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A Year of Blues Licks

January 01, 2021 2 min read

At the time of this post I've been playing piano for about 20 years.

I feel like I have only flirted with the blues. I've just been faking it to a degree - which does go a long way, but at some point you want to refine your style, and I have reached that point with the blues.

So, in 2021, I'm learning one new piece of blues vocabulary - one new "lick" - every week - and I want to take you along for the ride, and teach you as well.

The process will be something like this:

1 lick per week

Week 1
Day 1 - introduce the lick in C
Day 2 - lick in chords C F G
Day 3 - key of A (chords A D E)
Day 4 - key of Bb (chords Bb Eb F)
Day 5 - Takeaways from this lick

       Day 6 - key of Ab (chords Ab Db Eb)
       Day 7 - key of Gb (chords Gb Cb Db)

Let's do it.

Blues Lick No. 1

Video 1

This one is from Oscar Peterson's "C Jam Blues Live". Here's the link at about 25 seconds. The lick will go by lightning fast - use YouTube's slowdown feature if you need to.

Do yourself a favor and listen to the whole piece if you haven't heard it yet.

Before you watch the tutorial, you should know I wrote out this lick in sheet music form. Grab the PDF here.

In this video I mention Open Studio Jazz, for learning blues and jazz from some of the best guys out there. Here's a link if you want to check them out. It's an affiliate link - thanks for your support!

Video 2 - C, F, G

Video 3 - A, D, E

Video 4 - Bb, Eb

Video 5 - Takeaways & an original composition "Oscar's Inspiration"

Find the lead sheet for Oscar's Inspiration here.

 Video 6 - Gb, Cb, Db

Andy Grall
Andy Grall


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