Soft rock piano exercise

by Bill on July 4, 2011

“Rock piano” actually covers a massive range of piano styles. In recent years the piano has had a bit of a revival in mainstream chart music, especially in the UK, with bands like Keane and Scouting for Girls putting the instrument right at the centre of their line-ups.

Anyhow, this tutorial looks at the way you can use a repeated right hand lick over a chord progression in the left to get a distinctive soft-rock sound. It’s a useful technique you can adapt to quite a few situations - it’s also useful for songwriting.

One of the interesting things that’s going on here is the contrast of the constant E-based right hand over the changing progression in the left. As the chords in the left hand change, they alter the flavour of the right, creating interesting harmonies that imply suspended fourths and ninths - a sound that’s very common in a lot of rock piano, and also in country and folk.

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