i ordered improvising blues piano and exploring jazz piano (vol 1). they should be here tomorrow.

while i love jazz, scot's review of ibp and the fact that ibp seems to be a prerequisite to ejp, that i ordered them. i was watching some videos online of people who were playing some of the tunes from ibp and was impressed enough to give it a try.

i do like the blues, but love jazz and the intermixtures of both. i'll probably study both in parallel, but won't know until i get both books for sure.

the thing that interested me, outside the reviews, was that ejb seems to develop upon jazz standards. the noah baerman books i have doesn't do that. so i'm hoping to get the benefit of studying foundational blues/jazz techniques while learning some standards. that's a perfect match.

ultimately, i think i'll end up going back to a teacher some day when i've got more money. but for now, i have positive hopes for practicing from these works.

i may start a blog to record my progress along the way. not sure.

but i'm looking forward to seeing my friend the fex ex guy sometime tomorrow!
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i think you'll enjoy those books.  tim calls his first series improvising blues piano, but really, it's not blues in the sense of rhythm and blues or what you hear at blues camps.  it's really basically where jazz piano started.  he talks about theory that not only explains his blues books, but it's the foundation of all jazz theory you'll learn. obviously you already have some knowledge, but you'll definitely get something out of these books.  also, tim richards seems like the kind of guy who will get back to you if you ask him a question, so hit him on facebook or drop a line on his website letting him know you're getting his books, i'm sure he'll be happy to hear it and give you whatever encouragement you might need at some point.
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...)
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there are so many books to view but i agree with scot - you won't regret buying this book because it is so useful and a good starting point for 'where you say you are at'.

hearin' the changes about chord progressions is a good book too by jerry coker, bob knapp and larry vincent. this book is described as:  "hearin' the changes - this is the definitive study of chord progressions of hundreds of carefully chosen tunes from the jazz musician's repertoire, comparng them, linking them together by commonalities, and codifying harmonic traits that will clarify the reader's understanding of how progresssions work! it not only provides the means to learn and memorize tunes more easily, but also becomes the key to acquiring the skill to cognize progressions by ear!"

good luck with your studies.  kai
thanks, guys!

both books showed up this past friday. i've already dug in a little bit. much of the theory is a refresher for me in terms of intervals, triads, inversions.

but so far, i do think the books are great!

i've decided for now to start with ibp and ensure that i can learn and *play* each piece adequately, practicing improvisation (which i noted in other posts my piano teacher hadn't started me on).

my third and fourth fingers on my right hand are really week since i last started playing, and they're getting tired from the work out. it's mostly because the piano i have now takes much more finger strength to depress than the piano i was practicing on years ago. that plus i'm older now. i'm sure that has something to do with it.

i'm going to try and work both books simulataneously, where they do align, and parallel the learning and the practice.

this weekend, i went through the cds on both books, and i was able to note where i felt one is really starting to get some where...about 1/2 of the way through ibp there's some pretty cool sounding stuff happening.

i also watched some youtube videos of people who are playing from ibp, notably the tune barrelhouse boogie, 12/8 blues. sounds pretty cool for beginning blues!

i know it'll be a journey. but i am committed to the learning (the easy part) and the practice to get those fingers strong and agile (the hard part), and the comfort/mastery of playing (the hardest and longest part)!

so far, i give both books two thumbs up! and, scot, i will connect with tim and let him know he's got another student out in the world aspiring to learn and to play!
i found it helpful to extract the cd's onto my ipod, and listen in the car and while doing other things to absorb the tunes.  this really helps when learning them / memorising them from the book.
one of the most useful tactics i've used when i got a new book is to go through the  book as fast as possible. play everything, read everything, and just go from cover to cover.

if i find things i think are cool that i want to explore further, i will leave a little sticky note bookmark or something that will remind me about it.

after i've reached the end of the book i go back to the beginning and go through it thoroughly.

i find this strategy to be useful because it gives me the "big picture" of the book, things to look forward to, and allows me to connect what i'm working on early in the book to things that are going to be presented later in the book. i like to know why i'm learning something, it really helps my personal learning style.
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.
i like that, scot, very much.

i went through the book and all the audio tracks. it ended up letting me know at what point i'll be playing in a fashion that sounds cool and shows progress.

in the ibp book, there's some tunes just about 1/3 in that start to sound interesting, and the later tunes even better.  this helps me get through the beginner tunes because i know once i get them down, i'm a step closer to having more skills along the journey of where i want to be.

i remember when i first wanted to learn how to play piano. i picked up the alfred adult piano course books. what a mistake! i nearly barfed at michael row the boat ashore and other lame tunes. i could never pick that book up again.

tim's book gives me hope. i really have no doubts that a live teacher is the best route, but this book truly does seem designed to help the individual learner make progress on their own.

g. - i have put them on my ipod. i use them to play along. i've also downloaded and installed realb for my iphone. while i wish i had the benjamins for band-in-a-box, realb is pretty good. i hook it up to my bose radio and it is great to play long with. i also have a metronome for my iphone as well. i can't believe how much help smartphones and tablets are for aiding the journey in learning piano.

i think ultimately, i need to practice more and more as i am learning how the connections between the thoughts in my brain need to trigger the right hand/finger coordination. it seems harder his second time around, being older now. but i eventually get the tunes and the fingering. practice practice!

thanks for keeping this board up, for the advice and comments, scot. i will keep coming here to stay in touch with those who may at times mentor me along in my journey.

take care,
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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.

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

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