100 Ultimate Blues Riffs for Flute, the Beginner Series by musician, educator and world renowned author Andrew D. Gordon is an exhaustive guide to introduce beginner students to the various phrases or “riffs” that make up Flute playing, both from a rhythmic and soloing standpoint.
Due to the continued success of his more advanced series 100 Ultimate Blues Riffs Andrew decided to author a similar type of book for beginner students.
This book is ideal for the beginner to intermediate music student with most of the examples notated in the easier keys. Besides learning how to play Blues riffs the book is a useful tool for sight reading exercises with many different rhythms.
The 12 bar Blues progression and the Blues scale, in Andrew’s opinion, the two most important aspects of playing the Blues is explained in detail as well as “straight” and “swing” rhythms.
There are five sections to the riffs in the book, section 1 contains basic Blues riffs, section 2 contains Rhythm & Blues influenced riffs, section 3 contains Blues/Boogie Woogie riffs, section 4 contains Rock influenced Blues riffs and section 5 contains Gospel influenced Blues riffs. Included with this book is an audio CD that contains all the riffs, recorded twice: first, sax melody, piano, guitar, bass and drums and second just the rhythm track of piano, guitar bass & drums so you can play-a-long.
Review of the Sax version of the book by Skip Spratt of The Sax Shed https://saxshed.com
Andrew D. Gordon of ADG Productions has recently updated and added to his popular series of books with 100 Ultimate Blues Riffs – The Beginner Series. The original publication by the same title is geared toward intermediate to advanced students. Both books feature a companion CD and optional midi files that will help in the practice of these 100 blues riffs.
I had the opportunity to preview the tenor saxophone books from the series; however the same books are published for other instruments as well. Saxophonist Frank Villafranca of the Super Groovers demonstrates each riff with the rhythm section first with and opportunity for play-along following each demo track. Andrew Gordon writes, “For people who want to improve their ear training skills, you may want t o listen to the saxophone part and then try to duplicate what is played on the CD. I personally find I am able to memorize music quicker when I pick music out by ear than from musical notation.”
As you play through the books, you will see there is some overlapping of the riffs used. In the case of the beginner series, there are some riffs that are essentially the same but with some large leaps in the lines changed - presumably to facilitate younger players.
Whether reading the 100 riffs or picking them up by ear, the book can have many uses. It is good for sightreading in the style, short improvisational work or developing the ear.
The clean, well-laid out books should offer a springboard into further study of the blues and improvisation.