Rock Piano is one of the most fun and exciting styles to play, and I hope you’re not one of those aspiring rockers who holds themselves back because they can’t play all that fancy stuff that you hear on Elton John and Rolling Stones records. After all, neither Elton himself or any of the great pianists who played with The Stones began with the fancy stuff either.
Instead, embrace what I call “Minimum Viable Piano.”
Minimum Viable Piano, or MVP, is a term I invented to describe the process of starting with the bare bones minimum that you need to play a given style, and then “plunging in.”
With Rock, this means:
Learn the common major and minor chords and the chord progressions for a few rock songs.
Yep! That’s it!
For example, if you know the E, D, and A chords, in root position, you can play along with The Rolling Stones’ song “Sympathy For The Devil.” The point is that although pianist Nicky Hopkins does indeed play some fancy stuff on that recording, you can begin by simply holding down the chords while The Stones play all those fancy rhythms. In fact, this is exactly what Nicky does for a while at the beginning of the recording. After a while, it will become easy for you to start playing different rhythms as you hear them.
MVP. Minimum Viable Piano.
It means to learn the minimum you have to learn in order to begin jamming on songs, and then start playing along with recordings or with some other beginning musicians.
This is exactly how The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and yes, even Sir Elton John began playing. And it’s how you can do it too.
After a while, yes, you’ll need to find someone who can show you new techniques, ways to voice chords, and improvise better. This can be a fellow musician in your newly-formed band, or a teacher. Or both.
If you’d like to start the Rock and Blues Basics lessons in my video course, you can get started here:
You’ll also have access to all my other video lessons as well, and I’ll give you as much personal guidance and feedback as you like. Or, if you prefer Skype lessons, just email me at [email protected] and we’ll get started.
Remember: The idea is to get started with “Minimum Viable Piano” and expand from there.
Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!”