blues is kinda hard to play on the piano because we cannot bend pitches or hold them for a long time like guitarists or sax players.  we have to come up with other ways to "hold" notes - like tremelos and such.  the only way to emulte bending is "grace note" like slides and such.

extending the harmonies beyond traditional bules (like parker changes and such) gives us some more possibilites, but we have to be  careful not to stray to far from the idiom (unless you're actually on a jazz gig)

again, listening is the key.
*emulate
and such - heh heh (where did i get that appendage??)
hi superjames and dr. whack, i just wanted to comment that i play jazz blues and i hardly ever slide. not my style. i don't hear john coltrane, or monk, or sonny rollins do a lot of b3-3 b5-6 sliding either. i don't do jerry lewis kind of chordal blues either.  

so phrasing blues can be accomplished differently in jazz and still be blues. that's the neat part about it. there's many approaches.

i probably don't ever play "true blues" on the piano. however, dr. whack will be proud of me as i can wail true blues on a guitar! bend that string at b3!
the buttons are popping off my shirt! :)
bb king plays blues.
i can not imagine such a thing happening.
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