Friday, May 29, 2015


• Will stick with The Sudnow Method. Practiced the 2 songs and worked on DANNY BOY. Did a little melody hunting by ear.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Holding Pattern

• No exercise today. Diet went horribly today. Will get back to them both. 
• Was in kind of a slumpy holding pattern with piano. Played MISTY and AS TIME GOES BY, but couldn't really get into getting into DANNY BOY. The reason was probably due to spending perhaps not enough careful time at the piano and instead putting that time into wondering if I should change methods. I really am into the sounds that The Sundow Method offers, but I still wonder if another method might be better (for me, anyway). I am impatient, and that quality does not help.

Syd Barrett

Alan Swain

• Haven't exercised today or yesterday, but I'll get back to it. Diet going fairly ok.
• Reading an interesting book on mindfulness/meditation: "WHEREVER YOU GO THERE YOU ARE" by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
• Thinking of going back to Alan Swain's books with the goal of playing piano from lead sheets / fake books.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


• Tired tonight; not a lot of piano work done, but did a little.
• Tempted to use John Valerio's book: "JAZZ PIANO CONCEPTS & TECHNIQUES."  A familiar dilemma returns: Learn the tools first of chords OR learn songs?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


• Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour.
• Just continued work on my 3 piano songs.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day, 2015

• Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour.
• Worked on my 3 Sudnow piano songs while still being tempted to learn boogie-woogie and/or stride and/or ragtime.
• Took a couple of pictures of some visitors in my yard today:

And seen during an outing:

Sunday, May 24, 2015


• Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour.
• Looked at some old piano books I had; was a little tempted to use one and then decided no way; Sudnow is the way to go for me. Read part of his "Ways of the Hand" book today, too.
• Went over my piano songs today, including attempt to continue to learn DANNY BOY.
• Visited my dad today. Here are a couple of cute pictures of him with my kids:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mellow Mood

• Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour.
• Had band practice that went ok.
• Was tempted to give up on piano and stick to guitar but that whim passed.
• Worked on my three piano songs.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Suds and Silver

• Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour.
• Worked on the three Sudnow songs.
• Thinking of riding exercise bike for 1/2 a day every rather than what I was trying to do (which was taking Mondays off from it and riding an hour on Saturdays and Sundays). The 1/2 hour daily seems more doable.
• The Sundow Method is still my primary musical focus. However, I'm looking forward to using Mr. Silver's ideas in guitar improv as our band will be playing some jazzy cocktail hour music soon. The Silver book was fun.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lady Madonna

• Rode exercise bike for 1/2 hour.
• Continue to work on my three piano songs, trying to learn DANNY BOY slowly but surely.
• Learned the beginning of the Beatles' absolutely phenomenal rocker LADY MADONNA and it is fun!!
• Listened to some old 1920's boogie woogie piano and I think it's cool stuff!
• Improved on diet today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Danny Boy

• Before leaving for work this morning, managed to actually find the time to practice the two songs as well as begin the first notes to "Danny Boy."
• No exercise today; did not adhere to diet. Time to snap back into it!  Note to self: IT FELT GREAT TO DIET AND EXERCISE!!!!
• Continued to work on the three piano songs. 
• Will be playing music with the band during the cocktail hour for a wedding soon. Looks like we will be playing mostly jazz standards so I'll perhaps be working on my guitar improv chops.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


A blah day. Not feeling too well physically. Just went over my two songs and started to work very very little on my new piano song: DANNY BOY. Decided that the "Improvising Blues Piano" book will be a cool secondary learning path. 

Monday, May 18, 2015


• A grueling day practicing piano. Difficult to get AS TIME GOES BY in my hands, but I think I finally got it (even though it needs work).
• Blues piano CDs have shipped. Now I'm wondering with all of this song play that I'm focusing on if I should focus more on Ari Kast's book "Stride Piano Tricks" more than the Richards book. The Sudnow Method is still my dominant focus, but we'll see as I go what I'll be using as a secondary learning focus.
• Just thinking out loud/brainstorming: it'd be cool to slowly add one stride trick (from the Kast book) at a time to my arsenal just as I slowly tend to add a little of Sudnow's open voicing ideas to my songs.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

• Did some good practice of AS TIME GOES BY.
• Rode exercise bike for an hour.
• Had a nice birthday luncheon with my wife, son, and two daughters.
• I think I'll work on Tim Richards's book "IMPROVISING BLUES PIANO" book too. Ordered some old time blues piano CDs as birthday gifts to myself and cancelled the Blues Guitar book.