Piano & Keyboard All-in-One For Dummies
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Before there was rock and roll, there was country. And believe it or not, you can play country on the piano or keyboard. This style often sounds relaxed, lyrical, simple, and grassroots-ish, but it ain’t afraid to rock, roll, and rumble.

Artists like Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain, and Brad Paisley put all kinds of musical influences in their country music, including elements of rock, blues, and even jazz. Influences aside, though, the folks in Nashville still call it country.

Country-style cooking

To enhance your musical dish with the tastes of country on the piano, add some of these stylistic flavorings:

  • Intervals

  • Grace notes

  • Tremolos

  • Bum-ba-di-da bass line

  • A ten-gallon hat, a pair of boots, and maybe even a nice and shiny belt buckle (purchased from a local Western store)

Finger-pickin’ good

This example is a nice, relaxed-sounding slice of the country music style. The right-hand intervals are unique in that the melody notes are actually on the bottom while the top notes stay the same. Grace notes and tremolos peppered throughout give this example the feeling of an Old West saloon.

Sheet music for a country song.

The left-hand accompaniment pattern is challenging, so practice each hand separately until you can confidently put them together. After this inspiring tune, you may find yourself adding a saddlebag to your piano bench.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Michael Pilhofer, MM, holds a Master's in Music Education with a Jazz Emphasis from the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Miami.

Holly Day's work has appeared in Guitar One Magazine, Music Alive!, culturefront Magazine, and Brutarian Magazine.

Jerry Kovarsky is a regular columnist for Keyboard magazine and longtime product management guru with Casio, Korg, and other companies who have been instrumental in bringing keyboard technology into people's homes and onto stages and studios around the world.

Holly Day and Michael Pilhofer are co-authors of all editions of Music Theory For Dummies and Music Composition For Dummies. Blake Neely was a contributing author to the 2nd edition of Piano For Dummies. David Pearl is author of Piano Exercises For Dummies. Jerry Kovarksy is a contributing writer to Electronic Musician magazine. David Pearl is the author of The Art of Steely Dan and Color Your Chords. His other books include Burt Bacharach Piano Solos, jazz transcriptions of artists such as Grover Washington, Jr. and Dave Douglas, and arrangements of jazz tunes, classical pieces, and opera arias for piano. He has taught piano and performed jazz and classical music professionally for more than 30 years.

Michael Pilhofer, MM, holds a Master's in Music Education with a Jazz Emphasis from the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Miami.

Holly Day's work has appeared in Guitar One Magazine, Music Alive!, culturefront Magazine, and Brutarian Magazine.

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