How to “Permanently Learn” Every Major Scale using the Major Tetrachord
UPDATED on April 15, 2021: The video lesson below is from my blog archives, originally produced in 2014.
I’ve had lots of happy feedback about this lesson, ever since I first posted it on YouTube. People are basically saying that this is the easiest way they have found to learn the notes of all twelve major scales, quickly and painlessly. I learned about tetrachords in my college theory classes, and I have found them to be a little-known “secret” for organizing one’s thoughts about scales and modes. Let me know what you think!
Blues Lick #7: Flat-Three to Five Patterns – From ‘A Study in Blues Piano‘
UPDATED by Kent: Mar. 30, 2021. A video blues tutorial describing a versatile lick pattern for jazz and blues piano.
This short jazzy series of chromatic notes, which I call the Flat-3 to 5, is a familiar expression in the Blues. This easy type of lick (you can alter the lick very easily) is heard in a trillion mainstream jazz and blues melodies, as well as in all related music, anything that has even a touch of Blues Inflection.
Which means, you could call this a cliché.
In the Blues, an improvising (lead) player might belt out a cliché, or ten, to explicitly let listeners know where they are: “You are in the Blues, thank you very much!” Any time you venture off into highly original blues territory, a cliché is a great place to come home to!
LESSON #7 – VIDEO TUTORIAL
More Sheet Music for ‘A Study in Blues Piano’
Updated Jan. 1, 2021.
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.
How to Play ‘Piggyback’ Arpeggios on Piano
Updated: Dec. 31, 2020
Here’s a straightforward way to play impressive sounding arpeggios on your keyboard!
This sounds especially nice on piano when using the sustain pedal!
Continue reading How to Play “Piggyback” Arpeggios
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.
- THIS COURSE IS FREE TO VISITORS WHEN VIEWED HERE ONLY. HOWEVER, ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT ON PIANOWITHKENT.COM REMAINS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL, AUTHORIZED FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY, AND IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR DISTRIBUTION, UNLESS EXPLICITLY AUTHORIZED, IN WRITING, BY KENT D. SMITH OF PIANOWITHKENT.COM.
- Piano With Kent is a US Registered Trademark.
- Thank you for your continued support of free education!
By Kent. D. Smith of Piano with Kent. (c) 2010. (c) 2021. All rights reserved.
THE TWELVE LICK STUDIES
Try this: Go to your instrument and play a C-major scale from top to bottom (C B A G F E D C). Play these as evenly spaced eighth notes in 4/4 time.
You will notice that the final note, the lower C, does not land on a solid beat (in this case, that would be beat one). Instead, it lands on the last eighth note of the previous measure.
Continue reading Jazz Soloing Tip #12
Hello improvisors and jammers: Here’s a powerful way to play impressive pentatonic piano/keyboard licks when soloing in rock, blues, or jazz settings, using only three fingers in your right hand. This video uses the famous “minor pentatonic” scale (“pentatonic” refers to a five-note scale). With a little work you will be amazed how fast you can fly across the keyboard using this simple trick of the trade!
Continue reading Easy 3-finger Technique for Impressive Pentatonic Runs on Piano (that’s right, only 3 fingers!)
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
The following post is not just for jazz players!
It seems to me that contemporary modal improv, which had its jazz birth in the late 1950’s, was a huge influence on the increasingly improvisational rock of the 1960’s, (even when players might not have consciously realized it!), and has never stopped being at the heart of so many great pop/rock/jazz solos until this very day.
This is a brief introduction to the idea of “modal jazz.” We’re going to look at probably the most famous example of modal jazz, a tune called “So What,” by Miles Davis and Bill Evans.
We’re looking at this piece because (1) it was part of a ground-breaking approach to jazz improvisation and composition when it came out, and it’s still definitive of the modal jazz genre (maybe the definitive recording?) (2) because “So What” is the best-known track on one of top-selling jazz albums of all time, “Kind of Blue.”
Continue reading How to improvise in modal jazz: “So What” by Miles Davis