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#1243962 - 08/05/09 11:31 AM The piano in rock music.
The Afro Pianist Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Florida
As much as I love rock music, it really is suited more for instruments like the guitar. So what I'm trying to do is find a way to make the piano fit more readily in a rock group ensemble. I'm doing this by working out adaptations of rock songs for piano. In my covers, I try to reproduce the raw power of the guitars without playing in too chordal a way... but I also try to highlight the melodic parts.

As part of my studies, I cover various rock songs on piano (for piano solo). My latest attempt can be seen here:

All the Way to the Edge of This World - the pillows
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#1244032 - 08/05/09 01:02 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: The Afro Pianist]
J Cortese Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Ummmm ... Billy Joel, Freddie Mercury, Jonathan Cain, Jerry Lee Lewis ...

The classic four-piece rock lineup is a drummer, bass and lead guitars, and a keyboard. Pianos are a perfect fit for almost anything you want to play. It's one of the few instruments like that, actually. Only the violin approaches it and still doesn't come close in terms of being able to go from Baroque to punk.
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#1244107 - 08/05/09 03:12 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: J Cortese]
dave solazzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 160
Loc: syracuse ny
hey afro pianist,

i liked what you did with that tune.

check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8IKMV-hfkU

this is kind of the same idea.


Edited by dave solazzo (08/05/09 03:15 PM)
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#1244132 - 08/05/09 04:11 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: The Afro Pianist]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: The Afro Pianist
As much as I love rock music, it really is suited more for instruments like the guitar. So what I'm trying to do is find a way to make the piano fit more readily in a rock group ensemble. I'm doing this by working out adaptations of rock songs for piano. In my covers, I try to reproduce the raw power of the guitars without playing in too chordal a way... but I also try to highlight the melodic parts.

As part of my studies, I cover various rock songs on piano (for piano solo). My latest attempt can be seen here:

All the Way to the Edge of This World - the pillows


It depends on what type of rock you're looking out. There's a huge variety...there have been a lot of great rock pianists.

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#1244282 - 08/05/09 08:38 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: Nikalette]
The Afro Pianist Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
Originally Posted By: The Afro Pianist
As much as I love rock music, it really is suited more for instruments like the guitar. So what I'm trying to do is find a way to make the piano fit more readily in a rock group ensemble. I'm doing this by working out adaptations of rock songs for piano. In my covers, I try to reproduce the raw power of the guitars without playing in too chordal a way... but I also try to highlight the melodic parts.

As part of my studies, I cover various rock songs on piano (for piano solo). My latest attempt can be seen here:

All the Way to the Edge of This World - the pillows


It depends on what type of rock you're looking out. There's a huge variety...there have been a lot of great rock pianists.


I am mostly talking about heavier forms of rock, of course. I'm trying to incorporate the piano into music along the lines of Nirvana and the pillows. It's a lot harder to do, as the transition isn't as seamless (you usually end up having to "soften" up the music for the transition). I try to make it so that the piano is just as powerful as the guitar parts. It's not physically possible, but a closer style of playing would be nice.
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#1244915 - 08/06/09 05:48 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: The Afro Pianist]
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Maybe try some synth sounds with heavier bass in em...
Hook a decent weighted keyboard to
a laptop with a good softsynth or a
serious hardware synth.
That'll get you more "in your face" sounds...

I think a good synth rig will blow any guitar outa the water.
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#1245419 - 08/07/09 02:58 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: The Afro Pianist]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: The Afro Pianist
As much as I love rock music, it really is suited more for instruments like the guitar. So what I'm trying to do is find a way to make the piano fit more readily in a rock group ensemble. I'm doing this by working out adaptations of rock songs for piano. In my covers, I try to reproduce the raw power of the guitars without playing in too chordal a way... but I also try to highlight the melodic parts.

As part of my studies, I cover various rock songs on piano (for piano solo). My latest attempt can be seen here:

All the Way to the Edge of This World - the pillows


(light bulb goes on) Somewhere in my piles and piles of music videos, books and cds, I have a contemporary rock pianist instruction set...I remember putting it aside because it was too advanced for me. I'll see if I can dig it up.

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#1245804 - 08/08/09 03:52 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: Nikalette]
ChippyChops Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 5
I like the two youtube links - but they dont sound "rock" to me - well they do - "Jim Steinman" type rock - if that's what you are after.

I cant really play - so I wonder if there is a way to imitate the "muted" sound of a rhythm guitar and the "blended" sound you can make on the lower octaves on piano. I remember Mozart did this on a famous piece - cant remember which smile

Am I makes sense? No thought not smile

Also a light but driving left hand I think would add a lot of "rock" to the sound. For example

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QgqRdbpA7Y

now I know this link is a jazzy number, but I love the simple left hand - and I think it could be "rockified" to great effect.

You dont agree? No, well, just an idea. I'll get my coat smile

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#1245819 - 08/08/09 04:33 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: ChippyChops]
ChippyChops Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCSevzJQ2-Y

The mozart piece - its the left hand roll he does from mid 40 seconds in onwards I was talking about.

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#1245968 - 08/08/09 10:43 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: ChippyChops]
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
Er, Muse is essentially a stadium rock band and the lead singer, Matt Bellamy, loves piano and incorporates it often. Rachmaninoff has shown up in his songs. Chopin's in the latest album. Often Matt will stop and play some classical piano during a concert. There is a ton of piano incorporated into the pieces.
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#1246052 - 08/09/09 04:29 AM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: Minaku]
ChippyChops Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 5
So would you say Chopin is a rock composer?
I think I get what the OP means. He wants to try and reproduce the sound of a rock band on a piano. I am not hot enough on theory to suggest the cords and/or scales combinations he might use to have an effect that would take the listener there.

However, using a different style may have some positive results. For example, the "Mozart roll" I suggested, if you use a lot of imagination sounds a bit like rhythm guitar - well I think it does smile

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#1246104 - 08/09/09 09:52 AM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: ChippyChops]
rockonswitch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 38
If you want to study the piano in rock music. Here are some good bands or albums to go to.

This is a classically trained pianist that did a whole album of Radiohead covers and a whole album of elliott smith covers.
http://www.christopheroriley.com/

That being said... For good examples of piano in Rock Music. Look to these bands and albums

Radiohead - Hail to the Theif
Elliott Smith - Figure 8
Sunset Rubdown - Shut up I'm dreaming
Muse - Absolution (which was mentioned previously)
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
The Beatles (This is kinda a no brainer)
The Kinks - Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One
Grandaddy - Sophtware Slump

If you hadn't heard these albums, I think you're about to have your mind blown. Or you're not going to get it, and it'll be wasted.

The song you included is kinda a simple song with powerchords. Those don't really go well on the piano because its a lot of fifths. Try working on the chord progression in the left hand breaking it down to inversions, and try and incorporate the bass line so that the left hand has a much more interesting part. From there the melody should be fine, but if you're feeling ambitious add harmonies.

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#1246465 - 08/09/09 11:04 PM Re: The piano in rock music. [Re: rockonswitch]
The Afro Pianist Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Florida
OK. Thanks for all the feed back people. I've got some helpful feed back, but I'll give a proper response once I've gone through all I've been given.
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