How to Play Jazz Blues (The First Ten Steps) │Blues Piano Lesson #14

Jazz Piano
Sheet Music:
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Autumn Leaves Improvisation Bundle:

Do you need a practice plan for this lesson? Alright, check this out:

In the video, I start with step 5, just because I don’t want to bore you with the basics. However, if you never played a walking bass before, the following practice plan is for you.

First, let’s create a very simple walking bass for this project.
Step 1 – 4:21
Step 2 – 4:53
Step 3 – 5:22
Step 4 – 5:51

You can memorize the same walking bass line that is shown in the video, or you can create your own based on the simple rules I just presented you in Step 1,2,3 and 4.

Before we start to improvise over our walking bass, let’s just get familiar with the 12 bar blues form, by playing Step 5 again and again.

Step 5 – 0:20
LH: Walking Bass
RH: Voicings (Rootless voicings + Basic 7th chords too)

(Note: In a jazz school, you learn that playing chords with the root, it’s a ‘no no’. Especially when you play walking bass with your left hand, or you have a bass player in the band. And that’s a great rule. However, if you do it here and there, just because this is the sound you are looking for, no worries. Nobody is going to think that you are a bad person.)

Step 6 – 0:48
LH: Walking bass
RH: Common Jazz Comping Rhythms

Once you feel comfortable with Step 5, add some rhythm to your voicings. Again, you can copy mine (if you are a beginner and need some ideas) or create your own. The best if you can vary/change your rhythm patterns whenever you play through the form.

Step 7 – 1:17
Can you play a five-finger blues scale up and down and keep the left hand steady? Let’s figure this out. If the answer is yes, move to Step 8.

Step 8 – 1:46
Can you play the complete ‘A minor blues scale’ up and down and keep the left hand steady? Let’s figure this out. If the answer is yes, move to Step 9.

Step 9 – 2:15
Student A: You can already start to improvise freely with the blues scale.
Student B: Whenever you start to improvise freely with your right hand, you mess up the walking bass.
1. Go back to Step 4 and 5 and play it 100 times.
2. Create a blues improvisation etude

When you create or follow my improvisation etude, you are practicing to get use to the randomness that is happening in your right hand. Since it is ‘planned randomness’ you have a bigger chance to keep your left hand steady.

Once you memorized the etude, you can try to play some melodic or rhythm variations on it.

Step 10 – 2:44
Find an A minor blues lick (just one or max 2) and apply it to your 12 bar blues.

Bonus Step – 3:13
Let’s go back to our Improvisation etude, and try to add some blues licks to it.

When you completed all these steps, just forget everything you learned so far and start to improvise freely 🙂

Note: Once you purchase a sheet music, you will be able to download the PDF file right away from the website. You will also get an email with the downloadable links. (If not, check your spam folder)

To get started you can download the free “how to practice scales (Jazz, Bebop)” here:

Complete Piano Improvisation course for beginners, intermediate and advanced students:

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Thanks for watching!
See you soon!

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