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

In this first of eleven Blues Piano lessons, discover how a simple six-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 lesson:

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“A Study in Blues Piano – Focusing on 12 Licks” from Piano With Kent

Blues piano lessons from Kent Smith 

 

UPDATE from Kent, Sep. 13, 2018, 7:58 pm PST:

“A Study in Blues Piano” is presently being uploaded to our site here, as I write this. 

All twelve video lessons (they’re taught by me) AND also all eleven video lessons for “Blues Piano Crash Course” (also taught by me)  will be live and accessible 24×7, for streaming directly from this and other pages on this site.

You’re gonna love these courses, I guarantee it!

Here’s what we have so far (below).  FYI, a complete course description, lesson descriptions, and all that, are also coming on line soon.

Lick #1 of 12

Lick #2 of 12

Check back soon!

 

 

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?

Continue reading “Do you need to read music to learn jazz or blues piano?”

Video: Ray Charles “What I’d Say” — Practice your blues licks with this one!

 

What’s up, Blues Cats and 12-bar Chicks?

If you want to get better at your blues piano playing, who better to learn from than Ray Charles? Try playing this video while throwing in your own blues licks on top.  Also try to imitate or paraphrase some of Brother Ray’s.

Here’s some insight to help you:

(1) The key is E.  You can start joining in by using the E-minor blues scale, throughout the whole jam, right hand only.  The E-minor blues scale is E, G, A, Bb, B, D, (E). Even if that’s all you practice here — which is quite valuable — it still helps to realize the following things about the chords involved . (If you’re especially ambitious,  you can try playing these chords in your left hand, while riffing with the right.)

(2) The chords are E7, A7 (added ninth, optional), and B7.

(3) The chord progression is a classic 12-bar blues, in its most basic form, outlined here:

E7 — 4 measures (bars)

A9 (or just A7) —  2 measures (bars)

E7 — 2 measures (bars) 

B7 — 1 measure (bar)

A9 (or A7) — 1 measure (bar)

AND THE TURN-AROUND:

E7 — 1 measure (bar)

B7 — 1 measure (bar) 

Now go back to the top.

(4) Repeat the above progression over and over, as you would in any 12-bar blues.  EXCEPTION: You may notice that the B7 in the turn-around does not happen in the 12-bar introduction, where Ray is playing the left-hand bass line and nothing else.  Here, E7 is implied throughout the last two bars.

(5) In the sections where the band stops, but the singing or soloing continues (called a break, or “stop-time”), the prevailing harmony is four bars of E7, as usual. Each time this break happens, we are sitting at the top of the 12-bar cycle. Therefore, each break leads us right into the A7 at measure 5.

So here’s the video, and have fun!