How to Learn Piano Boogies

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How to Learn Piano Boogies

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How to Learn Piano Boogies

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Boogie piano incorporates blues, rock 'n' roll, jazz and folk music, putting elements from many types of these musical genres (especially blues and rock) into a fast piano piece with a strong and powerful rhythm, with notes swung, or played unevenly (long first note and short second note). Boogie piano started in the early 20th century, and, while not extremely difficult, requires practice and listening to properly play on the piano.

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Find a good, strong bass line. This sets the beat for the entire piece, and is vitally important in boogie piano. Learn to play a walking bass with your left hand by moving from a low note to the same note one octave (or pitch) higher, and then going back down to the next note (either within a chord, or within a scale). Play a standing bass line by keeping your hand in the same position for each chord, playing different notes, even outside of the chord or scale, while still keeping the basic chord note for every beat.

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Learn basic right-hand rhythms on the piano. Boogie piano, while having a strong, solid and almost constant bass line and beat, has more rests (or pauses) in the right hand, mostly playing a chord after the bass has started, pausing, and repeating the chord (or a variation of it). Add embellishments only after mastering the basic boogie rhythm. Remember that fancy and constant right-hand playing is not essential to playing boogie piano.

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Swing eighth notes. Swung notes are two notes held unevenly, with the first lasting longer than the second. For example, when playing the bass line, hold the first note longer than the second. This gives it a syncopated feel, heard often in blues and jazz.

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Add more to the boogie song. Start to play each song slowly at first, and pick up the speed, adding extra blues (or flattened thirds) notes, or a broken chord (each note of a chord played separately) played quickly. Boogie is fast music, but practice at a comfortable pace until you pick up the basics. Try to learn the basics before adding extra pieces to boogie music.

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