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#1140514 - 06/30/07 12:04 AM Old West Piano Style  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4
jdm242 Offline
Junior Member
jdm242  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4
AZ
I'm hoping to write a pretty simple arrangement for a song with an "old west/saloon" type piano in the backing track. Does anybody have any information on the prevalent techniques or styles used to compose and perform songs during that time?

Sorry for my vague descriptions, it's hard to explain what I know almost nothing about. I'm still a beginner and not familiar with very many styles. Any information would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks!

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#1140515 - 06/30/07 01:05 AM Re: Old West Piano Style  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 419
ipgrunt Offline
Full Member
ipgrunt  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 419
Western US
Are you after the style that is called "honky-tonk" piano?


-- ipgrunt
Amateur pianist, Son of a Pro
#1140516 - 06/30/07 02:08 AM Re: Old West Piano Style  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Kreisler Offline
Kreisler  Offline


Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
I'd find information on stride or ragtime styles. The new Steinway series has a book called "Jazz Piano: The Left Hand" that might be of use.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1140517 - 06/30/07 03:06 AM Re: Old West Piano Style  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
ktom Offline
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ktom  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 212
Somerset UK
The music played in western movies is generally the "honky tonk" sounding ragtime that is referred to above - so the advice is sound.
Interestingly, ragtime didnt move mainstream from its african american origins until years after the "Wild West" period when songs like "Clementine" were written. Maybe the movies had it wrong?... surely not!!
However, I see what you want is the honky tonk sound so... yes stride left hand, busy right hand, bit of a 2/4 feel, keep the chords simple, should work..


Steinway K - Kurzweil PC 88(wrecked and sold for spares) - Yamaha S90 - rhodes 760 - korg wavestation- Hammond XK1 etc..
#1140518 - 10/01/08 10:22 AM Re: Old West Piano Style  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5
tony4704 Offline
Junior Member
tony4704  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5
Monica K.
Any chance your still on here and could send me those two sheets of music? smile

#1140519 - 10/01/08 12:08 PM Re: Old West Piano Style  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,381
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
Gold Level

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,381
Santa Fe, NM
I've made up some "honky tonk" versions of some old-time tunes. Yes, I use a stride left hand, or a fake version of it if I need to because the tempo is really fast. And for the right hand I imitate the banjo player smile

So the left hand plays the tonic of the chord somewhere an octave below middle C on the first beat, and then plays the chord up around middle C on the off-beat (the back beat, the *and* of the beat, as in "one-and two-and"). Then on beat 2 play the 5th note of the scale somewhere below where you played the tonic, and the chord again on 2-and. That's hard at speed. To "fake" it (which on 90% of stuff is the best I can do) just spread your hand over an octave, either on the tonic or the fifth, and play the tonic on the beat, the fifth on the second beat, and whatever you can reach that's in your span on the off-beat. Works for me.

In the right hand I play the melody usually with the pinky, and it's usually on the beat, and fill in the off beat with a note from the chord. Sometimes I will syncopate with both notes together at the end of a phrase.

So the left hand goes "oom-pah" on the beat, and the right hand is sort of "finger picking" the melody and the fills.

That may be more than any one wanted to know, and may be what most folks knew to start with, but it's the way I first approached it conceptually :p

Cathy


Cathy
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Practice what you suck at - anonymous
#1140520 - 10/01/08 12:11 PM Re: Old West Piano Style  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,381
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
Gold Level

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,381
Santa Fe, NM
dbl post


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Practice what you suck at - anonymous
#1140521 - 10/01/08 12:18 PM Re: Old West Piano Style  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,381
jotur Offline
Gold Level
jotur  Offline
Gold Level

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,381
Santa Fe, NM
tony - you can pm Monica K by clicking on her name next to one of her posts and then finding the "new private message" words in orange. Or you can use the "community directory" search at the top of the page. She reads a lot of posts, but maybe not Old West Piano Style -

Cathy


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Practice what you suck at - anonymous

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