this'll either go down like a sh1t out of a plane, or it wont.  here goes...

i wish to broaden my piano horizons and part of that (asides from blues and jazz which i mostly play) is learning to play rock piano.

does anyone know any sites i can access to learn this as i feel it would add to my playing overall?

i'm sure some of you might want me stricken from the pages of this site for this, but i think it will add to jazz playing and make me sound a bit edgier.

thanks.
There are 15 comments, leave a comment.
glynn,

i doubt if very many people here would react like that.  it is always good to broaden your playing.  

as far as rock, i don't know of any recordings that are solo rock piano. i would recommend rather than thinking just general 'rock piano' to make a list of specific rock songs and try to just figure them out yourself.  could you make a list of 10 songs you would like to be able to do?
after playing only jazz for years, i resently got a gig with a band that does rock stuff from 50's to present. they also do country, disco and other pop styles. it's been a nice change of pace although i have lots of stuff to learn. as far as other sites, check out the musicplayerforum.com and go to the keyboard corner. most the the guys there are rock oriented. are you playing in a band or doing solo piano?
there are many kinds of rock, but if you have mastered the blues, you can basically get along in any "classic" rock situation.

you should also broaden yourself to include rock organ in your bag of tricks (which once again is very pentatonic/blues oriented).


ps: elton john is not a rock pianist. billy preston would be a very good role model, though.


pps: just remember that the reason it's called "hard rock" is not because it's hard to play - it's because it's hard to listen to! (lol)
watch the movie "school of rock" and just keep all that in mind while playing and practicing.
thats what i do these days...   and i rock.
i'm way into ben folds these days, f-in amazing player, i wish i could rock out on the piano the way he does.
yea, ben folds is a favourite of mine.

part of all this is that i am trying to start playing in pubs and what not, and where in melbourne (australia), theres not much of a jazz following in the south.
so are you playing solo piano in the clubs?

for early rock and roll, apply what you can of the blues stuff you already know and listen to jerry lee lewis and chuck berry's (featuring johnny johnson and lafayette leake) records to get the feel.  session pianist nicky hopkins (and to a lesser degree a pre-yes rick wakeman) played variations on this same sort of thing on hundreds of rock recordings (the rolling stones, the who, jeff beck, rod stewart, ad infinitum)  in the 60's and 70's. also, chuck leavell's work with the allman brothers, especially on brothers and sisters.

that should give you a good basic rock template. as you get into the later eras, it gets more song specific so you're better off just taking things off of records. or they'll be really simple and you'll just have quarter/eighth note chords and arpeggios.  

as for folds, he's really done his own thing.  you'll notice he doesn't play guest piano very often because (to paraphrase the man himself) he doesn't feel very comfortable with attempting to alter his style to someone else's music.  however, his solos are rockin.  and ben folds live (along with any bootlegs you can find) is a textbook for different approaches and solutions to solo rock piano.
as i mentioned earlier, you should incorporate rock organ into your bag of tricks. (most keyboards nowadays have a pretty passable b3 patch).

even though jimmy smith is most often considered a "jazz" artist, the vast majority of his tricks are blues-based pentatonics. these fit perfectly into the rock idiom.

jon lord of deep purple is also a good source of authentic rock organ licks.

even though keith emerson was strongly influenced by classical, he rocks totally!
second 7 on the jimmy smith recommendation.  gregg allman said he stole every lick he ever played from jimmy smith. and i think that the organist from the animals said that the keyboard on "house of the rising sun" was one big jimmy smith tribute. also, listen to tom scholz's work with boston, especially "foreplay" and the solo on "smokin'"    for more recent stuff check out paige mcconnell's work with phish.

oh...almost forgot. bruce hornsby.  lots of great rock and jazz stuff.  as with folds, he really rocks in a solo setting.  am i allowed to post a website where you can download some of the folds and hornsby concerts?
i would add greg rollie who was santana's organist.  
who can forget 'oye como va' and 'black magic woman'?
a rockin' organist is john novello.  try niacin live: blood, sweat, and beers if you want edgy.  

other enjoyable keyboard players include melvin seals, steve winwood, and keith godchaux.
this site is a good one for learning the basic elements of the style-
https://eltonscafe.com/
i am not a huge elton fan, but i might have to become one just because that eltoncafe sight is so good.  doesn't it make you wish there was a bill evans, mcoy tyner, chick corea sights as great as that!! ???  wow   and smg has not lost his touch for finding the best web sites out there!
i reckon mikes right on bout smg! just checked them sites n thats what im after.

sorry i havent thanked ya'll, but just come back from a trip and all the info is greatly appreciated.

cheers guys.
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