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Rock and R&B Keyboards

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Overview

In this lively hands-on class, students learn the nuts and bolts of various rock and R&B keyboard styles by playing quintessential tunes from the ‘50s through the present. Students may also request one tune each which the class will explore together. In recognition of the enormous musical legacy of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, this year’s class will include a special look at the style of renowned keyboardist Benmont Tench. Materials provided by instructor. Prerequisites: ability to read standard notation; familiarity with major and minor chords.

Tuesdays 6:30 – 8 pm
4/10 – 6/5 (9 weeks)
Jennifer Jolly • $375

Registration

REQUIRED READING/MATERIALS: Provided by instructor

 

COURSE OUTLINE:

 

NOTE: Subject matter, pacing, and sequencing may vary from the syllabus depending on students’ experience levels and progress.

 

WEEK 1

Introductions

Course overview

Overview of the various roles that keyboards play in rock and R&B, and how those roles have changed over the decades

Overview of the most common keyboards used in rock and R&B

Brief historical overview

List of keyboardists and keyboard-heavy groups; start listening at home

Begin first repertoire tunes(s)

 

WEEK 2

Brief check-in, responses to listening, questions/discussion

The piano

Continue and add to repertoire tunes

Introduction to Benmont Tench

 

WEEK 3

Brief check-in, responses to listening, questions/discussion

Organs, especially the Hammond B-3 organ

Quick Look at student-requested tune (if any)

Continue and add to repertoire tunes

Benmont Tench, continued

 

WEEK 4

Brief check-in, responses to listening, questions/discussion

The Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos

Quick Look at student-requested tune (if any)

Continue and add to repertoire tunes

Benmont Tench, continued

 

WEEK 5

Brief check-in, responses to listening, questions/discussion

The Hohner Clavinet

Quick Look at student-requested tune (if any)

Continue and add to repertoire tunes

Benmont Tench, continued

 

WEEK 6

Brief check-in, responses to listening, questions/discussion

Synthesizers

Quick Look at student-requested tune (if any)

Continue and add to repertoire tunes

Benmont Tench, continued

 

WEEK 7

Brief check-in, responses to listening, questions/discussion

Other keyboards

Quick Look at student-requested tune (if any)

Continue and add to repertoire tunes

Start summarizing style and techniques

Benmont Tench, continued

 

WEEK 8

Brief check-in, responses to listening, questions/discussion

Other keyboards

Quick Look at student-requested tune (if any)

Start winding up final repertoire tunes

Finish summarizing styles and techniques

Look at how to apply what you’ve learned to new repertoire

Benmont Tench, complete

 

WEEK 9

Final questions

Continue looking at how to apply what you’ve learned to new repertoire

Review of topics and tunes covered

Suggestions for further listening and study

Shared reflections

 

Jennifer Jolly (piano, keyboards)

Performer, educator, choral/musical theater accompanist. Specialist in American roots styles (New Orleans & Louisiana, blues, boogie-woogie, country), funk, R&B, and Caribbean and African music. Currently performing with Kotoja, Zulu Spear, Big B & His Snakeoil Saviors, The Jolly Gibsons, and several other Bay Area groups. Frequent guest performer with Tom Rigney & Flambeau. Previous performance credits include Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead), Barbara Dane, Hot Links. Faculty instructor at Cazadero Family Camp since 1999. B.A., UC Berkeley.

 

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