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10+ Rock Songs with Awesome Keyboard Solos

February 15, 2023

10+ Rock Songs with Awesome Keyboard Solos

Interested in branching out from the typical classical piano repertoire? Learn how to explore the world of rock with this guest post by Saint Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...\

There’s something about keyboard solos that just makes a rock song feel extra epic. Maybe it’s the way they can add an extra layer of power and intensity to a track, or maybe it’s because they’re just so darn catchy. 

Either way, here are 10 rock songs with the best keyboard solos in rock that you’ll love. Enjoy!

How Do You Play Rock on the Keyboard?

Although you may be familiar with playing rock music on the guitar or drums, you may be wondering how to play rock on the keyboard. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Choose the right instrument. When it comes to playing rock music on the keyboard, you’ll want to choose an electric piano or synthesizer rather than an acoustic piano. This will give you the ability to create a wider range of sounds.
  • Create a foundation. The foundation of any rock song is the rhythm section. On the keyboard, you can create this foundation by playing chords or128 notes with one hand while keeping a steady beat with the other.
  • Add melody and solos. Once you have a solid rhythm section, you can start adding in melody and solos. For melodic parts, look for simple, catchy melodies that complement the chords you’re playing. For solos, try improvising over the chord progression using scales or licks that you’re comfortable with.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to playing rock on the keyboard like a pro!

Still not sure how to get started playing rock music on the keyboard? If so, you should definitely sign up for keyboard lessons. You’ll learn everything you know, from basic keyboard concepts to more advanced skills. Check out the video below for more inspiration: 

What Songs Use Keyboard?

During my past decade of teaching music, I’ve met a lot of students who seem interested only in taking drums or guitar. Why? It’s not because they were particularly well-suited to either of them, or because they loved the instruments, but because they wanted to play rock music, and they thought that the only way to do that is to learn the drums or the guitar. No way! Some of the greatest rock songs of all time are keyboard-heavy. And I mean heavy. Here’s a list of five of the best songs to play on the keyboard:

1. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a classic rock song with an incredible keyboard solo from Freddie Mercury. The solo is complex and powerful, and it perfectly complements the rest of the song.

2. “Hey Jude” by the Beatles

“Hey Jude” was released by the Beatles in 1968 and received instant acclaim. The song, written by Paul McCartney, is a ballad with a simple yet catchy melody. One of the highlights of the song is the keyboard solo, which is played by Richard Wright. 

Wright’s solo is widely considered to be one of the best keyboard solos of all time. It is emotive and perfectly compliments the lyrics and melody of the song. “Hey Jude” is a timeless classic that is loved by fans all over the world. Thanks to Wright’s masterful keyboard playing, the song will continue to be cherished for generations to come.

3. “Jump” by Van Halen

“Jump” is a song by American rock band Van Halen. It was released as the lead single from their 1984 album, 1984. The song’s famous keyboard solo was performed by Eddie Van Halen. It is one of the most popular and well-known keyboard solos in rock music. 

The solo was voted #2 on Guitar World’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos. In addition to its popularity, the solo is also praised for its technical difficulty. Eddie Van Halen is a master of two-handed tapping, a technique that he uses to great effect in this solo.

4. “Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf

“Bat Out of Hell” is a song by Meatloaf from his 1977 album of the same name. The song was written by Jim Steinman, and it has remained one of Meatloaf’s most popular songs. One of the things that makes “Bat Out of Hell” so great is the keyboard solo. 

The solo is performed by Roy Bittan, and it is one of the most impressive and memorable keyboard solos in all of rock music. Bittan’s solo is both incredibly technical and emotional, and it perfectly fits the mood of the song. If you’re a fan of rock music, then you owe it to yourself to check out “Bat Out of Hell.”

5. “Light My Fire” by the Doors

“Light My Fire” is one of the best classic rock songs with piano keyboard solo by the Doors, and it features an awesome keyboard solo by Ray Manzarek. The solo is one of the most recognizable parts of the song, and it helped to establish Manzarek as a virtuoso keyboardist. The solo is played in a minor key and has a dark, psychedelic feel to it. 

It starts off slow and builds in intensity, culminating in a blazing fast section that showcases Manzarek’s prodigious technique. The solo is a perfect example of how the right keyboard part can elevate a song to another level. Thanks to Ray Manzarek, “Light My Fire” is definitely one of the coolest songs around.

 6. “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” is another classic rock song with a great keyboard solo. The solo is much simpler than “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but it fits the song perfectly and helps to create a truly memorable moment.

 7. “Killer Queen” by Queen

Queen’s “Killer Queen” is yet another classic rock song with an amazing keyboard solo. This solo is shorter than the others on this list, but it packs a real punch, and it’s one of the most iconic moments in all of rock music.

8. “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne 

This signature song from the Prince of Darkness includes a memorably shredding keyboard solo from Randy Rhoads.

9. “YYZ” by Rush 

This instrumental track is propelled by a virtuosic keyboard solo from Alex Lifeson.

10.  “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin, widely considered one of the greatest bands of all time, used piano quite a bit throughout the years. Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is one of the most famous rock songs of all time, and it features an incredible keyboard solo from Jimmy Page. The solo is also incredibly emotive!

Best Rock Keyboard Soloists

In addition to the rock songs with keyboard solos listed above, there are a few specific musicians who deserve mention. 

Edward Van Halen, a man who single-handedly changed rock music in 1978, wrote most of the music for his band on the keyboard. Black Sabbath, perhaps the first true heavy metal band, incorporated several songs to play on the keyboard into their discography. Led Zeppelin, widely considered one of the greatest bands of all time, used piano quite a bit throughout the years. Elton John and Billy Joel, men known for their classical piano training, are now well-respected members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Deep Purple’s “My Woman from Tokyo” and “Highway Star” are two examples of great songs to play on the keyboard.

How Do I Make My Keyboard Solo?

Assuming you would like to know how to create a rock keyboard solo, there are a few ways you can go about it. 

The first would be to learn some keyboard soloing techniques. This could involve learning some scales and arpeggios, as well as experimenting with different sounds and textures on your keyboard. Once you have a good understanding of soloing techniques, you can start working on crafting your own solos. This involves coming up with ideas for melodies and chord progressions, and then improvising or composing your solo over those progressions. 

Alternatively, if you’re not interested in composing your own solo, you could always learn existing keyboard solos by ear. This is a great way to develop your technique and ear for music. 

Finally, once you have developed your skills as a keyboard soloist, you can start performing in front of an audience. This will help you to gain confidence and improve your stage presence. 

Learn How to Play Famous Rock Keyboard Solos Today!

If you love rock music, then you probably know some of the most famous keyboard solos ever played. Songs like “Stairway to Heaven,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Free Bird” all feature impressive keyboard work that has helped to define the sound of rock music. 

While these solos may seem complicated, they can actually be learned relatively easily with a little practice. There are a few basic techniques that all of these solos have in common, and once you understand these basics, you’ll be able to play them yourself. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today and learn how to play some of the best rock keyboard solos of all time!

Piano is an essential element of rock music and its history. Sure, you can write a rock song or two without it, but you couldn’t create the unique richness and depth that comes with the sound of the keys. Piano rocks!

HeatherLHeather L. teaches singing, piano, acting, and more in Saint Augustine, FL, as well as through online lessons. She is a graduate of the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and has performed with the New York and Royal Philharmonics, the New Jersey and Virginia Symphonies, the American Boy Choir, and the internationally renowned opera star Andrea Bocelli. Learn more about Heather here!


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