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:
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
“Hey Jude” by the Beatles
“Jump” by Van Halen
“Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf
“Light My Fire” by the Doors
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.
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!
Photo by Faith Keay