Learn Boogie Woogie Piano



Learn Boogie Woogie Piano Cover

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When Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Meade "Lux" Lewis performed in Carnegie Hall, it launched a national boogie woogie craze. Since then, music has never been the same. Jazz, blues, and rock and roll have all been influenced by boogie woogie. Yet very little is known about this art form, or the artists who took it to its pinnacle. This book fills that need.

With this book and basic piano skills, you can learn authentic, hard-rockin' boogie woogie in the style of the Boogie Woogie Trio.

This is the only book that:

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Learn Boogie Woogie Piano is for piano players who want to learn to play, improvise, and composes dynamic, authentic boogie woogie piano. It is geared towards players who can read music and do any one of the following on the piano:

Highly motivated less experienced piano players can use this book as well.

Ear players can learn from the CD of the exercises and examples.

Piano players with a classical background only will find the boogie woogie style an excellent way to transition towards improvising popular music styles.

With this book, jazz, blues, rock-and-roll, and boogie woogie players can learn to play in the authentic, roots boogie woogie style of the Boogie Woogie Trio.

Piano Teachers will find this a great text book for use with their students.

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Learn Boogie Woogie Piano includes EXCERPTS from some of the most important boogie woogie compositions (Pinetop's Boogie Woogie, Honky Tonk Train, Monday Struggle, Roll 'em Pete), and bass lines from many others, including Boogie Woogie Stomp. However, it isn't a sheet music book. Instead, it teaches you to play, improvise and compose in the style of the Boogie Woogie Trio. It does contain the complete composition The Basic Boogie by Colin Davey. The Basic Boogie is an example of how to combine the elements from the book into a complete composition.

If you are looking for sheet music, you will be interested in the Boogie Woogie Press Sheet Music Library.

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Our reasons for writing a second edition to this book are threefold:

A few words are in order about the increased authenticity. By this, we mean that the exercises, figures, and examples more accurately reflect the way Ammons, Johnson and Lewis actually played.

To this end, we spent countless hours studying key recordings of Ammons, Johnson and Lewis, using sophisticated software for slowing down and analyzing the recordings. We also consulted with many world-class experts. (In this process, one thing led to another, and we now have transcribed complete and accurate sheet music of several key recordings, available shortly after the release of this book from Boogie Woogie Press. See www.colindavey.com/woogiewoogie for more information.)

We should note that for various reasons, it's hard to say with absolute certainty what is being played on these recordings. Sometimes it's hard to make out what's being played due to a combination of many notes being played at once, poor recording quality, poor quality instruments, and/or phantom harmonic overtones.

Also, there are judgment calls to make. For example: Is a certain odd sounding note deliberate, or an accident? Is a certain chord held for an eighth note, or a quarter note?

Furthermore, the experts don't always agree with each other. For example, among four of the world's top authorities on the style of Albert Ammons, no two of them play the chorded walking bass line from Boogie Woogie Stomp the same way.

This edition represents our continuing efforts to overcome the above obstacles and improve our understanding of the boogie woogie techniques of Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Meade Lux Lewis.

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Preface to the Second Edition

Read This First

Section One: Develop the Foundation Skills of Boogie Woogie

Section Two: Play Boogie Woogie


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Here's what today's boogie woogie experts are saying about Learn Boogie Woogie Piano (in alphabetical order):

"...a very practical book, using the approach that I imagine the founders of the blues piano style probably used as they taught one another how to play boogie woogie... I congratulate you on a fine teaching manual."
- Aaron Blumenfeld, author of The Blues, Boogie and Barrelhouse Piano Workbook and How to Play Blues and Boogie Piano Styles

"Learn Boogie Woogie Piano will drop-kick you into playing this vital eight-to-the-bar piano blues music better than anything else I can think of. The basic forms, structures, and licks of the great boogie woogie practitioners are presented in a concise, easy-to-follow way guaranteed to get you playing with steam-drill power and confidence in short order... a must for all piano playing boogie woogie enthusiasts looking for a road map and a guide to the territory."
- Jeff Gutcheon, composer, arranger, pianist and author of Improvising Rock Piano

"If boogie woogie is back (and I think it never really went away), this is the book to study. Messrs. Davey and Poloney know the genre in all its exciting styles."
- Dick Hyman, pianist, composer, and artist in Dick Hyman's Century of Jazz Piano on CD-ROM

"Well thought out, and carefully presented."
- Eric Kriss, author of Six Blues Roots Pianists and Barrelhouse and Boogie Piano

"A great job! ...A wonderful job! You did your homework. You told the truth in there."
- Jay McShann, jazz, boogie woogie, and blues grandmaster

"This has it all. Anybody interested in the boogie woogie style can find it here."
- Max Morath, The Ragtime Man, performer and creator of the one man show A Ragtime Life

"This is the book to have. There's no better place to start. For the first time ever, a book containing accurately transcribed phrases of the playing of the Boogie Woogie Trio. I certainly wish I had this 40 years ago!"
- Christopher I. Page, author of Boogie Woogie Stomp, Albert Ammons & his Music

"A fine analysis of the boogie woogie form, plus musical devices that help create the excitement of the music. Put aside a weekend with this book. Once you open it, you can't stop!"
- Bob Seeley, internationally renowned boogie woogie performer, and personal friend of Meade Lux Lewis

"The authors of Learn Boogie Woogie Piano are to be congratulated on writing a piano tutor that will plug a significant gap for both beginning and experienced pianists who wish to become proficient in the style."
- Peter J. Silvester, author of A Left Hand Like God, A History of Boogie-Woogie Piano

"Here is a real boogie woogie primer, a no-nonsense, clearly written and well-organized guide that gets you playing right away."
- Butch Thompson, jazz pianist, clarinetist and historian

"Congratulations, this book contains very useful instructions for the basics of the Boogie Woogie piano style, namely of the Ammons/Lewis/Johnson variety."
- Axel Zwingenberger, leading boogie woogie performer and authority

138 Pages & CD. Price: $36.50. To order, click here.