Choose a song and play along.
Click on a title to hear the song.
A piano style developed by Pinetop Smith. It was
used in Swing Jazz and is the basic building block of early Rock and
Roll. Copyright 1995, Ensoniq Corp U.S. Artist - Pelle
WOOGIE BUGLE BOY The Boogie
Woogie melody line is played on piano and bass, while horns add fills,
woodwinds play melody and drums keep the Swing rhythm. This is Big Band
The same melody line as the piano boogie but done on electric guitar. The
guitar is backed up by the rhythm section (drums, bass and horns) borrowed
from the Jazz bands.
THE PINK PANTHER
Find a way to play softly (pianissimo) and in a big way (piano forte). The rhythm is sort
of a Jazz Swing Shuffle.
Make your instrument swing and shuffle.
JAMES BOND THEME Listen
to the horn section rise and fall at the beginning. That is one of the musical themes. The
guitar solo is another theme. In Pop music catchy themes are called
SECRET AGENT MAN
The guitar theme or "hook" at the beginning is the exact same melody as the horn
introductory theme in JAMES BOND. Is that a coincidence?
There are really two songs here. The first version is in the style of Mongo
Santamaria. We could call it Afro-Cuban, Jazz, Cha Cha with a Bluesy melody. Then we hear
the Herbie Hancock version played in what is sometimes called Fusion Style. That is a
mixture of Jazz, Rock, Funk and other modern styles. Thanks to Bob Norton and George
Tassara for the music.
DON'T RUN THE VENTURES are the pinnacle
of guitar bands with the "clean", "twangy" tones you hear.
They also perfected the use of the vibrato bar (whammy bar) which loosens or
tightens the strings giving the sliding or glissando sounds. You will hear
more glissando guitar in the song "Sleepwalk." During the
"bridge" (the middle part where the melody changes) listen to the
bass guitar. You will hear the familiar Boogie Woogie.
Click here to visit The Venture's website: THE VENTURES
The eerie tones or "timbre" help us imagine strange science
fiction stories. The second part of this version is played with harp, flute, strings
and percussion. Now is has a feel of ancient stories. The same melody can suggest
different pictures or moods depending on the "tone color"
of the instruments being played.
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
Listen for the surprise end. Before there was heavy metal there
was brass. Once horns, flutes and percussion were the only instruments loud enough to be
heard at outdoor concerts. The saxophone uses a reed like a clarinet, but has a
brass sound chamber. Is it a woodwind or brass instrument?
This is a Waltz. The count is 1,2,3 - 1,2,3.
Try to play this pattern only sounding the numbers:
1, x, x, 1, x, x, 1, x, x, 1, 2, 3
1, x, x, 1, x, x, 1, x, x, 1, 2, 3
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3
1, x, x
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3
1, x, x
WALTZ ON THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE DANUBE
The patterns played on "Take Me Out To The Ball Game will also work on this
waltz by Johann Strauss. The music was used in the Movie "2001 A
Space Odyssey" as the space ship did a dance with the space station. Recently the
section 40 seconds into the song was used on a TV commercial where people chewed food to
the familiar rhythms.
THE SIMPSONS Some
parents object to the content of the show, but the theme song is a good example of
creative use of the Classical Orchestra. Danny Elfman, since retiring from
Oingo Boingo, has made great themes for movies and TV. Can you name one of his hit
movies. Good luck with trying to keep the beat to this one! Lets try to
identify instruments and how he uses them to "illustrate" characters.
By Santos and Johnny. This is the typical slow dance
song style of the 1950's. The drums are playing in 4/4 time. Between
each drum quarter note the piano is playing three beats as in a waltz. These are called triplets.
On a hand drum make your left hand tap out the quick 1,2,3 1,2,3 while your right
hand hits only when the left is hitting on beat 1. Left hand: 1,2,3 1,2,3,
right hand 1,x,x 1,x,x. That is what the drummer must do.
The guitar chords follow a progression used in hundreds
of songs. The chords are based on these steps of the scale: 1,6,4,5,1 or
C, Ami.,F,G. Musicians call this a turnaround progression.
By Dave Brubeck. 5/4 time! Count it like: 1,2,3,..1,2,
1,2,3,..1,2 Practice it like: clap, clap, clap, pat (lap),
pat. During the saxophone solo and bass
solo in the middle of the song see if you can keep the pattern going as the
By The Champs. The saxophone stops playing the melody and
improvises. That is the musician makes up a solo. During the
improvisation hum the melody and see if the solo ends at the end of the
phrase. When musicians improvise they must remain aware of the
structure of the song. During The "bridge" of the song where the
melody changes, you can hear the bass playing the Boogie Woogie.
THE MACARENA The
rhythm is like saying, Hip, Hop, Cha-Cha, Cha. You count four measures of
1,2,3,4. The dance changes hand positions on beats 1 and 3. Try to do the same with a
collection of sounds.
SIRTAKI - ZORBA THE GREEK
This starts very slow and ends incredibly fast. Try two stepping 1,2-1,2
like Zorba's dance. By the end you'll know what a drummer has to do with the kick drum and
high-hat cymbal. The guitar sounding instrument is a Bouzouki. Heavy metal speed
guitarists, look out! The bouzouki players are fast and the
instrument has double strings to hold down with each finger.
This surf music classic by Dick Dale and The Deltones was originally a Greek song played
on bouzouki like "Zorba The Greek." Predictably, the guitar is played very fast.
Some people know this song as the Pulp Fiction Theme due to it's use in
Tassara created this fascinating take off. This copy is faster than George's version.
Use chopsticks as drum sticks and try to keep the beat as the song plays with time
and instrument variations. The choppy sounding meter is called "staccato". The
rhythm sounds like a Rumba. Spend some time exploring George's web page at: Fabulous Gertrude's MIDI Space.
There is a lot of music there.
WIPEOUT A surfer
classic with a speedy drum part which is kind of Military -Brazilian- African. The
roll is done with alternate single hits so hand drums would work fine. Try it with Buddy
Holly's "Peggy Sue." A great single hit drummer
is Gene Krupa. SING, SING, SING was one of his great performances.
BE DRUMS A drum solo by Sandy Nelson with a
single hit style as in Gene Krupa's playing on SING, SING, SING.
SING SING Gene Krupa's "tribal-primitive"
drumming intermixes with Bennie Goodman's Classical sounding instrumental
arrangement making this song like a Jazz Concerto. The several drum
solos in the middle of the song emphasize the tom toms rather than the snare
drum. This technique has influenced generations of Rock
drummers. Notice that the drum roll at the end is strikingly similar
to the drum solo in "Wipeout." The song was written by Louis
Prima who developed a jazz style that was popular with Rock 'n Roll
From the movie "Deliverance."
"Call-response" is a technique where one voice calls and another echoes.
Try to clap or hum the responses as the song becomes more difficult.
The form of the song is rondo or A,B. Part A is call-response and part B is tutti.
Tutti means all instruments play together. Perhaps this explains the
contents of the candy, Tutti Fruity. What is the meaning of Little Richard's song,
Americans usually play drums with no accents so it's hard to tell if the song is 3 beats
per measure or 4 or 16. Try to keep straight "Indian" time with this guitar
classic as it goes through several Latin rhythm variations including Rumba