1 Must-Know Piano Blues Lick

Jordan Leibel  /  Styles / Mar 9

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I use this riff all the time as a way to either end a blues jam or adapt it a little bit into a blues turnaround if I want to keep playing.  I’ve demonstrated the lick in the key of C, but you should learn it in all the other keys too!  That will really help your versatility and keyboard knowledge.

Seeing as this is a blues lick, you’re going to want to think pentatonically. I’ve broken the lick down into four easy steps…

Step One

Start on a ‘C’ note an octave above middle C, and move down one full-tone jump to B-flat. 

Step Two

Move chromatically down from B-flat to G.  That means you’re going to play every key between those two notes. 

Step Three

Now it’s time for a big ‘bluesy’ jump down from G to the minor 3rd: E-flat. 

Step Four

Then, simply raise that 3rd into a MAJOR 3rd, then jump down to land on middle C.

It’s super simple but it sounds iconic, and if you’re into bluesy-styled playing, this lick is great to add to your repertoire! Once you’ve got a handle on practicing this riff, try to put it in a blues improv.  It’ll make for a great ending to any jam session!  

Jordan Leibel is passionate about songwriting, improvisation, and helping you become a creative musician! He’s worked as a composer for film, commercial, and theatre projects as well as a session musician and producer for recording work.

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