it's just a basic left hand pattern and some right hand improv. any ideas? thoughts? comments?

thanks alot!
There are 21 comments, leave a comment.
ive been down route 66 many times.  never heard this before.
that right hand is killer.  left hand seems to rush in some parts.
really enjoyed listenting.  thanks for the trip.
what do you think when you listen back to it?

to me, it seems a bit uneasy. you're rushing through some parts.
here's my 2 cents: slow a down a bit, and use a more repitive bass pattern. like a simple 1, 3,5, 6, b7 in octaves. a very typical blues pattern. really focus on grooving rather than playing a varied bass line like in jazz.
here's some various ideas: octaves in the right hand.
minor pentatonic.
quarter note triplets (in octaves playing the blues scale).
clusters (b5, 5 and b7).
same type idea but in triplets.

comp with 7th chords in rh.
bending the 3rd. (b3 as a grace note to the major 3rd.
playing off the 3rd. (b3 as grace note into the major 3rd and 5th, then move up to the 4 and 6 and then back down to the 3 and 5).
i've recently been working with some of these ideas that i got from the book by tricia woods "beginning blues keyboard" -- a very good book in my opinion. there is also a couple of good ideas from the david bennet cohen book, though this book is not as good as the tricia woods one.
tim richards has a blues book out too, which i've heard is a good one. does anyone have that book? would you recommend it?

you've got some really good tools to work with proace. i think you just need to focus on grooving a bit more and employ some stereotypical blues licks into your playing. try to keep away from just running up and down the blues scale, try to find a particular melody in the scale. don't forget repetition too. this works really good in the blues. remember that the blues was born of repetition. the first 2 vocal phrases of the blues were often the same. for example: in the tune drownin in my blues
"so much sorrow on my mind lord, i don't know what to do. for measures 1-4.
that phrase repeats on the 2nd 4 bars of the blues.
and then, "cause its raining all the time i think i'm drowning in my blues." for the last 4 bars of the blues.
try to think of this type of phrasing when constructing a solo.
good luck.
-j've got nice skills, but calling that bluesy is not very accurate.  of course, i often get surprised by a lot of jazz musicians who call something bluesy when i don't really consider it bluesy at all.  pnowanabe mentioned some really good points above about some tricks to making it sound more bluesy.

the blues, generally speaking, is not as complicated as other jazz styles.  what you played was quite involved and fast and the rhythm wasn't all that swinging.  to me, it reminded me of a quick little ant running around, almost flight of the bumblebee style.

if you want probably the best example there is on how to turn a jazz standard into a soul-drenched blues number, listen to gene harris, the undisputed master of that.  specifically, his ray brown trio recordings and a couple of his own later albums are just out of this world.  go on youtube and search for his summertime version (also on the bam bam bam album, hard to find).  he turns summertime into a rollicking blues shuffle, he's just the master.  that's what i call bluesy.  but, of course your definition may differ.  some people call stuff like four on five, or songs from the kind of blue album bluesy, but i beg to differ.
i would think that it would be physically very tiring to do that octave style bass for any length of time.  

i liked the up-riff that you did (so many times during the piece) so much that i stole it.

here's the one i'm talking about:

eb c d eb f

f# eb f f# g

bb g# a c d

thanks ...
it was like listening to an angry hornet nest.

don't take that badly, though.

you have chops, you can play a lot of notes, and you even know what notes to play in c blues.

so with that said, let's get down to it: an angry hornet nest.

one of the things i do with music that i record is ask, "can i dance to this?"  

everyone up above had some valid statements- slow down your ideas, play fewer notes and make the ones you play count more, left hand is very very busy, just like the right hand.

how about quarter note walking bass and some clean ideas in the right hand?  like i said, you have skills, now you just gotta slow down and chew your food!

my midi setup is online right now, so i'll put up four choruses of c blues that you can take a listen to.
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ack, can't get it to work and need to run to a gig. later this weekend.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

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Use the contact link at the top of the page.
nice work pro ace.  but  i agree with superman oops i mean his boy ,
superboy in that.  you call it a bluesey solo when cleary this is an attempt at boogie.  you would have been more accurate if you called this a "boogie solo of rt 66".  it really needs to be critiqued for what it is.  a boogie not a blues.  to critique this as blues would be like giveing someone an peach and asking them "what do you think of this apple?"  well yah they are both fruit but...  
you are on the right track with boogie.  boogie is very demanding technique wise.  you are almost there.  you just have to keep cleaning it up.  keep making the lh patterns simpler until there are no glitches ever. and practice them with the metronome every day blindfolded.
would you only have to blindfold the metronome every day? i mean, would it be ok to take off its blindfold every night?

what if it didn't want to be blindfolded? would you have to use force? pepper spray? a taser? handcuffs?
7 you crack me up!
thank you very much for the replies. i suppose i should have said a bebopish solo as supposed to a bluesy solo however i did this with the intention of being a bluesy type thing. so your ideas on how to make it more "bluesy" are very appreciated. i am classically trained as you may be able to tell, and getting into the jazz world has been a big step. i've always listen to jazz though.  

scot i look very much forward to your example.

thanks again
the primary difference in the left hand between blues and boogie-woogie is speed.  

they both use the same basic progression (and all its many variations) but (for example) the blues virtually never uses that style of alternating octave bass that you use throughout.

many of the lh stylings are quite similar, but there are certain patterns only used in boogie-woogie (patterns like "the boogie-woogie bugle of company b" comes to mind).

the difference in the right hand is mostly that boogie-woogie soloing tends toward the vertical (riffs and licks are tailored to fit the underlying chord) and in standard blues, rh stylings tend towards the horizontal (using the same scale over the entire progression).

these are huge generalizations, but that has been my experience.

in the case of <i>jazzy blues</i> (i don't think there is such a thing as "jazzy boogie-woogie" lol), vertical soloing tends to be the rule (however horizontal soloing, at least some of the time, is not by any means verboten).

also in the case of "jazzy blues" there are a great number of substitute chords and substitute progressions (mostly circular progressions, that is - eg ii-v, ii-v-i, vi-ii-v-i, etc.).

and the biggest tip on how to make your soloing "more bluesy" is, of course, to listen and transcribe.

as a final critique, i would like to say that much of your soloing in this piece repeated the same ideas over and over again.  

while they are very cool ideas, there exists an infinite number of ways to combine the notes of the blues scales. so continue experimenting with these scales and one day soon you will have an almost inexhaustible supply of cool riffs at your fingertips.

limiting yourself to saying the same thing over and over again because you can't find anything new inside the building blocks given to you is the musical equivalent of stuttering.

"if you've got nothing more to say, then you're better off to say nothing more."
(you can quote me if you like)
well, um no clearly you are not playing any bebop up in there..., calling it bluesish was much closer than if you had called it bebopish.
this thread is very relevant to a couple of questions i've had lately.

i've been on a quest the last couple of years to play jazzy blues like my favorite artists.  i've asked the pros i meet a lot of questions as well as a bunch of other people, but most of them can't help me because they are not into playing this stuff.  for the most part, jazz musicians i meet are trying to do bebop and modes, scale theory, etc.  i did all that for a while and it just doesn't apply to what i'm trying to learn.  just to give an idea of what i'm trying to sound like, these albums are my inspirations:
night train (oscar peterson)
live at the loa (ray brown trio with gene harris)
live at the birdland (john pizzarelli with ray kennedy on piano)

those pretty completely and accurately describe what i'm trying to do.  the most consistent response that i get for learning this stuff is to transcribe and listen and play your favorite recordings until it becomes sort of part of you.  this advice has helped me more so than anything else so far (like reading books on theory, practice routines, etc).

in my transcribing, what i've noticed is that there isn't very much modal theory or anything being used in these recordings.  to me, it seems like the majority of it is arpeggiating chords, using chromatic passing notes quite amazingly, and vocalizing melodic lines regardless of the chord progression.  i was surprised to find so much arpeggiating in the note selection, which was comforting, because that meant there was no crazy theory to learn...just stick to the chords.  the harder part is trying to internalize the way these guys use their chromatic passing tones.  it's easy to see in hindsight why the chromatic notes they use make sense, because they help the melody move to somewhere else without an interruption.  the hardest thing is this vocalizing melodies on the fly that these guys do.  they're not really following any theory, and it seems like they're not even basing it on the chord that is there.  a lot of the time, i see that the blues scale (pentatonic) is just played over whatever chord when this is happening.  also, i just want to add that there seems to be a pretty decent amount of typical licks being played.

in conclusion, so far, the keys to learning straight ahead jazz to me that is bluesy, accessible, soulful, and still jazz are the following:
--use the chords and arpeggiate them to make up your lines, and mix it up with chromatic passing tones as necessary
--often, the blues scale can be played over chord progressions

if i can master these concepts, i think i will sound just like i'm trying to sound.  i also think it will take a lifetime, which is fine, that's why we're here.
ok, here's a little something hopefully not as scattered as i think it is.  a few different styles, but i tried to be melodic, bluesy, and leave space when it counted.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
oh yeah, i also don't really know route 66, so i just sort of faked the melody the first time through.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
hey  scott that was great, nice bluesy motiffs etc, however, the only critique of it would be that you used too much pedal tword the end, other than that i like it.

i didn't use any pedal towards the end, looks like the midi file is messed up.  didn't listen to it after i recorded, guess i should have!  i'll see if i can fix it; i have the original file still open in the recording software i'm using (ableton live 6)

thanks for mentioning it!  wonder what happened?
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
ok, here's a little something hopefully not as scattered as i think it is.  a few different styles, but i tried to be melodic, bluesy, and leave space when it counted.  
download 102ed41e77_blues.mid  

great, scot!

you f**n know the blues! ...
all the above considered this was truly an instructional rendition of 66.  sometimes words just don't get the concept across like playing does.
i viewed it in vanbasco player and hope to practice what i think i saw going on.  thanks for the inspiring demonstration.
thanks alot scot, appreciate the ideas. i try to learn all of the scales, and patterns and stuff, but it's like my mind refuses to commit them to memory. heh. i'll continue to practice though.

oh, and btw, 7, here's the pattern i used up the scale.

eb c d eb c eb f f# g bb ab a c eb c d and so on using the fingerings
3  1 2 3  1 3  1 3  1 3  2  1 2 3  1 2
it's good to know the notes in a scale and patterns and stuff, but think about this. when you have a conversation with someone, are you using patterns of speech that you practiced before, or are you coming up with ideas that are spawned from the conversation itself?

the idea here is that knowing the rules and grammar of a language give you the tools to create new ideas.  you don't have to commit a conversation to memory before you have it, you just talk and it comes out.

improvisation is the same thing. when you know the language of the music you are playing, then what comes out of your fingers makes a lot more sense than if you're just playing stuff that you think are good patterns and scales and notes.

you've got your chops, now all you need to do is slow down and start making some sense, use your tools to create musical conversations that are thoughtful and interesting on a higher level than what you recorded for us.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

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