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Chapter 14: Great Grooves 209
The “Loi/e Me Like \/ou Used To” riff
You’re alone with your date, and you see a piano. Here’s your chance to impress your one true love with your piano-playing proficiency (try saying that quickly four times!). Play the “Love Me Like You Used To” riff, Figure 14-14 (Track 84), and when your swooning one asks what song you’re playing, just say, “Oh, something I made up.”
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210 Part V: Technique Counts for Everything ___________
The “Classic Boogie" riff
Play the Boogie riff in Figure 14-15 (Track 85) and no one will believe that you just started to play the piano. This is a bass riff, played by the left hand, but the triplet chords are equally important to the overall sound. You can insert this riff in the middle of a song, in between two different sets of lyrics, or while you’re waiting for the guitarist to stop running around the stage.
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Chapter 14: Great Grooves 211
The “Hank the Honky-Tonk"riff
The “Hank the Honky-Tonk” riff, Figure 14-16 (Track 86), is easy on the fingers but even easier on the ears. If you’re playing with a band, you can use this riff for your stand-out solo If you’re playing without a band, just throw it in during a break and act like you’re goofing around on the keys. Either way is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
212 P'rtV: Technique Counts for Everything _
The “Chopsticks” riff
Figure 14-17: The
“Chopsticks” (Figure 14-17, Track 87) isn’t all that impressive, but every pianist should know how to play it. It’s so easy and has become such a joke for pianists to play that someone somewhere will request it from you. Just make sure you ask for a big fat tip.
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Perusing the Aisle of Style
In This Chapter
? Adding style to your songs
p- Finding yourself between a rock and a hard jazz
p Combining techniques
? Impersonating Mozart, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the gang
0uring a recent shopping spree, I noticed five separate CDs containing the classic song “Star Dust,” each recorded by a different artist —
Willie Nelson, Hoagy Carmichael, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and John Coltrane. Each artist took the same song and recorded it in his own way, making the song sound almost entirely different in each recording. This just goes to show you that there are literally hundreds of different ways to interpret a piece of music, each way offering its own sound and feel, which is known as style.
This chapter introduces you to many different styles and explains what each style has to offer. Then I show you how to apply each of those styles to a well-known song. When you get the different styles under your skin, try applying them to your favorite songs. Hey, maybe you can be the first artist to record “Star Dust” as a cha-cha.
It’s difficult to say that classical is a style of music. But there, I said it, and it wasn’t so difficult.
Many people think of classical music as old, intellectual, sometimes boring music written by a bunch of dead guys who wore wigs. This may be true (except for the “boring” part), but the sound and feel of classical music is unique. You, too, can apply the sound and feel of classical music to your songs, even ones written in this century.
Here’s a list of the musical tools you need in order to add that classical sound to your music:
2U Part V: Technique Counts for Everything
Part of Mozart's "Sonata in C "
J' Trills: See Chapter 13.
J' Arpeggios: See Chapters 9 and 14.
J1 Scales: See Chapter 8.
J1 Octaves: See Chapter 10.
J' A wig to look like Mozart: Borrow one from Aunt Rhoda.
Figure 15-1 is an excerpt from a classical piano piece by Mozart called “Sonata in C.” Notice the use of arpeggios in the left hand and the trills scattered throughout in the right hand. Then, after introducing the cute little melody, what does he give us? Scales!
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Using this same approach, you can make “This Old Man” (Track 88) sound like a piece by Mozart. Play the song slowly, softly, and as smoothly as possible. You may find yourself being appointed court composer . .. hopefully not of the County Court, though.
Chapter 15: Perusing the Aisle of Style 215
This Old Man Wore a Wig
make him big in the
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Not all classical music is soft and sweet. Composers like Liszt and Grieg wrote some very dramatic and loud piano music. The opening bars of Grieg’s monumental Piano Concerto begin with loud, descending octaves as shown in Figure 15-2. (This piece also contains dynamics, which you can read about in Chapter 13.)