i have been working on tunes in eb for a couple of weeks and decided to play some eb blues. much to my surprise it sounded especially good.  my wife, who has listened to my playing for over 40 years without much comment, even noticed it and complimented my playing.  i don't think i played much differently than usual, but the sonority of the chords seemed nicer than in other keys. for example, f seems a little too bright and c seems a little muddy, but eb seems just right. ( i played simple rooted 7th chords in the left hand. the lowest note was always eb or higher.) is it just my piano or is it the key?  until now, i did not think of eb as a good blues key.  i would appreciate what  your ears say about blues in eb.  thanks. ken
There are 10 comments, leave a comment.
this seems to be a highly debated topic, whether or not different notes and different keys have intrinsic qualities or characteristics. to my ear, no. there is no scientific reason why a blues played in e should sound any different than bues in eb, other than being slightly higher in pitch. i also think it's highly unlikely both you and your wife would suddenly begin to develop perfect pitch (the ability to discern between different pitches without relative pitch, some who have this describe different pitches as having specific qualities like bright, dark, brittle, etc.). you may have just found that you like the way your fingers lay on the keys in that key, and that made your playing more fluid and expressive. i like playing in eb, the fingers kind of "grab on" to the black keys at the top of both black key clusters, and then land on mostly white keys.
i think it is beyond debate that the notes around middle c (say to c below and c above middle c ) have the best sound for chords.  too low and the chords sound muddy, too high and they sound thin.  for the chords i played, eb seemed to put the notes in the sweet region around middle c, and seemed to have a better sonority for the chords than, say, f or c .  try it and see for yourself. on other pianos, the effect may not be so dramatic.  my piano is an inexpensive kawai (acoustic) and is fairly bright sounding.
there no question that a root position chord sounds muddier the lower it is and brighter the higher it is. eb is in between c and f, no mystery there. try playing just the shells of the chords in the left hand, only the root and 7th.
notice in eb blues that the c "minor blues scale" happens to be the eb "happy blues scale." that's a plus for fingerings.
one of my favorite standards is "tenderly".  one of the reasons is because it is written in eb.
i think it might have something to do with the fact that when you play an eb blues its very easy and natural to play the black notes which are the eb blues scale without the b5.

given how good the blues scale always sounds over a blues, its not really suprising i think that playing a blues in eb usually sounds good.

compare it to a key like db where (for me anyway) playing the blues scale is a bit more awkward - so you seem to naturally tend away from it which makes it more challenging to sound good.

thats my opinion anyway.
yeah that must be it.  another song is "blue skies" which has that em to a7 transition making it kinda blue.
whew! i'm sorry i caused so much confusion. i guess i didn't make myself clear.  i am saying the blues chords sound better in eb than say f or c.  do an ear test play a simple c7 with the root on the bottom.  then do eb7 and then f7 in the same way, with the root on the bottom.  on my piano (kawai acoustic) the the eb7 sounds better to my ears.  maybe i need a new piano or new ears. -ken
you like the way that range sounds  on your kawai.
if your argument is that eb7 is a good blues chord, then i don't disagree.  is it better than c7 or f7?  depends on how it is used.
just playing them side by side doesn't do anything for me on my yamaha digital.  perhaps it is your piano.  i know that acoustical pianos can capture certain natural sonic nuances and subtlties that go beyond basic binary logic.
Please sign in to post.

Jazz Piano Notebook Series
Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 1 - jazz piano tricks of the trade

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.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version - videos

Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 2 - jazz piano tricks of the trade you can use today

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.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.

Tim wrote the well known "Exploring Jazz Piano" and "Improvising Blues Piano" books and has several others to his name.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

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.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Most Recent Discussions
Volume 5 of Scot Ranney's "Jazz Piano Notebook Series" is up and running!
How to Develop Your Improvisation from Beginner to Advanced
Big Chief
How to Play Bossa Nova
Best Pianos for Beginners
How to Reharmonise a song

Volume 5 of the "Jazz Piano Notebook Series" is Available!
LearnJazzPiano.com File Downloads News
One Hour of Relaxing Piano Music
Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook
Fundamentos Físicos del Sonido
Aprendiendo a tocar PIANO gratis con partitura

Top Sheetmusic Picks

Jazzy Christmas Arrangements
Cocktail Piano
Best Songs Ever, 6th Edition
Christmas Medley
Moana Songbook
Late Night Jazz Piano

Jazz piano education is cool.

be the main character in your own story

Rock on. Follow your passion.

Sign In

privacy policyterms of serviceabout • 50,656 messages 63,069 accounts 53,768 logins
LearnJazzPiano.com Copyright © 1995-2019 by Scot Ranney • website software and design by scot's scripts
LearnJazzPiano.com is For Sale - Serious Inquiries Only