The Best Keys to Rock

When most people think of rock 'n roll, the first instrument to come to mind is usually a guitar. From Chuck Berry to Jimi Hendrix to Eddie Van Halen, rock music is filled with the sounds of great guitarists.

When it comes to groups, many people automatically envision a quartet with 2 guitars, a bass, and a drum, the band configuration propelled into legend by John, Paul, George, and Ringo as The Beatles.

But ever since its earliest years, keyboards have played a major role in the sound of rock as well. From the early rock sounds of Little Richard and Jerry Lew Lewis to the contemporary rock keyboard sounds of Elton John and Billy Joel, pianos, organs, and synthesizers have added melody, rhythm, atmosphere, and nuance to enhance rock records.

This blog, part of the Talking' Bout My Generation project, is for keyboard players and keyboard fans everywhere. So welcome. And hope you enjoy all you will find here.

15 Rock Songs Improved by the Classic Piano Work of Nicky Hopkins

Most rock fans might only know Nicky Hopkins as a name on a record sleeve, but they are likely to be intimately familiar with his piano playing. From the ’60s through the early ’90s, the British pianist earned a reputation as an extraordinary sideman, playing on recordings by the Who, the Beatles, the Kinks and, most frequently, the Rolling Stones.And that’s just the top tier. Hopkins played on hundreds of singles and albums by a variety of artists, from David Bowie to Jerry GarciaCat Stevens to Jefferson AirplaneJoe Cocker to Harry Nilsson, all the while working alongside the likes of Jimmy PageJeff BeckJohn Paul Jones and Billy Preston. Bands and producers wouldn’t ask for Hopkins; they’d demand him – sometimes wearing out the ever-agreeable session player with long hours spent in the studio.To keep reading this article, click here.

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