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FDP Forum / Rock-it 88's - Keyboard Forum / Are there piano song books?

mark bjorke
Contributing Member

Annapolis, MD

I hate applications
Apr 17th, 2009 11:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That have notation of the actual piano parts for major rock acts of the past. e.g Beatles, the Band..etc?

They'd be helpful for the girl in our band. She's a wiz at classical but has a hard time copping even simple licks by ear.

Contributing Member

Washington State

Apr 18th, 2009 12:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"She's a wiz at classical but has a hard time copping even simple licks by ear."

I have found that to be true with most keyboard players that are making the transition from playing as soloist, church-players, etc. to playing in a rock/jazz/country setting.

Just as there are certain licks guitarist have to know, this is also true with keyboard players. I've got a buddy whose a "convert" and now, after 15 years, he's finally "getting it". Although he's one of my best friends I refused to play with him all that time. It was impossible. Instead of learning the "language" he'd just overplay. Good luck.

K9 Big Dog
Contributing Member


Molôn labe!
Apr 19th, 2009 08:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Mark, it's funny but a lot of the "signature" piano licks or runs can be found in guitar books. The Hal Leonard songbooks many times have those certain licks transcribed for guitar. The sheet music is there and you get the TAB too. 50/50 chance with songbooks charted for Piano/Vocal/Guitar(chords) as to whether you'll see the signature licks or not.

A couple tricks I've used:
1. Get one of those CD Trainer things that allow you to slow down the track and listen without affecting the pitch. That'll really help to learn the parts.

2. I have also downloaded MIDI files of the songs I need (many are free some you pay a little for) and then I play them through a program like Cubase or Ableton, etc. Most of those MIDI sequencing/DAW software packages, even the "Lite" versions you get in a bundle with something else have a scoring function that will take the MIDI file you've imported and actually score it and allow you to print out the chart. The guys who sequence these songs are pretty good and you'll nearly always get the riffs you're looking for in the song all charted for you. You might even be able to find a downloadable utility that score and prints MIDI files out there.

(This message was last edited by K9 Big Dog at 08:21 AM, Apr 19th, 2009)

Contributing Member

Greater Boston

Fighting cancer is a lifelong deal
Apr 19th, 2009 10:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think that it might be more of learning the "technique" of playing non-classical music.

For example the guitar hammer-ons and pull-offs can be played on keys, but it's something that needs to be developed rather than just looked at in a book, IMO.

Contributing Member


I suffer for my music-now it's your turn
Apr 19th, 2009 03:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's something that comes with practice.

The best thing is to have her sit next to a radio for an hour a day and play along. No music. Full rotation commercial radio would be the best bet. She's trained her hands and eyes over many years. Time for the ears to get a workout.

Contributing Member

Memphis, Tennessee

Boldly going nowhere
May 29th, 2009 11:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Shoebox found one at Guitar Center last weekend. I'll send you the name of it. Nice book.

Contributing Member

Memphis, Tennessee

Boldly going nowhere
Jun 3rd, 2009 09:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I dug through the music books and found more than I remembered. All of these are from Hal Leonard publishing and have the actual keyboard parts written out (or at least the hooks).

Classic Rock IBSN 0-634-05409-D
35 songs transcribed

GIG Guide - There are several of these and they cover more than the keyboard. There's blues, soul, etc. The soul one has Green Onions AND Mustang Sally!

Best of Rock by Todd Lowry ISBN 0-634-05636-0

Classic Hits Elton John by Todd Lowry

This is a theory/method book for learning to play blues. From Alfred Publishing
Beginning (and Intermediate and Mastering) Blues Keyboard by Tricia Woods.

Hope these help.


Boston, Taxachusetts

Jun 5th, 2009 11:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Before books with guitar tab finally became popular in the 80s, all songbooks came in piano format. Funny how times have changed.


San Diego, Calif.

I am Percy "Thrills" Thrillington.
Jul 21st, 2009 07:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Steve's suggestion is the best.


Contributing Member

northwest US

Jul 29th, 2009 11:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

have her listen to nothing but old Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, and Little Richard ... this worked for me 40 years ago ...

Contributing Member

Memphis, TN

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
Aug 18th, 2009 01:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

OMG - That's one of the reasons I'm not playing in a band, even RC's.

I'm too much of a perfectionist to give less than stellar performance and have played too much alone to switch to chords and backup. Maddening, especially when I'm told "since you've played so long it should be easy". Grrr.

I feel for her.

RC's current keyboard player is guilty of the same. I can tell her she's overplaying but until she believes it, its a hard habit to break.


New Jersey

One of the Jam Ho' Caped Crusaders
Nov 2nd, 2009 07:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

2 suggestions-
1) a rock and roll fake book. Becareful of following the melody and not the piano part. But a lot of the fills are in there

2) Noteworthy Composer software.It takes midi files and transcribes them into the many parts. Find the keys (could be piano and an organ or two) and cut/paste into a new score. Becareful this is only as good as the midi source...


FDP Forum / Rock-it 88's - Keyboard Forum / Are there piano song books?

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