This week’s featured piano lesson is “Little Martha“, the only Allman Brothers song written by legendary guitarist, Duane Allman. Here’s a beautiful version of the IROCKU lesson performed by Holly Bowling. Holly is a concert pianist who performs jam band music as solo piano selections. She is known for her interpretive performances of Phish and The Grateful Dead songs so we are thrilled that she decided to take on our version of “Little Martha”.
The melody line of “Little Martha” is made of two-bar phrases played over a repeating 3-note cross rhythm. The first phrase lines up with the third note of the 3-note pattern, the second phrase lines up with the first note of the 3-note pattern, the third phrase lines up with the second note of the 3-note pattern, and so on. So the left and right hands only line up at the beginning of each melody line. Listen carefully to Holly’s performance. She masterfully accentuates the first note of each left-hand pattern while smoothly playing the asymmetrical melody line. It’s like patting your head while rubbing your belly only way more difficult.
Leo Kottke’s acoustic guitar version of “Little Martha” is equally impressive. He plays the 3-note rhythm pattern with his thumb while playing the melody line with his other fingers.
Learn how to play rock and blues piano from one of rock’s greatest. Chuck Leavell, legendary keyboardist for The Rolling Stones, The Allman Bros, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and more.
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