The Instrumental Blues

Blues music, long a part of American musical heritage, is found in the music of many popular songwriters. It’s found in ballads, in rock and in boogie.

There is a specific basic formula followed referred to as a standard chord progression. This formula consists of 12 measures in one chorus.

  • 4 measures of the I chord
  • 2 measures of the IV chord
  • 2 measures of the I chord
  • 1 measure of the V7 chord
  • 1 measure of the IV chord
  • 2 measures of the I chord

I’m in the process of learning the above and discovered newfound respect for those who play piano and keyboards.

My teacher introduces a new song thru explanation of all terminology new and foreign to me then plays the tune so I can hear and remember. She reviews the notes (all types), their count, the chords and then it’s my turn to try to master either left or right hand first then opposite second.

It usually takes me a period of two weeks to master a difficult song with self-discipline of 30 minutes of practice most days.

Tuesday is my scheduled lesson day and once spoiled when I could walk around the block to my lesson in town I’m faced with 80 degree heat, no air conditioning in my vehicle, a four lane swing truss bridge that is closed more than open, construction work in progress on alternate routes and search for a parking space once downtown in the city across the river.

Thinking about all I must endure for a 1/2 hour piano lesson could give someone a case of the blues and think ‘no way’ or ‘not today’.

To succeed in any goal in life I’m fully aware that excuses are not a part of the formula so I shall go forth and think positive thoughts, practice another 1/2 hour at home and then off to my weekly instrumental adventure.