Boogie Woogie Piano Lesson

Contrary to my own kind of mental block I’ve had for years, and possibly your own belief about your ability to play “flashy” piano licks and styles, boogie woogie piano is amazingly easy to play, and all it takes is a little analysis of some bass patterns and right-hand licks, with a few turnarounds and endings thrown in for good measure.

In this video, I’ll show you how I built a simple boogie woogie piano piece by putting together some basic elements, and how you can do the same.

No, this piece won’t make it onto the “Boogie Woogie Top 40” charts, but it will give you some nice tools to add to your piano arsenal, and maybe even dig more into boogie woogie piano.

If that’s the case, I suggest you check out my brand new Boogie Woogie Piano… FAST! DVD/online video piano course, which is on sale for a very special price until Monday, October 3rd, 2016 at midnight!

Click Here To Check Out Boogie Woogie Piano… FAST!

The Importance of Rhythm When Playing The Piano

I realize it’s not exactly breaking news to say that rhythm is one of the most important aspects of music. In fact, it’s really the foundation for virtually every style of music, affecting the mood of a song, the lyrics, and how dancers move to the music.

But rhythm is more than just the tempo, or speed, of a song. It’s what  happens between and around the beats that really give a song its unique sound. And the ability to create very specific rhythms on the piano is a skill that can almost instantly improve your playing.

It’s also one of the things that bugs sometimes me when I hear other piano players play.

And it’s not that hard to fix!!

Let me give you an example…

First of all, consider a song like the classic “Country Roads” by John Denver. That rolling guitar riff that starts the song is so soothing, and his classic voice just rolls right in. To me, this song has a very 2-beat or 4-beat rhythm, but a STRAIGHT rhythm. What do I mean by that?

I mean that there’s no “bounce” to the song – the eighth notes just roll along in an even pattern. In fact, here’s a simple way to play that opening riff on the piano:

Country Roads IntroductionNotice how straight and steady those eighth notes are.

Now, here’s how NOT to play the introduction to that song:

Country Roads BouncyThis is a very subtle difference in the written music, but a BIG difference in the actual feel of the song. This small change turns this song into something more like Hank Williams, Jr.’s “Family Tradition” (well, not exactly, but definitely with more of that kind of feel).

Next, I suggest you take a listen to the classic reggae song, “Three Little Birds,” by Bob Marley.

Listen VERY carefully to the underlying rhythm of this song. Notice that it, too, is a very STRAIGHT rhythm! It is NOT bouncy at all. Now, some reggae is kind of bouncy, but this particular song is not. While some people may not notice this subtle difference, I think it’s VERY important to get this right when recreating songs like this on the piano.

In fact, it may be the difference between your listeners loving your arrangement or saying, “There’s something that’s just not quite right about that.”

This is just one of the reasons I put together my Piano Rhythms… FAST! video piano course not long ago – to make sure you have the must-have rhythms in your piano toolbox to create whatever feel you need to on the piano.

In fact, this course is on sale for over 50% off until this Thursday, September 15th at midnight! So, it’s a great time to check it out.

And may your beat go on 🙂

How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain

This video has been around for a while, but I just recently discovered it and wanted to share it with as many people as I could, so here you go!

What I found really interesting is the difference that actually PLAYING an instrument makes, above and beyond just LISTENING to music:

  • Better memory
  • Better problem-solving skills
  • Increased communication between brain hemispheres
  • Improved planning skills and attention to detail

These benefits seem to be unique to playing and learning music and are not associated with any other type of activity – for example, sports or even other artistic activities.

So, watch this video, then get back to the piano! 🙂


How To Connect Your Piano To Your Computer To Help You Practice, Write and Orchestrate Your Own Music (VIDEO)

OLD MIDI Setup From Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels

OK, so this photo is of a pretty OLD MIDI setup, but I’m a sucker for nostalgia!

In this post, I’ll show you how to hook up your electronic piano or keyboard to your computer and begin taking advantage of the fabulous technology known as MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).

There will actually be very little video about the actual hookup, since that part is very simple. In fact, here’s what you need:

  • A MIDI-enabled piano or keyboard (look for the MIDI In, Out and Thru connections on the back)
  • A computer with an available USB port
  • A USB-MIDI interface, like the E-Mu Xmidi 1X1 V3 USB MIDI Interface found at Amazon (about $25)

And here’s what to do:

  • Plug the interface into your computer and let your computer automatically install the drivers. If it does NOT, you may need to use the CD included with your MIDI interface, or simply download the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website
  • Using a MIDI cable (available online or from your local music store), or simply using the interface itself (like the E-Mu), connect the MIDI OUT port from your keyboard to the MIDI IN port on the interface
  • Using another MIDI cable, or the interface itself, connect the MIDI IN port from your keyboard to the MIDI OUT port on the interface

That’s it!

This video goes a little more detail on all this:

Now comes the REALLY fun part!

You can now use your keyboard to enter music into notation programs like Finale NotePad, AND you can record performances – NOT the audio, but the actual performance as MIDI events (also known as sequencing) using a free tool like Anvil Studio.

Check out this video for all the details:

I hope this blog post and these videos gave you just enough information to be dangerous with your computer and electronic piano or keyboard! Once you get the hang of MIDI and begin using these software tools, you’ll find a whole new world of musical creativity and fun, literally at your fingertips.

So, jump in, play around, and explore the amazing, musical world of MIDI!


Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this post, have any questions, or might like me to put together a more formal course on the subject. Thanks!

New Age Piano

For some reason, “New Age” piano is one of the few piano styles that REALLY calms my nerves and flushes out nearly all traces of stress for me.

I start thinking about snow and cold, moonlit nights, and sitting around a darkened house late at night after the kids are in bed, playing or listening to piano music. There’s something that’s very peaceful and meditative to me about new age piano, I associate it with some very special times in my life, including a few wonderful holidays..

Although we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the US for a few more months, if there is an actual “Thanksgiving Song,” to me it would be “We Gather Together.” I probably have some elementary school anchor to that song somewhere deep in my consciousness… I don’t know.

It’s also just a very peaceful, soothing song to me, and one that lends itself very well to New Age piano stylings.

That’s why I originally decided to put together my video piano lesson, New Age Piano… FAST!, where I show you just how simple it is to create your own New Age piano sounds for just about any song you like (but it does work better and is much easier for simple, traditional melodies, like this one:

And for the next few days, I’m offering this brand new course for a very special price. But that’s only until this Monday, June 27th at Midnight, so…

Click Here Now To Claim Your Discount Copy,
While There’s Still Time

And you’ll be enjoying the smooth, peaceful sounds of New Age Piano – from your OWN piano – in just a couple of hours!

Simple – But Effective – Left Hand Piano Techniques

I get quite a few questions about what to play in the left hand on the piano, and I realized that a lot of what I play – especially in dueling piano shows, where my job is to get people to dance or sing along – is just ridiculously simple.

So, I put together this video to show you how you can create a quick left hand piano accompaniment for just about any song.

I hope you like it.

Just watch, then play! And have fun 🙂

(If you have trouble viewing this video on my website, try viewing it on YouTube by Clicking Here.

Piano Accompaniment Tips

Here’s a quick video with a few tips on how to accompany yourself or another singer or instrumentalist on the piano.

I cannot overstate this – BE CONSISTENT in your rhythmic and harmonic patterns. Some variation is OK, but it’s your job to provide a solid foundation for the singer WITHOUT distracting the listener from their performance.

Don’t worry, you’ll have your turn in the spotlight 🙂

Click Here To Grab A Discounted Copy Of Piano Accompaniment… FAST! Before Midnight, Wednesday, January 6th at Midnight!

Yellow Submarine On The Piano

As a “Thank You” to Lee Clarke, one of my students who introduced me to a fantastic website and Apple app for learning songs, I put together a quick video lesson to show you how to play The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” on the piano.

The website is, where you can get a bunch of lead sheets absolutely free!

The app is called Capo and will allow you to slow down or speed up mp3 files to help you learn new songs. I haven’t tried it myself (I’m an Android guy at the moment), but I do plan on checking it out as soon as I get a chance.

Anyway, Lee had requested I put together a quick lesson on several songs. While I don’t normally take many requests (unless I get a lot of the same request), I decided to put this one together for Lee – and for you 🙂

This is a super-easy song to learn (even though it’s in the key of Gb), so check it out and get it into your repertoire today!

I hope you like it.


C Blues Piano Scale

Here’s a quick lesson on playing the C blues scale on the piano. It’s a simple little scale and, combined with the nifty chords I teach you in this quick lesson, you’ll be making some pretty cool, bluesy sounds on the piano in no time!


It helps me to think of the C blues piano scale in two groups of notes:

Group 1 is C-Eb-F-Gb

Group 2 is G-Bb (and C, if you’re going to be descending after playing the top C note).

This helps me not only remember the scale, but helps with my fingering also. I play Group 1 with fingers 1-2-3-4 and Group 2 with fingers 1-2. I can then cross my thumb under my 2nd finger to start all over again, or simply play the top C with my middle (3rd) finger if I’ll be descending.

Here’s a color-coded image of the grouping – I like to think of this as the “shape” of the scale:

C Piano Blues Scale


Now, just spend a few minutes each day playing around with the C blues scale and you’ll have it in your brain and fingers before you know it!

C Major and F Major Piano Scales

Here’s a quick video about how to learn scales super-fast by visualizing and feeling the “shape” of the scale on the piano keyboard.


To reinforce this pattern concept, here’s a color-coded image of the C Major Piano Scale. The red keys represent the first grouping of 3 keys – played by your thumb (finger 1), index finger (2) and middle finger (3). The green keys represent the second grouping of 4 keys – played by your thumb, index finger, middle finger and ring finger (1,2,3,4). The yellow key (C) means that you can start the 3-note pattern over again with your thumb, or simply play the yellow key with your pinky finger (5), if you’re going to be coming back down the keyboard.

C Major Piano Scale

And here’s a color-coded image of the F Major Piano Scale:

F Major Piano Scale

Scales may seem like one of the boring parts of learning to play piano, but, believe me, learning how to learn them fast – AND learning which chords to play them with – can dramatically improve your piano playing.

In fact, I’ve just put together a video piano course that shows you exactly how to do just that.

So, if you really want to take your piano playing to the next level by learning 19 unique scale structures (NOT just major and minor) in all 12 keys, check out my video piano course, Piano Scales… FAST! And right now, you can get it for almost 50% off the regular price, but only until Saturday, April 9th at midnight!

Click Here For Details