I get asked this question a lot, and as a piano teacher for many years I have a fantastic mix of students who learn anything and everything from classical to pop, movie theme tunes, jazz, and my favourite styles of them all – blues, boogie woogie and rock ‘n’ roll.
This is quite an open ended question, but the simple answer is – yes! Anyone can learn to play the blues, and it doesn’t matter if you’re classical trained, a complete beginner who’s just found a dusty old keyboard in the loft, or someone who’s played on and off for years and wants to get back into music with some awesome blues.
How different is learning piano blues to classical music?
I feel that one of the main reasons why so many people shy away from learning to play blues piano is that they are either a complete beginner and think that the blues is only something that an experienced player can play, or that they have played classical all their life using sheet music and assume they can’t learn the blues and can’t play without music.
Does this sound familiar?
At the end of the day, blues isn’t some magical mysterious style of music that only people born in New Orleans with amazing natural musical talent can play – blues music can be played and enjoyed by anyone, as long as they are willing to put the time and effort in required to learn as you would expect of anything.
Classical music is always taught and practiced using sheet music, so when you start to learn you are instantly learning correctly how to read music as well as music theory, scales, arpeggios, etc. Most people then become dependant on reading the sheet music and get worried when confronted with the thought of playing without it.
But there is also sheet music readily available for blues, boogie woogie and rock ‘n’ roll, so if you are able to read music to an adequate level then you are able to instantly start to play. If you are unable to read music, then there is one of two ways you can learn to play piano blues.
How can I learn to play blues piano?
Firstly, you can learn by watching tutorial videos which show you exactly which notes to play. This is a fantastic way of learning, and means you won’t need sheet music to remember how to play if you have never used it anyway!
Secondly, if you are able to read sheet music then you can read and play straight away as well as watch tutorial videos to show you how the rhythm sounds as well as to correctly play the right tone and slide techniques associated with blues music.
You don’t need to buy an expensive piano
Another reason why learning blues piano seems out of reach is the misconception that you need to spend hundreds or even thousands of pounds on a piano. The fact is that you don’t need to at all, and even a 66 note keyboard is more than enough to begin learning.
You can spend anything from £60 to £300 and get anything from a keyboard to a fully weighted piano to begin learning to play blues piano right now. It all depends on how much you want to spend, and sure, you will of course get more for your money but you might not actually need it at this stage.
For more information on whether you should buy a keyboard or piano – click here.
There are no excuses!!
Apologies for being so bold – but there literally are no excuses or reasons for you to not take that step and start playing today. For only £14.99 for 6 months access to my amazing blues video tutorials, you can begin playing today.
Take that step and become a blues player today 🙂