Rhythm Riffs for Keyboard

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Text of Rhythm Riffs for Keyboard

  • FastForward. 1 am!~ For

  • Exclusive Distributors: Music Sales Llmlted 8/9 Frith Street, London W1V 5TZ, England. Muslc Sales Pty Llmited 120 Rothschild Avenue , Rosebery, NSW 2018, Australia. Muslc Sales Corporation 257 Park Avenue South, New York, NY10010, United States oi America.

    Order No. AM92436 ISBN 0-7119-4512-8 This book @ Copyright 1997 by Wise Publications.

    Unauthorised reproduction of any part of this publication by any means including photocopying is an infringement of copyright.

    Book design by Michael Bell Design. Edited and arranged by Jeff Hammer. Music processed by lnteractive Music Sciences Limitecl Cover photography by George Taylor. Cover instrument kindly loaned by Rose Morris Limited Text photographs courtesy oi London Features lnternational and Barry Plumme

  • lntroduction 4

    Riff No.1 Piano Style & Variations 7

    Riff No.2 Two-Bar Piano Riff 11

    Riff No.3 Two-Bar Piano Riff 15 Variations 11

    Riff No.4 Piano Style With Straight Eights 19

    Riff No.5 Clavinet Style 23 Variations 21

    Riff No.6 Clavinet Style With Left-Hand Emphasis 29 Variations 30

    Riff No. 7 Organ Style 38 Variations 39

    Riff No.8 Organ Style With Pad And Lead 42 Variations 44

    Riff No. 9 Electric Piano Style 55 Variations 5a

    Guide To Keyboard &1

  • lntroduction

    Hello, and welcome to -.FastForward Congratulations on purchasing a product that will improve your playing and provide you with hours of pleasure. Ali the music in this book has been specially created by professional musicians to give you maximum value and enjoyability.

    If you already know how to 'drive' your instrument but you'd like to do a little customising, you've pulled in at the right place. We'll put you on the fast track to playing the kinds of riffs and patterns that today's professionals rely on.

    We'll provide you with a vocabulary of riffs that you can apply in a wide variety of musical situations, with a special emphasis on giving you the techniques that will help you in a band situation. That's why every music example in this book comes with a full-band audio track so that you get your chance to join in. Ali players and ali bands get their sounds and styles by drawing on the sarne basic building blocks. With -.FastForward you'll quickly learn these, and then be ready to use them to create your own style.

    Rhythm Riffs For Keyboard

    So you've got the keyboard and plenty of sounds - piano, electric piano, organ, clavinet. The drummer, the bassist and the guitarist are ready, and you are about to start the first song. You know the chords - it opens on G - but here the problem starts: 'What do I actually play?'

    Being a rock keyboard player involves playing to the rhythm set by the drums, fitting in with the bass guitar part, and complementing the rhythms and lead lines of the guitars . Sound complicated? Well, the more you play your keyboard, the more you will begin to understand the options offered by the various styles of keyboard playing and the various sounds available.

    The idea behind this book is not to set out fixed formulas but to suggest a range of starting points. Practise them, experiment with them and, most importantly, don't be afraid to try your own ideas. Remember, there are no rules. You will be surprised just how quickly your own repertoire of riffs will develop.

  • EASY INTERMEDIATE ADVANCED

    Riff No.1 Piano Style

    Playing keyboards in a rock style is very different from the solo keyboard approach which is based around the right hand playing the melody with an accompaniment in the left hand.

    ln a rock band the melody will be taken by the vocalist or soloing instrument and this means the other instruments must find parts to fit around that ... riffs. These riffs will form the backbone of a song arrangement - sometimes

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    This is a solid riff that will work over both slow and fast rock tempos and can be repeated depending on the number of bars you have to fi.11. Notice how the last two beats of each bar, where nothing is played, aliow space for the other instruments to fit in their riff.

    Tip: Sometimes the notes you don't play will contribute more to a part of the arrangement

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    ali the instruments will play the sarne riff, other times the arrangement will be built around different riffs that lock together to form a foundation for the song, e.g. bass guitar pumping on the root notes, a jangly rhythm guitar part, stabs on the ax. .. anything missing? Yes. a so keyboard riff holding it ali together.

    _ h chat... let's get on with it. Select a and IlT this O e- - riff

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    than the notes you do! Graduates of the 'Less Is More' school of playing tend to number far fewer than those from the school of 'Why Play One Note When Six Will Do?'. A trip to your local rehearsal studio will illustrate this point!

    When you feel comfortable with this shape, try moving from one chord to another ...

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    ... and then begin to link-up a whole progression of chords ...

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    lriations To add some variation anda slightly bluesy feel, try slipping between the minor and major 3rd in the right hand.

    Adding in the 7th will also add some variation .. .

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    ... and is an ideal link to the next chord as you begin to use this riff in a chord progression.

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    Adding a left-hand link over the last two beats of the bar also gives a bluesy feel and will

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    Tip: By occasionally using a variation you will avoid the riff becoming monotonous -over-use of variations will make the keyboard part seem cluttered. Think about it in terms of adding colour as you play, don't work to a system as this will become monotonous yet again!

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    F F7

    G G7

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    help to add orne rariation to the rh!~ structure of tbis riff.

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    The final variation we're going to look at in this chapter is playing the riff using a PUSH.

    Instead of the riff being played on the first beat of the bar, it can be pushed a quarter beat earlier.

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  • Try playing through this chord progression which now has a push on alternate bars - this will help you appreciate the difference in feel.

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    Tip: Unlike the other variations which only affect the keyboard part, using a push will involve the rest of the musicians as you will need to play any pushes together. Remember the golden rule -don't overdo it!

    Think in terms of using a push for the first chord of a chorus ... or the beginning of a verse ... or as a feature in a bridge section.

    It's better to have one push that ali the band play, than twelve pushes that some of you play ... at different times. You want people to tap their feet to vour m e, not trip over to it!

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  • EASY INTERMEOIATE AD VA CE-

    Riff No.2 Two-Bar Piano Riff

    Select a piano sound and try this two-bar riff.

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    This riff also leaves plenty of space for the other instruments and by moving away from the notes of the basic C chord (C-E -G) provides greater scope for the melody or a solo.

    Tip: The chord in the second bar