Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Tickle the ivories? Here's the place to talk about it.

RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby papatex » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:30 pm

Dang it!! I mean the 3 note!!!! (ain't gonna be a white note!)
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby doc williamson » Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:59 pm

Bubba ~ I, too, enjoyed our conversation. There will be other times when we talk. After I spoke with you I called and talked to Walter Tore for almost two hours and we did all the laughing! No problem printing out these lessons, I was thinking about doing the same thing. The gift of music is to be shared.

Mike ~ You are 100% correct about backing up and talking about the western major scale and the steps between notes in a chord. I will NEVER think anyone is trying to take over the lessons, I see it as helpful. I also see it as clarifying and amplifying the lessons. I really need help here, I take so much for granted as "common knowledge" and forget many parts of the basics until someone points it out. I kept trying to think of the proper term last night for "hand shape" and it came to me while reading your post. The term is hand position. Thank you and please post anytime here.

I just went back to reread your post and amplify on it and saw your "Dang It" post. It ain't easy, is it? :-)
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby doc williamson » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:05 pm

I started my previous post sometime before 12:30 and then got a phone call from a blues brother and we talked a long time. I was going to post the scale and steps in a chord but I don't have time. Starting tonight I play 5 gigs in 4 days and I play my Mardi Gras Party gig tonight at 6:00 and have to load up my PA, etc.

Mike, Dr. Ric, Bubba or anyone if you have time could you please post it? If not, I will try to do it tomorrow.
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby littleboyblue » Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:25 am

Thanks for the next installment Doc! I certainly have some stuff to chew on now :) Good luck with those gigs of yours. Sure wish I was one of the lucky one's getting to see ya play.
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby ricochet » Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:57 am

Major scale pattern, going from one root note up to the next root note an octave up:

W=Whole Step
H=Half Step

WWHWWWH

That's your do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do, right there.

CDEFGABC.

The main chords are made by taking alternate notes in the scale, up to 4 of them. So, again using the C major scale as the example, the I chord (I standing for the first note, or degree, of the scale) gives CEG for the triad, or C major. The next note is B. CEGB is sometimes called a CMajor7, but that's ambiguous and another term often used for that is a "delta" chord with the Greek letter delta ? after the letter, or C?. Delta chords aren't much use in blues, so we'll flat the seventh note to a Bb to make a C7 chord, CEGBb. The "first inversion" that's been mentioned is just moving the bottom C up to the top of the chord: EGBbC. The "second inversion" is moving one more note up: GBbCE. And so on.

I'm just gonna stick to triads for the rest. The ii chord (notice the lower case) is a minor, in this case Dmin. DFA. A D major chord is DF#A, so using the notes out of the C scale the D chord we get has the third flatted and is therefore minor. The iii is likewise minor, EGB. IV is major, FAC. V is likewise major, GBD. vi is minor again, ACE. vii is likewise a minor triad, BDF.
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby ricochet » Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:58 am

I see my deltas don't reproduce here. Came up as question marks. A delta is just a triangle. You can forget that anyway. :)
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby doc williamson » Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:36 pm

LBB - Thanks for the kind words. There will be a day when we meet and play together.

Dr. Ric - Thank you for your post.

I am going to amplify on Dr. Ric's post by posting all the major chord triads in the root position. Dr. Ric's lesson is excellent and shows how music is rooted in mathematics so please study his lesson and learn the whole and half steps in the scale. The soul of the music comes from your soul in playing it.

MAJOR CHORD TRIADS

C - C, E, G
C# or Db - Db, F, Ab
D - D, F#, A
D# or Eb - Eb, G, Bb
E - E, Ab, B
F - F, A, C
F# or Gb - F#, Bb, Db
G - G, B, D
G# or Ab - Ab, C, Eb
A - A, C#, E
A# or Bb - Bb, D, F
B - B, Eb, F#
C - C, E, G

You will notice that I mix sharps and flats in the triads in the above, that is the way I think of them. Think of them however you wish. What may be helpful here is how the chord itself is usually notated on chord charts and sheet music:

C
C#
D
Eb
E
F
F#
G
Ab
A
Bb
B
C

OK, I gave you all the major triad chords.

Your homework is to not only learn to play and memorize these chords but also add the flatted 7th using the formula that Dr. Ric posted. It would also help you to know and play the first inversion with the 7th.

LBB had asked about a melody to play with the chords. I am going to breakaway from the way I planned this lesson to write the hook or riff for "Good Morning Little School Girl." I will write the hook notes played and it is up to you (for now) to figure out how many times you hit a note and the timing. The way the song is played is with the riff played on the I (C) and IV (F) chords the V (G) does not play the riff but plays a G7 chord. I am posting the I (C) riff, I leave it to you (for now) to figure out how to play that same riff but transposed to the IV (F). Start the first note an octave up and play the notes down the scale.

GOOD MORNING LITTLE SCHOOL GIRL (Riff Notes)

C - Bb - G - F - C - Eb - C

Good luck and have some patience with yourself.

Any questions? Are you with me so far?
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby doc williamson » Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:55 pm

Dr. Ric wrote:
>I'm just gonna stick to triads for the rest. The ii chord
>(notice the lower case) is a minor, in this case Dmin. DFA.
>A D major chord is DF#A, so using the notes out of the C
>scale the D chord we get has the third flatted and is
>therefore minor. The iii is likewise minor, EGB. IV is
>major, FAC. V is likewise major, GBD. vi is minor again,
>ACE. vii is likewise a minor triad, BDF.

Dr. Ric is helpful and correct on everything here except the very last chord. vii is a dimished chord and written in chord charts, in this case as, Bdim.

In posting these lessons by me or anyone else I think it is important that those with knowledge of the subject correct anything they see wrong in a lesson. No hurt feeling and no misuderstandings. We are all trying to give the gift of music and it is a beautiful thing.

I sometimes get ahead of myself and forget explaining the basics. Please feel free to ask me to slow down and go back or correct anything wrong you see in the lessons I post. Thank you.
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby jeffl » Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:05 pm

Hey Doc: it's one thing to learn all 12 of those chords, but the keys I jam in are mostly A,C,D,E,F,G... it seems to me that these keys cover 98% of the music; Am I wrong...? That only leaves the B triad or 7th to learn,as the V chord in E. Is that right....? (I mean, if you're doin' I,IV,V progressions) I obviously don't know where you're goin' from here, but is there any way we can just concentrate on those keys, or am I being Bubbaly?
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby doc williamson » Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:35 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Feb-09-05 AT 11:37 AM (EST)]Bubba - I posted those root noted triad chords as a reference. The chords you posted are the keys the majority of blues songs are in. I do think it is best to know all the chords however because you never know when they will pop up. I'm thinking we will concentrate on the C chord I, IV, V for awhile until everyone is comfortable with it and then move on to other keys. You can be Bubbaly anytime with me. :-)
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby jeffl » Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:51 pm

Sometimes I show my harp playin' brain, huh. BTW Doc, thanks for your willingness to do this.
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby ricochet » Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:00 pm

>Dr. Ric is helpful and correct on everything here except the
>very last chord. vii is a dimished chord and written in
>chord charts, in this case as, Bdim.

Oops! Sorry, it was late. Thanks for catching that!
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby njgene » Fri Feb 18, 2005 5:41 am

Hi Guys. I'm playing piano/organ again after 30 years of a layoff. I played in a band as a teen and now I'm back paying with a bunch of other 40 somethings. We play mostly rock & roll but a few blues tunes. I've fallen in love with blues piano after listening to Johnnie Johnson. I'm starting to branch out a bit but as much as I love accompanying the band, I'd like to really work on my blues.

I hope the lessons keep coming. What I'd really like to see is all of the blues scales with fingering that works. I've never been able to run those arpeggios down the keyboard and I'd love to learn that as well as all the other great blues riffs that ring in my soul!
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby jeffl » Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:37 pm

Welcome to the pile, NJGene! Watch out when you ask Doc for fingerings; he seems to have figured out alternate fingerings, for different situations. Maybe he'll give us the base ones now, and the alternate ones later. Although, knowin' him, he's got the lessons planned already, out to I-6 or I-7, or whatever.
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RE: Beginning Blues Piano Lessons Here

Postby doc williamson » Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:38 am

Dr. Ric has posted an excellent link to blues piano lessons. You will be able to listen and hear each lesson. This is a very good course I went through it quickly and it is a good place to start blues piano. I will discontinue lessons here because I believe this course will be much more helpful. Please know that I will always be here to answer questions and give help and encouragement. Here's the link:

http://www.playpianotoday.com/blues/3bluesIntro.html
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