Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More About "The Blues"

There are many "blues scales" (which can be played on the right hand.)

Now there is no denying that many instructors know only one. It is the one they were taught to play and thus they erroneously call it "the" blues scale.

However, this is NOT the case as there are many different versions of this scale.

The one I have chosen to teach you today I call the "simple blues scale." That's cause it is.

Simple, I mean. It's limited only by your personal creativity when applied to patterns.

It's what you right hand plays while the left hand is doing those chords I told you about in the last article.

It's made up of only six notes, Plus, you don't even have to change them when the left hand changes chords.

I mean you can, but you don't have to.

That's cause this particular scale is made up of the three roots of the three chords that make up the blues progression.

If you don't understand this last sentence, then the words you likely are having problems with are "roots" and "blues progression."

Let's stay with very simple, huh?

"Roots" are the main notes of the chords involved. The chords are usually named for their roots. (I'm gonna assume you know what a "chord" is - if not then put that in a comment below and I will answer.) For example, the roots in E7 and Am are E and A.

The "Blues Progression" was given HERE (click the link!)

Thus, the first three notes (in C) are C, F, and G.

The other three notes are blue notes.

Now these are totally new to my readers. They are notes that people have come to associate with blues (for various reasons which we won't go into here.)

These are (again for C Major) the notes Eb, Gb, and Bb. In other words, the flatted third note, the flatted 5th note and the flatted 7th note of the C Major Scale.

Thus, my "simple blues scale" has the three roots of the blues progression plus the 3 blue notes for a total of six notes, C Eb, F, Gb, G, and Bb, most of these notes can be reached with one hand.

Now whatever Major Scale you are using, ]the Blue Notes are always these. And the blues progression is always what I said.

Some songs sound "bluesy" without actually being blues, and that's cause they have numerous "blue notes." "Birth of the Blues" is one such.

You have the notes to use now. What you do with them is completely up to you. This blues scale is called by me "the simple blues scale" since it is so very simple and you don't even have to change the scale when the chords change.

If you have understood me on this you can likely tell me why it works as it does.

Monday, September 22, 2014


It's a truly popular thing!

Thus, I thought it would be great if I could say something useful about it, something that would help keyboard and chord people play it.

First we will deal with the chords.

Blues is pretty simple. It's what's known in the music business as I, IV, and V.

It is a bit different in that most blues follows a 12 measure pattern (this is compared to the usual 8, 16, 32, measure patterns of western music.)

Blues works like this:

First you determine the key of the music. Now this might be given but if you can "sus out" the final chord you will have the "key" of the music. For instance if the final chord is E7 then the music is in E.

In the Key of E Major, the three chords are I = E or E7, IV = A or A7, and V = B or B7. (A word about that Seventh chord below.)

By the way, "Blues in E" is the most common way to play the blues using guitar (due to it's tuning)
that when folks can't find a common song to play, they will sometimes resort to playing it.

Secondly, you decide on a pattern. This can be anything but is usually what the person is familiar with.

You play that pattern with the I chord 4 times. In E, you play the E or E7 chord 4 times

Then you switch to the IV chord for the next 2 times. In E, that's the A or A7 chord.

Then you return to playing the I chord 2 more times (E or E7)

Then the V chord once (the B or B7 chord.)

The IV chord one time (A or A7)

The I chord once.

Finally, it gets somewhat complicated - not really complicated but somewhat more so. If you want to repeat the pattern of 12 measures again you play the V chord again. If you do NOT want to do a repeat of these measures, then the 12 measure should be a repeat of the I chord. A repeat of the 12 measures is sometimes called a "chorus."

Now many folks will be find the above adequate.

Some won't and for these people I offer the next post which will cover what to do with your RH and the blues scale.

I will whet you appetite for this by telling readers that there are many different blues scales, not just one.

If you have been trained by someone who claimed to teach you THE blues scale, you might be confused by the fact that your next trainer taught you something different but called it the same thing.

Is this article worthwhile for you? Does it help you with the blues? Leave me a message below.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Guitarists Need Chord Knowledge, Too!

Know a Guitarist? Have that person read THIS!

Guitar is huge these days, whether to attract girls or simply to play and have fun.

However, most people use it as accompaniment and that spells chords.

Many people know how to make certain chords, but few know all there is that they need to know about these little devils.

For instance:

What chords go with what chords?

Why do they sound so good?

There are reasons for these items, reasons that were you to understand them would help you in everything you do with chords.

I use a keyboard to make chords. So what? I do understand how the guitar makes them as well!

However, (again with this term!) - you have to tell me what your situation is. Otherwise I'm gonna be just spouting a bunch of genralized crapola.

You can post anonymously below. Or, if you're brave, you can contact me directly at danstarrorg410@gmail.com  !


Zero for the initial conversation. I may advice something that costs money after that. I'll try hard to keep it as cheap as possible!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Warning: Rant ahead!

There is not enough music making in our society for it's own good. 

Honest, that's what I think. And I'm a professional musician. However, it's only in western society that everyone does NOT participate. Instead, we divide our society into pros and listeners. Even Steve Jobs couldn't figure this one out. His ipod and ipad helped what I see as a really, really bad trend. And since western values and norms are permeating the entire world this means that this value will as well. And that's just too bad. Not everything in a culture is or even should be transferred.

And this is one that should NOT.

Frankly, most teachers would love to teach only "serious students" meaning those small number of folks that actually aspire to professionalism.

However, most people, the vast, vast majority do not desire to limit themselves to following a life based only on music. I know, cause I've done that and I would NOT wish it on someone I actually cared about.

No, most people would make music themselves if they could. They would relax after a hard day's work by making a few of their favorite tunes. Unfortunately, such people (and remember this is most people we are talking about!) can rarely find instruction geared to their actual goals.

I just wish more instructors saw things this way. Then perhaps we could reverse this trend in our society, and our society would become better in many ways.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

For Anyone Who Has Problems Playing

My Book will help you solve these.

I've been finishing my book! Actually it was finished Monday and just last night (late) I realized that I need to put it on all my social media pages. So here goes.

The book is titled "How to Play Better on Any Sort of Keyboard." It's sub-titled: How to Solve Your Playing Problems" If you don't have any playing troubles then you shouldn't be interested. However, I've discovered that many folks DO have some problems with playing, regardless of whom they play for, even themselves. This book explains all the mis-understood items such as the HOW TO of practicing. It explains why online free lessons are not all that useful, simplifies reading music, and explains what to do once somebody says, "So you're taking lessons. Play something."

It's cheap $9 ($14 for a hardcopy) and to get it you have to tell me you want it at danstarrorg410@gmail.com, then I send you an invoice, which you can pay with a credit or debit card. I then send you the book.

Special offer: anyone who purchases the book during August, is entitled to a FREE phonecall with me in which I'll diagnose your trouble and provide some advice, advice you can chose to take or ignore. Either way you can phone me. I'll provide my number on the invoice. Remember this is ONLY valid for August.