Blues Lick #1 "Energy"
Lick number one uses the first five notes of the blues scale, with the right hand in a fixed position. The repeating triplet figures build a sense of rhythmic excitement. Like all the lessons in this collection, there are tips fortransposing thislick into the key of your choice.
Blues Lick #2 "Da-boo-da, Boo-dee-ooo"
In David Sudnow's classic book, "Waysof the Hand," he describes hispersonaljourney towards becoming an accomplishedpiano improviser. Eventually, he discovers thesecret to playinggreatjazz(or blues)lines: Sing! That is, above all, you must mentallysing the ideas (hear them in your head,as something youwouldsing).Then, translate that "sound"to your fingers. You don't need to be an accomplished singer to do this. It's reallyabout the act of singing in your head,not so muchyour vocal accuracy.Which brings us to the name of this lick! If you sing"Dabooda, Boodie You" with a solid rhythm, it will be much easier to adapt the ideabehind thislickinto your solos. (Each note in this lick is tied to one syllable in the name.) When you watch thisvideo, Ithink you willsee what I mean.
Blues Lick #3 "Boogie House"
Here's one that feels right at home in a classicboogie-woogiepianogroove,as well as in ahard-driving modern"boogie rock"or "boogie country"jam.At the end of the day, this lickfits in anywhere that is bluesy or funky. So think of the classicboogie-woogie beatas you get the rhythmicfeel of this pattern. The way thatI'm demonstrating thislick keepsthatboogiefeeling in mind.So,don't justthink of the individualnotes;listen to the groove too, and tap your foot while you work on this!
Blue Lick #4 "You Gimme the Run Around"
I call this type of lick a "run-around" lick. The idea is,licks like these are easy to turn into excitingruns that can goup and down the keyboard. Similarly, they can support a burstof improv that goes "running around,"back and forth, changing directions easily,within a space of anoctave or two.
Blues Lick #5 "Ba-do-dee You Bop!"
AswithLick #2, I named this one with syllables that match eachnoteofthe pattern, so thatyou can sing the name of the lickas you practice it, which isa really good way to getthe feel of it, and also toget the thing into your Blues vocabulary.You might want to read mylesson description forLick #2 for more insight on that idea.
Blues Lick #6 "Locked Up"
This is a really exciting technique for what I like to call the "Big Blues" sound. By "Big Blues," I mean dramatic, exciting, full, like you might hear from a jazz bigband. This kind of lickalso works greatfor building to a climax in your "blues story" (a good solo usually tells a story).The name of this lick,"Locked Up," ain't necessarilybecause what you're saying with your fingersmightbe a storyabout going to jail.In this video, "Locked up" actually refers tothecoreideaofthelesson,somethingcalled"locked rhythm."
Blues Lick #7 "Flat Three-to-Five"
You can hear this distinctive series of notes in many jazz and blues solos. Which means, you could call this a cliché. But in the Blues especially, we need to use clichés, in order to let listeners know where they are: "You are in the Blues, thank you very much!" When you venture off into super-original lines, a cliché is a great place to come home to!
Blues Lick# 8 "You My Doodly At"
A versatile pattern using just four notes. The main focus here is the pattern, because thisfour-elementclustercan be played inseveral starting places, within a single chord or key.
Blues Lick #9 "Turn Around and Come Back, Baby!"
This one involves two hands, and can be used as a turn-around orending. You will probablyrecognize this essentialstaple ofthe blues!
Blues Lick #10 "Useful 12-Bar Intro & Start of a Solo"
Learn a solid two-handed intro to get any blues piano solo started. This opening groove covers a full 12-bar cycle, giving your listeners an exciting intro (a.k.a. the head) which leads nicely into the next 12-bars, where you can begin your right-handed soloing. Note, you can use the left-hand (bass line) of this groove throughout your entire jam. It's a simple and powerful bass line that keeps the beat going strong. But wait, there's more! This lesson also includes a sample opening for your solo.
Blues Lick #11 "Pentatonic Pads"
Inthis lesson you'll learn a versatile way to group any pentatonic scaleinto a pair ofthree-note, three-finger clusters. Using this three-finger approach makes it easy to play fast and interesting licks, up and down the keyboard.