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Have you always wanted to be the life of the party, able to sit down at the piano and play fun, toe-tapping music for family and friends without needing to drag a lot of music books around or even needing to know how to read music?
If you've taken piano lessons before, have you ever been embarrassed because you couldn't just sit down and play, any time, any place, without needing music in front of you?
Playing the blues is a lot of fun! And with a little time and effort, you too can impress your family and friends with the piano pieces you will learn – and even create – after going through this course.
In this course we will:
-look at 2 common variations of the 12 bar blues pattern;
-learn how that pattern translates to the keyboard; and
-learn several riffs, blues-y sounding chords and an ornament or two that will get you playing blues in no time.
Added to that will be a handful of simple patterns or grooves for the left hand and finally, instruction on how to put it all together.
By the time the course is completed, you will have the information you need to start creating your own simple blues pieces to play for your own enjoyment or to share with others.
Through the use of videos, you will be encouraged to play along as I demonstrate each piece a chunk at a time. Key concepts or patterns found on the keyboard will be reinforced through text documents so you have vital pieces of information to easily access during your practice time. While written music will also be provided I strongly encourage you to learn the pieces as presented in the videos. Of course if you don't already read music, that's fine too. Just prop up the music on your keyboard when you are playing and see how impressed family are friends are when they see what you can play!
As you are going through the course I will be available for questions, responding to them at least once a week if not sooner.
This course can be completed in as little as a month depending on amount of time put into practicing and prior experience. If you have never played blues before, this course will give you a brief but detailed introduction into playing 12 bar blues.
Not sure you like blues? Even if you never played another blues piece again, after this course, you will find your hand independence has developed, you are more skilled at putting the hands together in different rhythms, and you have increased confidence in your improvisation abilities. All of these skill will improve your playing, whatever the style or genre.
What are you waiting for? Make your dreams of playing fun, energizing pieces (without even needing to be able to read music) now. You may never see a better deal than this.
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|Section 1: Getting Started|
There are a few things you need to know before starting on your first song. Finger numbers, the names of the keys and how to find C are the basics you will need to know.
0:23 Numbering your fingers
1:05 Names of the keys
1:55 Finding C
2:50 Hand shape on the keyboard
|Section 2: 12 bar blues pattern and your first piece|
Demonstration of basic blues piece
Many blues pieces are built around what is known as a 12 bar blues patterns. In this lecture we will discuss the 12 bar blues pattern and how to play it with your right hand (RH) on the keyboard.
0:05 12 bar blues pattern
0:35 Memorizing the pattern
1:20 I and playing the C chord
2:00 Alternative ways to play chords
3:13 Finding IV and playing the F chord
4:00 Finding V and playing the G chord
4:30 Putting it all together; playing the whole 12 bar blues pattern
Now that you have mastered the right hand in a basic 12 bar blues piece, it is time to learn what the left hand does.
0:30 Left hand in I, IV and V positions
1:43 Going through positions in the whole pattern
2:23 Thumb movement
3:05 Playing the pinky/finger 5
4:08 Putting it all together in the left hand
5:26 Review and wrap up
In this lecture we will briefly review what the right hand and the left hand play alone and then put it all together.
0:08 Right hand review
0:37 Left hand review
1:36 Putting both hands together for the first time
2:57 Playing the whole song with both hands
|In this lecture you will learn 'the secret' to smoother playing of blues pieces by learning how to manage the hands as they move around the keyboard.
1:00 Demonstration of technique
2:55 Talking to yourself and counting
5:19 Review and wrap up
|Quiz 1||5 questions|
This brief quiz will help you check to see if you have the essentials down before you proceed.
|Section 3: Hobo Blues|
In this lecture we will learn the right hand and the left hand for a second piece, Hobo Blues.
0:00 Hobo Blues demo
1:00 Left hand
1:16 Right hand pattern or riff
2:17 IV position
2:38 V position
2:55 Walking through the whole pattern with the right hand
3:43 Review and conclusion
|Once you have learned the right hand of Hobo Blues you will be ready to learn how both hands go together. This lecture will show you how to do that.
0:00 Review right hand and left hand
0:23 Demonstrate both hand together
0:45 Breaking it down
1:40 IV position with both hands
1:54 Putting it all together
3:15 Hand placement
4:10 Finger 2 replacing finger 3
6:45 Review and wrap up
|Section 4: Saturday Morning Walk|
|In this new song, Saturday Morning Walk, we will work with a new left hand pattern.
0:00 Saturday Morning Walk demo
0:35 Right hand
0:48 New left hand
1:06 Counting keys
1:52 I position and pattern
2:58 IV position
3:44 V position
4:30 An octave lower
4:50 Playing the whole left hand pattern
6:00 Hand position
In this lecture you will learn how to put both hands together for Saturday Morning Walk.
0:00 Review left hand
0:49 Putting both hands together
2:10 Slow and even
3:50 Where we are at: review and wrap up to this point
|Section 5: The Slide|
In this lecture we will talk about what a half step looks like on the keyboard as well as touch on the concepts of up and down. Finally, we will learn how to play a slide and then put it into Hobo Blues.
0:35 Half steps; going up and down on the keyboard
3:20 Putting slides into Hobo Blues (right hand)
4:34 Adding the left hand
5:15 Demonstration of Hobo Blues with slides and both hands
|Section 6: Variations on Saturday Morning Walk|
In this lecture we will continue our discussion of half steps, learn what sharps and flats are, discuss a second variation of the 12 bar blues pattern and learn a new left hand for Saturday Morning Walk putting all of this to practice.
0:32 Saturday Morning Walk 2 demonstration
1:00 Right hand
1:08 Left hand
1:20 12 bar blues pattern - variation 2
2:25 Review of half steps; introduce sharps and flats
6:34 New left hand pattern
8:40 IV position
9:10 Whole pattern with left hand
10:20 New ending
11:14 Review and wrap up
|In this lecture we will look at 2 different ways to put the hands together in this piece.
0:00 Review new left hand pattern
0:20 Variation 1 - hold right hand
1:09 Variation 2 - play chord in each bar
In this lecture we'll look at a fun variation of Saturday Morning Walk 2 that doubles up a note in the left hand and shortens the chord in the right hand.
0:00 Demonstration of piece
0:31 Right hand
0:59 Left hand
2:07 Both hands
2:40 Review and wrap up
In this lecture you will learn two different rhythm variations that you can use when playing Saturday Morning Walk.
0:00 Demonstration of Saturday Morning Walk 3
0:38 First rhythm variation with both hands
2:04 Variation in left hand
3:10 A second rhythm variation: left/right
3:37 Demonstrate new rhythm variation
4:09 Putting the hands together slowly
5:16 Demonstrate second variation again
6:02 Review and wrap up
|Section 7: The blues scale or blues run|
In this lecture you will learn how to play a blues run or blues scale.
0:00 Demonstration and introduction
0:44 Counting half steps
2:22 Pointing to notes
3:00 Thumb and finger 2
4:36 Going up
5:27 Review and wrap up
Once you have a good feel for the blues scale or blues run you can use it to improvise or put it on the end of a blues piece you have played.
0:00 Sample piece
0:40 Using groups of 3 notes
1:20 Adding more notes
1:37 Playing a single note
2:15 Adding a left hand
3:15 Adding a shuffle in the left hand
3:45 Improvising over your basic blues piece
4:14 Tacking a blues run on the end of a blues song
|Section 8: Monday Night Blues|
|In this lecture you will learn a piece that takes its original pattern from the blues run.
0:30 Right hand riff in I position
2:15 Right hand riff in IV position
3:42 Right hand riff in V position
4:43 Second 'I' pattern
5:00 Putting it all together
|In this lecture you will learn how to add the left hand to Monday Night Blues.
0:00 Right hand review
1:00 Left hand riff
2:15 Hand position
2:40 V position
3:25 Both hands, first riff
5:48 Both hands second pattern
6:08 Whole song with both hands
7:35 Adding slides
8:34 Review and wrap up
|Section 9: Echo Blues|
In this lecture you will learn the right hand for a new piece, Echo Blues, which is based off of the left hand in Saturday Morning Walk 2.
0:00 Demonstrate piece
0:30 Left hand
0:38 Right hand
1:00 Right hand fingering
2:31 IV position
3:00 Walking through the pattern
3:45 Fingering of last few notes
4:39 Adding extra notes - I position
5:22 Adding extra notes - IV position
5:50 Putting it all together
6:40 Review and wrap up
|In this lecture you will learn how to put both hands together in Echo Blues as well as fine tune the rhythm.
0:24 Putting both hands together
1:03 IV position
1:32 V position
1:48 Ending notes
3:13 Review and wrap up
|Section 10: Happy Jack Blues|
|In this lecture you will learn a new song, Happy Jack Blues which involves 3 new chords and a modified Hobo Blues riff.
0:44 New chords in right hand - I chord
1:42 IV chord
2:50 V chord
3:13 Review and wrap up
In this lecture you will learn the modified Hobo Blues riff and how to put it together with the chords learned in lecture 22 to complete the right hand of Happy Jack Blues.
0:00 Review chords and pattern
0:25 Modified Hobo Blues riff
0:52 Putting the chords and riffs together - I position
1:24 IV position
2:30 Review and wrap up
In this lecture we will put everything together using both the shuffle and the Saturday Morning Walk 2 groove in the left hand.
0:00 Putting hands together - chords and shuffle
0:50 Putting hands together - Hobo Blues riff and shuffle
2:45 Substituting Saturday Morning Walk 2 left hand
5:00 Review and wrap up
|Section 11: Left First Blues|
|In this lecture you will learn a new riff and see how to combine it with the Hobo Blues riff to create the song Left First Blues.
0:48 Left hand
1:07 Right hand in position I
2:47 IV position
3:50 V position
4:25 Review new I, IV and V riffs
5:36 Putting it all together
6:46 Final tips and wrap up
In this lecture, you will learn how to put both hands together for this final blues piece of the course.
0:00 Review right hand
0:40 Both hands - Left First riff - I position
1:59 Both hands - Hobo Blues riff - I position
4:10 Demonstrate song
4:56 Review song slowly
5:21 Review even slower
6:00 Final tips and wrap up
|Section 12: Some final thoughts|
|In this lecture, we will briefly review the various riffs, licks and grooves learned in this course, look at some ways to change or improvise on a few of the pieces learned, and talk about where you might go from here.
0:15 Review of 12 bar blues patterns
0:38 Left hand review
1:20 Right hand review
4:20 Concluding thoughts
After earning a B.A. in Human Resource Development (Training and Development) from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Karen Gibson moved to Iowa and later New Mexico to raise Arabian horses; concurrently she taught a variety of courses in proprietary business schools in both states. In the early 90s she returned to Chicago and earned a paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University, eventually working as a paralegal in estate planning and later commercial real estate. She has also taught paralegals and legal secretaries.
Desiring to return to her love of teaching, she turned her career focus to teaching early childhood music classes and piano lessons in 2000. Since then she has grown her piano studio to an average of 60 - 70 students, working with children as young as 4 and adults even in their 70s and 80s. "You are never too old or too young to learn!" exclaims Karen.
In the spirit of constantly learning and trying new things, Karen decided to totally revamp her piano studio program and started writing her own pieces to use with her students in 2012. Results have far exceeded expectations and Karen's main goal of working with students young and old as they learn how to create music and have fun with it is being achieved on a daily basis.
In October, 2013, Karen published her first issue of The Piano Bench Mag on Apple's Newsstand.
Recently Karen took up photography and she enjoys photographing nature when she has opportunity to hike or cruise.