The Versatile Keyboardist

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From the back of the book:
Versatility means being well-rounded, adaptable, and open-minded. In today’s eclectic music business, keyboardists are expected to be familiar with a wide range of techniques and styles. Being versatile and knowledgeable will help you become an in-demand player. The Versatile Keyboardist is the perfect book for keyboardists and pianists of all ability levels looking to expand their musical knowledge and increase their skills. This book introduces the essentials of many styles, with examples based on actual songs. By learning about the history and important players of each style, you’ll come to understand what goes into creating a great keyboard part. You will also learn general music theory and concepts to make you a better musician in any style and unleash your potential to become a flexible, adaptable, and versatile keyboardist. A CD demonstrating the musical examples in the book is included.


Chapter 1 - Toolbox
Topics Include: Major Scales; Other Scales (minor, pentatonic, blues); Triads; Chord Inversion and Voice Leading; Diatonic Harmony; 7th Chords; Swing Eighth Notes; Lead Sheets

Chapter 2 – Rock Keyboard
Topics Include: The I, IV, and V Chords; Basic Two-Handed Rock Chords; Rock Chords for Left Hand Only; Chord Rhythms; Chord Embellishment; Single-Note Soloing

Chapter 3 – Pop Keyboard
Topics Include: Arpeggios; The Slip-Note Technique; Interpreting Melodies

Chapter 4 – R&B Keyboard
Topics Include: Gospel Chord Techniques; Rhythm and Phrasing with Chords; Imitating Guitar Rhythms

Chapter 5 – Blues Keyboard
Topics Include: Blue Notes; Blues Devices and Phrasing; Blues Accompaniment; Other Ways to Feel Blues Rhythm; Boogie-Woogie

Chapter 6 – World Music Keyboard Styles
Topics Include: Afro-Cuban Rhythms; Montunos; Cha-Cha-Cha; Bossa Nova; Samba; Reggae; Klezmer

Chapter 7 – Classical Piano
Topics Include: Baroque (Bach); Classical (Mozart, Beethoven); Romantic (Chopin); Modern (Mussorgsky)

Chapter 8 – Jazz Piano
Topics Include: Basic Chord Voicings; Extending and Altering Chords; Four-Note Voicings; Two-Handed Voicings; Comping; Soloing with Scales; Progressions with Modulations; Soloing with Arpeggios; Modes; Chromaticism and Ornamentation; Stride and Walking Bass

Chapter 9 – Hybrid Styles
Topics Include: Jazz-Rock; Ragtime; Latin Jazz; Progressive Rock

Suggested Listening
Types of Keyboards