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Piano boogie woogie walkthrough

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http://bit.do/billsbook In this walkthrough I play through a typical boogie woogie while looking at some of the techniques you can use and the difficulties you might encounter. Despite the slightly tricky left hand part, this boogie woogie isn't too hard to play on the piano because of its rolling, almost rock and roll style. The key is to master the left hand and to get an idea of the kind of licks and riffs that you can play in the right. Since your left hand is relatively "locked" on the piano keyboard you have to be a little bit careful about not crashing the two hands together. This becomes a problem especially when you're going for fairly chunky, chord-based improvisation in the right hand. Another slight difficulty that you may face is how to move up the piano keyboard. Most people find that in any kind of improvisation, it's much easier to play riffs moving downwards, since you can rock off your thumb. When moving up the keyboard, the hard work falls on a weaker part of your hand. This can make your improvisation sound less confident. I find that a really easy and fast way of moving up the keyboard is to use arpeggios. In terms of right hand riffs, you can play anything from simple patterns using a few notes from the blues scale to fairly complex, chord-based, extended riffs which roll down the keyboard. Make sure you're really comfortable with your scales as they come in really handy in terms of knowing which notes to play. There are various other techniques you could try in order to add a little interest to your boogie woogie, for example moving out of the key, playing crush notes, and playing with tremolo in the right hand. Finally, make sure that you don't get trapped in the key of C. Experimenting with as many different keys as you can will really improve your improvising ability. If you found this tutorial a little too advanced, check out some of my earlier tutorials on blues and boogie piano basics.
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Text Comments (111)
Doctor Siege (2 months ago)
I really like that 2nd riff, I’m really good with my blues scale but that left hand is tiring af
I wish as a beginner the left hand was slower
Bill Hilton (1 year ago)
You can slow it down, if you like - click the little cog icon in the bottom rh corner of the video and select the speed you want from the menu that pops up. (Right now I think that only works on the desktop version of the site rather than mobile.)
Paul Alex Falduto (2 years ago)
I like, i'm learning now how to play piano boogie
toya to (2 years ago)
SLOW IT DOWN, MAN!
srrings (2 years ago)
Thanx Bill Hilton
Lance Kopp (2 years ago)
Hahaha not much of a lesson if you don't break it down dude, come on. Good try. I picked up enough I guess
paul hantson (3 years ago)
very good lesson but a litle bit slower would be much better
Steve Norton (3 years ago)
+paul hantson same advice I gave on another of Bill's vid's,click on settings,then on speed,you can really slow stuff down,then increase as you begin to learn
Ewa Winska (3 years ago)
cool and awesome rili!!!!!!!!!
Meckz Power (3 years ago)
I really appreciate your tutorial and learnt much from it. I'd say its pretty possible to play it, if you have little knowledge about the Jazz C,F,G scale :-D. -- thanks --
woxow (3 years ago)
okey okey what okey its fuckin hard
Shy (3 years ago)
yamaha portable grand?
wiencheck (2 years ago)
+Francisco Diego please die Thank you
Francisco Diego (2 years ago)
you suck cockkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
Bill Hilton (3 years ago)
+Shylyrushed Yep! Though I sold it about four years ago.
John Lipski (3 years ago)
should i change scale as i change chords to f or g
Christine Widdis (4 years ago)
Wow that was a nice slow lesson, lol
Antonio Barbosa (4 years ago)
don't speak so much..!! We just want you to play slowly and don't say nothing!
Daniel Oliveri (4 years ago)
is there a theoretical explanation of why the C blues scales sounds good over the C F and G chords?
DoubleAncient (3 years ago)
+Daniel Oliveri Yes, there is! The main reason is that C-blues scale (which actually is minor, I found it a little bit odd) have all the main notes of all the keys, F-major have Bb and we play A# - the same sound (not the same note unfortunatelly). G-major - F# and we have it as well. To be honest playing in F-scale on F chord may expand the bounds (same with G), but leave that key-changes to jazz, they love to play with harmony which is the main idea in bop.
Nigel Lilburn (4 years ago)
Looks like you have a Yamaha DGX 630 like me. I'd love to know what voice you are using using as all mine sound very yesterday. BTW, great lesson. Thabnks
Ezequiel De la Cueva (4 years ago)
Unfortunately, as many great performers, they suck at teaching. If only they took a little more time to explain, and did it more calmly, many beginners, like me, would benefit from the lesson, and could get interested in buying the book.   By the way, can anybody tell me what keys he is hitting on with his right hand? Seems like he skips some, but it's too troublesome to pause the vid on every single key to try to figure out things. 
Ezequiel De la Cueva (2 years ago)
You know, you're absolutely right. I'll take it back. I should have checked his other videos first, before I came up with such an ignorant remark. Thanks for the insight.
MaghoxFr (2 years ago)
He's showing you everything, and has a ton of videos explaining things he's assuming you already know. You can't approach every video like you're talking to people that never touched a piano.
Zilegil (3 years ago)
Yes I was mistaken
Zilegil (4 years ago)
I think it's F, Fsharp, G and C, but I'm starting out too so maybe I'm mistaken
Zilegil (4 years ago)
He explains it quite well, he is simply assuming that you've seen his previous videos on the blues The keys he's playing on his right hand are from the blues scale, which he goes through in a previous video
PIANOSTYLE100 (4 years ago)
Loved video. I want to pass this lick onto your viewers. You mentioned not to get stuck on c things. Well I had been doing an f blues lick for years. The problem was I did not go all in direction with the lick. I always would reposition my fingers after a a few notes. It sounds good but it always lacked a certain smoothness. I used to play it like pinky on f then middle on a aflat then index then thumb on b then middle on aflat then replace pinky on on c. This was high to low. Well one day. I was woodshedding and I was determined to do this going low to high which doesnt seem to be that easy. Well here it is I love this lick on bflat seven the four chord of f. T on f then index on a flat then b then middle on b flat then thumb on b then middle then middle on e flat then tuck thumb uner to f. Down is the reverse motions. This is reversable on the fly.
9kjunkie (4 years ago)
Those riffs are awesome.... this will take me 6 months to learn.
the right hand is way too fast, and I believe you know that because on the easy riffs you slow down, and then when you roll down, you speed up and make what would be much easier you either purposely don't do, the left hand is only complicated if you don't put 1000 hours into the muscle memory. I don't show you civil maritime law in 10 minutes and would not make such a video. This rolling style needs to be in slow motion as you do on other videos on right hand riffs - s l o w d o w n o n the r I g h t hand when you  are connecting "further down the piano". I've played years of you videos. With respect as usual.
Henry Lee (4 years ago)
Thanks bill I'm doing grade 6 piano now and I've been wanting to get in to jazz for a while. Great vid!
Csaba Boros (4 years ago)
Thanks Bro!!!
John Herder (5 years ago)
Thanks so much for your videos!  I've been practicing with them for weeks now and am loving it.
Kyle P (5 years ago)
pretty much the fucking man
Pianosimser (5 years ago)
just found your channel. One word... amazing =) thank you. Enough videos for the next 10 years to learn =)
Aklar_45 (5 years ago)
dirty nasty bluesy chords, man I laugh so hard
Colin Barr (5 years ago)
Rubbish piano mate
Roscoe Lipin (5 years ago)
very nicely explained. Thank you!
Richie Sheath (5 years ago)
Too fast slow it down please.
FedEx867 (5 years ago)
Oh my god this dude is so nice!
Elizabeth Carter (5 years ago)
I love the way you teach.  It is so easy to understand.  I have only recently found your sites on Youtube and would like to know if you have any lessons on how to improve playing the left hand .... different styles and rythmns and ways to fill in when playing a slower melody in the right hand.  Thanks
BubblegumShallow (5 years ago)
Thank You so much for this great tutorial,especially love the riff from 1:12-1:51
Nicolas Rocher (5 years ago)
Very good pianist and teacher !! I have a question, can anyone answer me please : for exemple in that video he plays on a C blue scale, but very often he also plays a D or a A which is not in the C blue scale but it sounds good.  Is there a notion I have to learn to understand it or is it with the experience that we know which note will sounds good even if this note isn't on the scale..... Help me ^^ :) Thanks
Doctor Siege (2 months ago)
Nicolas Rocher better late then never but if anyone reads this has the same question, it’s because the A & D are in the F & G riff your playing so it fits in with the ear 🤙🏻
gregsbest (5 years ago)
Hi Bill, Great playing there. I heard you were very busy- so I feel this lesson was rushed- understandably, but your hands moved so quickly , I could not see what right hand notes you played a lot. Maybe a better contrast of the notes would help. I noticed with your setting sun, that the keys showed more contrast=easier to see the notes. Would love to see more boogie/blues lessons.(Enjoying your PlayPiano ebook too.) Thanks, Greg
GalifetteTV (5 years ago)
Ces leçons me font autant travailler le piano que l'anglais ! Perfect !
michel richard (5 years ago)
You teach. Me. A Lot. Trank you. So. Much.
Bill Hilton (5 years ago)
Désolé - mais malheureusement mon francais est trop mauvais pour l'enseignement :(
Bill Hilton (5 years ago)
WISE WORDS FROM SEYMOUR THE MAGNIFICENT! I learned to play blues and boogie looking over Rick's shoulder when I was 12, so y'all should pay attention to what he's saying.
David Bohata (5 years ago)
The same problem. So far I've been avoiding blues because of it even though I love it the most. I think we should see a doctor and undergo some brain surgery I'm afraid. Sorry I didn't help much. :D
David Bohata (5 years ago)
I sit behind the piano once in a time and learn some song. The toughest thing I can play is Humoresque by Dvořák. However, no matter how fundamental blues I try to play, I can't. My left hand is paired with the right one and goes only with the same rhythm. You know what I mean? With blues or boogie left hand jumps back and forth with some pattern but right hand dances around independently to that. How on earth can I manage this problem?! Need more brain nerve connections installed probably...
rick seymour (5 years ago)
John moody - I'm sure that Bill put up some early exercises specifically about getting your hands working together with some some riffs. Over time it will become natural and your brain will not even notice. Personally I found that if you train your left hand to go on auto-pilot, then your right hand will be able to flow more creatively. Look for some of the early lessons from Bill.
Nathan Mateer (5 years ago)
really helpful, cheers
john moody (5 years ago)
I started four months ago and practice for an hour each day. I can play the left hand and the right, but my problem is I cant do them together. As soon as I start, my right starts following my left or the other way round. Try as I may I cannot get them to act independently, any suggestions? I can play good guitar using picking and running chords so I know both hands can act independently if they wish.
Lucas Molina (5 years ago)
Thanks man. :)
Bill Hilton (5 years ago)
Scales! The really important stuff for boogie woogie is finger control, so lots of scales will help (always take it gently at the start of each practice session though, as it's easy to injure yourself if you go crazy without warming up). Also, really pursue that classical stuff, and keep working at it - it'll really help. If, one day, you can get more lessons that would be really useful. Good luck!
Lucas Molina (5 years ago)
Hello, mister. I love classical music, specially the piano. I try to play it sometimes with sheet music that I download online. I've had only a couple months of lessons and had to stop it to go to college. However, sometimes I manage to go the piano room and play a little bit. What kind of piano exercice do you recommend me to do before I try to play boogie woogie? Thanks :)
3xStampA2xStamp (5 years ago)
i love in some of these older videos how you just jam out for a bit... i really like the lessons/tutorials and i've learned a lot but it would be fun to see a few videos where you just play out without explaining or striving for a specific goal.. its awesome just to hear what you can do
Eros Mandici (5 years ago)
relax your hands when you are studying at piano
Lucile Gn (5 years ago)
Hello !, what your name !? I no English because is Franch !!-)
Jennie Williams (5 years ago)
Love your sound! Hope I absorb some of it! Inspiring!
Claudio Abraham (5 years ago)
You are GENIUS. Nothing less. :)
Connie Thomsen (5 years ago)
thanks a lot -it just fit me where I´m right now thanks a lot :)
Ryan Locke (5 years ago)
Thank you! This is so awesome please keep posting videos you rock man
Zak Boilen (6 years ago)
thank you!god bless!
Aldo Masciarelli (6 years ago)
bravo, complimenti
Eeco Rijken Rapp (6 years ago)
Nice work, next time slow down a bit Bill :) .. Thanks for sharing your thoughts though. If people want to check out more boogie videos, check my profile.
Joe Melendez (6 years ago)
Cool, but too fast for me!!!
Tommy Haynes (6 years ago)
I play blues and some boogie. That was very helpful . I learned so much from this. BTW about playing in other keys :some things are easier in G, D or A
Chalasse Timon (6 years ago)
you play very very well
William Hedley (6 years ago)
Much too fast I am afraid . Looks like you want to show off rather than teach
Valbuenium (6 years ago)
that's cool
Luka Cvijetic (6 years ago)
Thx mate :)
Bill Hilton (6 years ago)
It's a Yamaha DGX-630. They're excellent pianos at a great price, although I've now moved on to a Nord NP88.
Luka Cvijetic (6 years ago)
What is name and code of this piano? Please :)
Ikke Olve (6 years ago)
hi plz make an 20min video of this music plz!!! I am just yaou biggest fan !!!!
dydek007 (6 years ago)
Hi Bill ! you inspired me to get back to piano again. I was playing that wonderful instrument when I was 7. Now I'm 25 ... and obviously I have to start from the begining. First thing .. scales, chords and we'll see how it goes ;) Btw. I think you're great pianist and I wish to thank you for sharing those videos ! pssst .. bought your book too, but don't tell anyone ! Don't forget to post more of 'em ! Cheers !
Bill Hilton (6 years ago)
This one is a little like a visit to the gym, I'm afraid! The only way around it is to spend time at the piano and build up your endurance. Don't overdo it and hurt yourself, though!
Bill Hilton (6 years ago)
OK, there's a remade version available now - check in my timeline!
Jo-B de Souza (6 years ago)
i could never play at the same time...my left hand seem to go dead!!
HuGo GuzMan (6 years ago)
wonderful your video, it has helped me a lot
DJKerr96 (6 years ago)
Well, I have to say Bill, you are an amazing pianist and teacher. You have improved my skills on playing piano in various different areas. Also you are great to listen to! So, I shall say my thanks, and keep up the great work! Dave
Bill Hilton (6 years ago)
Right! The very next video will be this same stuff, slowed down! It might take me a few days, as I'm working away from home a lot at the moment (hence the general lack of videos...) - but what the audience wants, the audience shall get!
Dav123xyz (6 years ago)
Must admit have to agree with some of these comments. Really goodyou are showing us but it is a bit fast.......the classic mistake....it can be of putting!!
Maria Romero (6 years ago)
i love your accent
Zoe Bruwer (6 years ago)
yeah lets start with the left hand atleast
Bill Hilton (6 years ago)
Well, it's pretty difficult to tell you all of them without spending two hours writing an email ;) Which ones exactly were you wondering about? The left hand pattern?
Zoe Bruwer (6 years ago)
hry bill, what are the note you are using in this video? im struggling to make them out. you can email me at [email protected] im realy interested in learning jazz on the piano. and ive recently got an interest in boogie woogie since ive watched your videos
MrBeatles01 (6 years ago)
Hi that's a great video thank you for posting it. The lick you play at 2.45 onwards, do you have a video just on this? I'd really like to get the whole thing down note for note but just can't work it out from the vid. This is a classic lick and would be really popular I think. Cheers.
Michael Salazar (6 years ago)
Just bought my first piano (Yamaha P120) after playing guitar, bass, and drums for the past 12 years and I have to thank you for the videos. I'm glad that you likened the piano to a percussion instrument because I thought that myself when I first laid hands on it. It's the world's best tuned drum kit. The speed you played was fine. I picked up the LH pattern with no problems at all. Now it's time to knock out those RH blues scales and put the patterns together. Thanks again, mate!
Bill Hilton (6 years ago)
Hey! Sorry about that - I try to go slow, but sometimes I get carried away... On the upside, not only are you learning stuff on the piano, you're doing great work on your cardiovascular fitness :)
ipe369 (6 years ago)
Love your videos, you're really good at teaching! :D You should probably slow things down a little bit though;) Especially the riffs. I had to run up and down stairs 8 times to figure it out on piano ;) Nice video, helped me lots, thanks:D
Philip Dunwood (6 years ago)
absolutely fabulous lesson but slow the fuc& down
Bill Hilton (6 years ago)
Sorry if you think it's too fast - can I recommend you look at the other videos I've posted which explain this stuff in more detail? The context might help - give me a shout if there's anything particular you're finding difficult :)
Toppitmanilikeit (6 years ago)
Hey Bill! Love the lessons u bring. Very helpful and worthwhile. Keep up the good work.Thank u so much. Mike
Michael Kew (7 years ago)
You Tube this site is great, yes im new at this but love it, cant beleave how far back you can go, Keep it great Keep it free, Hic!!
1phatmaximus (7 years ago)
i thank you for your time and effort in putting these vids on youtube,,and appreciate that they are free and hope that u keep em that way for poor fools like me who dont have pennys to spare so thank you and wishin u all the best Mac
ziajek444 (7 years ago)
fajne
MrLifewatcher (7 years ago)
this really is fantastic but you should go slower when demonstrating techniques it is much easier to see what you are doing and how you are doing it. go fast then go slow when you are explaining the techniques
John Lennon Fanatic (7 years ago)
just love those right hand riffs but can we see them much slower.
Karlo (7 years ago)
nice feet
Ferruccio Biffarella (7 years ago)
bravo :-)
Danny Rumbles (7 years ago)
It's been a dream of mine to be a blues/boogie woogie piano player, I've been trying to teach myself. You videos really help. What make of keyboard is that? It has a really lovely sound! Thanks for the video!
Bill Hilton (7 years ago)
@Tallmark1 Glad you like the vid :) Re: the DVD, yep, it's something I've thought about, though I'd quite like to remake a lot of the earlier vids (the ones I shot before I really figured out what works and what doesn't, got a decent camera, etc.) before I do it. Another alternative is that I might offer them as a single disk image for download. Watch this space...!
Mark Orman (7 years ago)
How about selling lessons on DVD only slow everything down. I'd be interested it that.
Mark Orman (7 years ago)
Thanks. This has been very helpful.
Mike (7 years ago)
You're awesome. I love your videos. Thank you so much. I've picked up so many little tricks and licks from them.
Samy Co (7 years ago)
WOW, this boogie woogie is amazing !

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