How To Play Old Time Rock & Roll



Sometimes you hit a plateau in your practice and you feel a little bored with the songs you’re practicing. That’s totally normal! Everything we do in life can feel a little stale after doing it for a while, so don’t beat yourself up when this happens.


Over the years, I’ve hit these walls myself, and I have a few tricks I use to get myself keep myself motivated. One thing I do is each Summer, when life slows down a little, I pick something new to study. One year, I taught myself Banjo and the next I learned Mandolin! Then there was the Summer I decided to finally learn some Jazz tunes and then another time I recorded an album of original music! That was fun.


I think of this personal experience whenever I notice that the honeymoon period might be over for one of my students. It usually hits around month 3 or 4, and I can tell because their body language at the piano is a little dull and tired, and they just don’t seem as excited about piano as they were when they started.


THIS is also normal.


So I always propose we learn something with chords and something that doesn’t require reading sheet music. This tutorial is one of those tricks I keep in my bag at all times.


If you’ve been playing for a few months, you have the arm strength for chords and you understand by now that if you play slow at first, you’ll be able to get the quick changes.


This tutorial is a spin off of the 12 Bar Blues, which is written in a different format. This one goes a little longer than a blues riff, and some of the chords are repeated more than you would hear in a blues song. It reminds me of the early days of Rock & Roll, which makes sense, since Rock & Roll evolved out of the Blues genre.


This exercise is a lot of fun to play and it’ll push you to develop finger strength, tighten your timing, and practice playing syncopated rhythms. If you have any questions, leave it in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer you.


Have a great day, and GO PLAY PIANO!




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