Welcome to the Art of Reggae Piano Course 2: The role of the Piano in Reggae Music. This course focuses on RHYTHM reggae piano playing. One of the most important and inspiring aspects of reggae music is its love affair with relatively simple, repetitive rhythms, played in layers and communally with other musicians. It is first and foremost meant to move both the musician and the listener on a physical (dancing) and spiritual level. Our primary goal as reggae musicians is to deliver this rhythmic ecstasy. This course welcomes all levels of keyboardists.

In this course you will learn:

-How to play reggae rhythm piano and electric piano (e. piano)
-The single chop
-How to deepen your reggae groove
-Proper range of the chop, not too low
-Varying sustain lengths of the chop
-Syncing the piano chop with the rhythm guitar
-Use of reverb on the chop
-Dub effect: the reverb slam
-3 accents used to excite the chop
-Inversions, voiceleading and chromatic motion
-Injecting your own personality into your rhythm playing
-Swing vs. straight 8 th note feel
-The Double chop, with and without delay pedal
-Bubbling on the piano
-The Mento bubble
-Technique on weighted vs. non weighted touch keyboards
-And more!

This course uses only one demonstration tune, the “Above the Bassline” Original with a 2 chord progression. The reason for this is so you can spend most of your time focusing on the rhythmic concepts presented rather than wrestling with learning new chord changes for each of the 6 lessons. However, it is essential that you apply the various techniques to songs in different keys, with different feels and different tempos. The PRACTICE LOOPS section provides many tunes to jam along with and you are highly encouraged to use them to practice with. These loops have the keyboard tracks muted.

Each lesson has a PDF file or two that show various concepts in standard notation. Because this music is primarily shared and taught orally, it’s not absolutely essential that you view the PDF’s but even to a beginning level music reader, they will be very helpful.

There is one Practice Routine Play Along video with this course. It gives you a good work out for practicing triad and 7 th chord inversions in the key of C. A second version of the video is presented that repeats the exact form but cuts out the bass so you can use it to practice all 12 keys (or at least a few others besides the key of C).

Lastly, don’t forget, as explained in the “How To Practice” intro video, make sure you have your notebook ready to go. Let’s dig in!




Other Art of Reggae Offerings

Interested in getting even deeper into keyboard playing, not only for reggae but almost anything else?  Contact Matt to set up private lessons (online or in person).

An experiential trip to Jamaica hosted by Matt and Jamaican master percussionist Maroghini. Receive a roots overstanding of what this music means and where it came from.

Book the Art of Reggae band for a live clinic at your institution, festival or private gathering. Fully customizable.

For musicians of all skill levels, Art of Reggae offers top rankin’ and inspired lessons, courses, practice loops and curated playlists FOR KEYBOARDS AND GUITAR that unlock the mysteries of this profound and transformational musical art form. Presented by Matt Jenson, professor of piano (Berklee College of Music and elsewhere), keyboardist with Groundation 

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