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  !


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, 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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Science Changes its Tune

(An Essay from my New Book!)

Science! The Great God Science. Unfortunately, (or fortunately - you be the judge) it grows and develops and says something different.

Such has been the case with learning. During the 90's Science said that the brain and it's nervous system was pretty much fixed by the time you were an adult. For this reason, it was close to impossible to learn much. I could have told them this was not true, having specialized in teaching a highly complex skill to older folks for decades. Nobody asked me, however.

In fact, the Yamaha Corp. made a video that promoted this idea. Now why would they do this? I figure it's cause they make pianos and it's always been easy to “guilt sell” parents into buying something expensive for their kids. Thus, the Corp. figured that they'd make some money on it.

Come the 2000s and the 2010s, science now knows better. It tells us that learning goes on throughout life. They even invented a nifty word for it: “neuroplasticity.” You could look it up easily enough, but I will tell you right here that it means that being “a lifetime learner” is actually possible. That fits with my own personal observations so I “buy it.”

The problem is that too many older people were raised in the bad old days, when learning new skills was the special province only of the young. Thus, the don't pursue any learning at all, thinking it's impossible. Thanks, Science. Your previous words help ensure that such folks simply quit listening to any new pronouncements.