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David Bruce - Beginner Blues for Piano Part 4 - Lesson 
 

Piano Lesson: Beginner Blues for Piano Part 4

by David Bruce

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In the final lesson in this series we're going to build a 12 bar blues progression and, using the blues scale in the right hand, improvise over the top. Once you've cracked it, its no exaggeration to say that these simple ingredients can provide you with a lifetime of pleasure! Following on from the improvisation we did in Part 3, the next step is to use the whole of the blues scale (learned in Part 2) in the right hand in our improvisation.

It might sound something like this:





Now it's time to forget the right hand for the moment and look at what's going on in the bass.

To create our 12 bar blues progression we are going to need two more left hand positions. One on F:





and up a tone to G:





The 12 bar blues progression

Now it's time to put it all together.

The basic twelve bar blues follows a 12 bar chord progression as follows:

C - C - C - C - F - F - C - C - G - F - C - C
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10- 11- 12

You remember the first left hand rhythm we learned, using a CG - CF pair in the left hand? Well TWO such pair corresponds to the a bar - or to ONE letter C in this progression. Similarly, 2 pairs on the F chords correspond to a letter F, and the same for G.

So here's how the overall left hand pattern will look.



The final step - have you guessed yet - is to improvise using the full blues scale whilst playing this progression.

The hardest thing about this you may find is remembering to change the left hand pattern at the right point. There's no easy secret to this, other than that old chestnut - practice!

Play the progression over and over again until it's really in your blood before even trying to add the right hand.

You could also start by just playing one or two notes in the right hand before adding other notes later.

Here's an example of an entire 12 bar improvisation:





Where to go from here.



















 


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