Kimmel's Keyboardist on Playing to a Click
Apr 2 2014 2:49PM
Vince Maggio, my jazz piano instructor at the University of Miami School of Music (and mentor to Bruce Hornsby), always stressed the importance of “locking in” with a drummer’s ride cymbal. Vince’s lesson still resonates with
5 Ways To Comp on a Hammond B-3
Feb 19 2014 12:32PM
Short for accompanying, “comping” is an often-overlooked component of playing the Hammond B-3 organ. Often, one ends up holding pads and throwing a Leslie switch back and forth while the guitar player takes yet another solo.
Pop Session Keyboardist Cheat Sheet
Jan 26 2014 4:26PM
Growing up in Southern California, I was acutely aware of its session scene, with guys like David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Greg Phillinganes, Victor Feldman, and other heavy hitters covering every conceivable keyboard gig. It’s
Improv for Pop Songwriters
Dec 4 2013 1:58PM
The intersection of pop songwriting and improvisation is a powerful place to explore—one is quite necessarily structured, the other seeks to break out of structures or at least push their limits. Combining these two
Modal Improvisation for Jazz, Fusion, and Rock Soloing
Oct 25 2013 10:53AM
Approaching improvisation from a modal perspective is another tool you can harness to help you play through chord changes. In the same way that Tin Pan Alley and Broadway show tunes from the 1940s with a preponderance of ii-V
Clavinet in Context
Sep 9 2013 11:16PM
I was introduced to the Hohner Clavinet by artists like Billy Preston, Garth Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Willie Turbinton, Art Neville, Edgar Winter, Bernie Worrell, and Terry Adams of NRBQ. In many ways, my approach to the
Guitar Voicings on the Keyboard
Aug 28 2013 9:53AM
As someone who plays both guitar and keyboards, I’ve been able to explore the idiosyncrasies of both instruments. Perhaps the biggest difference between guitar and keyboards is that on the guitar, you can play the same note in
5 Ways to Play Like George Duke
Aug 7 2013 12:39PM
Trying to reduce George Duke’s playing to five examples is basically impossible. He has done so much in such a wide variety of styles, that what follows will only scratch the surface of his musical mastery. That being said,
Keyboard Multitasking Onstage
Jul 23 2013 9:05PM
If you’re a gigging keyboardist, you’ve undoubtedly been asked to cover multiple parts at once. Often times, this involves playing parts with one hand so that your other hand is free to play other keyboards or zones on the
Hand Independence for Synth Players
Jun 28 2013 5:55PM
It’s often the keyboard player’s job to recreate complex studio sounds onstage. Reverbed pizzicato strings, portamento synths, and distorted Mellotron all sound amazing together, but how does one person with two hands play all
Left Hand Workout
Jun 28 2013 1:08PM
As jazz pianists we often learn a multitude of right-hand licks and scales for soloing, but we don’t spend enough time developing our left hand. Since I sing and often support my vocals with solo piano, I’ve spent a lot of
Octaves with Finesse
Jun 21 2013 1:02PM
When I’m recording and improvising live, I love the power that comes from playing melodies in octaves with my right hand. But I always try to use them with taste and moderation. Just like a trumpeter playing high notes for too
Jazz Arranging for Keyboardists
May 16 2013 3:00PM
Keyboard players are naturally good arrangers. We do it every day while we’re writing, tracking, putting chords to melodies, and mixing our music. All of these activities involve selecting textures, achieving balance, and
Be the Bass With These Left Hand Techniques
May 15 2013 2:13PM
Picture this: You got the gig and you’re excited about the music. You get to your first rehearsal and the bandleader wants you to play “bass” on a couple of things. You panic because you’ve never had to be the bass player and
5 Ways to Play Like Regina Spektor
May 9 2013 7:09PM
I’ve lived in New York City’s East Village for nearly 20 years, and have followed Regina Spektor’s career from its early beginnings at the Sidewalk Cafe on Avenue A, just a block from my apartment. Regina’s keyboard work

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