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Eb Blues

January 2nd, 2014
music

Learning how to play an instrument involves many different skills, depending on the instrument: playing the note on-pitch, with good tone, in time, and so much more. But can we make it simpler? What if we had an instrument where you just pressed a button to make a note, and it always sounded about right? Where none of the notes are that wrong, and you have a small number of choices?

Sometimes I'll sit down at the piano and start playing in the second lowest octave "Eb G Ab A Bb." I'll say to someone "try playing just the black keys." They'll poke at them a bit, and it tends to sound something like this:

Eb-blues.mp3

This isn't amazing music or anything, but it can get someone who doesn't know what to do with an instrument sitting at a piano and figuring out what the keys do. It's a nice place to start.

(This works because the black keys on the piano make a minor pentatonic scale in Eb, and that's a common scale for improvising in a blues context.)

(As with everything in casual music, it's all about interest management. In this case the goal is to give someone an easy learning curve where they can start with "this is kind of music!" and continually feel the process of getting better.)

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