Rock Organ Soloing

Rock organ soloing requires a different approach than jazz soloing. In the jazz context, keyboard solos are usually played at the piano and built around advanced harmonies and chord substitutions, various chord scales, quirky-syncopated rhythms, and left-handed comping. By contrast, rock keyboard solos are frequently played on a number of various keyboard instruments, including the…

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Rock Piano Soloing (with Bruce Hornsby)

Rock piano soloing requires a slightly different mindset than jazz piano soloing. In the jazz piano context, the right hand is free to play lots of chromatic tones, altered scales, and shifty rhythmic figures. The left hand often plays rootless voicings that use extended harmonies (i.e., things like 7ths, 9ths, and 13ths are common). These…

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Rock Keyboard Soloing – How to Get Started

Rock keyboard soloing is an important part of a keyboardist’s development. Soloing in any context requires that the player is familiar with chords, scales, and keys. Rock is no exception. So in order to go deeper with this you need to learn a couple helpful scales that the pros know (and use masterfully). In this…

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Voice Leading for Rock Piano

Voice leading. Maybe you’ve heard that term before in musical circles and not fully understood what it means. Voice leading is not just an interesting topic discussed by musicians, it is an absolutely essential part of playing rock piano. And as luck would have it, you’ve come to the right place. Because in this article…

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Rock Organ Tips

Rock organ tips. That’s our topic here. But we’ll take a slightly different approach than normal. The organ looks like a piano keyboard, but the two are vastly different instruments in many ways. This seems obvious, right? Well, let me tell you about a gig in which the information I’ll share below was not quite…

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Piano Licks from “Jessica” – Allman Bros.

In this article we’ll be featuring some piano licks from “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers, one of the greatest rock piano tunes – and rock piano solos – of all-time. One of the things that makes this solo so popular and copied by piano players is simply the way it sounds – it’s got that…

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Rock Piano Chords – 3 Tips

In this article we’re going to be discussing some tips for playing rock piano chords, an essential skill that is needed for all rock pianists. Knowing your rock piano chords helps you to quickly learn songs, transpose songs to new keys, write your own tunes, and find different “spellings” for the same chord. I’ll show…

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Human Nature Tutorial – Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson’s music is some of the most classic pop/rock music of all-time, so we wanted to feature this Human Nature tutorial because so many students have been interested in Michael Jackson tunes. Human Nature is a particularly great tune to explore because of the beautiful, lush left hand chords as well as the classic right-hand…

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Transposition – An Essential Rock Piano Skill

Transposition is an essential rock piano skill, and a skill that every musician should practice. Transposition refers to the ability to quickly diagnose a piece of music (i.e., a melody, a chord progression) and play it in a different key. Why might transposition be so essential to a musician? Consider a very frequent, real-music experience:…

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Rock Piano Chords – 3 (More) Tips

Previously we discussed 3 tips for building rock piano chords and playing these chords in various ways. Learning all 12 major and minor triads, inversions, and being able to double certain notes are critical first steps in playing rock piano chords. But once you’ve got that down, check out three more tips we have in…

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