In Don McLean’s song, “American Pie”, the lyric “when the music died” refers to the plane crash that killed early rockers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. Well we feel the music died again today, with the death of rock pioneer, Little Richard. Not only did Little Richard bring us straight up, four-to-the-floor rock and roll, as a poor black gay kid from Macon, Ga he broke every possible social and ethnic barrier you could imagine along the way.
This IROCKU Tip celebrate’s Little Richard’s keyboard style with a twelve-bar blues progression using his straight eighth-note left hand pattern and explosive right hand rhythms. We begin the lesson with an overview of the 12 bar blues progression (in C) that was the foundation of so many Little Richard songs, such as “Lucille”. We then introduce his pounding eighth-note right hand pattern, then his triplet pattern which is so fast that you might find it difficult to view on the video. We then teach his left-hand alternating eighth-note dyad pattern which is a cornerstone of rock and blues piano accompaniment. Little Richard wasn’t the first piano player to use this left-hand pattern; early rockers like Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, and James Brown used it extensively. Have fun with this one. It’s as pure as rock piano can get. Keep rockin!
IROCKU Piano Tips cover piano techniques and fundamentals, improvisation, rhythm and groove, progressions, rhythm patterns, piano accompaniment, music theory and riffs.
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IROCKU Piano Tips
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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