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!
I did this a few years ago based partly on the main theme of Für Elise (officially, Beethoven’s Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor) . Apologies to Beethoven!
Hello improvisors and jammers: Here’s a powerful way to play impressive pentatonic piano/keyboard licks when soloing in rock, blues, or jazz settings, using only three fingers in your right hand. This video uses the famous “minor pentatonic” scale (“pentatonic” refers to a five-note scale). With a little work you will be amazed how fast you can fly across the keyboard using this simple trick of the trade!
Here’s a straightforward way to use three-note chords superimposed over a single static chord, to create a sense of movement “within the chord.”
OTHER SHEETS (with Letter-notes included):
Here’s a collection of easy-to-read, easy-to-play sheet music I created a few years ago. This collection resides on my older website, which is has been purged of most stuff, but still has these sheets on it. The notes are all labeled with their associated letter-names (such as E, Bb, F#), as an aid to reading, for those who don’t read well.
These are all free and can be downloaded as PDF files. See link below.
Be advised, these are easy arrangements, some of which are also abridged. Claire de Lune, for example is simplified, and only covers the opening theme.
Here is a list of the pieces:
Claire de Lune (intro)
Star Spangled Banner
Ode to Joy
Minuet in G (Bach’s)
Here’s the link:
Learn about the Major pentatonic scale, and its cousin, the “Relative Minor” pentatonic scale (a video lesson). The relationship between any major scale (or key) and its relative minor scale or key is explained here as well, in terms of traditional music theory.
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!
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.
Ain’t life grand? As in grand piano?
Here’s a follow up to my recent post about “Fourth Chords.” I made this second video to give more insight regarding how “fourth chord” shapes can be superimposed over various roots, to create refreshing voicings for standard chord types, such as major, minor and dominant seventh chords. The goal here is to focus on the practical side of putting these shapes into use!