Blues for Piano and Keyboard
Blues Piano Lessons – Chapter 15 Overview
In this edition of the online piano lessons course titled “Blues for Piano and Keyboards”, we’re finally breaking down the blues piano introduction that is posted at the beginning of every lesson!
Covering many new advanced keyboard blues concepts as well as 18 brand new blues piano riffs, this lesson is a wealth of information for those who really want to dig in!
Using the blues introduction posted at the beginning of many of our lesson videos as a vehicle for study, this lesson goes through each riff in ultra slow motion, up-close video. You’ll see each finger placement and chord voicing in detail.
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In addition to learning the specific notes and fingerings of each riff, we’ll also explore the music theory behind them. You’ll dig into such concepts as:
“Anchor Points”: Learning how to lock down the rhythms of very difficult asymmetric phrases.
“Parallel” vs. “Contrary” harmony: This little used-secret can bring a brand new sound to your playing!
“Advanced chord extensions and voicings”
“An expansion of concepts presented in earlier chapters”
After going through the previous 14 chapters of this course, you’ll be ready for all of the riffs and concepts presented in this advanced lesson – Enjoy!
Partial Transcript from this Piano Lesson:
Welcome, to KeyboardBlues.com. This video is a quick overview of some of the highlights from the piano lessons series titled “Blues For Piano and Keyboard”
Blues Piano Lessons Chapter 15. There is a lot of stuff to study in this keyboard lesson. We’re going to study 18 brand new blues piano riffs.
These are really advanced riffs. Riffs that build on everything in the previous blues chapters I’ve taught. So if you’ve gone through and nailed down the concepts in chapters 1 through 14, you’re ready for everything in this piano lesson.
In addition to learning 18 brand new blues riffs, we’re going to explore some concepts that we haven’t even touched on yet. Specifically, we’re going to look at something called “anchor points”. This is the best way to lock down some really difficult phrases on the piano. If you ever get to the point where you wonder, “How am I ever going to get my hands together on this?” or, “How am I going to make this phrase fall right rock solid in the rhythm”? – Once you get the concept of learning to use anchor points, your confidence, as well as your piano playing will improve dramatically.
To begin, let’s go through the song that we’re going to use in this piano lesson. Now you’re going to recognize this. When I play this up to speed with the full Blues band, you’re going to say “Hey, that’s the introduction video that you use on all your piano lessons.” True, but, I’ve never used it in a lesson because the blues riffs in here are really quite advanced. But we’re going to nail em’ note for note in this lesson.
I’m going to play through this a couple times and I’ll play through the full song up to speed with the band. Then we’ll slow it down and give the band a break and I’ll strip it down to just piano at about half speed. So you’ll see the whole thing isolated on the piano nice and slow, the second time. First, here’s the whole thing up to speed with the band.
[Piano Music Playing]
That’s absolutely so much fun to play. Let’s go right into the lesson now. You’ve already seen me play the entire song with the band up to speed and that’s so much fun. But now let’s start to break it down. I’m going to give the band a break and I’m just going to play only piano at about half speed. So you’ll see it all the way through nice and slow. For the remainder of the hour We’ll go through all 8 (FADES OUT)
Since this piano lessons video is just an overview of the highlights from chapter 15, I’m going to jump ahead in the piano lesson now. I’m going to jump to the portion of the video where we’re going through each of the riffs, there’s eighteen of them in here, all quite advanced. But, we go through all of them up close and personal. Nice and slow, and we detail not only the riffs, but the theory and the concepts behind them. Here’s a couple video samples from those sections. Riff number three, two hands nice and slow. The left hand is going to have to be played up an octave, because you can’t see it. Normally, it’s here. So I’m going to play it up here where you can see it, but nice and slow. Now it starts pretty simple, right? One, two. Some slidin’ or some grace notes going’ on in the right hand you’re familiar with that. But for the remainder of the riff the right hand is squeezing in a lot of notes in between the beats like this. To really help facilitate, get the timing down I’m going to show you something called “Anchor Points”
Anchor points are where the right or the left hand hit together. Now since the left hand is panning out the quarter notes. Wherever the right hand hits with those quarter notes, will be the anchor points. Meaning, the hands play together. Let me’ show you.
[Piano Lessons Video Playing]
Here’s the first anchor point. Here’s the next. Riff number 6 up to speed sounds like this… kind of an interesting little riff. A lot of chords are going through there look at that. Gm Em-5, A7+5, and D7#9 sounds like a calculus equation. Let’s take a look at it, in detail.
The right hand has an entrance of seven squished little baby notes. Then there’s an anchor point there, right? And, in the last measure there lots of hands together. And then, a classic shake. Borrowed from all the silent movies of the past.
Riff number nine is the old Jerry Lee Lewis Great Balls of Fire riff. Which was setting us up for riff number 9, which is over C. Immediately, the left hand grabs this fat comp chord. What is that? It’s a C13, minus the root. You’ve got the third, the thirteenth, the seventh, the dominant seventh and a ninth. Minus the root. Then it does a little move up, to another chord. Which is a D flat. Nine chord 3, 7, 9, and back. We studied that, in a previous blues chapter It’s called the half step push. Here it is with the root. In context, you’re not really changing the chord of the whole measure to a Db, you’re just passing back and forth.
That’s actually my favorite little spot in the whole thing. It’s kind of an angular little phrase with that A7+5 down on there. And it ends with a D7 sharp nine, since the left hand is just sitting and holding that D7#9. The right hand doesn’t really have an anchor point, or a point where both hands play together very much. So it’s really easy to get lost in your rhythm. Here’s just a reminder. If you ever find you’re in a situation where primarily just one hand is playing and you’ve got to play a lot of notes and fit them in and get the rhythm just right, and you don’t have any anchor points where you’re hands play together to lock the rhythm to, here’s the trick: Pick out an accented note to head for. Make that your goal. Watch this. So in between there, there’s lots of little notes with lots of little rhythms. But I don’t have to think about that I just know where I’m headed, that’s my goal. If I place that F in the rhythmic spot of the piano music where I want it to, the rhythm of all those internal notes will take care of themselves.
This has just been a quick overview of some of the highlights taken from the piano lessons series titled “Blues For Piano and Keyboard, Chapter 15″ You can download the entire lesson at “KeyboardBlues.com”.