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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.



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The 7#9 Chord: Possibly the Funkiest Chord Ever

To all you funked-up rocking hip-hopping bluesy jazzy people out there,

Today’s post features an outrageously funky, bluesy chord which is also used in rock, jazz, and many other places.

This blues-based powerhouse is often called the “Purple Haze” chord, made famous by a Jimi Hendrix song of the same name.  You may also hear it called, more generically, a “Hendrix chord.” (Hendrix did in fact use 7#9 chords in several of his major songs.)

First a SLIDE SHOW, then a VIDEO. Enjoy!

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Getting All Lydian on the IV Chord

Hello from Kent!

Here’s a scale-related concept that works very well for dressing up the ‘IV’ chord of a major key.

In the key of C major, the IV chord is F; it’s called the ‘IV’ because its root note is the fourth step of the scale.

You might also experiment with this approach over any major chord, such as the ‘I’ (that would be C Major, in the key of C) — depending on the type of sound you’re after.

The scale being used today is called Lydian, which is very closely related to the major scale: only one tone (specifically, the fourth step) is different. My video lesson below goes into depth regarding this intriguing aspect of the Lydian scale (vis-a-vis the Major), and shows you various ways to take advantage of its unique sound.


There is a transcription of this lecture, including video timestamps, just below the video itself (edited for easier reading).





Hi this is Kent, I wanted to give you some raw material for playing some nice fills, when playing the IV chord, such as the F chord in the key of C.

And in this lesson. The fills that I’m going to be talking about will be based on a scale called the Lydian scale.


We’ll be talking about the Lydian scale as we go along. And the context of this using this Lydian scale in this lesson would be when you go to the IV chord in a song.


The I chord in C is C major (the chord).

The IV chord would be F.


Okay, so if I’m going from C…to F… (piano playing).
That’s an extremely common progression, but you don’t necessarily have to be going back and forth between F and C. In this case, in this particular imaginary tune, the sound we’re going to go for is to sort of spice up the IV chord.
Using the Lydian scale and the Lydian scale fits in this case if I go from F.2:10
Since I’m in the key of C, I can keep this B-natural, and stay consistent with the C major scale.2:22
Accordingly, a scale starting on the note F, which has the fourth step of the standard F major scale raised by 1/2 step, has the sound of Lydian mode. Again, F major has B flat, F Lydian has a raised fourth step…in this case it’s a B here.
And that B note fits right in the C major scale.
That means that “F Lydian”is one of the “MODES” of C Major.3:36
We can take advantage of that raised fourth in order get some interesting “motion” inside our F4:10
Notice, if I take a G major chord, which is actually the five chord of C, and I superimpose it over the F chord…
4:20 (wow man)
…kind of wants to move back down to F.
However, if I did, let’s say an F chord in some other context…
That’s also a nice spacey jazzy or sounding chord by itself, in many other contexts…..
And let’s say I covered the F chord down here on my left hand.
All right, thanks for listening. Have fun with that, and I’ll see you next time!