Play Ballads

John Kember

Play Ballads

'The joy of ballad playing is indulgence pure and simple: performing the smoothest and most expressive of melodies'. The melodies are similar in style and are attractive, providing opportunities for developing tonal quality, phrasing and legato playing. Play Ballads offers the Grade 4-6 (intermediate) instrumentalist the inspirations of some of the greatest exponents of the form.

Books in this collection


What they say

“invoking memories of music college parties” “This book is made up of nine old hits from Elton John and Lionel Richie to recent compositions penned by Kember himself. For someone who has just turned 40 I quite enjoyed playing these old hits and invoking memories of music college parties but I am not sure they will have the same musical appeal for the younger generation. The piano accompaniments are playable and they include chord symbols for those pianist like me who prefer to improvise the piano part.”
Paul Denegri, Head of Brass, Jazz and Commercial Music at Wells Cathederal School, and a busy freelance trumpeter, composer/arranger and conductor, in 'Music Teacher', September 2002.

“a lovely book of nine pieces” “Play Ballads is a lovely book of nine pieces for alto saxophone and piano. Some pieces, like Burt Bacharach's classic 'What the World Needs Now', have written out improvisations, which help expand the piece. Kember's touching composition 'Nostalgia', is not out of place next to classics such as Elton John's 'Your Song'.”
Gerard McChrystal, Professor of Saxophone at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, in 'Music Teacher', Sept 2002.

“a wealth of melody in a collection of ballads” “These nine titles offer a wealth of melody in a collection of ballads for the young clarinettist. They are all arranged with piano accompaniment and comprise a selection of both old and new. Well-known titles include 'Hello', 'Killing Me Softly' and 'Your Song' and go side by side with some originals from John Kember.”
'Sheet Music'

Other collections from John Kember

American Song Book (Self)
All-new arrangements of the classic hits of the 20th century by John Kember
Easy Jazz Pieces (Music Sales)
Short pieces to make this popular genre available to relative beginners, and for those at primary and intermediate levels.
Easy Piano Duets (Schott)
Designed to be played by teacher and pupil, or by two players of equal ability.
Jazz masterclasses (Schott)
John has worked with Jiggs Whigham, internationally acclaimed trombone virtuoso, to produce this fine in-depth guide for aspiring jazz trombonists.
Jazz Piano Studies (Faber)
John Kember's love of jazz and latin styles is well illustrated by the volumes in this collection, which includes material for everyone from the beginner up to more advanced players with a wealth of pieces to help develop a true jazz style.
Keyboards (Schott)
The Keyboards series provides simple but interesting arrangements of well-known pieces.
On the Lighter Side (Schott)
Although the pieces in this collection are on the lighter side, they are by no means trivial and offer pianists of all levels something interesting and challenging. The series contains both piano solo and piano duet volumes, some with CD recordings of the pieces.
Original Jazz Ballads (Music Sales)
Pieces for the solo player that evoke the atmosphere and styles of popular songs from the periods when melody, lyrics and harmonies reached their peak.
Play Broadway (Faber)
Each volume in the Play Broadway series features 10 of the best shows from across the decades. Available for six seperate instruments, each volume includes a CD with backing tracks and piano accompaniments.
Sight Reading (Schott)
Sight-reading is a vital accomplishment for any musician. This series provides a new approach and includes introductory introductory and more advanced volumes for instrumentalists (the Sight-Reading volumes) and vocalists (the Sight-Singing volumes).
Starting Out (Schott)
Short, tuneful pieces to help new players of all ages gradually widen their range of notes and rhythmic patterns. Although these pieces are broadly progressnve in range of notes and rhythmic figures used, they are intended as a source of material from which the teacher can select to suit the needs of individual pupils rather than needing to work from cover to cover.
String Quartet Arrangements (Schott)
John Kember provides in this series a variety of pieces from classical, romantic, baroque and modern periods in score and parts for the string quartet.
The Ensemble Collection (Schott)
These original compositions, presented in a variety of styles, offer each player an equal share of the melodic interest and are aimed at students of similar playing experience and standards. The minimum teacher assistance should be required.
The Jazz Piano Player (Faber)
The books in this series are based on well-known songs from the Great American Songbook by great American songwriters such as Cole Porter, George Gerwin and Harold Arlen. The purpose of these books is to help pianists to understand chords, chord symbols and voicings. Each song is shown in two forms - firstly with melody, words, chord symbols and notation; and secondly an intermediate standard solo arrangement.
The Pop Piano Player (Faber)
Designed for pianist wanting to make the transition into playing pop piano, as well as those keen to develop their own style.
The Simply Series (Self)
The books in this series each take a genre of music: Latin, Jazz, Swing and provide a series of original pieces by John Kember that fir perfectly into any repertoire.