Blues Practice Plan

I am here to learn blues and everything that comes with it!

If this sounds like you, then this article is a must read before you sign up.
– As you might have read on my front page, my focus is on how to create music and express different kinds of emotions with the piano. To play blues is an excellent tool to do that… as well as contemporary piano, or any other style.  If you are planning to sign up for a monthly membership, you must be aware of getting lessons in all type of genres. (Blues is one of the six styles I am covering on the site.)
– If your budget on blues piano lessons is around 30€, then I rather recommend you to check out my Blues Piano Bundle.
– However, if you signed up for 6 months or 1-year membership, The following practice plan will help you focus exclusively on blues piano.


BEGINNER BLUES PIANO LESSONS

This section requires basic reading and coordination skills between the left hand and right hand.

Swing Feel

Improvisation

A Minor Blues

A Minor Pentatonic

Rhythm Workout

Expanding Rhythm Vocabulary for Improvisation

Licks

Etudes 

You First Composition

Jam with your friends

Test your skills, and decide if you are ready to move to the next section:


INTERMEDIATE  BLUES PIANO LESSONS

Song and Improvisation in C

How to Practice Scales

Improvisation Etude


ADVANCED  BLUES PIANO LESSONS

Licks and Improvisation

Creative Practicing

Powerful Chord Progressions

Rhythm Workout
(Two-Feel Bass Lines + Walking Bass + Jazz Trio)

Test your skills


TRADITIONAL 12 BAR BLUES WORKOUT


JAZZ-BLUES IN C 

Walking Bass

Chords

Jazz-blues Improvisation


JAZZ-BLUES IN Bb


JAZZ-BLUES IN F


JAZZ WITH A HINT OF BLUES

VIII. Jazz-Blues Improvisation
(Major Pentatonic and Major Blues)

 


If you are not sure where to start or how to approach these lessons, feel free to contact me. In order to give you good advice and guidance, I would need the following information from you.

  • Your name, age, and main motivation.
  • A link where I can see or hear you playing any of my exercises from this list (Unlisted youtube link, mp3 file, etc.) If you are not a member yet, please chose a lesson from my Youtube Channel. Play the entire exercise from the beginning to the end with a steady beat and let me know how long time did it take you to complete the lesson. If the recording is about improvisation, please improvise at least for 1 minute (with a steady beat).
  • How much time do you have for practice?
  • What lessons have you already completed or are still working on?
  • What is your next short-term goal? Is it ok if I tell you that you should change that goal?:) Most of the time you think that your problem will be solved if you learn more about theory, scales, and licks, but then I come and tell you that all you have to do first is to keep the rhythm.

Good luck and keep in touch,
David

Just Keep the Beat

Many of my students are trying so hard to play the right notes, so they end up stopping and correcting themselves every five seconds. Having a steady beat is the first thing you should care about, everything else is secondary. I rather listen to improvisation with good rhythm and some wrong notes, than to an improvisation where everything is correct, but the rhythm is weak. Do you know the reason why you are not able to keep the beat and a good flow? I tell you. You are practicing something you not supposed to. The biggest mistakes every beginner do. This is also the reason why you will skip the next day of practicing piano. You struggle. But why do you do this to yourself? Who told you that you have to suffer to make some progress? For sure there is a lesson on this website that you can play right away with a steady beat. You should start there… and then go to the next one on the list. What will happen?
1. You will stop working hard – and start enjoying playing the piano again.
2. You will manage to keep the beat every single time you sit down to practice.
3. You will give positive signals to your brain that you can play things without a struggle, and that will help you to sit down again tomorrow.
4. Eventually, you will get back to the lesson you tried so hard to complete earlier, and you will be surprised that you can do it on the first try.

Trust the curriculum. All you have to do is to start at the right place, continue in the right order and you will get the same feeling every day – This is easy. Soon or later you will end up playing my most difficult routines, and you will still think the same – This is easy.

Low Intermediate Practice Plan (2. Month)

Welcome to your 2. month curriculum! I encourage you to check out the new lessons even if you are not entirely done with the previous month exercises and etudes.  The only reason you should put the new lessons on hold if you feel that they are too complicated.


Core Lessons

Left-Hand Accompaniment
(Lesson 84 – Lesson 85)

Improvisation
(From Lesson 86 to Lesson 92)

Rhythm Workout
(From Lesson 93 to Lesson 96)

Duet Part
(Lesson 97)

Checkpoint

Improvisation (Mindset)


I recommend you to learn all the lessons one by one starting from the top. Work on all the additional exercises too, so all the new information and knowledge has the chance to sink deeper. There are more lessons in your second-month intermediate curriculum, you can check them out too, but those are mainly for jazz beginners (or jazz intermediate players). However, this is a well-rounded practice routine for an intermediate student. All you have to do is stick to the plan and practice every day, even if your ego says that you should practice more things.  If you have the feeling that it would be difficult to follow through this program, I recommend you to send me your progress every week. I will give you feedback and help you to keep on track.

High Intermediate Practice Plan (2. Month)

Welcome to your 2. month curriculum! I encourage you to check out the new lessons even if you are not entirely done with the previous month exercises and etudes.  The only reason you should put the new lessons on hold if you feel that they are too complicated.


Core Lessons

Left-Hand Accompaniment
(Lesson 84 – Lesson 85)

Improvisation
(From Lesson 86 to Lesson 92)

Rhythm Workout
(From Lesson 93 to Lesson 96)

Duet Part
(Lesson 97)

Checkpoint

Improvisation (Mindset)


Jazz Beginner Routines

I. Ear Training

If you transpose only one etude, it should be this one:

II. Jazz-Blues Workout in the key of C

III. Jazz Routines

Review

IV. Theory/Basics

Review

V. Improvisation 

Review

VI. Having Fun with the Etudes
Choose one of the lessons listed below and transform it to your level.

I recommend you to learn all the lessons one by one starting from the top. Work on all the additional exercises too, so all the new information and knowledge has the chance to sink deeper. This is a well-rounded practice routine for a Jazz Beginner student. All you have to do is stick to the plan and practice every day. If you have the feeling that it would be difficult to follow through this program, I recommend you to send me your progress every week. I will give you feedback and help you to keep on track.

Intermediate Practice Plan (2. Month)

Welcome to your 2. month curriculum! I encourage you to check out the new lessons even if you are not entirely done with the previous month exercises and etudes.  The only reason you should put the new lessons on hold if you feel that they are too complicated.


Core Lessons

Left-Hand Accompaniment
(Lesson 84 – Lesson 85)

Improvisation
(From Lesson 86 to Lesson 92)

Rhythm Workout
(From Lesson 93 to Lesson 96)

Duet Part
(Lesson 97)

Checkpoint

Improvisation (Mindset)


II. Jazz Beginner Routines

Improvisation (Easy)

Theory/Basics

Review

Major Triad Etude

Improvisation

Etudes

Review

Jazz Chords

I recommend you to learn all the lessons one by one starting from the top. Work on all the additional exercises too, so all the new information and knowledge has the chance to sink deeper. There are more lessons in your second-month intermediate curriculum, you can check them out too, but those are mainly for jazz beginners (or jazz intermediate players). However, this is a well-rounded practice routine for an intermediate student. All you have to do is stick to the plan and practice every day, even if your ego says that you should practice more things.  If you have the feeling that it would be difficult to follow through this program, I recommend you to send me your progress every week. I will give you feedback and help you to keep on track.

Jazz Beginners Practice Plan (2. Month)

I encourage you to check out the new lessons even if you are not entirely done with the previous month exercises and etudes.  The only reason you should put the new lessons on hold if you feel that they are too complicated.


I. Basic Routines (Easy)

Improvisation
Routine #5: Five-Finger Scale Exercises (A minor Blues)
Routine #6: Five-Finger Improvisation Exercises (A minor Blues)

Theory/Basics
C Minor Workout – Basics
G Minor Workout – Basics
D Minor Workout – Basics
Bb Major Workout – Basics

Major Triads
Routine #7a: Major Triad Etude (Right Hand – Octaves)
Routine #7b: Major Triad Etude (Left Hand – Octaves)
Routine #8a: Major Triad Etude (Arpeggios: Right Hand – Octaves) 
Routine #8b: Major Triad Etude (Arpeggios: Left Hand – Octaves)

Composition
2-month Beginner Essentials: Making Music with the Core Lessons
2. month Beginner Challenge: The 9th and the Good 9th song


II. Jazz Beginner Routines

Ear Training
2. Month Jazz Beginner Approach (Ear Training – Transposition)
If you transpose only one etude, it should be this one:
Routine #5: Five-Finger Scale Exercises (A minor Blues)

I would recommend you to pick up one etude from the following list and transpose it too.
Whole Notes with Quarter Notes

Whole notes with Half Notes
Challenging Esplosivo Song – Experienced Beginner Version

Quarter Notes with Quarter Notes
Colours
D minor Etude – Spring Wind


Having Fun with the Beginner Lessons
2. Month Jazz Beginner Approach (Express Yourself)

Choose one of the lessons listed below and transform it to your level.
G minor Etude – The Legend of John
C minor Etude – Ballade pour Adele 
D minor Etude – Spring Wind
Challenging Esplosivo Song – Experienced Beginner Version

Quarter Notes with Quarter Notes
Colours

Improvisation
Routine #5: Five-Finger Scale Exercises (Call and Response)
Routine #5: Five-Finger Scale Exercises (Pick Ups)
2. Month Beginner Challenge: Pop Improvisation in 4 Major Keys (C – G – D – A)

Challenging Jazz Routines
Jazz routine #1: Five-finger scale exercises (12 Major Keys) 
Jazz Routine #2: Advanced Five-Finger Scale Exercises (C minor Blues)
Jazz Routine #3: Five-Finger scale exercises (12 Minor Keys)
Jazz Routine #3: 6 Additional Exercises

Jazz-Blues Workout in the key of C



I recommend you to learn all the lessons one by one starting from the top. Work on all the additional exercises too, so all the new information and knowledge has the chance to sink deeper. This is a well-rounded practice routine for a Jazz Beginner student. All you have to do is stick to the plan and practice every day. If you have the feeling that it would be difficult to follow through this program, I recommend you to send me your progress every week. I will give you feedback and help you to keep on track.

Experienced Beginners Practice Plan (2. Month)

Don’t stress about the new lessons if you are still working on something from the 1. month practice plan. Take as much time as you need. In the other hand, I encourage you to check out the new lessons even if you are not entirely done with the previous exercises and etudes.  The only reason you should put the new lessons on hold if you feel that they are too complicated.


I. Jazz-Blues Workout in the key of C

II. Jazz Routines

Review

III. Theory/Basics

Review

IV. Improvisation 

Review

V. Etudes

VI. Having Fun with the Beginner Lessons

Original Lesson

Revisited Version

I recommend you to learn all the lessons one by one starting from the top. Work on all the additional exercises too, so all the new information and knowledge has the chance to sink deeper. There are more lessons in your second-month beginner curriculum, you can check them out too, but those are mainly for jazz beginners (intermediate players). However, this is a well-rounded practice routine for an experienced beginner student. All you have to do is stick to the plan and practice every day, even if your ego says that you should practice more things, so why not just research more stuff on the internet instead of practicing. Haha. True story.

If you have the feeling that it would be difficult to follow through this program, you can always scale down to the 2. month absolute beginner program, or you can send me your progress every week. I will give you feedback and help you to keep on track.


In order to give you good advice and guidance, I would need the following information from you:

  • Your name, age, and main motivation.
  • A link where I can see or hear you playing any of my exercises from this practice plan. (Unlisted youtube link, mp3 file, etc.) Play the entire exercise from the beginning to the end with a steady beat and let me know how long time did it take you to complete the lesson. If the recording is about improvisation, please improvise at least for 1 minute (with a steady beat).
  • How much time do you have for practice?
  • Are you working on the additional exercises too?
  • What lessons have you already completed or are still working on?
  • What is your next short-term goal? Is it ok if I tell you that you should change that goal?:) Most of the time you think that your problem will be solved if you learn more about theory, scales, and licks, but then I come and tell you that all you have to do first is to keep the rhythm.

Absolute Beginners Plan (2. Month)

 Welcome to your 2. month absolute beginner curriculum! First of all, you should not stress about the new lessons if you are still working on something from the 1. month practice plan. Take as much time as you need. In the other hand, I encourage you to check out the new lessons even if you are not entirely done with the previous exercises and etudes.  The only reason you should put the new lessons on hold if you feel that they are too complicated.


Core Lessons

I. Sight Reading and Coordination Exercises
(Lesson 19 – 21)

II. Improvisation
(Lesson 22 – 25)

III: Etudes
(Lesson 30 – 33)

Your primary focus should be on mastering these lessons. If you manage to reach this level of sight reading and improvisation in one month (i.e., complete all these lessons above), you should feel good about yourself. Just think about it, two months ago, you had no idea how to read music and improvise on the piano.
What? Are you saying that you managed to do this in a week? No way! Alright little Mozart, let’s not stop here then.


Additional Exercises for Motivated Absolute Beginners

I. Improvisation

Review

New Lessons

II. Chords and Arpeggios

Review

New Lessons

III. Composition

Review

New Lessons


There are more lessons in your second-month beginner curriculum, you can check them out too (2. Month Experienced Beginner Plan), but don’t ask me to give you those lessons as homework.  I never had a beginner student who would manage to complete all this in one month. My experience is that a motivated absolute beginner student would be able to finish the first 15 lessons. And I as I told you already – it is an impressive accomplishment.

The “Well-Rounded Pianist” Practice Plan

“I have access to more than 300 lessons, what should I do now?”

If your goal is to become a pianist, this practice plan is for you. We will cover Jazz, Blues, Pop, Contemporary Piano, Funk and Latin music. My experience is that you need to know a little bit of everything in order to survive as a musician 😉
Let’s start.

THE JAZZ BEGINNER MINDSET

Before you would start working on your curriculum, I want you to check out the following three lessons:


ABOUT MONTHLY PRACTICE PLANS

Since you signed up for 1-year membership you have access to everything. Including Monthly Practice plans.

1. Month

2. Month

3. Month

So on, so forth… Check them out.
Complete at least the first month of the Absolute Beginner Plan, before you would move to the next section.


GOAL NO. 1 – BLUES IMPROVISATION 

  • CheckPoint 1: Blues Improvisation
    I see many beginner students who want to improvise over difficult (jazzy) chord progressions, where they have to follow the standard AABA form and change the scales after every 4 seconds. So they learn a bunch of scales, licks, voicings. They learn everything about the theory, but in the end, they still not able to improvise. Why? There is no way that you are going to be able to do that if you are not able to improvise freely with one single scale! So don’t worry about the theory, don’t over analyze music, just play!
    To reach the level of improvisation that presented in the video, follow the following practice plan.
    If you are an absolute beginner I recommend you to spread this program out over 3 to 6 months.

I. Sight Reading & Coordination Exercises

II. Improvisation

III. Sight Reading & Coordination Exercises

IV. Improvisation

V. Sight Reading & Coordination Exercises

VI. Improvisation

VII. Sight Reading & Coordination Exercises

VIII. Rhythm Workout

IX. Expanding Rhythm Vocabulary for Improvisation

X. Challenge

XI. Licks

XII: Jam with your friends

XIII: Songs (My Compositions)

XIV. Composition

XV. Rhythm Workout (Two-Feel Bass Lines + Jazz Trio)

XVI. Revisiting Checkpoint No.1
Test your skills, and decide if you are ready to move to the next section:

Congratulation. If you went through all these lessons, you can stop calling yourself a beginner.


GOAL NO. 2 – MODERN CLASSICAL, NEW AGE & CONTEMPORARY  IMPROVISATION

We are not done with blues, but let’s put it on hold for a while, because I don’t want you to get tired of it.
Time to change the genre, tonality, express melancholy and improve your left-hand techniques.
To reach Goal no. 2 will take over 3 or 6 months. However, I believe it is going to be quite effortless and fun.

I. Sight Reading & Coordination Exercises
(From Lesson 66 to Lesson 73)

II. Basic Improvisation Exercises
(From Lesson 74 to Lesson 77)

III. Sight Reading – Low Intermediate Approach
(From Lesson 78 to Lesson 83)
NOTE: If the speed of the demonstration feels very slow to you, jump to Sight Reading – High Intermediate Approach

 

IV. Sight Reading – High Intermediate Approach

V. Compositional Improvisation

  • MAKING MUSIC WITH THE CORE LESSONS
    Collect your favorite parts from the etudes you have learned so far, and mix them up. You can’t go wrong. All the core lessons are in the key of E minor, so whatever you decide to glue together, will fit, no worries. Feel free to change things around to your taste, also, you might want to add parts, that wasn’t in the curriculum. That is completely fine. I did that too.

VI. Left-Hand Accompaniment
(Lesson 84 – Lesson 85)

VII. Improvisation
(From Lesson 86 to Lesson 92)

VIII: Rhythm Workout
(From Lesson 93 to Lesson 96)

IX. Duet Part
(Lesson 97)

X. Improvisation (Mindset)

XI. Reading lead sheets

XII. Improvisation

XIII. Songs
(From Lesson 98 to Lesson 105)

XIV. Piano Fingering Exercises

XV. Checkpoint
Test your skills, and decide if you are ready to move to the next section:


GOAL NO. 3 – ADVANCED BLUES IMPROVISATION

Checkpoint 3: Blues Challenge (Explosive)

If you are at an intermediate level, I recommend you to spread this program out over 3 to 6 months.

I. Scales
(From Lesson 113 to Lesson 115)

II: Improvisation
(From Lesson 116 to Lesson 120)

III: Creative Practicing 101
(From Lesson 121 to Lesson 128)

VI. Powerful Chord Progressions
(Lesson 129 – Lesson 130)

V. Rhythm Workout – 8th Note Rest Workout
(Two-Feel Bass Lines + STRIDE + Jazz Trio)

VI. Test your skills

Congratulation! Now you can play blues just like me.
Are we done now? No, no… We are just getting started.


GOAL NO. 4 – LEARN TO ENJOY YOUR NEW PIANO SKILLS

 This section is just about having fun playing the piano.

I. POP-BLUES

II. FUNK

III. JAZZ

VI. FOLK

V. POP & CONTEMPORARY


GOAL NO. 5 – THE WELL-ROUNDED JAZZ PIANIST

Time to be a beginner again.  We will even revisit some lessons. Since you have good control over the piano, you have to look the core lessons from an entirely different perspective now. Therefore I strongly recommend you to start here:

Keeping that Jazz Beginner Mindset, you will find even the absolute beginner lessons useful to you.
When you open a lesson, you will see the video on the top and under that, you will find a practice plan. It helps you to get the best out of the lesson. I expect you to complete everything that written in the description. If you only do what shown in the video, you will not get very far. However, if you follow my advice and work through all the additional exercises, in 6 months, you will be a well-rounded jazz pianist.

I. Five-Finger Scale and Improvisation Exercises

II. Chords – Major Triads

III. Composition

IV. Pop Improvisation (Composition) in all 12 Major Keys

V. Advanced Five-Finger Routines

VI. Ear Training – Transposition – Composition

VII. Theory – Basics – Workout

VIII. Jazz-Blues Improvisation
(Major Pentatonic and Major Blues)

IX. Jazz Routines & Jazz Hanon

X. Walking Bass

XI. Major Triad Etude

XII. Ear Training

XIII. Minor Triads Etude

XIV. Arpeggios – Major

XV. Arpeggios – Minor

XVI. Jazz-Blues Workout in the key of Bb

XVII. Jazz-Blues Workout in the key of F

XVIII. Rhythm Workout (Two-Feel Bass Lines + Stride + Walking Bass + Jazz Trio)

XIX. Elements of Jazz Improvisation 

XX. Advanced 12 Bar Jazz-Blues Workout in the key of Bb

XXI. C Jazz-Blues Workout

 

Keep an eye on this list, because it is growing every week in every direction.
To make it easy to spot the new lessons, I will highlight it for a week, adding a big “NEW!” sign next to it, or something… you will not miss it, no worries 🙂


If you are not sure where to start or how to approach these lessons, feel free to contact me. In order to give you good advice and guidance, I would need the following information from you.

  • Your name, age, and main motivation.
  • A link where I can see or hear you playing any of my exercises from this list (Unlisted youtube link, mp3 file, etc.) If you are not a member yet, please chose a lesson from my Youtube Channel. Play the entire exercise from the beginning to the end with a steady beat and let me know how long time did it take you to complete the lesson. If the recording is about improvisation, please improvise at least for 1 minute (with a steady beat).
  • How much time do you have for practice?
  • What lessons have you already completed or are still working on?
  • Are you flexible, or is there anything on the website that you don’t want to practice? (Jazz, Blues, Contemporary Music, Latin?)
  • What is your next short-term goal? Is it ok if I tell you that you should change that goal?:) Most of the time you think that your problem will be solved if you learn more about theory, scales, and licks, but then I come and tell you that all you have to do first is to keep the rhythm.

Good luck and keep in touch,
David

 

 

I am at a high intermediate level, where should I start?

If:
– you have already played piano for a few years now
– you have proper technique and solid reading skills
– you have some experience with improvisation
– you read the description of the course, meaning: you are aware of that the intermediate course starts with  contemporary piano lessons, and we will go through all type of music genres throughout the curriculum;
– you are planning to sign up for one of the FULL ACCESS membership, but you are not ready to commit to it yet, so you signed up for the monthly intermediate membership,
this article is for you.


Before you would start working on your curriculum, I want you to check out the following two lessons:

These two lessons are originally part of the 1.Month Beginner Membership, but they are essential for you too because it helps to set your mind in the right direction. Everything you practice on the website, you will use in your composition and improvisation.


Basic Improvisation Exercises

Sight Reading

Compositional Improvisation
Collect your favorite parts from the etudes you have learned so far, and mix them up. You can’t go wrong. All the core lessons are in the key of E minor, so whatever you decide to glue together, it will fit, no worries. Feel free to change things around to your taste, also, you might want to add parts, that wasn’t in the curriculum. That is completely fine. I did that too.

Jazz Routine

Theory/Basics

Improvisation

Etudes

Extras
(5. Month Beginner Routines)

 


When you open a lesson, you will see the video on the top and under that, you will find a practice plan. It helps you to get the best out of the lesson. I expect you to complete everything that is written in the description. If you only do what is shown in the video, your progress will be…minimal. However, if you follow my advice and work through all the additional exercises, in 6 months you will be a well-rounded jazz pianist.

If you like my approach and you are ready to upgrade for the 6 month or 1-year membership, please contact me to redeem your discount

I am looking forward to getting to know you, working together and make you a better pianist.
David

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