Blues Piano Lessons

Start Playing the Blues!

Jammin’ the BLUES on the piano is nothing but fun! Learn great blues piano licks, scales, chords and theory in these fun and easy to follow videos.

Grab some shades and a cool hat and let’s get the blues rolling!


NEED MORE STRUCTURE? Check out the Curriculum Page for Blues Piano.


In these lessons you will learn a lot of great blues piano chords, riffs, and scales. There is a basic formula that is followed for most blues tunes called the "12 Bar Blues," and once you master it, a whole new world of musical stylings will be at your fingertips. The chord progression is very simple, but you can do so many amazing things with it. You will learn how to see and feel the patterns of the blues scale on piano in a way that makes it fun to create your own unique solos. When you understand some chords and a little music theory you will start to play sweet blues riffs that will surely turn some heads.

Blues Tricks and More


A Quick History of the Blues

Turn up the volume and jam out to some blues heroes of the past!  Blues History


Blues Tricks and Tips

This section contains blues piano secrets that I wanted to highlight.  These are some of my favorite things to use and show off with...or they might just be neat for you to know.

Still, everything on this page is pretty awesome!  Just sayin'.




Blues Basics

Some more blues keyboard tips, tricks, and information you just need to know.



Blues Piano Lessons



12 Bar Blues (Form)

This is the most common chord progression used to play the blues. You can learn how to play the blues on the piano by working on these three chords and your "stank face" (the ugly face players make when truly playing the blues).

12 Bar Blues (Key of C)
12 Bar Blues (Key of A)


8 Bar Blues (Form)

Variation of the traditional form.

8-Bar Blues Form


Chords and Patterns


Blues Piano Chords

You can turn simple major triads into dominant 7th and 9th chords to play some blues chords that sound great.

[Basic Level]Blues 7th Chords (Key of C)
Blues 7th Chords (Key of A)

[Intermediate Level]Blues 9th Chords (Key of C)
Blues 9th Chords (Key of A)

[Advanced Level]Chord Inversions (Key of C)
Chord Inversions (Key of A)


The Right Hand Pattern

Get this trick down for immediate results. The blues pattern is used more than any other movement on the piano. Don't let big words frighten you, but we are going to use something called the Mixolydian scale, which moves the middle and pinky fingers of the right hand while the thumb stays put.

[Basic Level]1 to 4 Movement (C)
1 to 4 Movement (A)

[Intermediate]Right Hand Pattern (C)
Right Hand Pattern (A)

[Advanced]Pattern Tricks (C)
Pattern Tricks (A)


Blues Left Hand


Bass Lines

There are a lot of different options for blues bass lines. Here is a simple option, from basic to advanced, to get you going.

[Basic Level]Bass Line (C)
Bass Line (A)

[Intermediate]Bass Line (C)
Bass Line (A)

[Advanced]Bass Line (C)



Other Bass Lines

Here are some other options for blues bass lines. In order to play them with the left hand and still be able to solo at the same time with the right, you'll have to develop solid muscle memory.

Single Note Blues Bass Lines
Double Note Blues Bass Lines


Using the Blues Scale


The Blues Scale

Playing blues scales on the piano is the foundation for soloing in... the blues. In this lesson, we will use the minor blues scale which consists of the 1 b3 4 #4 5 and b7 of a major scale.  

[Basic Level]Blues Scale (C)
Blues Scale (A)

[Intermediate]Blues Scale (C)
Blues Scale (A)

[Advanced]Blues Scale (C)
Blues Scale (A)


Blues Shape and Drone

This trick uses the blues scale without you knowing it. Just think in shapes and get the patterns down to develop some cool blues riffs that can be used in solos and fills.

[Basic]Blues Shape (C)
Shape Drone (A)

[Intermediate]Drone (C)
Shape Drone (A)

[Advanced]Drone (C)
Shape Drone (A)



Two Shapes

Move your right hand from shape 1 to 2, up and down the piano, for some more blues solo greatness. With enough practice you'll be able to do this with your eyes closed.

[Intermediate]Shape 1 to 2 (C)
Chord Shape (A)

[Advanced]Shape 1 to 2 (C)
Chord Shape (A)


Mixolydian Mode & Tremolos


The Mixolydian Mode

A "mode" is just another kind of scale. The easiest way to think about the mixolydian mode is by taking the major scale and lowering the 7th note by a half step. This will create some really cool sounds.

[Basic Level]Mode Secret (C)

[Intermediate]6th Interval (C)
6th Interval (A)

[Advanced]2nd Inversion Shape (C)
2nd Inversion Shape (A)



Tremolos

Shake it!  By simply taking the notes that are under your fingers and shaking them back and forth you will create a fancy addition to your solo or fills.  Twist and Shout!

[Intermediate]Tremolos (C)
Tremolos (A)

[Advanced]Tremolos (C)
Tremolos (A)


Blues Endings


Common Blues Endings

Here are some great ways to end the song.  Put one of these in your bag of tricks and it will be the cherry on top!

[Basic Level]Blues Ending (C)
Blues Ending (A)

[Intermediate]Blues Ending (C)
Blues Ending (A)

[Advanced]Blues Ending (C)
Blues Ending (A)


 

Putting It All Together


It's time to Really Sound Amazing!

Everything above has been about individual techniques that are used in different parts of a blues solo.  Now we are going to take all of those and put them together to create a sweet sounding jam!  Throughout these lessons you'll be able to see how you can form a great sounding blues solo.