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#987947 - 02/16/08 10:12 AM Chord piano – backup accompaniment
majones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 331
Loc: Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Any information on this subject would be appreciated. My background is acoustic rhythm guitar, with a Country band. I would like to be working toward doing the same using my keyboard.

At the present time left and right hand four beats of I IV V7 (C F G7) and loop back is about all I am accomplishing. Would love some pointers, hints, sheet music, videos -- anything on providing background rhythm on the keyboard will help. Right now I'm too wooden -- need some technique pointers.

Should add -- yes I'm using Alfred's basic adult book and Autumn Leaves is progressing really better than I anticipated.



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#987948 - 02/16/08 12:15 PM Re: Chord piano – backup accompaniment
jotur Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 6147
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, you've probably already got the LH "oom-pah" figured out, but that's where I started - in C, for instance, C-G with thumb/pinky on 1-2 (assuming you're in 2), and the RH chord around middle C on the off-beat.

Then I added bass runs in the LH - G-ABC- for instance, to get the V-I cadence. And a ton of variations on that to get from one chord to another - like playing runs on your guitar.

You can try splitting the chord in the RH, with the thumb on the beat along with the LH, and the other two notes on the off-beat. Or vice-versa.

You can syncopate the RH, playing it between the beat and the off-beat. This is really cool if you anticipate a chord change with it by playing the new chord on the off-beat just before the "oom."

You can use different rhythms in the LH - my current favorite is "tango" - dum, de-dum dum, dum-dum, de-dum dum, etc.

You can use 7 chords in either hand.

You can play arpeggio variations on the beat in the LH.

You can play "stop time" - just lay out for a measure or a phrase, or only play the first beat. Or you can hold a chord thru a whole measure.

You can move either/both hands to a higher octave for awhile.

You can do grace notes in the RH before the chord - little quick runs. Or glissandos like Jerry Lee.

I will still sound wooden when I'm working on a new kind of variation or rhythm, but once I'm comfortable or the piece gets inside me that goes away, and I suspect it will for you, too.

We don't have a bass so I think of my LH as the bass, but if you have a bass player the two of you will have to work out, mostly by playing together, how to dovetail your lines - but you're used to that just from playing in a band.

I love playing back up - have fun -


Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous

#987949 - 02/16/08 12:40 PM Re: Chord piano – backup accompaniment
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2462
Loc: Denver, CO
Check out Mark Harrison's books.

In particular his Country Piano Keyboard Style Book as well as The Pop Piano Book. For theory from a very different standpoint there is also his Contemporary Music Theory books.


From what I've seen of Mark Harrison's books, I would recommend that you get at least well into Alfred's Level 2 before really digging into these books.

Here are some other books that might be of use:






#987950 - 02/16/08 02:48 PM Re: Chord piano – backup accompaniment
majones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 331
Loc: Deep East Texas Piney Woods
As always thanks for the quick response. That will keep me pointed in the right direction and give me plenty to work with.

Again, thanks.


{EDIT}[/b] Had a good practice session last night, your comments really helped.


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