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Tickling the Ivories: Part One

So as much as I love the guitar and know that it absolutely rules the classic rock and roll I love, I have always harbored a deep love for the piano. It is just amazing to watch someone sing and play that thing…..and have both hands playing cool stuff accompan

ying those vocals. There just seems so much going on at once and I am amazed at how someone like Elton John can do it. Now the guitar has a lot of advantages…the first and foremost being the way it can emote….I mean howl… The amount of affects you can apply leads to countless variations. The notes are also NOT singular….you can play the same “A” note for example in multiple places on the fret board…..allowing a certain flexibility. The keys can have a multitude of affects applied as well….but it’s …well not the same. And the notes are singular….middle “C” is only accessible by that one key. A big advantage the keys have is the number of voices it can produce: trumpets, tubas, xylophone…even drum kits. Add into this MIDI (which I don’t fully get) and if you can play the keys you can play any instrument ever invented…..and some that haven’t….I kid you not.

So I first picked up the guitar in 7th grade…..we had a music class in junior high and

there were twenty-one of us…..and we had 7 guitars… after tuning we each had about 10 minutes a day to practice. And tuning was manually done….with a piano. That was it on the guitar. I taught myself everything else…before the internet…can you imagine? The internet has been a huge help least in the past 10-15 years. I was able to learn a lot of guitar parts fairly easily and then it hit me....maybe I can learn some piano parts from the internet.

And there you go.....I was able to learn three well known piano heavy songs: CSNY’s “Our House”, the Beatles “Hey Jude” and John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Now I would not claim that any of these songs are particularly hard.....and nor would I say I can actually play piano......but I can play these songs. There were a number of good piano tutorials online that I was able to learn these songs from.....and like a Russian space monkey I could do them by rote. And amaze my friends by doing so!

NEXT: Writing on the piano


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