The Gospel Blues Piano Sound – Learn To “Walk” Between Chords


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The Gospel Blues Piano Sound – Learn To “Walk” Between Chords

Here is a transcript of the video if you would like to follow along:

Good morning, this is your headless piano teacher again, with a free lesson on “Walk On Up”.  This is called the “Walk On Up” technique, and it’s very simple. It uses the gospel-blues piano sound.

In chord progressions, as you know chords have a tendency to want to move up a fourth constantly.  In other words, the C chord, particularly if you put a seventh with it, it wants to move up a fourth to F.  The F chord, wants to move up to B flat.  Really, we’re talking about the “Circle of Fours” here, or the  “Circle of Keys”, but that happens all the time in music.

What usually follows D seventh?  Almost always G.  What follows G seventh?  Almost always C.  We can take advantage of that by walking up between chords.  For example, if I’m walking up from the C chords, say to the F chord, I can walk up in tenths, and it gives a real nice secure sound, like that.

Duane is demonstrating on the piano.

Now, some people’s hands are big enough to play that, and if your hands are, then do it.  I can’t do that, so I have to cheat.  I have to use two hands.  I have to use … see my right hand is playing the tenth above it.  Okay, so that’s all there is to a walk up, you just walk up, like so.  If we’re in the key of F, it would be …

Duane is demonstrating on the piano.

See that?  Now we’re going to throw a little curve ball here.  We’re going to use what we learned last week, that is the “Four Of The Four” technique.  Let’s walk up the four, but before we play the F chord, let’s play the B flat chord.  That immediately gives it a little bluesy sound.

Let’s do it in F.  Now, if you put sevenths in there, you can get a bluesier sound.  Let me put this in context by doing it in an actual song.  Let’s say you’re playing “Amazing Grace”.  Okay?

Duane is demonstrating on the piano.

You can do this on any song of course, but let’s say … let me just play it.

Duane is demonstrating on the piano.

That’s F to B flat, back to F, and so on.  Okay?  Now, watch this.

Duane is demonstrating on the piano.

See that?  I’m walking up to B flat, and my right hand has to help.  Okay, but before we play B flat, what are we going to do?  Play the “Four Of The Four”.  Now, I can context.

Duane is demonstrating on the piano.

See?  There at the end I put on the “Four Of The Four” to the four to the one.  Let me do that again a little slower.

Duane is demonstrating on the piano.

“Amazing grace,” now I’m going to walk up.  “How sweet”, now before I play B flat, I’m going to go E flat, B flat.  Now, I’m going to play F, one, four, one.  Okay?  I could go up to the “Four Of The Four”, if I have time.

Duane is demonstrating on the piano.

Now, the chord here is C, so instead of going to C, I went to the “Four Of The Four”.  What’s the “Four Of The Four”?  It’s B flat, so I play the B flat chord and then just came down.

Duane is demonstrating on the piano.

Now, on this walk up, I tripletize it.  I went triple up, triple up, triple up.  See that?  My left hand is just walking up in octaves, but my right hand … you can’t see my bottom finger, but that’s okay.  It’s an octave lower.  On the right hand, I’m tripletizing it, triple up, triple up, triple up, triple up, triple up, triple up. Four, four, one, four, one, four, four one.  See that?  You can do that with all kinds of voicing.  You don’t need to do it just like I did it.  Voicing is not the subject here, we’re talking about chord progression.

That’s it for this time.  Practice hard.  See you next time, and if you want more tips like this, and if you’re not already signed up for our newsletter, come on over to playpiano.com.  I’ll send you a newsletter like this every three days or so.  Thanks for being with me.  See you later.  Bye bye for now.

Here is the video on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yeiw6mGPnw
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