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!
BLUES ALERT — PLEASE SHARE THIS!
Coupon Expires March 31, 2018* Here’s a handy dandy discount coupon for my “A Study in Blues Piano” on Udemy: Lifetime access for just $12.99. (List price is $24.99.)
*If you missed the discount window, see the bottom of this post for a another link, where you may find this course at a discount as well.
or use coupon code 88KENT when purchasing.
Please share this with your musical friends!
MISSED THE SALE WINDOW?
If you miss the coupon window, the course can be accessed using the link below. Sometimes Udemy sets their own temporary discounts, so you could get lucky!
Hi folks, I have three new open slots for motivated piano students, in or near Huntington Beach, California (Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Westminster, Santa Ana, or Costa Mesa).
I’m offering lessons in Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop, R&B, Funk, Folk, Worship, Gospel, etc., piano or keyboards. Sorry, no slots are currently open for classical piano, although if you want to learn to read music as part of your “pop” studies, we can certainly do that (learning to read standard piano notation is recommended, at least at the basic level, but is not required).
As part of these lessons, you will gain a mastery of reading, playing, and improvising from chord symbols, such as C7, Ebm7, Dmaj7, etc. This is how the pros in rock, pop, jazz, blues, folk, hip-hop, country, etc., operate — it’s all about chords, man!
If you are simply interested in learning a few of your favorite songs, we can take a more direct approach to achieve that.
Levels taught: Beginner, intermediate, advanced.
Piano lessons are 45-minutes, once per week. In-home lessons are available.
Hey Blues people! Wassup from the OG (Old Guy). Let me show you this nice 12-bar opening, to get your jam started. I’ve also included something to get your improv going after the intro.
NOTE: You can buy this entire course here The Blues Piano Crash Course++
You might be interested to know that the information in the first two lessons below was shared with me when I was fourteen years old, at a time when I knew zero about playing piano. I did have seven years of drumming experience by that time, however. The guy who showed me this stuff was a drummer as well. Since I had the advantage of good two-handed coordination skills on the drums, and the additional advantage of piano being a percussion instrument, I was able to go home that afternoon and start seriously jamming on my parent’s piano. My dad came home from work that evening and he said, “When did you learn how to play the piano?” I’ll never forget that day! After about a year, I was playing keys in a band. I started taking formal piano lessons, and eventually I got a college degree in piano and general music. In other words, Blues was the beginning of my entire career as a piano and keyboard player.
What does all that mean for you? Assuming you already play either a little piano, or another instrument, there is enough raw material in this post to get you seriously going on blues piano. On completion of the first few lessons below, you will already have enough information to start sounding like you actually know what you’re doing.
As with all other video-based lessons on this site, it is not necessary to read music.
“Music is like magic. If you convince the audience, you are a success.” — Me
Lesson One: The Blues Scale
Lesson Two: A Left-hand Groove
Lesson Three: Five Must-know Riffing Devices
NOTE: You can buy this entire course here: