Playing the blues on the piano is a fun way to come alive on the keyboard. Not only is it fun for you, as the player, but crowds love hearing the blues too. It is such a unique style of music that isn’t heard as often. If you would like to learn blues piano and take it to the next level, here are three great tricks to add to your arsenal.
1. One Lick at a Time
To play a great blues solo, it’s important that you know how to play licks, and not just one, but a whole bunch of licks to bulk up your skill set. This is one of the most basic blues piano tricks that the professional players use to make their songs sound cool.
To help master this trick, it’s important that you practice it a lot to build up muscle memory. That way, when you are playing a solo, you can rely on that skill and your musical ear to just take over and do them without thinking too much about it, adding them when it feels right.
Before you know it, you will be able to move from one lick to the next with ease and develop a solid ability for playing a more bluesy sound.
2. Hand Independence
A unique part of blues music is having a cool bass line going with your left hand. The right hand is playing a melody that is completely different than the bass line. Doing them at the same time can be a little tricky for new players. Again, putting a lot of practice into the left-hand bass line will go a long way in helping your performances because you can just let it play in “auto pilot” mode.
As you practice your blues scales, you become more comfortable moving up and down the keyboard with a different sound. Throw in some blues piano chords and you understand the combinations of the notes.
Building on those skills, practice developing a rhythm and pattern to rely on, so you can focus on playing a fun melody with the right hand. Practicing will involve just doing the same pattern repeatedly, which can feel a little mundane. To help you master this skill, try using the “TV TRICK” from our blog and blues piano lessons.
3. The Stank Face
When performing the blues, a crowd wants to see you get into it. You can focus on sounding cool for years, but if you aren’t looking cool too, the performance just isn’t the same.
The stank face is a trademark look that you can use when playing a sweet blues lick. All you do is make a face like you just stepped in something nasty and it will make the trick sound even better to the crowd.
If this is something that doesn’t feel completely natural at first, don’t stress it. Practice making the face at home and don’t worry about how you look. You’ll find the right stank face as you go.
With these three blues tricks in your pocket, you will be breaking it out like a professional blues player in no time. Try them for yourself and see how much better you sound and look on the piano.