Welcome to the very last lesson of the The Blues Piano Crash Course!
How to Play Blues Piano in Any Key
Learn how to transpose the chords, scales, and concepts you learned in this crash course into other keys.
“All the same things” apply to playing blues in any key. You will simply be learning the steps needed to move your musical patterns and shapes — that is, the three main chords, the blues scale, your favorite licks, etc. — into any desired key!
Especially good keys for you to learn to jam in are:
C, E*, A, G, B-flat, and F.
*Q: What new key to play in first?
A: For most contemporary keyboard players, I recommend that you first apply the concepts from this lesson (#11) to playing Blues in E. My main reason for suggesting “E Blues” as your next key to conquer is that most guitar players really like to jam in E. In standard guitar tuning, the key of E has lots of convenient hand positions, including especially comfortable fingerings for the E blues scale. I’m sure there are other reasons for the popularity of E in guitar blues, but I think this is a big one. (I’m going by my own limited guitar-playing experience, with that “E is easier theory.”) But regardless of the reasons, there is absolutely no doubt that E is popular with guitarists and rock/blues bands, so if you’re planning on jamming with guitarists, that’s the first new key for you to learn. (Tip: You can pick “E” up right after, or right along with, your current studies in C — I’m thinking “bilingual” studies here in a sense.).
Continue reading “Blues Piano Crash Course #11: How to play blues piano in any key (how to transpose)”
More Sheet Music for ‘A Study in Blues Piano’
Here’s a downloadable PDF file of sheet music covering Blues Piano Lick #10, for optional use with my course “A Study in Blues Piano” (all on this site).
This sheet is part of a supplemental collection I’m putting together, in response to recent requests.
Welcome to A Study in Blues Piano!
This is an in-depth study of twelve blues licks, with extensive left-hand support tips. Each lick/riff is explored in detail, including variations, fingering, playing tips, and supporting music theory.
More than just learning the notes by rote, you will get insight into the patterns, scales, chords and intervals involved, including how to transpose each lick.
As a result, each lick will be mastered as RAW MATERIAL for endless variations, with applications in many musical settings (genres).
Lick #10 of this group is actually more than a lick; rather, it gives you a complete two-handed 12-bar opening groove, including a left-hand pattern to support your licks throughout your soloing.
Students can download and print optional sheet music for several of the licks. There’s also a sample solo piece with a 12-bar introduction, followed by a 12-bar piano solo that features licks from the class.
THE TWELVE LICK STUDIES
Continue reading “A Study in Blues Piano – Focusing on Twelve Licks”
I recently received a question today (on my YouTube channel), an excellent one, the topic of which is subject to debate. The question is in response to one of my videos about using add9 chords on piano. (A link to the video is included below.)
I thought I would share the thread here:
A Powerful Tip for Blues, Jazz, and Rock Improvisers
This is a slide show, which is a common format that I use on my Instagram channel.
I have discovered that these types of posts are very popular on my Instagram page, so I’m going to start featuring these here, too!
Continue reading “Jazz/Rock/Blues Soloing Tip: Using the ‘Rock-Bottom Four’ of the Blues Scale”
Lesson #8 (video)
In this lesson, we master a couple of specific blues piano tricks of the trade. I’m using the word specific here, because we’re going to use these devices with a goal in mind, a musical effect that is pretty specific.
The “tricks” in this video are focused on emulating those sounds of blues singers and other instruments who can bend their notes (slide or play between pitches). You’ll learn about “blue notes,” and also pick up a blues-boogie playing technique called the slide-off.
Continue reading “Blues Piano Crash Course #8: Blue Notes & Pitch-Bending”
To all you funked-up rocking hip-hopping bluesy jazzy people out there,
Today’s post features an outrageously funky, bluesy chord which is also used in rock, jazz, and many other places.
This blues-based powerhouse is often called the “Purple Haze” chord, made famous by a Jimi Hendrix song of the same name. You may also hear it called, more generically, a “Hendrix chord.” (Hendrix did in fact use 7#9 chords in several of his major songs.)
First a SLIDE SHOW, then a VIDEO. Enjoy!
Continue reading “The 7#9 Chord: Possibly the Funkiest Chord Ever”
Today’s lesson is more than just a lick…
We have here a two-handed intro section, a great setup for getting any blues jam started. This opening groove covers a full 12-bar cycle, giving your listeners an exciting intro (a.k.a. “head”) which leads nicely into the next 12-bars, where you can begin your right-handed soloing. Note, you can use the left-hand (bass line) of this groove throughout your entire jam. It’s a simple and powerful bass line that keeps the beat going strong. But wait, there’s more! This lesson also includes a sample opening for your solo.
In this lesson you’ll learn a versatile way to group any “pentatonic” scale into a pair of three-note, three-finger clusters. Using this three-finger approach makes it easy to play fast and interesting licks, up and down the keyboard.
Continue reading “Blues Lick #11 “Pentatonic Pads””
PREMIUM CONTENT (Lesson #3 is a free sample).
Lesson #9 (video) “The Melody Machine”
This thing I like to call the “melody machine” is by no means a new technique for creating strong melodies. Singers, composers and improvisers have built melodies this way forever. In a nutshell, it’s a specific way of using the underlying chord progression as a “generator” of melodic material.
Sometimes this “melody generating” concept doesn’t get enough of a spotlight. By spotlight, I mean pointing it out and teaching it, in places where students can fully appreciate the power of the results.
So here’s a great place for that spotlight: the art and science of creating powerful blues licks!
Continue reading “Blues Piano Crash Course #9: The Melody Machine”