Last weekend I performed with Greg Kihn live, and I’ll playing with him another 10 or so times over the summer. How that came about is Rick Springfield added Tommy Tutone and Greg Kihn as extra performers on some of our shows, and Rick had in own band (including me) play with Tommy and Greg as well.
I’ve performed with quite a few different bands/artists including Terri Nunn (from Berlin, who had the hit “Take My Breath Away”), Robin Zander (singer for Cheap Trick) and of course Rick Springfield, and Greg Kihn was the first person who actually gave us basic charts of his songs.
With everyone else, I was just given a bunch of MP3s of the songs and told to learn them. -And that’s why sheet music is so unimportant to me and why I never rely on it… Because for rock/pop and popular music it’s not really used.
Why is that? -Because it’s harder and more trouble, and overall musicians are lazy. 🙂 OK, maybe not exactly lazy, but we want to learn in the most efficient way possible, and once you’ve trained your ear to pick out chords and music parts that IS the quickest way.
Unless I have something memorized I usually play from very simple chord charts, which display just the basic chords in each measure. For instance, this is what the first 4 measures of The Breakup Song look like:
| Am | F | G | Am |
When there’s a lower-case “m” after a chord letter it means it’s a minor chord. So hey, now you know how to play the intro to The Breakup Song. 🙂
It’s not rocket science, heh. Using basic chord charts like that and training your ear to know what sounds right and what doesn’t is all you need to start playing songs right away. If this is even slightly intriguing to you, become a Piano Genius member right now and try it out for a month and see how much easier it is.
Here’s videos of two of Greg Kihn’s biggest hits (this is an old performance below, I’m not in it )
The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em Like That Anymore)
“Jeopardy” was another big hit of Greg’s, this one was fun for me to learn and play because the whole song is based on a keyboard harpsichord sound. 🙂 (Weird Al Yankovich had a big hit with his parody hit “I Lost On Jeopardy” too.)
Once I play some more shows with him I should be able to get some live video to put up, but for now I just wanted to show you these songs. I’m be updating soon – Tim
Related Post: I performed as part of Tommy Tutone’s band