A Study in Blues Piano - Focusing on Twelve Licks & How They Work

Features Includes:
  • Self-paced with Life Time Access
  • Certificate on Completion
  • Access on Android and iOS App

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From the popular online and local teacher Kent Douglas Smith, (, 'A Study in Blues Piano' is now on Simpliv!

Soon to be published here as well: Kent's 'Blues PIano Crash Course!

An in-depth study of twelve blues licks, with left-hand support tips. 

Lick #10 of this group is more than a lick; actually, it gives you a complete two-handed 12-bar opening groove, including a left-hand pattern to support your licks throughout your soloing. 


This class is all about improvising blues licks and fills on piano, performed over a repeating 12-bar blues pattern. You will be given in-depth raw material and concepts, which leads to the exciting creation of your own convincing licks d melodies in a blues setting.

See the list below (bullet items) for what you will accomplish.


Important: Much more than learning just licks, notes by rote, you will get insight into the patterns, chords and intervals involved, including how to transpose each lick. As a result, each lick is RAW MATERIAL for endless variations.  This course is 100% video. However, I have provided a few sheets of optional piano music notation. This course exists to teach people how to get moving on improvising the blues, so please don't lean too much on the printed music. Either way, I'm here to help, which means you can rattle my cage at any time. Any blues and piano-related communications are welcome! 

Basic knowledge
  • No need to read music!
  • However, for those who do read music, I have provided optional sheet music, which further illustrates some of the licks. In addition, there is a complete blues solo (24 bars), written out in standard notation. This sheet music is downloadable (printable PDF files)
  • If you intend to physically perform these licks on piano -- as opposed to learning just the concepts, which is fine too -- an intermediate level of playing dexterity will be necessary.
  • It's helpful to understand the famous "12-bar blues" chord progression before taking this class, although that concept is easy to look up ahead of time
  • It is NOT required that you have prior experience with jazz or blues improvisation.
  • Each video covers one lick, and explains the concepts that each lick represents. Since I also show how to play each lick in multiple keys (besides just C), a casual familiarity with musical intervals helps

What will you learn

You will learn how to:

  • Use the popular and famous "blues scale" when creating licks
  • Add additional notes, beyond the blues scale, for variety
  • Master the twelve example licks
  • Play a 12-bar introduction
  • Perform "turn-arounds" and endings
  • Learn the "why and how" behind this raw material, so that you can adapt, alter, and be creative with it, and be confident that what you produce on your own will sound great (with practice).
  • Begin a lifelong journey as a blues cat!
Course Curriculum
No of Lectures: 12 Total Duration: 01:38:20

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