A Nice Technique for Smoother Scales

“SMOOTHER-SOUNDING SCALES” introduces a simple technique for making your scale passages sound more EVEN; that is, with a more consistent loudness across all the notes. The technique involves deliberately accenting certain notes, then removing the accents. The final result is a more even sounding scale!  Voila!

Video: Smoother Scales

See ya soon!



“A Study in Blues Piano” Course Coupon (starts now, offer expires 3/31/2018)


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.

The Course at $12.99 (coupon is automatic)

or use coupon code 88KENT when purchasing.

Please share this with your musical friends!

Expires March 31, 2018 so act now! 


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!

The course at regular price ($24.99) (may be discounted by the vendor)



Openings NOW for 3 new piano students in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Westminster, Santa Ana, or Costa Mesa, California (individual private lessons).

Contact me here!

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.


Contact me here!

The notes to “Für Elise” on piano (sheet music and video)

Für Elise “letter notes” sheet music, plus a “Für Elise notes” reference video

Below is a printable page of Fur Elise piano sheet music, which I’ve marked up for you, to include each note’s letter name (E, A, B, D#, etc.) .  I’ve used this method with many of my early piano students, allowing them to start playing great sounding pieces that are well beyond their current reading level. This approach is best for people with a general idea of how piano notation works, but who are weak on associating all those lines and spaces with the keys on the piano.

Note, this sheet music covers only the famous first section of Fur Elise, the part most people have heard.

I left out various markings such as dynamics, crescendos, phrase markings, and pedal markings. This is so the inexperienced music reader can focus strictly on the keys to be played. The WAY they are played, and the RHYTHM in which they are played, can be gathered by listening to a good recording of Fur Elise, and/or by looking at the standard notation.  Regardless, I guess it almost goes without saying, the ideal way for an early/intermediate piano student to learn this piece is with a professional piano teacher, although not all people have that luxury!

Side laugh: I once had a young student who thought for a while that I was saying “Furry Lease” as the title.  Cute!

Für Elise Sheet Music with Letter Notes

Für Elise Slow-motion Reference video (not a performance)


Beethoven’s Für Elise – Slow-motion video for reference

Here’s a slow-motion demonstration of the notes to Beethoven’s Für Elise.  Shown here is the most well-known first section of the piece.

This is not a performance video.  Meaning, you can’t take cues from this video on the phrasing, dynamics, tempo, pedaling, etc.  However, many people find it useful to have a reference like this, especially those who play by ear, and are simply trying to acquire the notes.

A Good Way to Learn All Your “Thirteenth” Chords (by Pattern, NOT by Rote)

Hello again, piano people!

Todays’ post is about learning “thirteenth chords” on piano. In this video, you will learn a good way to learn and retain all twelve of the standard 13th chords without resorting to rote memorization.  In my experience,  I discovered early on that learning scales and chords by rote — that is, note-by-note, without any understanding of the patterns they all have in common — is the worst way to go.  Learning the underlying patterns that consistently define all scales and chords is absolutely where it’s at!


Honky Tonk


via Daily Prompt: Honk

So I’m responding to a blogging “prompt” here on WordPress.com. The prompt for today is “Honk.”

Honk…Honky-tonk…Honky-tonk piano!  I knew I would get to the piano sooner or later.  In this case, two degrees of separation.  Musically speaking, two half-steps?

Since my blog is mostly for piano players, here’s something I composed for piano a few years back, while thinking of a honky-tonk in the Old West.  I didn’t actually have time to learn the piece, so I just wrote it down and then created a MIDI file from that.  This video is just an audio capture of the MIDI file being played back on my PC.  In other words, I did not physically perform this version. Give credit to robots when credit is due.

Doc Holliday’s Waltz

via Daily Prompt: Honk