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Improvising Blues Piano part 1: The basic principles

with Tim Richards

By the end of this course you’ll be able to play an authentic blues in the keys of C, F & G and improvise using a range of great sounding right-hand ideas and licks.

The course draws on lessons, exercises and pieces from Tim's best-selling book, 'Improvising Blues Piano', published by Schott Music. "The essential book for all aspiring blues pianists" - Jools Holland

Instrument Piano

For you get:

  • Sheet music & Backing tracks included!
  • On-demand lifetime access to all lessons
  • Available on desktop, mobile and tablet
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
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Course Length
48 lessons · 95m 13s

Tim's been playing the blues since the 1980s and this course draws on his experience touring and recording with UK and US legends such as Otis Grand, Earl Green, Dana Gillespie, Larry Garner, Joe Louis Walker and many many more. Tim composed all pieces in this course except where otherwise indicated.

By the end of this course you’ll be able to play an authentic blues in the keys of C, F & G and improvise using a range of great sounding right-hand ideas and licks. You’ll also learn several left-hand bass patterns, some useful two-handed accompaniment styles, and tricks to improve your coordination & independence.

The course is for any intermediate pianist who wants to start playing the blues and improvising in the style. You don't need any knowledge of blues scales or harmony before starting the course, everything's included!

The blues is one of the most loved, and most influential forms of music in history, and forms the basis of a lot of today’s contemporary music. Learning the blues is also a great way into playing jazz as the skills and concepts are common to both.

So if you want to learn to play authentically and improve your overall musicianship then this is the course for you.

Many of the pieces and examples in this course are taken from Tim's best-selling book 'Improvising Blues Piano' that has helped tens of thousands of pianists. The book is not required to take the course but contains additional exercises and material for those wishing to go into even more depth. 

Click here to buy the book.

Let's get started with a Blues in C.

Lesson Plan

Show All 48 Lessons


Beginner's Blues (performance)

C Jam Blues (performance)

Blue Third Blues (performance)

Five Finger Blues (performance)

New Orleans Triplet Workout (performance)

On-Off Boogie (performance)

Jump Shuffle (performance, accompaniment pattern)

Jump Shuffle (second chorus performance)

Sixth Blues (performance)

Riff Blues (performance)

Riff Blues (performance with improvisation)

Barrelhouse Blues (performance)

Seventh Blues (performance)

Blues for Sal (performance)

See See Rider (performance)

Smooth Blues (performance and analysis)

Tim Richards

Critically acclaimed jazz pianist, educator and author Tim Richards has produced numerous titles for Schott Music, including the best-selling two-volume Exploring Jazz PianoBlues, Boogie and Gospel Collection and Improvising Blues Piano. He is also co-author, with John Crawford, of Exploring Latin Piano and Brazilian Piano Collection.

The fantastic new Jazz, Latin and Modern Collection is his latest release in the Schott Pop-Styles series, and comprises Tim Richards originals along with pieces by Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk.

“The real joy of Tim’s music… is that it is both hugely educational but also such great fun to play. Anyone with the slightest interest in learning to play or teach jazz piano should really acquire a set of Tim’s books.” – PIANODAO

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