Thanks very much Willie, i am a very beginneronly 4 months on the piano, and this is very usefull, many thanks from Spain. Thanks Will and Val, I really enjoy these little riffs…. Concurring with Gene M…. Great basic stuff, really important. Very kind of you to post this stuff!! Sincere thanks. Willie, thanks for the explanations. If you play the piano in any local clubs or lounges I sure would like to come. How about a list of your engagements???????? Sounds hard — plays easy with your help!

Thank You Willie!! I find the virtual keyboard on top of your piano very helpful. You go right to the point. And explain with few words and a lot of meaning.

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Willie — very good basic stuff — easy to learn and very effective. Will be joining your blues programme in the new year. Your attention to detail is just beautiful…. Thanks so much. I plan to become a member as soon as my next work stint ends.

Will be going through the free lessons as soon as I receive them.Today I want to talk to you about the 12 bar blues. The 12 bar blues is a chord progression used in blues and rock music that lasts for 12 bars. Gee, I wonder where it got its name? The chord progression is easy for beginners because it only uses three chords, the root, the fourth, and the fifth. We will be playing it in the key of G, so our chords are G, C and D. The basic structure of the 12 bar blues is 3 lines of 4 bars each.

In the key of G it looks like this:. Most of that should make sense to you. Looking at the progression, you'll see that you play the G chord for four bars, the C chord for the next two, back to the G chord for two, then one bar each of the D, C and G. But what is it about the last bar. The last bar of the 12 bar blues is called a turnaround. It's just a little filler to get you back to the five chord, at which point the progression repeats.

There are all sorts of turnarounds in blues music, but we'll talk about those a little later. For now, let's put our blues progression to work! I'm going to show you a simple pattern that you'll hear in a lot of blues and early rock music.

With your left hand find the G key and the D key and strike them both together. The next part of the pattern is to strike the G key and the E key together. What you want to do is alternate between those two sets of notes. To really get that bluesy sound, try this combination of quarter notes:. If you can't quite get the feeling or the rhythm, watch the video and listen to me play.

After you play that pattern four times, it's time to move it to the C chord. Just remember that you are playing the root note and alternating between the fifth and the sixth notes.

See if you can work out what those notes are for the C and D chords yourself. I bet you can! If you have gotten the left hand rhythm down, let's put our right hand to work! We could just play the chords with our right hand, but that isn't going to sound very bluesy. The blues gets its sound from the use of the flatted third or the flatted seventh or both. We are going to create a simple little right hand pattern using the third and the flatted seventh.

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For the G chord play the third and flatted seventh together, that a D and an F. Now for variety, just move your fingers one key over and play the E and the G.

blues piano licks in c

As you play the steady rhythm in your left hand, experiment with different patterns of the right hand pattern I just taught you. Feel free to use it sparingly, it functions very well as accent notes. You can watch the video for ideas.

blues piano licks in c

But when you get to the turnaround, what do you do? You can watch the video to see mine, or experiment with some of your own. A simple one is just to quickly play the first four notes of the scale that the song is in, in our case G major, then, when you get to the fifth note, play the chord instead.Learning jazz language can happen in a lot of different ways. Listening to jazz, learning solos by ear, or learning jazz standards. But if you want some quick and helpful rewards for your time investment, learning licks is a great way to go.

Licks are short musical phrases, usually played over the context of a chord or chord progression. Therefore would it be a great idea to learn licks over chord progressions? You bet! The most important thing you can do is learn them, and then practice them the right way. These are fantastic, simple ideas composed by former LJS contributor Camden Hughes, and he packed these full of fantastic lessons. This mini-course will help.

Play through each one, and try to get the feel for them. If you find one you like in particular, hone in on that one.

blues piano licks in c

The more jazz language you learn the easier improvising in jazz gets. Again, licks are great to learn and very helpful. But jazz improvisation has so much more too it. C is either used in a scalic figure using the jazz minor harmonic minor would have a Bb.

It comes from A7 chord. A7 is the dominant of D Why in some licks 37, 45, and others the major 7 C is used over the minor 7 chord Dm7?

Basic 12 Bar Blues Tutorial

Comes from a substitution? In addition to bebop scales, the C is seen in D melodic minor, and sometimes it's acting more like a LNT lower neighbor toneyou can approach almost any note with a chromatic LNT. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.Learning riffs on the piano is an awesome way to sound amazing quickly. In this lesson, I'll teach you three simple blues riffs that pack a lot of punch! Not only are these really fun to play, but they will also help you to understand the blues scale on a deeper level.

The first riff is really common in TV and Film. In fact, the sitcom 30 rock uses it as their opening theme! It uses the coolest elements of the blues scale to great effect. We bop that E note a couple times at the top and then crawl back down the same way we went up. Play this in any key using the blues formula. This riff uses the same notes but in a different order.

Same notes, different order, whole new sound!

Blues Piano Licks

Try this in a variety of keys! This riff packs a funky feel and uses some harmony notes for an extra kick.

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My first notes are A on the bottom with my thumb, and then E-G played together on top. Afterward, I play A once again to reset my pattern and bump my top notes up back to D and Ffinishing with one more anchoring of A in the bottom and a C-E on top. There you have it! Lisa has taught in a variety of settings from beginners just getting started to recording artists preparing their songs for the road. While her background is classical, she loves helping students play the music they love by ear and is excited to be a part of YOUR journey.

Musora Media, Inc. All Deals. Free Resources. For Beginners. Latest Posts. A Drummer?!?! Hi, I'm Lisa Witt Lisa has taught in a variety of settings from beginners just getting started to recording artists preparing their songs for the road.The idea is not to prescribe you a number of licks, but rather break down the common concepts which you hear in blues solos, and this will then empower you to listen and transcribe your own blues licks and lines.

Learn blues piano lesson 1

For an example of how effective single note blues melody lines can be, take a listen to this section of the Bill Evans "Blues in F" record in the blues forum thread. Bill makes it interesting by first of all, not just using the notes of the minor blues scale, he is using the extended blues scale which opens up much more melodic possibilities and interesting chromaticism.

Next he creates a motif using a turn and he repeats over all of the different chords. This is a million times more interesting than just running up and down the basic minor blues scale. If we combine this with some single note melody lines, you will be able to see how things are starting to sound more interesting. In the F extended blues we could also do this from the b5 to natural 5 with b7 on top. Listen to any bluesy players and you will hear them using this kind of device.

This is perhaps the most characteristic elements of blues licks and you will hear it in virtually any blues recording. Download theory supplements, midi files, chord changes and full note-for-note transcriptions of every lesson. In this lesson we discuss some general improvisation concepts for This Masquerade and also any other jazz standards you are working on.

There are a number of F Blues records in the forum where you can find inspiration to transcribe your own lines. If you want to truly absorb the phrasing, rhythm and articulation of blues licks, you need to transcribe them, just copying me will give you some insight, but it won't be ingrained in you because you haven't spent the time to listen.

Remember that you can use the speed controls at the bottom of the video player, this will slow down the performance to. When you played the 12 bars, did you use the F extended scale throughout? Or you switched up when going to G?

12 Killer Blues Licks You Must Know

For example, you can play bits of the blues scale, and then create an approach pattern, or an enclosure into the chord tones of the upcoming chords. Try not to just think of 1 scale over the whole progression. The chord tones are very important and that is the focus of this course.

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Also check out the jazz improvisation course here: pianogroove. If you goal is to learn to improvise freely, do not ignore this advice…. You must listen to a LOT of blues records, anytime in the day that you have the chance to listen… do it!

The more you listen, the better you will become at improvising. To get them in your head, you must listen and transcribe from records. The material and concepts covered in this lesson will help you understand what you are hearing.

But you must try to emulate recordings yourself.For those willing to pay their dues and play the blues, these licks are a rite of passage and a continuous source of inspiration. Presented here for your edification are 12 classic blues phrases, each with a certified pedigree. You can drop any of these into a blues-based progression and come out smiling. A quick run through these shapes will help wake up our hands and minds. Notice that it contains the root, b3rd, 4th, b5th, 5th and b7th degrees of an A major scale.

The second pattern, FIGURE 2is a reduced version of this same scale, which includes only the root, b3rd, 4th, 5th and b7th.

Resolving to the root A of the I chord allows us the opportunity to follow with a lick that can chart an entirely new course, which is exactly what we see next. The bends to the b5th Eb and the b7th G tantalize our auditory nerves before resolving smoothly to the 4th Dwhich is the root of the IV chord. Any listing of the great blues guitar licks would have to include its fair share of B.

King-isms, and this one is no exception. The bend of the b7th G to the root A should be executed with the pinkie, backed up by the ring, middle and index fingers.

Accurate intonation and a steady wide vibrato are paramount to make this bad boy sing. Start with your ring finger, using it for the full-step bend and the repeat of the root A. Use your index finger for the b3rd C and the bend and vibratoed major 3rd C. The resulting dyad A—C provides the 5th and b7th of the IV chord, reinforcing its bluesy, dominant 7th flavor. The quarter-note bend that begins each beat imparts an elastic feel that is quite captivating. Walk down the chromatic run E-Eb-D with your ring, middle and index fingers.

Articulate the half-step bend with your ring finger.

Blues piano licks and riffs

Note the use of Eb as a passing tone between E and D, and the half-step bend from the B to C - neither of these twists belongs to the A blues scale. Bend up to the 3rd C with your ring finger, holding it while you play the 5th E with your pinkie. Vibrato the root A with your index finger like a hummingbird. Use one continuous upstroke to zip down the run to the 5th E.

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Play the root A with your ring finger, crossing over it with your middle finger to access the 5th. Try doing the same yourself. Remember all of these licks can be moved up or down the fretboard, which means that you can fit them into just about any key. So find a lick or two that you like and practice it up and down the neck. Hungry to further improve as a guitarist?This is the first lesson in our study of the 12 bar blues.

We will start off right at the beginning, talking about what the 12 bar blues is, how it is constructed, and how it is played. We will then explore some different ways you can voice the chords using our knowledge of rootless chord voicings, chord extensions and alterations.

The 12 bar blues is the most common blues chord progression. This is because the flat keys are preferred by horn instrumentalists such as the sax and trumpet players.

You will also find blues written in other keys but these two are by far the most common. Most jazz standards are 32 bars long and so the blues form is less that a third of the length of a typical jazz standard.

Also notice that all of these chords are dominant chords. If we analyse the chords numerically, this is what we get:. In the simple 12 bar blues we play all of these chords as dominant 7th chords so the three chords we will be using are F7, Bb7 and C7. We start off in bar 1 with F7 which is the 1 chord. In the simple blues, this lasts for the whole line which is 4 bars, or a third of the entire progression. On the second line, we have 2 bars of the IV chord which is Bb7 and then back 2 bars of the I chord which is F7.

On the 3rd line, we have 1 bar of the V chord which is C7, 1 bar of the IV chord which is Bb7 and then a final 2 bars of the I chord F7 to finish the form. In the next lesson we are going to introduce the jazz blues form. The jazz blues contains more complex harmony including both a major and a minor Download theory supplements, midi files, chord changes and full note-for-note transcriptions of every lesson.

Its very closely related to the standard jazz blues so learn that progression first. Be aware that you would never use these root position voicings with the chord tones stacked sequentially. This was just a for demonstration purposes. Instead use your knowledge of rootless voicings, chord extensions and alterations to create interesting sounding left hand voicings.

You should always analyse the scale in terms of the underlying harmony. We actually cover this exact concept later in this blues series, check out this lesson: pianogroove. We identify that the F Blues Scale over Bb7 gives you the 5th, 7th, root, b9, 9, and 11th, in terms of Bb7.

The inclusion of the b9 in particular makes this an excellent choice of scale to use over Bb7. We do this by grace noting off the Bb into the B Natural. Remember that you can augment blues scales with other modal scales, and of course pay attention to the voice leading in your lines 7ths falling to 3rds. Check out this lesson where we explore how to infuse the blues scale with other modal scales: pianogroove.


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