Piano Lesson: Beginner Blues for Piano Part 3

by David Bruce

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In this lesson we're going to stay with the first 4 notes of the blues scales we used in Part 1, but now we're now going to add a bit of rhythm in the left hand.

Listen to the examples throughout the lesson to get a good idea of how things go, but remember, we're improvising! Above all have fun, enjoy playing around with the notes and don't be too scared of making mistakes!

The Left Hand Rhythm

The first part of our left hand rhythm consists of two two-note chords - CG and CA:

Against this the right hand play the first four notes of the blues scale - C Eb F and F#

A few tips:

  • To begin with simply play nothing but eighth notes in the right hand, against the quarter notes in the left.
  • Once you have got the hang of this add a few spaces as in the audio example above - remember what we learned in Part 2 about thinking in terms of questions and answers.
  • On the whole, play neighbouring notes - don't do any big jumps for now, till you get more comfortable with the notes.

A bit of syncopation

To add a little more colour, the final step for this lesson is to add some syncopation to the left hand.

Syncopation means playing off the beat. The left hand is stomping away on the beat, and the idea is to play some notes in the gaps between the left hand note, instead of together with them.

I find it's easier to pick this up by copying an example, so rather than explain things in detail, listen to the two midi clips below and then try to play in a similar style yourself.

Now here's a longer example - no notes, just listen, get a feel for it and then try yourself!

That's is for this lesson.

The final lesson in this series will look at building a full 12 bar blues progression.

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