Learn How to Play Rock Piano Lessons
(Scroll down to see the full list of lessons in this
When we think of rock music, we frequently imagine that characteristic
long-haired guitarist on a stage, backed up by bass and drums, wailing amazing guitar riffs as energized fans
scream him on.
While this should be one of the iconic images of rock, pianists commonly make the mistake of supposing that this
is the only type of rock, forgetting that the piano, too, can rightly take its place among instruments that know
how to rock it out.
Many mistake the piano as solely a classical instrument, neglecting the fact that the piano is first and
foremost classified as a percussion instrument with all the advantages any rhythm-based instrument offers.
One of the major differences between rock piano and other types of piano playing
styles is that rock music has a heavy emphasis on rhythm, which means that you must consider the rhythm
you’re playing on the piano just as much as the chords. So, when playing rock on the piano, keep your hands relaxed
and think of yourself as more of a drummer than a pianist.
This rhythmic quality can be achieved more simply than you think. Instead of thinking about moving your fingers
rapidly around the keys and delicately playing a dramatic melody, think more about simply playing basic piano chords to an exciting rhythm pattern. Rock music works because the music
energizes the listener and provided the background, and the singers provide the melody.
So let your fingers bounce on chords repetitively, and imagine or actually sing what melody can be sung on top
of them. It helps, also, to master the basic chord structures; this will allow your fingers to easily float between
chords instead of making hiccups in the rhythm when you have to think hard about what positions your fingers need
to switch to.
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Another aspect of rhythmic playing in rock piano is the way the hands interact
with one another. Frequently, playing rock rhythm means that the hands will alternate with one another,
creating a common rhythm between them.
Imagine a drummer playing a beat that’s split between the bass and the snare drums; that same sort of beat can
be imitated by pianists as they pound out the chord structures, making a distinctive rock sound.
The essential first steps toward learning how to comfortably play rock piano include first learning the basic
chord shapes. Knowing chords automatically allows your mind to focus on rhythm, not notes.
Secondly, once you know the essential chord structures, focus on finding creative rhythms, especially rhythms
that are shared between the hands.
Thirdly, don’t get fancy right away. It might be best to just play quarter notes that focus on hearing the
sounds of the chords. Once your fingers are comfortable with the pattern of the song you’re playing, slowly get
Fourthly, once you feel that you have achieved comfort with the basic chords of the song, slowly begin to add
variations in rhythm and in notes that will energize a rock listener’s ears as much as that guitar wailing on
You’ll find that much of rock relies on catchy, repetitive chords, there is plenty of opportunity for you to
grow comfortable with the basics, and add your own unique variations from there.
Rock Piano Lessons Listing:
- Rhythmic Rock Piano Playing
The piano's versatility makes it an ideal instrument that can be found across different genres of music. In this lesson, we explore some rhythmic rock playing styles.
- Staccato Techniques in Rock Piano Playing
The staccato technique can give rock music an edge and add life to your song. Find out the different ways to learn and apply this useful skill here.
- Classic Rock Progressions on Piano
Most of us are exposed to classical music when we first start out. The use of progressions in rock and classical are pretty much the same as the music theory governs how a song is played in most cases.
- How to Play Rock Piano Songs By Ear
One of the toughest things that most musicians find is to play by ear. If you ever listened to a song on the radio and tried to played it on the piano with no success, don't worry, you aren't alone. That's why we are here to help you on today.
- List of Modern Rock Piano Songs For Inspiration
Every now and then, there are always tons of new songs that are being composed and written. Here's a list of some of the best inspirational rock piano songs for your leisure and enjoyment.
- Suspended Chords on Piano
A suspended chord is really nothing more than playing one of the chord tones in a higher/lower level to create a chord that sounds tensive and full of suspense.