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FREE Blues Piano Lessons @ Piano With Kent | “The Blues Piano Crash Course” Main Page

A FREE VIDEO-BASED COURSE on the ESSENTIALS of BLUES PIANO IMPROVISATION : ‘The Blues Piano Crash Course’ with Kent D. Smith

‘Piano With Kent’ is a US registered trademark. Although this course is currently free to the public, as published on this site alone, be advised that this entire website, pianowithent.com, and all of its original content is Copyrighted Material. By Kent. D. Smith of Piano with Kent. (c) 2010. All rights reserved.

 


Curriculum


Lesson One – “The Blues Scale”

 

Supplemental (optional) from “A Study in Blues Piano” – Licks #1 and #2

 

Lesson Two – “A Left-hand Groove”

Lesson Three – “Five Must-know Riffing Devices”

 

Lesson Four – “The Classic 12-bar Blues Progression”

 

Lesson Five – “Put Your Hands Together”

 

Lesson Six – More tips and practice for the Two-Fisted Jammer

 

Lesson Seven – A Walking Bass Line & More Coordination

 

Lesson Eight – Blue Notes and pitch-bending

 

Lesson Nine – The Melody Machine

 

Lesson Ten – Turn-arounds and Endings

 

Lesson Eleven – Playing Blues in Any Key

 

end of list (all core lessons)

Course Description

Learn the essential elements of improvising blues piano, including the (minor) Blues Scale, the 12-bar Blues pattern, left-hand grooves, coordination exercises, and plenty of raw material for your own licks.

My goal is for you to start improvising great blues solos!

Although most of this course is in the key of C, there is a detailed lesson that covers transposing the blues scale, and the 12-bar blues progression, into other keys.

Is this what you’re looking for?

Students taking this course should be interested in learning blues improvisation.  Improvisation in blues usually has an underlying structure, a key center, and a chord progression that is being followed.  The rhythm and the chords give us that beautiful sense of a distinct groove, and the soloists do their thing “on top of” that.  In this course, you will learn the basic structural stuff, but you will also be given (taught) the popular raw materials for creating blues licks and melodies in general.  It will be your job to turn those raw materials into original licks.  I can give you expert guidance, hints and tips and raw material, which I do, but in the end, it’s your solo! That’s the beauty of studying improvisation. You get to own it.

Blues-inspired improvisation is at the core of, and will always have an influence on, countless musical genres. The blues scales, blues chord progressions, the “Blue Notes”…these are staples of so much great rock, hip-hop, jazz, country, gospel, and so on. That’s just to name a few of the mega-genres that have “blue blood” in their veins!

We can either forget about, or fail to recognize, the blues roots in so much contemporary music, but it’s everywhere.

So, back to the question, “Is this what you’re looking for,” I would suggest “yes,” because you read this far, still hanging in, after reading what’s what, so therefore you might like the class. That may be an odd conclusion.

Preview: To help you get an idea of how these videos might work for you, Lesson #4 (link below) is currently watchable as a full lesson preview.

Recommended knowledge or experience

  • You will need NO ability to read music (true for this particular course, and for most lessons on this site).
  • Knowing the names of the notes on your keyboard (like E, F#, G) is helpful in this class, but is not absolutely required.
  • We do start out hoping you already play “a bit of piano.”
  • Musicians who are already experienced with another instrument, including blues guitar, can benefit from this course as well. That is, you could potentially (1) pick up some keyboard skills and/or (2) learn new theory stuff and/or (3) get new ideas.

Helpful Course Documents

(Click document’s image below to download or view.)

Catalog of Chords and Scales
Catalog of Chords and Scales (for Blues Piano Crash Course)
Recommended Listening
Recommended Listening (Blues)

The Complete Course (video pages w/ text intros)

Free to all, from Kent of Piano With Kent (this site).

 

‘Piano With Kent’ is a US registered trademark. Although this course is currently free to the public, as published on this site alone, be advised that this entire website, pianowithent.com, and all of its original content is Copyrighted Material. By Kent. D. Smith of Piano with Kent. (c) 2010. All rights reserved.

Cheers!


Lesson One – “The Blues Scale”

 

Supplemental (optional) from “A Study in Blues Piano” – Licks #1 and #2

 

Lesson Two – “A Left-hand Groove”

Lesson Three – “Five Must-know Riffing Devices”

 

Lesson Four – “The Classic 12-bar Blues Progression”

 

Lesson Five – “Put Your Hands Together”

 

Lesson Six – More tips and practice for the Two-Fisted Jammer

 

Lesson Seven – A Walking Bass Line & More Coordination

 

Lesson Eight – Blue Notes and pitch-bending

 

Lesson Nine – The Melody Machine

 

Lesson Ten – Turn-arounds and Endings

 

Lesson Eleven – Playing Blues in Any Key

 

end of list (all core lessons)

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Chords 108 – Lesson 3: The Simple Formula for All 12 Minor & Minor 7th Chords

Piano Bar - Piano With Kent

Hello Friends,

Today I’m happy to present the next lesson in my ongoing course, Piano Chords 108.

Kent

Class Audience: Any musician who’s struggling to memorize the individual notes to all those dang chords on piano or keyboards, and looking for a solution.

Today: Learn how to immediately call up the notes to any of the twelve minor chords on a keyboard — without having to rely on rote memory.  This lesson applies to all twelve minor seventh chords as well!
Continue reading Chords 108 – Lesson 3: The Simple Formula for All 12 Minor & Minor 7th Chords

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Learn all 12 DOMINANT-7th Chords Today

Hello Friends,

Today I’m happy to present the next lesson in my ongoing course, Chords 108.

Class Audience: Any musician who’s struggling to memorize the individual notes to all those dang chords on piano or keyboards, and looking for a solution.

Today: Learn how to immediately call up the notes to any of the twelve DOMINANT-7th chords on a keyboard — without having to rely on rote memory.  

Coming nextDiminished chords.

THE VIDEO

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Steps to Memorizing Chords: Half-Steps, Whole-Steps, and Thirds

CHORDS 108  | Lesson One: Background Material


Course Reference:

Piano Chord Catalog

 

Welcome to Piano Chords 108!

In this first lecture of the series, students will learn how to visualize and play half-steps, whole-steps, minor thirds, and major thirds on the piano.

Continue reading Steps to Memorizing Chords: Half-Steps, Whole-Steps, and Thirds

How to Memorize Piano Chords Quickly | ‘Chords 108’ – Top Page

A free tutorial vlog series on memorizing piano chords by pattern

HERE ARE THE FIRST FOUR VIDEO LESSONS (MORE TO COME)


Half-Step, Whole-Steps, and Thirds on the Piano

Learn all 12 Major and Major Seventh Chords Together (24 chords)

Learn all 12 Minor and Minor Seventh Chords Together (24 more chords)

Learn all 12 Dominant Seventh Chords Together (12 more chords)


Supplemental Catalog of 108+ chords

Piano Chord Reference Book (PDF)


DESCRIPTION

This course/series describes a relatively simple system for memorizing the “108 Essential Piano Chords.”

See the chord symbol, or hear the chord name, and you will know all the notes, with certainty!

Further in, you will learn how to build — and remember — any altered or extended chord on the piano keyboard as well.

In the end, you’ll be able to determine the unique set of notes that define any one of HUNDREDS of chords, on the spot. This impressive accomplishment requires zero rote memorization of any chord. (What?)

Because of the above, my focus on “108” as being the number of chords you will acquire is an understatement. One can see (in the second, more optional part of this course) that the rest of the “standard chord universe” opens right up — as soon as you know how to alter and extend any member of the “Big 108” group.

When it comes to these 108 chords — by far the most common and useful chords in both popular and classical music — you will never again need a chord catalog, chord poster, or web search.

Even though this course has the goal of weaning students off chord catalogs, so to speak, I will definitely include a downloadable picture-based catalog for these 108 chords. Such a reference will no doubt prove useful for checking your understanding of this system. But ultimately, I don’t want you to need any such piano chord reference…

…Because that’s the whole theme and purpose of Piano Chords 108: Lose the catalog (so to speak)!

Continue reading How to Memorize Piano Chords Quickly | ‘Chords 108’ – Top Page

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Music Theory “Trivia” Time

Which interval is pictured above?

(a) Diminished Seventh.

(b) Minor Sixth.

(c) Augmented Fifth.

(d) Both A and C are correct, with name depending on the implied key center. They sound the same, by either name.

(e) Both B and C are correct, with name depending on the implied key center. They sound the same, by either name.

(f) The famous “Lost Interval of Egypt.”

THE CORRECT ANSWER  is….

Continue reading Music Theory “Trivia” Time

Trouble Playing Certain Chords? Some Notes can be Omitted!

UPDATED: Feb. 9, 2019.

Good day! Good evening! Today I’m sharing my answer to the following student question:

Sometimes I can play the C7 Chord, lots of time I am hitting the G# because I have to move my hand higher on the keys to sound the chord. Any hints on fingering or practicing this? Thanks much!

 

My answer: Continue reading Trouble Playing Certain Chords? Some Notes can be Omitted!

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Sheet Music: Lick #2 from “A Study in Blues Piano”

 

Here’s a downloadable PDF file of sheet music for Blues Piano Lick #2, for optional use with “A Study in Blues Piano.”

This is entirely optional material, as far as completing the above course is concerned. As I said yesterday, this is a supplement I’m putting together, in response to recent requests that  I’ve had from students who can read music.

Non-music readers:  This course was designed to require ZERO reading of music.  Fear not!

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Sheet Music: Lick #1 from A Study in Blues Piano

 

Blues/Improv Students:

How’s yo blues?

I’ve had requests for piano notation covering the blues licks in my course, A Study in Blues Piano.

That course is video-based, and teaches from a chord-based improvisation point of view.

I sometimes resist providing notation for improvisation-focused courses, because it can almost promote blind imitation, rather than creative playing.

That said, I’ve had a couple of convincing requests lately from students who wanted to have sheet music to supplement this class. As a result, I’ve decided to provide notation for several of the licks, plus notation for a complete blues piano solo (featuring licks from the course).

Here’s a downloadable PDF file for Lick #1, “Energy.”

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Blues Lick #12 “Chromatic Sixths”

Congratulations! After finishing this lesson, you will have completed the entire course, “A Study in Blues Piano – Focusing on 12 Licks!”

You will then have learned (1) a complete intro section, (2) lots of raw soloing material (specifically, those 12 licks and their endless possibilities), for you to copy, extend, alter, etc., (3) a solid structure for your soloing (that is, the 12-bar blues structure, with a supporting bass-line). Also (4), you now have a solid “turn-around” to use, which will keep that energy moving forward, into each new chorus, and finally, (5), that same turn-around can be used as an ending (and very effectively).

So, here we go, the final lesson: Lick Number 12, “Chromatic Sixths.”  This pattern is way-cool, and also quite versatile.  It has a traditional, honky-tonk sound you will probably recognize, a real staple of the “boogie/blues/rock/jazz” piano vocabulary.

Continue reading Blues Lick #12 “Chromatic Sixths”