How To Find The Key Of A Piece Of Music Beginner Piano Lessons – Piano Chords – How to Play 12 Bar Blues on Piano

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Beginner Piano Lessons – Piano Chords – How to Play 12 Bar Blues on Piano

12 bar blues is an evolution of chords or a series of chords used in literally hundreds of blues and rock songs. Well-known examples include Rock Around the Clock and Blue Suede Shoes. To play 12 bar blues all you need to know are 3 simple piano chords.

The 3 chords you will play are C major, F major and G major. The big word means bright and cheerful in music.

To play the chords of C major, find the white key C. C is to the left of the set of 2 black keys. Now play all the white keys instead of C (on the right hand side C). The chords of C are CE and G. Play it with either your right or left hand using alternating fingers – 1 3 and 5.

Keep rehearsing it until you can say it with conviction and confidence. All three of your fingers should form a triangle. Imagine you are “cutting” a shape into a piano lock!

Now for your second chord. Move your triangle up on the piano so you start on F. The chords of F major have the white keys FA and C.

The third chord is G major. It has 3 GB and D white keys.

Perform each chord play for 4 counts (literally “1, 2, 3, 4” in your head).

This is the 12 bar blues structure in the key of C major. Symbol C means playing the chord of C major, F means playing the chord of F major and so on.

CCCC

FFCC

GFCC

As you are counting “1, 2, 3, 4” play each chord on “1”

Remember to allow enough time to move between one chord to the next chord so you can save time.

You can use this structure to play any 12-bar blues song. When musicians get on stage and “jam” together, they usually play with this structure. Who knows – when you feel confident, you can always get up and join!

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