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Boogie Woogie instruction.. method?


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Can anyone recommend a method, a book, or whatever , that can help learning this old style ( dates back to 1870's according to Wiki ) of piano playing in a dancing style.

I think it is a good idea to adopt this old style, as it applies to many pop styles.

 

This style played by the super talented young boy, is the level I am looking for... not too advanced.

 

[video:youtube]

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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It is pretty tiring to play continuos LH boogie pattern. I learned from Monty Alexander how to play pattern the first 4 bars with a break on the + of 4 (which allows your hand to rest for a split second). Then you do walking boogie for the remainder of the 12 bars. I have the training transcription he gave me. It sounds a lot hipper than non stop pattern and it lets your hand survive. I hate playing continuos pattern boogie because it is exhausting for my left hand. I never play it fir a whole tune. Montys Etude taught me to play lots of breaks along the way and to frequently change the texture of the left-hand from Boogie to syncopated Charleston stride , with lots of syncopated breaks (easy if you practice it ), to walking boogie, a real mash up. You can hear in the following takes.

transcript of LH available .

 

Tip: listen at half speed. I learned at half speed and months later I could go fast.

 

TAKE1: Boogie Etude

 

[video:youtube]

 

TAKE 3 Same Etude:

 

[video:youtube]

 

TAKE 2. Same Etude:

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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I had the good fortune of getting a free lesson in boogie-woogie every time my piano tuner came over to tune my piano. He would tune the piano and then stick around for at least a half-hour and play the most amazing things. This was a guy who was from that era, and he won many boogie-woogie piano competitions back in the day. He would show me all these LH patterns and all the licks. You just cant find these folks around anymore, and I remain forever grateful for those experiences.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Give yourself a specific assignment, something that's not easy, but at least doable with a bunch of practice.

 

For me this first assignment was Whole Lotta Shaking Going On, Jerry Lee version. Just like the old school classical teachers would say, practice this stuff hands-separately for a good long while.

 

Play that left hand bass and watch some TV, read a book, think about galaxies and black holes. :P Seriously what I'm suggesting is that it might be helpful to train yourself to make that left hand thing VERY much a second-nature, auto-pilot kind of thing.

 

In parallel, figure out some cool right hand comping when you give your left hand occasional breaks. Still hands-separate.

 

Then, once the left hand part is like a micro-chip embedded in your skull by the alien illuminati, gradually begin to introduce bits of your right hand schtick.

 

Use a metronome, at least sometimes. It's painful, but do it. Better to nail it in time slowly than pooch the time doing it more quickly.

 

I'm definitely no expert, there are doubtless many on this forum who can really kill this style. This was just the technique that got me from zero to having a few minutes worth of passable material.

 

 

 

 

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I had the good fortune of getting a free lesson in boogie-woogie every time my piano tuner came over to tune my piano. He would tune the piano and then stick around for at least a half-hour and play the most amazing things. This was a guy who was from that era, and he won many boogie-woogie piano competitions back in the day. He would show me all these LH patterns and all the licks. You just cant find these folks around anymore, and I remain forever grateful for those experiences.

 

Yup. One of my early mentors was Big Joe Duskin, a serious old-school boogie woogie guy from Cincinnati. The stuff he showed me wasn't in any book available at the time, though I'd guess it's on books and videos by now. Still, the personal instruction was invaluable.

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Well said, Dave. I fully agree with solidly focusing on the left hand until it becomes second nature/auto-pilot. A lot of LH practice is also needed to build up endurance. Its also important to find a LH pattern that works for you, I found some that were impossible! I ended up developing a pattern thats very similar to what Dona Oxford does. I had the pleasure of sharing it with her and even jamming with her for a few minutes at NAMM 2017! Sorry for the digression...

 

Back to my piano tuner, he said that when he was in college the most popular guy on campus was the boogie-woogie player. Isnt that nice? Simpler, more innocent times, perhaps...

 

It still tends to draw crowds...youre putting out a lot of sound, and visually theres something about two hands flying around all over the place.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Well said, Dave........, he said that when he was in college the most popular guy on campus was the boogie-woogie player. Isnt that nice? Simpler, more innocent times, perhaps...

 

It still tends to draw crowds...youre putting out a lot of sound, and visually theres something about two hands flying around all over the place.

 

:2thu::like:

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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...

Now here is a tour of some of Monty Alexanders various left hand boogie and blues styles. They are interchangeable as he demonstrates :

 

[video:youtube]

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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Seriously what I'm suggesting is that it might be helpful to train yourself to make that left hand thing VERY much a second-nature, auto-pilot kind of thing.

 

JA had said the same thing about playing left hand bass on Hammond organ in another thread not too long ago.

 

Makes sense, if the left hand is on auto pilot, then we can just think about our right hand.

:nopity:
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Thank you for that link to John Cleary. He does what I like, the way he mixes it up by only playing pattern for about four bars and then breaking and going off and doing more creative textured stuff. The problem I have with most boogie players is they Are stuck in a time warp and only play what Albert Ammons played on Boogie Stomp over and over again: the tremolo diminished chord intro and again for the break, and endless left hand pattern an cliche right hand, and same old licks right hand licks again and again.

By the way that other famous cliche boogie-woogie , the omen that Liberace always did, is available in transcription for free online for study. It has all the main famous right hand cliche licks in it, highly recommend ed.

I like jazz boogie players that bring the bebop vocabulary in with their right hand like Oscar Peterson and Monty Alexander did. And they have great Charleston inspired left hand syncopation strategies to give relief to the constant left hand pattern.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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All of the great clichés are on display here. This is straight out of the Albert Ammons boogie stomp play book. Its called the Liberace Boogie and is available in transcription online for free, I downloaded it some years ago. It has all the tricks. Study the score fir this arrangement and you will have the basic parts (classic licks) :

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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By the way, apparently Liberace did not play Texas boogie walking style broken octaves. He was strictly a leaping pattern player.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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Choo Choo Boogie lesson with Floyd Cramer. YouTube has slow speed for studying. Transcript available.

Texas boogie style walking broken octaves shows up in measures 9 - 10 each chorus! Whole choruses can be done in the Texas walking style, which is what youll get a lot of in Monty Alexander Boogie Etudes.

 

[video:youtube]

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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Tip: Anybody studying boogie-woogie should have downloaded the sheet music for the Albert Ammons Boogie stomp and the Liberace boogie by now.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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I find it interesting that little Billy Preston plays Caldonia in G flat, which is probably better for little hands than on white keys. The composer m, Louis Jordan, plays Caldonia in C and maintains a strict 12 bar form. Notice how Little Billy Preston occasionally adds an extra four measures of the tonic G flat chord, perhaps intentionally or perhaps unconsciously.

 

[video:youtube]

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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Boogie-woogie has always been a highly competitive and athletic form of blues piano , virtuosity reigns. I had to share this next video, watch what happens at the 2 1/2 minute mark we get 14 sweeps in a row, it looks like hes doing the Australian crawl, and then he breaks into Chopins Minute Waltz, I had to laugh out loud. Some old Piano showbiz at its best.

 

[video:youtube]

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

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