Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Full Circle

The new Yamaha digital piano I bought a week ago has finally found it's home in the house.

We had to do a little bit of rearranging but it's found its place in front of the blocked off fire place (that badly reproduced Back to the Future poster was good for something...keeping the wind out). It's not perfect but it's out of the way yet still close enough to play anytime I want to hit the ivories.

So, I've slowly started learning how to play. Most of the stuff I am doing is using what I know on guitar and transferring it to the keys. The keyboard, which once looked like a mess of black and white keys that I would never understand, is finally making some sense to me.

I've also started looking for songs and albums that feature piano riffs that I can learn. Right now, stuff like Bach and Beethoven don't do much for me and, honestly, seem a bit out of my league. So, I've looked into my own record collection to find a few albums that turn me on.

And, I've found two. Two albums that feature piano riffs that I love and am eager to learn. Two albums I came to know in an odd way.

When I was a teenager and living back on Peaks Island, off the coast of Maine, I held a job at the local grocery store. I would stock the milk, beer, and soda coolers. I would take out the trash, man the small video counter, and stock the shelves.

And, I would do the deliveries.

Now, the delivery truck was the first real standard transmission vehicle I learned how to drive well. It was this huge old bread truck and the only thing I can compare it to these days is the big UPS trucks. It was awesome. The gear shift actually came out of the floor so you'd have to do these massive moves to get the truck from second to third gear. I loved it.

The stereo system in it was another matter. It had this stereo that someone had probably ripped out of an old car and rigged to work in the truck. It was an old system that had only an AM/FM radio and an 8-track tape player. Yep, you heard me, an eight track.

And, it only had two eight track tapes to choose from.

What I find funny is that now, all these years later, is that these two albums that I was introduced to on eight track tape, the same two albums that kept me company while driving this behemoth of a truck around the island, are now the same two albums I am looking to for piano playing inspiration.

Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" and Meatloaf's "Bat out of Hell".

Power chords and single note riffs, here I come!

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