on June 21, 2005
I'm not a good pianist but I'm playing blues bass since more than 20 years.
I did purchased a lot of books, but this one is really the best. When my teacher saw it, he immediately ask where he could purchased it.
A lot of songs, exercises and explanation
The book is not only about improvising, it's also about all kind of left-hand pattern and I know what I'm talking about. The example on the CD are also great
If at first looks it seems expensive you will see that it is worth every penny
on March 31, 2010
I'm just starting out with blues piano and this is just the book I've been looking for. Great difficulty curve, great mix of theory and practise. I'm also a fan of the excellent "Blues, Boogie and Barrelhouse Piano Workbook" by Aaron Blumenfeld, but I found that the difficulty of the latter book increased too quickly for me and much of the theory was difficult for me to understand. "Improvising Blues Piano" is just exactly right. Highly recommended.
on November 14, 2014
This is a wonderful book. It's not for raw beginners -- Richards says "grade 3" skills are needed, and some of the pieces are harder than that. But it is extremely logical in its approach. It doesn't leave holes in explanations -- everything is clear. Each chapter builds on the one before it. Each piece introduces some new idea. Many of those pieces are genuinely enjoyable on their own, not just as examples of this or that. Improvisation is center stage, from the start.
It's clear enough so that you could do everything "self-taught". That would take talent and lots of drive.
I'm working through it with a teacher. I just checked -- it's taken me over a year to cover the first half. At this rate, I'll finish Richards' last "Jazz" book (in the 3-book series that starts with "Blues") just before I die.
So, if you want to learn blues, buy it, and start working. There's lots of fun along the way.
The book has a unique way of introducing a concept, giving you complete note example to work on, then provides you with structure to do improvization practice. I've been practicing an hour a day since I got the book, and there is just so much to learn and master. Every piece introduces some new patterns, if a person could master everything in this book, you come a long way to being a professional blues piano player. I can feel and difference in my approach and performance already.
Interesting people stories in the book, and then powerful point by point explanations of some of the things happening on each piece. I've been really impressed with the page of insights the book gives around each piece. Tips for how it works, why it works, ways to play it better, etc. If you interested in blues piano, whether a beginner or intermediate, there is likely lots to put your teeth into here.