Piano Lessons and Sheet Music
Sympathy for the Devil
This week irocku is living up to its namesake by bringing back the legendary rockers, The Rolling Stones. After 5 decades of hits from 29 studio albums, it is hard to imagine a body of work more extensive and evolutionary then that of our featured artists. Read more»
The fact is, The Stones are the last band standing and the greatest ever because they have always played music that was influenced and sculpted by the political and cultural forces of their time. With that in mind, this weeks' song, Sympathy for the Devil is a perfect reflection of what was happening in the tumultuous year in which it was spawned. Released in December, 1968 as the first track of the Beggars Banquet album, Sympathy for the Devil went on to become one of the greatest rock anthems of all-time. Lyrically, the song presents a history lesson on violence and evil, asking us to examine our own complicity in a society gone mad. By the end of 1968, violence was ripping society apart, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy had been assassinated, the Democratic National Convention in Chicago was reeked by violence, a huge Anti-War Movement was in full swing and the Vietnam War was escalating out of control; the images of dead and dying soldiers glared from our television sets every night. The song was reality and its' hypnotic groove and primitive beat accented the listener's connection to the lyrics and held us captive in a pulsating dance with the devil. Beggars Banquet was a critical success and was the first of four consecutive great albums (Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main St. are the other three) which elevated The Stones into the rock and roll stratosphere. The album marked a return to its' roots for the band and included several traditional blues compositions; but, Beggars Banquet is best known for two of the greatest rock anthems ever, Street Fighting Man and this week's classic tale from the dark side, Sympathy for the Devil.
Sympathy for the Devil has a syncopated 16th note rhythm pattern that is the signature of many Stone's songs. Practice this until you feel it. Once you feel the groove of this song it will become addictive.
Level 3: The quickest way to rock is by learning the Groove Chart! To help with improvising, practice the F major one-octave scale. Using the F scale you can solo over the Groove Chart if you choose.
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. Don't be shy to play with the improv and make the licks personal by changing bits and pieces to fit what you want. This is a real rocker, so try to get into the physicality of the music. Don't be shy to hit the piano, make it shake!