I'm a pianist and I play boogie woogie very well in C and G. Everyone knows that these are the easiest to play on, but guitarists like E and A and maybe D. I started to learn some riffs in A and E but it is not easy.

So my question is: What are the limits for playing Boogie Woogie in these keys? Can we reach the same level of proficiency playing in these new keys that we can reach playing in C or G?

  • I don't know enough to give a full answer, but I believe the answer is yes, it is possible to play as comfortably in A, E, D, or any other key as you currently do in C and G. In fact, I believe that many experienced pianists would disagree that C and G are the easiest keys to play in. In this answer, the poster points out that "F# and C# Major/minor are relatively common keys for solo [piano] literature" because experienced pianists find it easier to play on the black keys! – Kevin Oct 24 '14 at 17:19
  • @Kevin, that was me! This issue is probably more complicated than I made it sound, I think a lot of pianists, probably most if not all, find C or G major easier to read. But it's a weird case where what is easy for our eyes is not necessarily as easy for our fingers and vice-versa. I consider F# major in particular to be the absolutely easiest scale to play, and I tend to gravitate to that key or similar keys when freely improvising because it's so comfortable. Piano-centric composers like Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt tend to write in those keys very frequently. – Pat Muchmore Oct 24 '14 at 17:41

There really are no major limits for playing anything in any key on piano. Certain players are more familiar and comfortable with certain keys, but it is possible for a pianist to play in any key. It's all just a matter of practice. The only minor stumbling block is the fingering of a piece may change with the key.

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