This week’s featured lesson is “Rockin the Suburbs” by Ben Folds.
Chuck selected this song because Ben Folds has a unique rhythmic style that introduces us to a new approach to creating a groove. If you like playing groove piano, “Rockin’ the Suburbs” will take your playing to the next level. Ben Folds uses the keyboard as a percussion instrument; he takes a syncopated eighth-note groove and plays it with both hands intertwined. This is a challenge because you don’t hear or feel the driving pulse unless both hands are playing together. It’s a real brain teaser so take the first 8 bars slowly until you have the rhythm down. Definitely check out the video. Hearing the pattern is much easier than reading it.
At the end of the song Ben plays a straight eighth-note run up and down the blues scale with both hands in unison, a technique reminiscent of what Chuck plays at the end of “Southbound”. Ben’s piano style is a departure from many of the other IROCKU lessons so be prepared for a new learning adventure!
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.