New Orleans Blues Style & Technique
In this lesson we will explore the style, technique, and form of New Orleans Blues Piano.
Elsewhere in the world, the blues is generally heard in the 12 bar format. In New Orleans the blues is most often played in the 8 bar form.
12 Bar Blues vs 8 Bar Blues
Jon demonstrates the 12 bar blues and the 8 bar blues and we discuss the differences between these 2 formats.
The 12 bar blues is most commonly associated with the Chicago Blues. This style is often driven by electric guitars and played in the guitar keys.
The 8 bar blues is shorter and the way that the tensions and release work is subtly different to the 12 bar format. The 8 bar can be played with a funkier approach to the rhythm and more of a major feel to the melodies and harmonies.
Liberal Use Of The Sustain Pedal
The New Orleans Blues is often played with liberal use of the sustain pedal to create a sleepy and dreamy vibe. There is often a lot more detail, decoration, and ornamentation in the New Orleans blues, both in the melodies and through passing chords.
Passing Chords & Reharmonisations
We can use passing chords to smoothly connect the chord changes in the blues. Dominant 7th chords build a half step above or below the target chord are effective for passing chord harmony.
Blues Forms & Passing Chords File Type: pdf
Blues Voicings & Reharmonisation File Type: pdf
12 Bar Blues Transcription File Type: pdf