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The Blues in Rock and R&B

egift-piano

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Overview

Blues piano was a core component of early rock and r&b and remains an integral part of contemporary popular music. Play blues-based tunes from this lineage in this fun, hands-on course. Styles covered include jump blues, early rock, ‘60s rock, Southern rock, soul, funk, and r&b, with song selection ranging from classics to current hits. Materials provided by the instructor. Prerequisites: Ability to read and play basic two-handed piano; some familiarity with major, minor, and 7th chords.

Tuesdays 6:30 – 8 pm
1/10 – 3/14 (10 weeks)
Jennifer Jolly • $395

Registration

DEPARTMENT: Piano

COURSE TITLE: THE BLUES IN ROCK AND R&B

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Blues piano was a core component of early rock and R&B and remains an integral part of contemporary popular music. Play blues-based tunes from this lineage in this fun, hands-on course. Styles covered include jump blues, early rock, ‘60s rock, Southern rock, soul, funk, and R&B, with song selection ranging from classics to current hits. Materials provided by the instructor.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

Class participants will review pertinent blues piano forms and styles; explore chronologically through listening, reading, viewing, and (mostly) playing how the blues has been continuously integrated into rock and R&B; and learn to play approximately eight representative blues-based rock and R&B tunes.

COURSE PREREQUISITES:

Basic piano proficiency, ability to read standard keyboard notation, some familiarity with major scales and with major, minor, and 7th chords. Willingness and time to practice and study outside of class.

REQUIRED READING/MATERIALS:

Audio files will be posted in a dedicated class Dropbox folder. Written class materials and readings will be provided by instructor in class and/or posted in Dropbox.


RECOMMENDED READING/MATERIALS:

American Popular Music: A Multicultural History by Glenn Appell and David Hemphill (Thomson Schirmer, 2006)

The History of Rock & Roll, Vol. 1: 1920-1963 by Ed Ward (Flatiron Books, 2016)

Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll by Ed Ward, Geoffrey Stokes, and Ken Tucker (Summit/Simon and Schuster, 1986)

The Sound of the City: The Rise and Fall of Rock and Roll, 2nd Ed. by Charlie Gillett (Da Capo Press, 2nd Ed. 1996)

COURSE OUTLINE:

NOTE: Subject matter, pacing, and sequencing may vary slightly from the syllabus depending on students’ experience levels and progress.

Week 1

Course overview and introductions; initial handouts and Dropbox; explanation of upcoming voluntary student shares (bringing in a pertinent favorite tune, artist, style, etc. to share and explicate, chosen either from lists provided by instructor or by approval of instructor); review of basic blues forms and progressions; blues piano in antecedents to rock and R&B; the piano’s role in the origins of rock and R&B; begin Study Tune #1

Week 2

Up to 10’ for practice check-in, questions, discussion of reading; the piano’s role in the origins of rock and R&B (cont’d.) and in early rock and R&B; video segment; develop Study Tune #1; begin Study Tune #2

Week 3

Up to 10’ for check-in/questions/discussion; the piano’s role in early blues-based rock and R&B, cont’d.; review Study Tune #1; develop Study Tune #2; begin Study Tune #3

Week 4

Up to 10’ for check-in/questions/discussion; the piano’s role in early blues-based rock and R&B, cont’d.; review Study Tune #2 as needed; develop Study Tune #3; begin Study Tune #4

Week 5

Up to 7’ for check-in/questions/discussion; up to 15’ for student sharing; the piano’s role in ‘60s-‘70s blues-based rock and R&B; video segment; review Study Tune #3 as needed; develop Study Tune #4; begin Study Tune #5

Week 6

Up to 7’ for check-in/questions/discussion; up to 15’ for student sharing; the piano’s role in ‘60s-‘70s blues-based rock and R&B, cont’d.; review Study Tune #4 as needed; develop Study Tune #5; begin Study Tune #6

Week 7

Up to 7’ for check-in/questions/discussion; up to 15’ for student sharing; the piano’s role in ‘80s-‘90s blues-based rock and R&B; review Study Tune #5 as needed; develop Study Tune #6; begin Study Tune #7

Week 8

Up to 7’ for check-in/questions/discussion; up to 15’ for student sharing; the piano’s role in ‘80s-‘90s blues-based rock and R&B, cont’d.; video segment; review Study Tune #6 as needed; develop Study Tune #7; begin Study Tune #8

Week 9

Up to 7’ for check-in/questions/discussion; up to 15’ for student sharing; the piano’s role in contemporary blues-based rock and R&B; review Study Tune #7 as needed; develop Study Tune #8

Week 10

Up to 7’ for questions; the piano’s role in contemporary blues-based rock and R&B, cont’d.; review of Study Tunes as needed; course wrap-up; overview of additional resources; feedback.

Jennifer Jolly (piano, keyboards)

Performer, educator, choral/musical theater accompanist. Specialist in American roots styles (New Orleans & Louisiana, blues, boogie-woogie, country), funk, R&B, and Caribbean and African music. Currently performing with Kotoja, Zulu Spear, Big B & His Snakeoil Saviors, The Jolly Gibsons, and several other Bay Area groups. Frequent guest performer with Tom Rigney & Flambeau. Previous performance credits include Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), Barbara Dane, Hot Links. Faculty instructor at Cazadero Family Camp since 1999. B.A., UC Berkeley.

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The Word

“I like the Jazzschool because the faculty is top notch. My bandmates have commented on how my playing has improved.”

— Luis Rojas