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.
Continue reading “The Blues Piano Crash Course” Lesson #1 – The Blues Scale
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
Continue reading Blues Piano Licks #1 and #2 from “A Study in Blues Piano — Focusing on 12 Licks”
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
Linus The Jazz Cat Demonstrates: The Best Way To Learn Musical Scales is NOT by Rote Memory!
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!
Continue reading How to Learn Major and Minor Scales: The Half-Step, Whole-Step Solution
Here’s a straightforward way to use three-note chords superimposed over a single static chord, to create a sense of movement “within the chord.”
Continue reading A Simple Way to Create Movement within a Chord
Learn about the Major pentatonic scale, and its cousin, the “Relative Minor” pentatonic scale (a video lesson). The relationship between any major scale (or key) and its relative minor scale or key is explained here as well, in terms of traditional music theory.
“SMOOTHER-SOUNDING SCALES” introduces a simple technique for making your scale passages sound more EVEN; that is, with a more consistent loudness across all the notes. The technique involves deliberately accenting certain notes, then removing the accents. The final result is a more even sounding scale! Voila!
See ya soon!
This is Lesson Two of a three-part video series on “jazzy-rock” improvisation.
(Lesson One is here.)
(Lesson Three is here.)
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.
Continue reading How to Riff on Van Morrison’s “Moondance” – Part 2
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.
How to Riff on Van Morrison’s Moondance – Part 1
Continue reading How to Riff on Van Morrison’s “Moondance” – Part 1
This is Lesson Three of a 3-lesson collection on the topic of “jazzy-rock” improvisation.
Jump to: Lesson One Lesson Two
Lesson Three video
Continue reading How to Riff on Van Morrison’s “Moondance” – Part 3