What is the course about?
Develop a fluent and percussive style to accompany and deliver classic and contemporary pop songs. We will study the harmony that makes a good song work. Rehearse together on digital pianos, and tackle solo playing.
What will we cover?
Our topics will be determined by the demands of the repertoire : harmonic features, groove matters, copying an instrumental solo, copying an introduction.
General practice of technique will include work based on the cycle of 5ths, scales practice in 3rds/6ths, breaking chords into rhythmic quavers, 2 hand percussive playing, transposition, interpreting chord charts.
Repertoire will be taken from this list:
All the young dudes
Tears on my pillow
Goodbye to love
Rainy days and Mondays
Voulez vous couchez avec moi ?
Goodbye yellow brick road
Harvest for the world.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Get to grips with idiomatic ways of playing
Copy what you hear on a recording
Have learned new repertoire
Meet and navigate new grooves and rhythmic styles
Be able to research and select new repertoire for yourself/your band.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Substantial experience of playing pop or jazz is required. Ideally you have completed pop piano 3. You should be familiar with all the common chord symbols e.g. A7, Am7, Am7b5, A7sus - across all the keys, understand functional harmony, and have a range of voicings you can use with fluency.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Songs and samples will be presented by the tutor, and the class will develop ways to play them at the piano.
We will play in a synchronised way for much of the time, to imitate an ensemble context.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need a pencil and manuscript paper, and a device to record parts of the class on occasion.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This is the highest level of study for pop piano skills. Students may want to pursue jazz piano study, and take part in ensemble playing courses.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details