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“The Blues Piano Crash Course” Lesson #1 – The Blues Scale

Welcome to the Blues Piano Crash Course, Lesson One!


In this first of eleven Blues Piano lessons, discover how a simple 6-note scale — the famous “Blues Scale” — is a musician’s gold mine for creating original blues sounds. Immediately after this lecture, you can sit down at your piano and start creating bluesy licks and melodies that are all your own.

You may find it interesting to learn that a piano player who knows how to make nice licks, using only this C Blues Scale (the one introduced here), could technically sit in on a blues  jam session in the key of C.

Here’s the video.

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“Basic Professional” system for voicing chords with a melody

PREMIUM CONTENT (VIDEO PORTION) – Supporting Members Only

Audience: This lesson is for anyone studying the use of chords on piano.  In particular, pianists and keyboard players who work from song charts, fakebooks, lead sheets, and the like.

In order to fully benefit from this lesson, one must know the basics of constructing chords on the piano, including the standard “seventh” chords,  such as the major seventh, minor seventh, and dominant seventh chord. (By “constructing,” I mean knowing the member notes that make up such chords, starting on any root.)

Today’s video lesson presents a straightforward system for choosing an underlying support structure that uses both hands, providing a nice “default” approach when playing a melody with supporting chords.

Enjoy!

Kent

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Blues Piano Licks #1 and #2 from “A Study in Blues Piano — Focusing on 12 Licks”

Students of blues, pop, jazz, rock, et al:

This is the first lesson in my course,  A Study in Blues Piano: Focusing on 12 Licks.

BLUES LICK #1:  Energy

Lick #2, plus all the others, are available 24×7 to members of Piano With Kent (All-Access).

BLUES LICK #2:  Da-boo-da, Boo-dee-ooo

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Do you need to read music to learn jazz or blues piano?

Wassup! Today I’m sharing my reply to a question from a student at Udemy.

STUDENT QUESTION:

Hi, Kent!

This is a two part question; first off, is there anything you recommend (videos, specific techniques, etc) to improve my sight-reading that won’t make me want to shout profanities?

I’ve Googled it obviously, but I’m curious about your opinion, as I enjoy your method of teaching.

Secondly, do you find skilled sight-reading necessary for jazz and blues? In other words, in your professional opinion, can I learn to be a proficient jazz and blues pianist without tackling my fear/hatred of sight-reading?

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Blues Piano Crash Course #9: The Melody Machine

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!

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How to Learn Major and Minor Scales: The Half-Step, Whole-Step Solution

Linus the Jazz Cat on Piano. Piano With Kent. Music lessons sheet music.

Linus The Jazz Cat Demonstrates: The Best Way To Learn Musical Scales is NOT by Rote Memory!

The Gist

Any scale, such as Major or Minor, is defined by its own unique series of half-steps and whole steps. These intervals, half-step vs. whole step, are both measured in terms of a chosen pair of notes, and the musical parts they play in defining the overall sound of any particular scale.

*Half-steps and whole-steps are covered in-depth here on this website, in more than one video. These intervals come up all the time when discussing scales, chords, and general music theory!

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How to Riff on Van Morrison’s “Moondance” – Part 2

Hello!

This is Lesson Two of a three-part video series on “jazzy-rock” improvisation.

(Lesson One is here.)

(Lesson Three is here.)

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These three tutorials would fit somewhere near the center of the jazzy-rock genre spectrum, if there was one.

I guess there could possibly be a jazzy-rock genre officially defined somewhere, like in a big canvas binder at the Genres Office, or like that. Regardless of the possibility of this being regulated, I’m using the term freely here, maybe even whimsically.

If I had a managing editor you would not have seen the previous paragraph. Don’t worry, with your continued support, I will hire a managing editor.

Van Morrison’s Moondance is the “jamming vehicle” we’re using in this trio of lessons. Moondance is a catchy tune, and it serves really well as a straightforward case study in jazzish-rockish piano improvisation.

 

VIDEO LESSON:

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How to Riff on Van Morrison’s “Moondance” – Part 1

 

Today we have two video lessons, either of which is a good introduction to a pretty simple notion, which I sometimes like to call the “melody machine.” With this, I’m not suggesting some big new original conception. On the contrary,  the concept I’m calling the melody machine is about as old as music itself.

If that nickname sounds a little gimmicky, it’s really not meant to be. I actually do call this device a “melody machine,” in my own thinking, part of an ongoing process of internalizing my favorite composition devices. Also, it’s fun to say, just like saying “Lollapalooza” or “Isn’t she pleasant?”

In a nutshell, this lesson shows you certain ways of using an underlying chord progression as a “thought generator” for creating melodic material.

First:

How to Riff on Van Morrison’s Moondance – Part 1

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