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How To Play Boogie Woogie/Rock and Roll Piano

Updated on July 1, 2011

Playing Boogie Woogie Piano

Playing Boogie Woogie piano can be darn hard. It's very technical and fast, so requires a fairly good technique from the pianist. The left hand is constantly in action playing very demanding non-stop riffs. In the image on the left you can see two typical Boogie left hand riffs. At the same time the right hand is usually going at 100 miles an hour. In these videos, we try to break the whole process down, so it's easily understandable. The videos go alongside our in-depth downloadable Boogie Woogie sheet music guides.

How to do "Glissando" (sliding down the keys quickly)

In this video I explain how you perform what is called the "glissando", i.e. ripping up or down the piano keys very quickly. When you first start doing this, it can really hurt your fingers, so build up the resistance on your fingernails slowly. Make sure you don't get your thumb too flat and close to the keys, otherwise you'll catch your skin and that'll hurt somewhat!

The main bit you want to watch starts at 43 seconds

Classic Left Hand Riffs

This is the nuts and bolts of Boogie Woogie piano playing - the all important left hand riffs that gives Boogie its classic sound. Check out our downloadable guide that goes into even more detail here: Boogie Woogie/Rock and Roll Left Hand Licks/Patterns.

Classic Right Hand Boogie Woogie Licks/Patterns

In this video I show you how to play some of the classic right hand patterns that are used in Boogie Woogie playing. Check out our full guide: Classic Right Hand Boogie Woogie Licks/Patterns

The Slide

I this video I explain how you get that really "bluesy" sounds when you slide from one key to another.

Right Hand "Rips"

In this video I explain how you rip through a number of keys - a technique often used by Boogie and Rock and Roll piano players such as Jerry Lee Lewis.

Section Endings

In this video I show you a number of typical endings that are used at the end of a section or piece. Take a look at our fully written out and downloadble guide: Boogie Woogie section endings sheet music.

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    • JK Sterling profile image

      Jim Sterling 5 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      Thank you for the lesson. I love this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very cool lens indeed, earned a 'thumbs up' from me!

    • profile image

      RocklawnArts 5 years ago

      Very cool! I look forward to trying these out. :)

    • Dragon 40 profile image

      Ken McVay 6 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia

      Interesting stuff - thanks for taking the time to provide it.

    • squid2hub profile image

      squid2hub 6 years ago

      Thanks. This is really good.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks Lincoln, I enjoyed the videos. You got skillz dude, thanks for the fantastic lens.

    • Doctone profile image
      Author

      Doctone 6 years ago

      @MrAverageGuy: Thanks for the kind comments. They will grow out of it - in 10 years item they'll be embarrassed to be reminded that the liked The BlahBlah Woman.

    • MrAverageGuy profile image

      MrAverageGuy 6 years ago

      Great lens. I wish my twins would take more interest in the keyboard they have. Unfortunately nothing compares to Lady Bl**dy Gaga. They'll grow out of it I hope.

    • Doctone profile image
      Author

      Doctone 6 years ago

      @VoodooRULEs: Thanks for the feedback - much appreciated

    • Doctone profile image
      Author

      Doctone 6 years ago

      @VoodooRULEs: Thanks for the feedback - much appreciated

    • profile image

      VoodooRULEs 6 years ago

      I WISH I COULD DO THIS! What a great lens! Thank you

    • Doctone profile image
      Author

      Doctone 6 years ago

      @SusannaDuffy: Thanks for the comment - I actually wrote jerry Lee lewis style solo piano piece, which i will post here soon. Thanks for the feedback.

    • Doctone profile image
      Author

      Doctone 6 years ago

      @JoyfulPamela2: Thanks for the great feedback. I agree with your comment on being careful about online videos - not all of them are that great.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Wow, I'm very impressed! As a classically trained player and teacher, I am cautious about having my students watch online videos to improve their playing. I really like how you go through each step stressing important technical aspects. I haven't checked out your music guides yet, but I'm excited to take a look. I will certainly recommend this to my students who have interest in this style of music. =D *Squidoo Angel blessed and featured on "Musical Instrument Angel"!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I'm going to build up some resistance in my thumb straight away! The neighbours may not be too impressed but who cares? With enough practice I can forget my Irish ditties and start to sound like Jerry Lee Lewis

    • Doctone profile image
      Author

      Doctone 6 years ago

      @bangcool: Thanks for the positive feedback

    • bangcool profile image

      bangcool 6 years ago

      Very useful course, thanks for theaching us