Piano Lessons and Sheet Music
With Chuck Leavell as our founder, irocku has exclusive access to some of the greatest songs in rock and roll history and this week’s keyboard lesson stands out as one of the most iconic songs ever put down on wax. Recorded in 1973 and released later that year on the Allman Brothers Band's, "Brothers and Sisters", album, "Jessica", represents a song of instrumental mastery. read more »
How huge is this song? So huge that the Wall Street Journal called it "a national heirloom" in 2006 and twenty plus years after it was first recorded it received a Grammy for Best Instrumental Performance. The Allman Brothers Band, was reeling from the death of slide-guitar master, Duane Allman in 1972 and the subsequent death of bassist, Berry Oakley a year later when they entered the studio to record the "Brothers and Sisters", album in 1973. Enter keyboardist, Chuck Leavell who was brought on board as an additional soloist to complement the guitar playing of Dickey Betts, who wrote this rock instrumental masterpiece. The song opens with Les Dudek on acoustic guitar and is soon accented by Betts, Allman, and Leavell who give the song its trademark bounce and melodic sound. Betts launches into his solo nearly 4 minutes later only to return again to the song’s signature riff. Additionally, Lamar Williams who replaced Oakley on bass duels it out with Chuck Leavell who plays a scorching solo on the grand piano and gives the song a musical foundation that lends itself to an extended jam when played in the concert setting. "Jessica", gives the listener a great sense of what it must be like to be in love. You can feel the heart swell as the notes of each solo climax into a blissful imagery of emotion and happiness, the true expressions of love unbridled in its exploration. The "Brothers and Sisters", album reached #1 on the Billboard charts in 1973, and "Jessica", along with another chart topper from the album, "Ramblin' Man", epitomize the reason why many consider the Allman Brothers Band, to be the best live rock band of all-time. So warm-up those fingers and pony-up to your piano for one of the best musical experiences you will ever have, once you master this song the rock and roll possibilities will become endless.
"Jessica" uses both the A major pentatonic and the A blues scales. Master these and you will have all the tools needed to play one of the most famous piano leads in the history of rock.
Levels 6 and 7: The quickest way to rock is by learning the Groove Chart! To help with improvising, practice the A Major three-octave scale and the A Pentatonic Scale and learn the A Blues Scale. Also learn the A major chord, the D major chord, the G major chord and the E major chord.
First Week: Beginners practice the Lesson. Intermediate and Advanced students practice the Groove Chart and the Lesson.
Second Week: Add the Exercise and Improvisation to your practice. "Jessica" uses both the major pentatonic and the blues scales. Master these and you will have all the tools needed to play one of the most famous piano leads in rock history.