Improvisation – Jazz Piano Lessons – Sounds Good at Slow Tempo

Do your fingers seem to only have one speed—slow?
Want something bluesy you can play slowly and still sound great?

Take some piano lessons from Scott Houston “The Piano Guy.” In this video, Scott shows you how to use a 12 measure pattern to create a great bluesy sound that sounds great played slowly.

The example for these piano lessons are taught in the key of C two octaves down from Middle C.

The order to play the chords follows the 12 measure pattern:
C-C-C-C-F-F-C-C-G-F-C-C

Frequently you will see the C7, F7, G7 played, but today we are going to make it even simpler and use a variation of the C, F and G Chords for your left hand part.

We will just be using the two outside notes (removing the middle note of the triad) of the chords for this pattern.

C = C,E,G: We will play the C & G.
F = F,A,C: We will play just the F & C.
G = G,B,D: We will play the G & D.

After playing the two outside notes, we will keep the pinkie on the root but will then move the thumb up one step and play that. So the pattern will look like this:

1. C & G and C & A
2. C & G and C & A
3. C & G and C & A
4. C & G and C & A
5. F & C and F & D
6. F & C and F & D
7. C & G and C & A
8. C & G and C & A
9. G & D and G & E
10. F & C and F & D
11. C & G and C & A
12. C & G and C & A

Another way to look at it is:

C & G and C & A (playing quarter notes 4 times= 1 measure) X 4
F & C and F & D (playing quarter notes 4 times= 1 measure) X 2
C & G and C & A (playing quarter notes 4 times= 1 measure) X 2
G & D and G & E (playing quarter notes 4 times= 1 measure) X 1
F & C and F & D (playing quarter notes 4 times= 1 measure) X 1
C & G and C & A (playing quarter notes 4 times= 1 measure) X 2

Then repeat over and over again! Added bonus—at the end of each 12 measure pattern before you go back up to the top, you can play a G augmented (G aug) F, B, D# in your right hand

Practice playing the left hand pattern solely until you get to the point that you can play it pretty easily without having to think too hard or until your hand has that muscle memory.

Once you get the left hand pattern down, you are ready to tackle the right hand part. With your right hand, you will be improvising. Just stick to all the white notes with the exception of the Bb. If you want to, you can also include the Eb. If you stick to playing only those keys you will never hit a clam.

The key is to keep your pattern in the left hand playing slowly and consistently at the same tempo.

Have fun with this slow blues pattern. It is a great chance to practice your improvising!

Scott’s life goal is to help you learn to play piano through piano lessons that you can take anywhere and at any time to get you started having some fun at a piano or keyboard as quickly as possible.

Scott Houston is the host of The Piano Guy television series on Public Television and has taught hundreds of thousands of folks like yourself, how to have some fun on their piano or keyboard. He wants to help you get there too—as quickly as possible.

Sign Up Now For Scott’s FREE Introductory Online Piano Course

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Improvisation – Jazz Piano Lessons – Sounds Good at Slow Tempo