Right Hand Blues Variations
In this lesson Jon builds on the material covered in the previous tutorials and we demonstrate some signature licks and variations for the right hand when playing New Orleans style blues.
So far we have covered playing the 12 bar blues with a basic left hand shuffle pattern and some right hand voicings which give it a nice bluesy flavour. While we play this we need to be aware of the time feel and how it swings.
Blues Piano Riffs For The Right Hand
Now we can take a look at a few right hand variations, particularly a lick that can be used over all three chords in the blues progression.
The notes of this lick are based on the pentatonic scale but we use some passing notes to give it a more interesting bluesy flavour.
Combine Licks & Right Hand Chords
To fill this out even further, we can add a chord to the final note of the phrase. There are a few options for the voicing of this chord depending on where we are in the blues progression and what kind of flavour we want to give it.
Here we can make use of the “nasty notes” – notes which are slightly offensive to the ear but grab your attention. If we are judicious with our use of these notes and chords they can be used as a setup for what comes next.
Licks & Embellishment Transcriptions File Type: pdf
Embellishments Performance File Type: midi
Embellishments Performance File Type: mp3
Embellishing The Right Hand Examples File Type: pdf
Getting the phrasing of the main lick presented in this video is challenging. Try practicing it without the chord on the final note to work on the phrasing.
So far we have been working in the key of C. Try transposing some of these ideas to other commonly used blues keys like F, G and Bb.
There are some other great licks and phrases that Jon uses in this video but doesn't explicitly mention. These are worth checking out and learning as well, such as the triplet phrase he plays at 5:33. Have a look at the notation if they move to fast to learn by ear.