This week’s IROCKU Piano Tip looks at a specific type of syncopation, namely, anticipating the first beat. We show how to anticipate the first chord or note of the next measure by playing it ahead of the downbeat. This helps drive the groove of the song forward. This exercise starts by locking in quarter notes to the beat of a metronome. We then play quarter notes but we don’t play on the first beat, only on beats 2, 3, and 4. For the next step of this exercise we play eighth notes, again not playing on the first beat. Then we play quarter notes in the left hand while playing eighth notes in the right hand and anticipate the chord changes by changing chords in the right hand on the ‘and’ of the fourth beat.
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and =>change to the next chord
Finally we switch it up by reversing the roles of each hand. This technique is very common in rock, pop, and blues.
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IROCKU Piano Tips