When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Tutor Tim Richards
  • Course Code W24JPMB02B
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

A hands-on course for pianists with previous blues piano experience who wish to expand their repertoire, explore new left-hand styles, develop fresh approaches to improvisation and study the work of famous blues pianists. A great opportunity to improve your aural skills, transcribe from recordings, develop your soloing ability and learn more about a wide variety of blues piano styles. Suitable for those with a strong interest in blues, good L- and R-hand co-ordination and the ability to keep good time. This is term 2 of the year-long course; although enrolment is termly, you are strongly advised to attend all three terms.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Perform a number of blues pieces in a range of styles and keys
  • Improvise convincingly in the right hand
  • Accompany yourself with a variety of left-hand patterns
  • Display a wide knowledge of different blues piano styles

Class format and activities

Playing and improvising blues in various keys and styles in the company of other like-minded pianists. Time will also be spent listening to and copying masters of the genre - in the past we have studied the recordings of Pete Johnson, Jimmy Yancey, Albert Ammons, Ray Charles, Otis Spann, James Booker, Dr John, Professor Longhair, Gene Harris, Meade Lux Lewis, etc) . There is also scope for individuals to pursue their own study projects, perhaps focusing on a particular pianist, left-hand style or genre, eg: boogie-woogie, New Orleans, jazz, gospel, funk, etc...

Entry requirements

Several years of blues piano study/experience are recommended – and ideally term 1 of this course also. The ability to keep time and good coordination between the hands is important. Familiarity with pieces and topics from the tutor’s book ‘Improvising Blues Piano’ (Schott Music, 1997) will be beneficial.

What you need to know before you enrol

You will be expected to prepare pieces for performance in class, together with other tasks set by the tutor. A commitment to regular, focused practice is essential.

What you need

Tim Richards' ‘Improvising Blues Piano’ book (Schott 1997) is recommended.

What you can do next

Blues Piano 2C (next term).