Blues Notes (Crushing, Sliding, Riffs)

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Blues notes are alterations of the chord that are a “carry over” from guitar players. Years ago when the blues style was first being formed, guitar players would ‘bend’ notes on the guitar. This created a very soulful technique because the pitch would move up or down a half step or more.

However, it is nearly impossible to bend notes, unless you actually manipulate the strings inside the piano! So what is the pianist to do? Blues notes to the rescue!

By creating an alteration on the 3rd and 5th chord tones, we can simulate that blues, soulful sound. Example A shows you a regular C7 chord and chord tones.

Now, if we add alterations on the 3rd and 5th chord tones, we get example B. Notice that the minor 3rd resolves to the Major 3rd and the #4 resolves to the 5th.

Using Blues Notes in your Piano playing

There are basically three ways to use these blues notes in your playing.

  1. Play them as individual notes and add them to your lines (Ex. C)
  2. “Crush” the blues note together with its resolution note (Ex. D)
  3. “Slide” into the resolution note from the blues note (Ex. E)

Listen to Example C:

 

Listen to Example D:

Listen to Example E:

 

More to explore...

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Willie

Welcome Paul Buono

Paul Buono has returned to the JazzEdge family as an instructor.  His professional piano/keyboard experience includes national and international touring, university professor, musical director, pit

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  1. I just wanted to say that youre’s is the best program I have found in the internet, if I had some money which I don’t at this point, would deffinitely buy all of your stuff. I think the program is very visual and with the middi on top and everything I just think it’s great.

    1. Amen to that. Willie’s is definitely the best program I have found. I absolutely love it.

  2. I appreciate your way of teaching, even if my english practice is not always fantastic, any way ( as you like to use this expression…) it’s a very great and useful pleasure to listen to you, to watch you, to read your PDF. It’s an unvaluable help for my musical practice, the best I have ever known. And always with humour . Congratulations !!!

    Gérard BONNAUD from Aubagne near Marseille , south of France, 72 years old( me, not Marseille which is about 2000 years old !)

  3. Willie has it all together and i have made so much progress with him > Now if i could only kidnap him and hold him hostage in new york for private lessons too. HMMMM?