Did you learn to play the piano when you were younger and always wish you’d kept it up? You’re not alone, and one of the most common questions I get asked is, ‘Am I too old to learn blues piano?’
The simple answer is no, but to help convince you further here’s a few reasons why you should dust off that keyboard from the attic and get playing the blues today…
Piano blues is not hard to learn
Unlike learning to play classical piano, blues music is easier to learn and doesn’t require you to be an expert in reading music. Although there are some very advanced methods of playing blues and boogie woogie piano, this style of music is great in that even the beginner foundation level sounds amazing.
As well as my piano blues video course, I also provide one to one tuition to local residence. Within the first lesson I will have someone playing a few nice blues licks, and they always walk away with a huge smile on their face. Why? Because it only took 30 minutes to learn how to play something on the piano that they never thought possible.
What I love about the piano is that it’s a much easier instrument to pick up and learn quickly than any other. The layout of a piano or keyboard is much more logical than any other instrument, and finding the notes, playing chords, and understanding the blues scale doesn’t take very long
The 12 bar blues is simple
You may have heard of the 12 bar blues and always wondered what it meant. Essentially, this is the main structure used in blues music, and it’s a chord progression that remains very consistent and repetitive. When comparing this three-chord structure with classical, you can see very quickly that it’s far simpler and doesn’t take a very long time to understand.
My piano blues video course will show you how to play the 12 bar blues, and once you see how it works you will be very shocked at its simplicity. Again, what I love about blues music is its straight forward no-nonsense approach, and the perfect style to learn for anyone who doesn’t want to spend hours playing scales just to play one song.
Improvisation is not what it seems
When it comes to improvisation it often seems to sound like the holy grail of music. However, learning to improvise is not as hard as it seems, and when you know how to do it, you’ll start to realise that it’s possible for anyone to learn.
Playing and improvising blues music on the piano doesn’t take some natural ability that you need to be born with, and it can be learned just like anything else. You just have to understand what it actually means to begin with.
In short, improvising doesn’t mean ‘making it up on the spot’, and it’s actually a lot more rehearsed and structured than you think. Imagine learning to play a blues lick with your right hand on the piano, and you remember how to do it without needing music. Then imagine learning a second blues riff and memorising that one, and so on. After a little while you realise that you have lots of melodies that you can remember and play at will, and at that stage you are now already very close to being able to improvise.
To put it simply, improvising is not making it up on the spot and instead is the art of being able to regurgitate what you already know in a rhythmic order. Of course, what you decide to play at that very moment needs to fit within the rhythm, the key, and the tempo of the music, but it’s important to realise that you are not making it up and you have played it before many times.
My piano blues course will help teach you how to improvise and even create your own blues music. You have nothing to fear, and as long as you keep an open mind and grasp the concept of what it means to improvise, you will be well on your journey to learning how.
Kids are not smarter than you
A huge misconception when it comes to learning piano is how much of a difference age makes. A child cannot learn any faster or slower than you just because they are young, and when you think about it, how does that even make sense anyway?
The reason why a child appears to learn much faster is that they are much more focused on the task at hand, and find it easier to absorb information because they have no other distractions – like paying the mortgage, redecorating the living room, and other stressful things that life throws at us.
Most adults I teach piano don’t practice as much as they should or could, because they are often distracted with what’s going on around them, and of course lead very busy lives. A child on the other hand will spend hours and hours at a keyboard of piano playing the same thing over and over again, because they haven’t been spending the last 30 years listening to BB King, Ray Charles, or the Beatles – and don’t have to do a 12 hour shift tomorrow.
Remember, you are not stupid and have more than enough brain cells to learn to play the piano, especially when the blues doesn’t require a huge amount of understanding of musical theory. The same four beats per bar, and the same three chords is simple and yet very effective.
It won’t cost an arm and a leg
Learning to play piano blues does not cost as much as you think, and my video course is extremely affordable and offers great value. For just the cost of one piano lesson, you have access to a huge amount of content ranging from videos, sheet music and handy notes.
When it comes to buying either a piano or keyboard, you don’t have to spend thousands or even hundreds of pounds. A keyboard is more than enough to get you started, and you can spend less than a hundred pounds for one with a quality piano sound – and you’ll get loads of other sounds too which are fun, like organs, strings, electric pianos, and so on.
A digital piano can cost anything from around £250 up, and that will give you the full weighted 88 keys, a sustain pedal – and a great sound! Of course, if you want to spend more you certainly can, and the quality of the keys and the sound will also rise with the cost. But spending much more than a few hundred pounds isn’t usually something I recommend when starting from scratch, as you don’t really need it.
You don’t need one to one tuition
It can be quite difficult to find a piano teacher that will show you how to play blues and boogie woogie, and committing to weekly lessons can also be quite tricky to do. An alternative might be to buy a tutorial book, but that is probably one of the hardest ways to learn as you have to assume that what you are playing is correct.
One of the best ways for a busy person to learn to play piano blues is via online video tutorials. They are extremely convenient as you don’t have to leave your house, and you can access them anywhere in the world. If you are planning a long trip but you don’t want to stop watching the videos, you can take your keyboard with you and carry on learning.
My videos cover a huge range of blues tutorials, from scales to rhythm, from licks to left hand boogie bass lines. I also provide sheet music for those that like to read, or want to develop their reading further – but this isn’t mandatory and you can simply watch the videos to learn everything you need to know.
If you have the desire to learn how to play piano blues and boogie woogie, and have watched and admired people like Jools Holland and Little Richard for many years, then what’s stopping you from learning? My online tutorial video course is a low cost and convenient way of getting started right now, and there’s no pressure to attend weekly lessons and you can practice whenever you want.
One of the main reasons why most people don’t take the plunge is because they are afraid they won’t be able to play, but I have never come across anyone that I’ve taught that couldn’t sit and play some blues piano within 30 minutes. You can go at your own pace with no pressure whatsoever, and if you don’t feel like watching a video and playing because you’ve had a long day at work – then don’t bother!
You can choose when to play and what to learn. Do you want to skip practicing the blues scale today and play some Ray Charles instead? Then why not! The choice is yours.
If you want more information about me and my course, don’t hesitate to email me directly at – [email protected]