Dirk Bertels

The greatest malfunction of spirit
is to believe things (Louis Pasteur)

Piano Groove Tutor Sessions

Last updated 18 April 2011


These are the sessions for the Piano Groove Tutor. Although they still can be played in the old 0.5 version, the format has somewhat changed since version 0.7, for example in version 0.5 the metronome tracks will not be audible and some instruments may be on the wrong tracks ... so really you should download the latest version on this page to ensure everything will work ok. If you have downloaded the sessions for the older version, they work equally well in version 0.5, so all you need to do is replace the executable jar file and add sessions in the sessions folder as they become available.

All new sessions and updates will be announced here. Once a session is downloaded, you can add it to your application by navigating to the folder that the Piano Groove Tutor resides in, open the sessions folder and paste the session jar file into it.


The download procedure in some versions of Internet Explorer does not recognize jar files. Firefox can determine correct mime-type by extension first, and check header information to find out if there's a congruent match, Internet Explorer unfortunately doesn't do that. So if your session files, after download, have the 'zip' extension, rename these extensions with 'jar'. You may need to untick Hide known file extensions in Control Panel → Folder Options → View to do this.

Funk Grooves in C

Funk Grooves

A set of 4 grooves over C7. Grooves 3 and 4 have two bass lines: he LH bass line plays helper notes (my term) i.e. they function to help the RH play accurately by filling in the beats. This is a feature you often find in funk. These helper notes can be played silently if they don't help the music - but played at the right places, they tend to enhance the rhythm. This session was previously called Funk Dirk.

Funk Jonathon C 1

Funk Jonathon I

Pianist/programmer Jonathon Wilson is an amazing funk player - on par with the great ones. He has devoted much time in spreading his knowledge by posting videos on his website and youtube. He kindly gave me permission (and encouragement) to use his music in these sessions. I converted all of Jonathon's grooves by playing them on digital piano and recording them as midi files. Then they were edited and archived to suit the Piano Groove Tutor. Some sessions use Jonathon's scores, some use my midi version scores. This session contains 8 licks and grooves - all in C - from his first series How To Play A Funk Groove I.

Funk Jonathon C 2

Funk Jonathon II

This is also from Jonathon's first series How To Play A Funk Groove I. This particular groove is played differently on each occasion in the final video of the series where Jonathon plays all the grooves. Each of these variations sound great in their own right - so I transcribed them to include them in this session.

Funk Jonathon G

Funk Jonathon G

This is a collection from Jonathon's How To Play A Funk Groove II series - in G. The first groove is the main theme - I took the liberty to add chord symbols to illustrate its rich Jazzy harmonies. The second groove is a one bar funky piece based on the rhythm from his first series. Grooves 3 and 4 are interesting licks from the solo section - I particularly like the 'rolls'.

Salsa Tunes I

Salsa Tunes I

I accumulated these grooves over the years when I was a piano player in a Salsa band. These are great examples that showcases various Salsa styles in different keys. The combination of the characteristic clave and tumbao bass line underlines all these styles. Getting these under your fingers will greatly enrich your musical vocabulary.

Salsa Tunes II

Salsa Tunes II

Continuation of Salsa tunes I.

Funk Jonathon F

Funk Jonathon F

Jonathon's latest Funk piece in F comprising of five 12 bar grooves, gradually increasing in 'funky-ness'. Illustrates sophisticated patterns and highlights a lightning bass lick and a great RH lick.

Salsa Styles

Salsa Styles

All grooves except Merengue 1 are from the excellent book Salsa Guidebook by Rebeca Mauleon [ISBN 0-9614701-9-4]. Permission to use these were kindly given by her publisher Chuck Sher from Sher Music and Rebeca Mauleon. The book by the way covers history, instrumentation, and music for all instruments - it's truly a great book to have. The music excerpts, as you will hear are great also and give you some insight into the various Salsa styles.

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