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Piano Blues


Piano Blues

Becoming aware of common tones reduces the frequency with which a pianist must look at their hands. The common tones function like tactile anchors for your fingers. You can more easily navigate the notes that move from chord to chord without looking by keeping your fingers in contact with the notes that do not move. Try playing the progression above again using the fingerings indicated in the left hand. Can you switch between Cm7 and F7 without looking at your hand Setting this groove on autopilot in your left hand will free you up to improvise bluesy piano licks in your right hand.

Next, we want to prepare you to improvise with the Beginner Blues Scale. The most common note value used in blues piano improv is 8th notes. Since your left hand is playing quarter notes, that means you will need to play 2 notes in the right hand for every 1 chord played in the left hand. Try playing the 8th note exercise below.

Our next exercise focus specifically on mastering triplets, which is the 2nd most common duration in blues soloing. Triplets are great for adding energy, excitement and variety to your lines. In this exercise below, you will play 3 notes in the right hand for every 1 chord in the left hand.

If you are enjoying this lesson, you will certainly love our 10 Day Blues Challenge. In this absolutely free program you will receive 5 free videos via email in which you will learn even more hallmark blues piano techniques including how to improvise in lower position and upper position, a left hand blues shuffle, the 12-bar blues form and more.

As you can see, there is a lot you can do with just 2 chords and 4 notes that sounds very good! With just a little trial and error, you can be improvising beginner blues piano in no time. Afterward, you can choose one of our Learning Tracks according to your current playing level and musical interests to build up your foundation.

Piano Blues is a 2003 documentary film directed by Clint Eastwood as the seventh installment of the documentary film series The Blues produced by Martin Scorsese. The film features interviews and live performances of piano players Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, Dr. John and Marcia Ball.

In the documentary Eastwood explores his lifelong passion for piano blues and jazz. He interviews artists as Ray Charles, Dr. John, Marcia Ball, Pinetop Perkins, Dave Brubeck, Jay McShann, Henry Gray and shows archival performances of Dorothy Donegan, Fats Domino, Otis Spann, Art Tatum, Albert Simmons, Pete Johnson, Jay McShann, Big Joe Turner, Nat King Cole, Martha Davis, Professor Longhair, Charles Brown and Duke Ellington. Remarkable are two early performances of the Chess Records houseband with Otis Spann (piano), Willie Dixon (bass) and, probably, Fred Below (drums).

Eastwood shows his interest in jazz music with an interview and performance of improvising musician Pete Jolly, who introduces Phineas Newborn. Also Oscar Peterson and Thelonious Monk are present in the film with several performances. Eastwood explains his love for piano playing because of how his mother brought many Fats Waller records home saying; "This is real piano playing!".

The piano was at the height of its popularity at the turn of the century, thanks in part to the ragtime craze, and the piano was bound to find its way into the blues. The earliest known piano blues was barrelhouse, sounding a bit like ragtime but staying within the 12-bar blues style. Barrelhouse was played in the juke joints, where there was always a beat-up piano that needed to be played. The general state of disrepair of these pianos contributed to the sound of barrelhouse and made it easier to hit those in-between notes characteristic of the blues. The roving musician who played this style hammered out the tunes for the drinkers and dancers and tried to be as loud and raucous as possible. One such musician was Cow Cow Davenport: Cow Cow Blues

Summary: Beginners who took piano lessons for one hour a week over the course of 11


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