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The Amazing Tetrachord: How to Instantly Visualize Any Major Scale

How to “Permanently Learn” Every Major Scale using the Major Tetrachord

UPDATED: July 20, 2021.

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!

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Sheet Music: Lick #10 from “A Study in Blues Piano”

More Sheet Music for ‘A Study in Blues Piano’

Updated July 15, 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.

Cheers!

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Jazz/Rock/Blues Soloing Tip: Using the ‘Rock-Bottom Four’ of the Blues Scale

A Powerful Tip for Blues, Jazz, and Rock Improvisers

Good day!

Today’s post is about using the first four notes of a blues scale as a moveable pattern, with many ear-catching possibilities that can fire up your solos in unexpected ways.

This “rock-bottom four” pattern, starting on any given note, can produce a wide variety of bluesy, funky, and jazzy sounds, when used in a context of your careful choosing, guided by your ear as the final judge.

This is a slide show, which is a common format that I use on my Instagram page, @piano_w_kent.

I have discovered that these types of posts seem to work well on my Instagram page, so I’m going to start featuring these here, too.

TODAY’S REMAINING SLIDES:

Continue reading Jazz/Rock/Blues Soloing Tip: Using the ‘Rock-Bottom Four’ of the Blues Scale

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Blues Lick #7: The ‘Flat-Three to Five’

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.


Hello!

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

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Free Blues Piano Lessons: A Study in Blues Piano – Focusing on Twelve Licks

Welcome to A Study in Blues Piano!

Course Description

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.

Sheet Music

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


One

Continue reading Free Blues Piano Lessons: A Study in Blues Piano – Focusing on Twelve Licks

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Jazz Improv Lesson: A Nice Drill using “Approach Tones” | Free Jazz Tutorial Video

Good Day!

Here’s a nice jazz drill, to give you practice on:

(1) Adding interest to your melody lines,  by sometimes preceding the “target tone(s)” of a chord with “approach tones;” and,

(2) increased mastery of any given scale, especially as it relates to the underlying chords.

As a result, the repeated act of mindfully (and not mindlessly) practicing this drill can increase your general facility with approach tones, as well as give you (possibly new) theoretical insights regarding chord-scale relationships.


VIDEO

 

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Jazz Soloing Tip #12

Jazz Half-Step Device for Jazz Solos

Hello friends!

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

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Easy 3-finger Technique for Impressive Pentatonic Runs on Piano (that’s right, only 3 fingers!)

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!)

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Blues Piano Crash Course #8: Blue Notes & Pitch-Bending

from The Blues Piano Crash Course

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