Rock
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
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Two-Handed Synth Soloing Ideas, Part 1
Mar 26 2014 1:50PM
[Editor's note: This column originally appeared in our March 2014 issue and was entitled "Nothing Wrong with Showing Off."]   We’ve been binging on synth programming for quite some time in my column, so let’s get back to some
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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.
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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
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3 Ways to Craft Groovy '70s Keyboard Parts
Jan 3 2014 2:19PM
The 1970s were a time where the hair was long, safety belts were not required, and keyboard-playing rock stars ruled like thundering T-rexes. Piano parts were front and center, with octaves in the right hand and rolling rhythms
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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
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Program the Jordan Rudess Lead Sound on Your Synth
Oct 11 2013 1:14PM
Let’s continue showing you how artists we all know and love use the many synthesizer soloing sounds, concepts, and techniques we’ve been exploring over the last 19 columns—20 counting last month’s analysis of George Duke’s
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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
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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
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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,
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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
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Jeff Lorber on Pentatonic Soloing in Fusion
Jul 17 2013 1:10PM
Welcome to “Cold Fusion,” a new Keyboard column where we’ll be exploring concepts of jazz-fusion playing from the ground up. Let’s begin with pentatonic soloing. Pentatonic scales are especially relevant when it comes
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5 More Ways To Play Like Keith Emerson
Jun 26 2013 2:00PM
Keith Emerson is the reason I play keyboards. When I first started playing music, someone gave me a cassette of Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s album Brain Salad Surgery and my life was changed forever. Emerson is undoubtedly one of
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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
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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
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