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Chapter 14: Great Grooves 201
For each new chord in “Boogie-Woogie Bass Line” (Track 73), you play the following scale notes up the keys and then back down: root, 3rd, 5th, 6th, flatted 7th. Get down, boogie-oogie-oogie.
Boogie-Woogie Bass Line
Great intros and Outros
A good pianist should always be able to begin and end a piece in an interesting way. You can join the ranks of good pianists by filing away some stock intros and outros in your head, ones you can apply to any piece of music at any given time. An intro or outro is your time to shine, so milk it for all it’s worth.
202 Part V: Technique Counts for Everything
In my humble opinion, few things are more fun than playing a great intro or outro. Heck, some of them sound great alone, without a song attached.
Most of the intros and outros in this section are geared toward popular music. When it comes to classical music, the composer usually gives you an appropriate beginning and ending. Of course, if you really want to fire up Chopin’s “Minute Waltz,” consider adding one of these intros.
Applying intros and outros to songs
You can add any of the intros and outros in the next two sections of this book to virtually any piece of music. Just follow these steps to apply the intros and outros you select for your song:
1. Check the song’s style.
Each of these intros and outros has a different style or sound. Consider the style of the song you are playing and choose an intro that works best with it. For example, a rock ’n’ roll intro may not sound very good attached to a soft country ballad. But, then again, anything is possible in music (Chapter 15 introduces you to many musical styles.)
2. Check the song’s key.
All of the intros and outros you find in this book are written in the key of C. If the song you want to play is also in the key of C, then you’re ready. If not, adjust the notes and chords of each intro and outro to correspond with the song’s key by using the helpful hints shown with each intro and outro.
3. Check the song’s first chord.
All of the intros I show you transition easily into the first chords or notes of a song, provided that the song begins with a chord that is built on the first tone of the scale. (Chapter 12 explains these types of chords.) For example, if the song you are playing is in the key of C and begins with a C major chord, any of the intros I show you work perfectly. If not, use the hints provided with each intro to adjust the chord accordingly.
4. Check the song’s last chord.
Like intros, you can tack all of the outros I give you onto the end of a song if the song ends with a chord that is built on the first tone of the scale (and most songs do). For example, if the song you are playing is in the key of C and ends with a C major chord, you’ll have no problem with one of these outros. If not, you’ll need to adjust the outro to the appropriate key.
Chapter 14: Great Grooves
The "Get Ready, Here We Go" intro.
Adjusting the intros and outros into a different key is a lot of work. If you’re just starting out with the piano, do yourself a favor and apply these intros and outros to songs in the key of C. This book includes many such songs.
The big entrance
When the singer needs a good intro, who’s going to play it? The drummer?
I think not! You are. And it can’t be any old intro; it’s gotta be good. The audience has a tendency to talk between songs, so it’s your job to shut ’em up and announce the start of the new song. You have a few options:
J' Play the first four chords of the song. (Ho hum!)
J1 Play a scale or two. (Yawn)
J' Stand up and say, “Ladies and gentleman, please quiet down. Here comes a song.” (Nerd)
J1 Play a few bars of show-stopping, original material that really gets things hopping and leaves them begging for more. (That’s the ticket)
The "Get Ready, Here We Go" intro
The intro you see in Figure 14-4 (Track 74) is bound to grab the audience’s attention. It’s been used in just about every style of music, from vaudeville to ragtime to Broadway. After you hear it, you’ll never forget it. After you play it, you’ll be hooked. Just keep playing the measures between the repeat signs until you’re ready to continue to the melody. (Chapter 5 talks about repeat signs and what they do.)
Scale notes used Chords:
5th 6th t7th 7th 5th C
4 J*f— > > =444 I *| j : Li * j | —i • ) ?
—Y+ J J— 4 * m 0 — j— -M J 1 L. 4 J 0-
The "Rockin' Jam" intro
You can knock some socks off with a rock ’n’ roll intro like the one in Figure 14-5 (Track 75). The triplets are tricky but you can play this one fast or slow. A slower-tempo version works well with a blues song, while a fast version is good for . . . well, a fast rockin’ song. (This intro contains grace notes, which you can read about in Chapter 13.)
20b Part V: Technique Counts for Everything
in = J3j>) c
m m m #j a| jj m m m m
The "Su/eet Ballad" intro
If a slow ballad is more your speed, the intro in Figure 14-6 (Track 76) works well. You can skip the opening sixteenth-note arpeggio if you want. It may be a little difficult, but it sure does add emotion.