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Need Help with Blues lick #2832308 03/28/19 10:52 AM
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Gillz Offline OP
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Hello!

I was searching for some cool fast blues licks on youtube. You know, the kind of one to "impress or show-off"...
I found this one on youtube, it shows the exact fingering in slow-motion, starting at 02:35: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gMxdkfgE3M

I've been practicing this lick since a week, but I don't get it fluid and fast. My only problem in this lick is the part with the fingering Bb(2), C(3) and Eb(4). My third and forth finger get so tensed up, it's so hard. Am I the only one to have problem with this?

The reason why I'm asking this is because I think there's something wrong with my right hand second and third finger, because I also struggle a lot with trills with 2 and 3. Should I visit some doctor or get my hand and arm x-rayed?
Thanks for any opinion!


I'm playing the keys for about 12 years.

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Re: Need Help with Blues lick [Re: Gillz] #2832323 03/28/19 11:30 AM
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Charles Cohen Offline
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FWIW (I don't teach, and am not an MD)) --

X-rays are great for showing problems with bone structure. But if your problem is with muscles, tendons, and nerves -- "soft tissue" -- they're not so useful.

You _may_ have a physical problem, or you might have a brain saying "My fourth finger is weak -- better tighten up those muscles!" every time you have to use it. In which case, you'll have to figure out how to strengthen that finger, _without_ generating more tension.

Rather than a doctor, I'd find the best local piano teacher or coach (community college? college music department? conservatory?) and try to arrange for a consultation. Ideally, you'll want somebody who can be a coach for your specific problem.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Need Help with Blues lick [Re: Gillz] #2832409 03/28/19 02:45 PM
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Gillz Offline OP
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Thanks, Charles! Well, finding a local teacher isn't possible right now for me, for several reasons (they re expensive, they don't do it for free, the only one in my town is the one I had 10 years ago and he is horrible...)

When I play slow don't get the tension...Well it could possibly really be something psychological like you said...I'll just go on practicing more slowly...
Did you play the lick? Did you have any problems with this fingering I described above?

Re: Need Help with Blues lick [Re: Gillz] #2832443 03/28/19 04:44 PM
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Charles Cohen Offline
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No, I didn't try playing it. The fingering has a fairly wide stretch from 3 to 4, and that might be why you're having trouble.

My experience with 'blues licks' (which is limited) is that you must start practice _very slowly_, and repeat (and sometimes repeat short sections within the lick) until you have "muscle memory" for the movements. And you need to keep relaxed, while learning.

_Then_, you can gradually speed it up.

As my teacher kept telling me, blues pianists were professionals, and they put in hours of repetitive practice. It only _looks_ easy!<g>

Years ago, I was working with a saxophonist, who was trying to play a classic riff that opens "Night in Tunisia". He had two recordings, made 20 years apart, and was comparing them.

. . . "Now I feel better -- they're identical. So he didn't improvise it -- he knows it by heart."


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Need Help with Blues lick [Re: Gillz] #2832451 03/28/19 05:23 PM
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rocket88 Offline
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Try this:

Bb(2), C(1) and Eb(2 or 3)

The way it is written you have to put #4 which is the least agile finger up to a black key (Eb).

Putting your thumb on C allows #2 or #3 to do that instead.

The only problem is what happens next, but by solving the problem you probably can figure out what to do next comfortably.


Piano teacher.
Re: Need Help with Blues lick [Re: Gillz] #2832511 03/28/19 07:48 PM
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indigo_dave Offline
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Originally Posted by Gillz
Thanks, Charles! Well, finding a local teacher isn't possible right now for me, for several reasons (they re expensive, they don't do it for free, the only one in my town is the one I had 10 years ago and he is horrible...)

When I play slow don't get the tension...Well it could possibly really be something psychological like you said...I'll just go on practicing more slowly...
Did you play the lick? Did you have any problems with this fingering I described above?


This is a clue - when you play slow you don't get the tension. So practice very slowly. And don't strain your muscles. And finding a good technique is valuable. I happened to remember this guy's videos. My basic takeaway from the video below is a sort of rolling of the hand to aid/assist in playing things like runs and riffs. If you're trying to do it with only your fingers (and no hand roll), you're making your fingers work too hard - unnecessarily. These are only opinions as an experienced pianist - not an educator. Some may disagree. There can be different paths to the same destination.


Last edited by indigo_dave; 03/28/19 07:54 PM.
Re: Need Help with Blues lick [Re: Gillz] #2832629 03/29/19 06:50 AM
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Nahum Offline
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If you want specific advice, we need to see a specific video with the play of your right hand - with a panorama from shoulder to fingertips.

Re: Need Help with Blues lick [Re: Gillz] #2832660 03/29/19 08:36 AM
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Gillz Offline OP
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Thank you all for your comments! I really appreciate it!

@rocket88: I'll try this! Thanks! I didn't try it so far because I thought it would be more "professional" to do it like the guy in the video...but it seems like everyone has different kind of hans/fingers; maybe for this guy his fingering is absolutely o.k.? Who knows...But for me it only works at slow tempo...

@Nahum: as for the video, I'll first try the other fingering and practice more slowly; if this also doesn't work, I'll post a clip;

@Indigo Dave: Thanks for this video! I'm also using rotation in some cases, like certain trills; but you can't use rotation always, depends on the situation...

Re: Need Help with Blues lick [Re: Gillz] #2832769 03/29/19 02:50 PM
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rocket88 Offline
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Thank you. Let us know how you make out with this situation.


Piano teacher.

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