Everyone loves to play the blues. In this lesson, I’ve taken an in-depth approach to give you all some information, new ideas, ear training, and fresh approaches to this form.
#1 is a favorite blues lick of mine by the great blues sax player Noble "Thin Man" Watts. It’s on a dominant 7th chord, and it’s a four bar phrase. Check it out! #2 is 68 blues licks and phrases in various keys, tempos, and styles.
Play through each "lick". Listen to how it sounds. Get so it just jumps out of your sax. Then… after you play through all of them, go back, and pick your favorites and start to learn them through all the keys. Try one lick a week to get started. Once you get into it, pick some more out that appeal to you and do the same. This can be a never-ending study; so take you time and have some fun.
Remember…the blues is a must to have together no matter what bag you’re playing. Many master jazz players are great blues players, e.g., Gene Ammons, Coltrane, and Sonny Stitt.
Many great rock sax players have strong blues roots. Listen to early guys like Lee Allen and Red Prystock.
OK—This should be some big fun… get started now.
See you next month—with Part 2!
Tim Price is a Selmer Clinician, professional musician, jazz journalist and author.
He teaches in New York City and Pennsylvania.
He holds a degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston (1973 graduate). While at Berklee, he studied with Charlie Mariano, as well as with Andy McGhee, Joe Viola, and Nick Ciazza. After Berklee he studied saxophone and improvisation with Sal Nistico, Fred Lipsius, Jimmy Lyons, Ray Pizzi, Sonny Stitt, and Ronnie Cuber; flute with Harold Jones; clarinet with Kal Opperman and bassoon with Karen Borca.
Tim resides in Reading, Pennsylvania with his wife, Marcia. He can be contacted for clinics, master classes, private teaching, gigs, and concerts by e-mail. Visit Tim's web site.