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 🙂

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 Thursday, November 24th (Thanksgiving!) 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, Sunday, October 30th 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 wikifonia.org, 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 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 Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 at midnight!

Click Here For Details

How To Play Piano Chords That Sound Good

You may have learned how to play piano chords from a piano teacher, a music book you picked up, or even a YouTube video, but you probably learned the simple mechanics of playing chords – basic fingering, which notes go to which chords, and so on.

how to play piano chords

Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones, but I’m guessing that no one ever took the time to show you exactly how to play piano chords in a way that makes them sound REALLY GOOD.

If that’s the case, keep reading, because I’ve got some simple rules that will help you, along with a brand new chord resource I just finished putting together.

So, how to play piano chords so they sound “good”…

Although “beauty” in music – as in other art forms – is highly subjective, I believe there are some things you can do to make the piano chord you play sound really good, meaning better than the way most people usually play them.

Feel free to agree or disagree with me in the comments – I think there’s no right or wrong answer, but check out these suggestions and see if they don’t help your piano chord playing, at least a little bit.

1. Whenever possible, when playing “close position” chords – meaning the chord tones are consecutive and not spread widely apart, like they are in open chord voicings – try to play the chords as close to middle C as possible. Once you start getting too much higher, the chords start to “thin out” in their sound. They still work for certain songs, but they just don’t have the depth that most often sounds good. If you got too much lower than middle C, the chords really start to sound muddy and thick. Which brings us to suggestion #2…

2. As you play chords lower and lower on the piano, it’s best to move one or more of the chord tones apart from the others. For example, if you play a C major tried one – or even two – octaves below middle C, it really sounds kind of awful. But, if you play a very low C in the bass, and play just the C and E an octave or two above that, it sounds pretty good. You can also play an open C major voicing on the C (root), then G (fifth), then the E above the G (the 10th, technically). This open voicing sounds really good in the left hand, and helps to “un-muddy” a plain old major triad.

3. Create open voicings for chords, where you move the chord tones apart from each other – maybe an octave or less. You might even use two hands to help pull the chord tones apart from each other and allow the chord overtones to react in such a way as to create “virtual” sounds between the notes. Wow, that’s kind of heavy stuff.

4. Here’s a chord rhythm suggestion for you – DON’T OVERDO THE CHORD RHYTHMS! Sometimes just a simple bass pattern with the occasional chord interjected is just fine – less is more. Don’t feel like you need to play the entire chord on every beat of the song, or even every time the chords change. Take it easy. Leave some space. Enjoy the silence between the notes.

5. Try a different inversion, even for basic piano chord triads. Sometimes the 1st or 2nd inversion sounds much better than the other inversions, and darned if I could tell you why. Remember, an inversion is when you play the chord with something other than the chord root on the bottom.

These are just a few quick pointers to help you improve the sound of your piano chords – try them out and let me know what you thing.

And, if you REALLY want to get your hands on what might be the last chord guide you’ll ever need, be sure to check out my super chord reference, Piano Chord Voicings… FAST!

I’m having a very special sale, but only until this Sunday, April 9th, 2017 at Midnight.

Click Here For All The Details About My 2-DVD/1-CD, PDF + Video piano course, Piano Chord Voicings… FAST!

Keep making beautiful music – preferably on the piano!

Irish Piano

Well, I’m in Joplin, MO for St. Patrick’s Day, but I wanted to post a little Irish piano lesson on my blog, so I fired up my smart phone and put this together for you.

Not the highest production values in the world, and I hadn’t had my hair done yet, but hopefully you can use these couple of tips today or tomorrow, or whenever you want to make some Irish sounds on the piano.

If you’d like to learn a simple, but beautiful arrangement of Danny Boy, be sure to check out my Danny Boy Video Piano Lesson (with a very special price before midnight, Sunday, March 17th, 2013) here:

http://pianochordsfast.com/dannyboy.html

Enjoy.

Chord Piano Bootcamp

I thought answering some of the questions about my newest course would be a good opportunity for me to make a video and get this blog back in action again… yes, I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted (sorry).

So, without further ado, here’s me at 2:30 a.m. with my dog in the living room. It kind of seems like one of those local car dealer commercials where they have a “talking” pet or something, only mine doesn’t talk.

ANYWAY… I hope the video answers some of your questions:

To sign up or learn more, just click this link:

http://chordpianobootcamp.com