Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Patterns

Would you like to learn some neat boogie woogie blues patterns?

You’ve come to the right place.

In this lesson, you’ll learn some useful boogie woogie tricks to spice up your technique.

Let’s get started.

How Pine Top Smith Jump Starts Jump Steady Blues

Before we dig into some Boogie Woogie blues piano techniques, listen to “Jump Steady Blues”:

The first two bars open with a chromatic ascent to the Eb at the highest piano register. This is followed by playing the Eb repetitively:

The left hand also plays some simple 2nd inversion chords, first an Eb followed by an Eb7.

Play the first 2 bars with a loud dynamic and an exciting feel.

How To Develop An Interesting Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Bass Line

Let’s check out the next 10 bars and see how Pine Top Smith creates a bass line.

He first starts out with single quarter notes.

The bass line outlines an Eb6 chord in a straightforward fashion:

boogie woogie blues

Over the Ab7 chord, he simply lays out an Ab major triad in the bass.

boogie woogie blues

Once Pine Top goes back to the Eb7 chord, he starts playing the Eb6 chord tones in broken octaves:

boogie woogie blues

Over the Bb7 chord in bar 9, he outlines the chord tones from root to the b7 going up.

boogie woogie blues

Bar 10 features a walkdown from Bb all the way to F.

This in turn leads back to Eb. On the 11th bar, starting on Eb, we now have a walkup.

This walkup bass goes Eb, G, Ab, A. This leads to the Bb on the 12th bar:


boogie woogie blues


Want to hear more blues piano tricks? Read on.

How To Unlock More Blues Piano Secrets

The best place to learn more blues secrets is from none other than Blues Hall of Famer, Bruce Katz

Let Bruce Katz show you the ropes and essentials of blues piano that led him to the pinnacle of blues musicianship.

Inside the Breakthrough Blues Method, you’ll discover over 2 Hours of world class blues piano secrets filmed in HD.

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Ready to discover some more boogie woogie piano moves from Pine Top Smith? They’re just right below.

How A Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Melody Helps You Learn Chromatic Enclosure Patterns

Check this main melodic idea from Jump Start Blues:

boogie woogie blues

This melody centers on chord tones preceded by two chromatic approach tones.

Pine Top Smith uses chromatic approach tones that are below the target chord tone.

In this instance, Pine Top targets the root, the 5th, and the 3rd.

Going forward from here, you can learn a classic sounding blues lick up next.

One Classic Blues Lick You Must Learn

One distinct piece of blues vocabulary (that carries over to many contemporary styles of music) is the I-IV-I movement.

Here’s a variation of that move as performed by Pine Top Smith:

Over a major or a dominant chord, this I-IV-I movement is created by playing the 3rd and the 5th of the chord first.

After that, you play a 4th and a 6th then back to the 3rd and 5th.

This is a kind of neighboring chord movement.

Here’s another variation of that lick: From the 4th and the 6th, play a 5th and a flat 7th then back to the 3rd and 5th as seen here:

boogie woogie blues

This move is most useful when going from a I chord to a V chord as seen here:

By the way, if you want to learn more classic licks for blues, gospel, and jazz, it’s best to learn from a legend himself.

Play Like Ray examines the techniques of Ray Charles. These moves sound great over many tunes.

Inside Play Like Ray, you’ll discover classic New Orleans piano licks that you can use to add style, soul, & flair to any song you play.

Get instant access to Play Like Ray here.

How To End A Boogie Woogie Blues Chorus With Style

Here’s a classic blues chorus ending that you can use over a I to V chord progression:

The right hand plays the Eb up top as a drone with the inner voice descending chromatically (Bb, A, G#, G).

The left hand is a straight walkup from Eb all the way to Bb.

This is such a classic-sounding lick that you can immediately say it’s blues.

Our ending blues lick from Pine Top Smith is a must-have in your vocabulary.

Now that you know how to work your way with boogie woogie blues piano techniques, do you think it’s enough?

Why Frustration Hurts Your Playing (And What You Can Do About It)

If you’re anything like me, you must have hit a brick wall in your piano journey.

I know I did, multiple times in fact.

It’s so frustrating to feel like you’ve reached the limit of what you can do as a musician.

You might have spent years training, even in the best music schools, only to find out you come short and inauthentic.

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I hope that you enjoyed this boogie woogie blues piano lesson.

If you have any comments, reactions, or even suggestions for the next lesson, let us know in the comments section below.

All right. It’s time to get grooving and making music. See you next time.



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Mark A. Galang, OTRP, MAM-MT(c)

Mark Galang is one of our contributors at He loves teaching all styles of music especially jazz, blues, rock, classical, and Christian music. Mark is also a licensed occupational therapist in the Philippines that combines music therapy intervention with occupational therapy.