Music Theory

Left hand blues bass technique on the piano and The Boogie-woogie

Blues is a magnificent kind of music and playing it at the piano is marvelous. In the other pages, I introduce blues chord structures, scales and some licks, being typical phrases used in this music.

Instead, in this page in introduce some blues bass schemes at the piano. Many of these are the same to the ones played by the bass player or by the double bass player on his instrument.

Left hand blues bass –¬†boogie woogie on the¬†piano

In this first example, you can see the sequence of the dominant chordal notes (being the most used in blues) with the insertion of the sixth of the chord. Putting the sixth next to the fifth is so much widespread in blues, boogie-woogie and rock and roll bass progressions.

Remember always to stress the upbeats in these bars. For example, stress the third and the seventh quavers properly. Otherwise in swing-blues music you have to stress the upbeat quavers being even (the second quaver, the fourth and so on) ones. Try also to give triplets swing to notes sometimes playing the first note longer than the second one. Read this page in order to deepen swing.

Triplets blues bass technique at piano

Triplet rhythm is a feature of Blues,that is groups of three notes.
In this example (I regret having forgotten to indicate 12/8 time) notes move with a swinging and cadenced modulation which is typical of this music.


Of course you have to know these schemes in all keys learning to play blues bass in every chord. Remember to stress the upbeat too.

Soul blues bass | piano

I end up this first blues bass page with the soul bass style. You can note only the first three chordal notes have been used but bass line becomes interesting and soft thanks to rhythm and symmetry of the line itself.
I suggest you to practice stressing the upbeat by your foot too. This must be automatic.