A thorough knowledge of the core characteristics of the blues, pop/rock, and jazz is a must to become a truly versatile and accomplished keyboard player. This 3-course program provides students with a comprehensive education in the wide array of skills and knowledge necessary to develop their technique and gain a greater command on the keyboard.
A vital aspect to understanding and performing great American music is to first learn its foundations, which are found in the styles of blues and early rock. The first course of the program, Blues and Rock Keyboard Techniques, will help you to develop the fundamental skills necessary to perform stylistically accurate keyboard techniques in the blues/rock idiom, in a solo and a group setting. After building up your knowledge of theory, accompaniment ability, and phrasing foundations, the course explores the licks, techniques, patterns, and improvisation styles associated with shuffles, New Orleans piano, rock and roll and modern rock piano, and solo blues piano. By the end of this course you will have a strong foundation in the theory and harmonic concepts and skills common to blues/rock styles.
Building on this foundational knowledge, you will move onto the next course, Pop/Rock Keyboard. This course provides an in-depth, practical approach to playing pop/rock music in a band and for solo piano. You will learn to play authentic keyboard parts in a wide range of pop/rock styles, including rock ‘n roll, R&B, dance pop, classic rock, country, heartland/alt-country, and jam band. The course explores how to play accompaniment parts and improvised solos, and how to read and interpret contemporary chord symbol lead sheet notation. You’ll explore the influence of gospel music and techniques specific to sub genres of pop/rock music, focus on how to find the key center for improvisation, and learn the associated phrasing and grooving techniques to advance your improvisational chops. The course also covers performance considerations, including how to combine different pop/rock techniques, how to deal with performance anxiety, and how to work out the best possible practice routine. This course will fill in any gaps in students’ knowledge, and provide a strong foundation in pop/rock keyboard playing.
You will finish up your studies with Jazz Piano. Starting with the basics, you will explore jazz chord voicings with tensions, how to interpret melodies and phrases with an authentic jazz feel, improvisation, jazz bass lines, and developing effective intros and endings to songs. The course focuses on jazz blues, swing, standards, and bossa nova, while laying the foundation for you to expand into any of the jazz-influenced styles. In addition to cultivating your technical and improvisational playing of the instrument, you will learn the history of the genre and how the European classical traditions melded with African rhythms to give birth to a new sound of jazz. With this course, you can enhance your originality, versatility, and compositional skill within the jazz genre.
As you become familiar with different keyboard performance styles, you will learn the signature riffs and licks of the masters, increase your repertoire, and develop your improvisation skills. This program is well suited to intermediate keyboard students, students with classical training, or students with contemporary jazz style training.
Study the theory and harmonic concepts common to blues and rock styles, and learn the licks, techniques, patterns, and improvisation styles associated with shuffles, New Orleans piano, rock and roll and modern rock piano, and solo blues piano.
Learn to play authentic keyboard parts in a wide range of pop/rock styles, including rock 'n roll, R&B, dance pop, classic rock, country, heartland/alt-country, and jam band.
Strengthen your command of the melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that make up the rich art form of jazz on the piano or keyboard.
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