Easy Blues Piano Block Chords Mini Tutorial

Want to learn some easy blues piano chords? You’ve come to the right place! In today’s free video lesson I’m going to show you how to play several great easy blues piano chords.

Take 5 minutes & watch the video below. Then, scroll down for important tips and resources to help taking your blues playing to the next level.

Easy Blues Piano Video Chords Tutorial

Being from Chicago, blues is really front and center in a lot of what we do. In fact, studying blues can make you a much better musician in many other styles of music.

easy blues pianoSo, if you’re playing straight ahead blues blues (like I did on the B.B. King tours I played) or you’re playing jazz, gospel, rock, or R&B, there’s always a little bit of the element of the blues going on in what we’re doing.

So, in today’s video I show you these great sounding blues block chords. These are easy blues piano chords that sound great and can be used in lots of different musical scenarios and styles.

So, you can use them in a traditional blues club, harmonizing a gospel hymn, and even in your jazz improvisation. Now, lets learn more about how to do this…

7 Tips To Masters These Easy Blues Piano Chords

1.How To Play Interesting Chord Progressions Over The Blues

As we explore in The Breakthrough Blues Method course, there are lots of ways to play interesting blues chord progressions. For example:

  • You can play the first 4 bars of the blues with just a C7.
  • You can throw a 2 5 1 chord progression into the blues.
  • You can throw a quick IV chord in on bar 2.

easy blues pianoIn this video above, I show you an additional chord progression you can use for the first 4 bars of the blues.

And that chord progression in terms of music theory is I6, ii7, I diminished, I7, ivm6, bV7, and then it resolves to the IV chord in bar 5.

To put it more simply, in the key of C the 7 chords I use are.

C6, Dm7, Cdim7, C7, Fm6, C7(9) and Gb7(13,9).

2. Blues Meets Gospel And George Shearing Style Chords

easy blues pianoI’m using a technique we call block chords.

In the video above I’m taking a 4 note chord in the right hand and doubling the top note of the chord in the left hand and octave below.

This creates a stronger sounding melody because of the fact that the melody appears twice and is being punched by both hands.

These type of chords are used all the time in gospel piano and organ playing. The great jazz pianist George Shearing also loved to use them.

3. How To Use Grace Notes To Create Soulful Melodies

easy blues pianoTo make the melody even more exciting I’m gracing the melody notes in my left hand. When you grace a note like this it brings a rich, soulful flavor to your chords and melodies.

If you want to sound like a singer and really connect with an audience in a soulful way, grace notes are a fantastic tool to use.

If you’re not sure how to grace notes or want to learn how we do it in blues then check out the blues grace notes chapters inside The Breakthrough Blues Method DVD.

4. How To Use Repeats & Create Melodies Listeners Love

Blues features a lot of repeats. Playing a cool phrase once and then playing something similar again is a big part of the style.

Did you notice how I play the first few chords and then I just basically repeated them again? Well, this is exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s nothing more than simple repetition. In fact, repetition is an easy blues piano concept to master. Play it once and then just play it again!

5. How I Use Jazz Chords To Make The Blues Hip

easy blues pianoThe Gb7 chord I play at the very end is a tritone substitution. Since my goal is to play an F7 chord in bar 5 I just played a chord a half step higher.

The tritone substitution is a cool jazz harmony technique. But, the way I was able to make it truly sparkle in this example was the specific voicings I chose.

Through most of the example I’m using easy blues piano block chords. They stay close together and create 1 particular sound.

But, on that Gb7 I switch over to a full solo piano open voicing. It’s a bigger sound and uses a lot more of the piano.

Can you hear how dramatic that solo piano chord sounds there? Can you hear how switching the voicing to a solo piano chord creates a sense of excitement?

By the way, if you want to grab a big fat collection of my best solo piano chords, check out this special program right here.

6. How Block Chords Can Electrify Your Improvisation

easy blues pianoAt it’s core piano improvisation is about creating your own melodies over the chords of a tune.

One way to think about these chords is just big harmonizations of a melody.

So, if you want to create a sense of excitement in your melodies when you improvise, simply use these chords to create a punch.

They’ll sound big and powerful because you’re playing 5 notes at the same time and attacking with both hands.

This is a great way to create energy and excitement in your music and grab your audience’s attention.

7. How I Went From Blues Piano Failure To World Touring Pro

If you love the way your chords sound and want to get access to the same method I used to go from a blues piano newbie to a world touring then we’ve made it easy for you.

  • Do you want to learn more gospel and blues blocks chords?
  • Want to quickly access a big collection of the best blues piano chords and progresions without having to spend years of your life trying to figure it out by yourself?
  • Want to see all these chord written out in sheet music form so you can learn them more quickly
  • Want to learn years of blues piano secrets from 2 world touring blues piano pros?

Then, the logical next step is to invest in a copy of The Breakthrough Blues Method.

Blues Hall Of Fame pianist Bruce Katz and I got together and created a course where we share years of our blues discoveries in a fun step by step method.

We look forward to sharing music with you further. If you have questions about this lesson, the Breakthrough Blues Method, easy blues piano techniques, or anything please leave a comment below.

We’re committed to helping you take your jazz and blues piano skills to the next level.