The IROCKU featured lesson is “” by The Allman Brothers.
“Jessica” is hands-down our most popular lesson…and welcome to one of the most famous piano solos in the history of rock! Chuck laid down this solo when he was 21 years old. For most of us being able to play this solo will be a lifetime achievement. The keyboard solo on ”Jessica” uses both the pentatonic and the blues scales. Master these scales and you will have all the tools needed. Chuck begins the solo using the pentatonic scale playing three-note phrases over a four-note count while using dyads(two-note chords) as landing points. He then moves into a syncopated octave line moving up and down the pentatonic scale. Chuck ends the improv with a blues lick using his own version of the blues scale where he substitutes the dominant 7th of the scale with the major 6th. This gives the improv a softer, more melodic feel. Chuck feels that the only way to become a great player is to make songs your own. So don’t consider mastering this improvisation as your end point, consider it the starting point for coming up with an improvisation of your own.
If you check out the videos of “Jessica” live you’ll see that during the solo Chuck comps using the A and D chords in his left hand. The irocku lesson uses a left hand baseline similar to what the bass is playing so the lesson is actually more difficult to play. If you want to simplify the solo, you can play chords in the left hand similar to how Chuck is playing it. Click here to check out the Jessica videos in the sidebar.
In our ongoing survey of Favorite Rock piano Songs and Performances, “Jessica” is currently ranked number two after “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis. Given that so many of the irocku members are also Chuck’s fans we’re sure that there is some bias in our poll. But the poll has reached 150K people so at some point the laws of statistics have to kick in.