hi all
i've been avoiding learning a blues for several years.  maybe i've been afraid of trying to play one only to end up sounding as if i have no heart and soul: the blues is so moving but the though of playing it in front of people actually frightens me.  i recently watched 'clint eastwood's documentary' on the blues, a must see.  well i'd like to dip my toes in  with an easy blues. i have two questions and would appreciate all ideas.

1) are there any particularly easy blues to start with? (i've seen a count basie & oscar peterson duet with rhythm section, the tune is called 'slow blues', spare notes but beautiful... are there other blues out there like these?)

2) can anyone name a few 'standards' that are blatantly based on the blues?

i am trying to do my homework but wanted some feed back from guys who are honed in playing the blues.
There are 6 comments, leave a comment.
i just typed a response to this that  disappeared....hmmm.  try this link to scot's  tutorial:

check out scot's review of tim richard's book, improvising blues piano.
the hour-long video that dave frank posted here is also a great introduction to blues soloing!
hi again, all....

thank you for the suggestion about scot's tutorial dr whack... it's a good place to start without confusing myself, i really need to go 'basic'.   i've also started  copping some very basic stuff off cds i have at home, benny green (piano) etc, no,not the difficult stuff, just good feeling basic blues. i've also recently (for some unknown reason) started listening to duke ellington, and the duke ellington orchestra (oh god how much i have missed, i guess i wasn't ready for it until now)... man that guy can make 'just two notes' really swing, c-jam blues for example.  it makes things 'accessible' for us 'simpletons'

g -- interestingly tim richards runs a few 'blues' courses here in the uk, one is at a college in london, the place is not far from where i live.  they also run a taster course.  the material used to teach the course is 'improvising blues piano'.  i am very seriously considering enrolling.

thanks 7 i started watching the video, but will check back to it.  though i love dave frank's videos, they seem to be in the stratosphere when compared with my level of understanding and practice.... but thanks for the suggestion, you've encouraged me to take a look again. i'll try not to be intimidated.

there are many options here, and i didn't know where to look initially.. thanks to all for the input.
i suggest that you are being too self concious. blues style is less obvious on piano than say, swing, but if you have noted the way that two notes can hit it off against each other, then you are probably on the right track. blues must be insistent making a little game between two notes helps a lot. [if i am making typos here it's because i can't see the whole input window - there is side menu obscuring it!] it also helps if you use a lot of very open/stretched chords. and don't think much about the "blues scale". look for melody line and notes that sound important to you. it's much quicker to do that than to analyse their harmonic function. try closing your eyes during some of your practice too. finally, when you get a good idea, try it in other keys.

regarding repertoire: there is a lovely 32-bar tune with a blues feeling called "tishomingo blues". it can be played in almost any style. the original key is g, though many people play it in f. another bluesy song  is "gee baby, ain't i good to you". and this is better known. but don't be afraid of 12-bars. you might want to investigate what is probably the first blues ever published: "dallas blues".

have fun!
i find it of great benefit to play along with recorded music.
some suggestions with great blues keys would be:
eric clapton "me and mr johnson"
any johnnie johnson (chuck berry sideman and artist in his own right)
so many b.b. king recordings.
charles brown.
for something where new orleans meets the blues try jon cleary,alan toussaint  and dr. john.
don't forget bill payne who played on all the little feat cuts. especially note the live recordings.
hope this helps.
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