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Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro #2936845 07/09/18 11:45 AM
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richforman Offline OP
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Awesome! Got contacted last week out of the blue and invited to join an established, successful local Stevie Nicks / Fleetwood Mac tribute band with a calendar of just the kind of gigs I want more of, concerts, festivals, theaters. I'm friends with the lead singer and have worked with the drummer/bandleader before, so I guess they thought of me - nice. Anyway, I have to learn their 17-song set before my first gig with them in about three weeks. For the most part, *easy-peasy*, not a lot of big keyboard showcases and solos in this music as far as I know, which is okay with me, very happy to be part of the rhythm section and the overall sound in a polished, pro band like this.

ANYWAY, there's at least one exception, they want me to learn this long, ornate, almost classical solo piano intro for this live version of "Rhiannon." I'm game! Have been listening to it over and over and started working it out note by note. Even though it's kind of beyond the scope, in complexity and difficulty, of what I usually need to learn and play in the rock and pop cover and tribute bands I generally work with, I'm pretty confident that I can get it down if I put enough time in, it's not THAT out of reach and I'd say after working at it on my keyboard for about an hour and half the other day I'm maybe 30% along so far. (I hadn't heard it before, so just listening to it enough to get it in my head is a big part of the battle in learning it.)

But anyway I was wondering if anybody knows if there's a transcription that's been published or created anywhere that might help me along:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1XSvMyuL2o


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2936856 07/09/18 12:36 PM
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That's beautiful, and haunting. Question: Is the band insisting on a perfect, note-by-note rendition ? There's a particular freedom to how that intro is presented; sounds like some rhythmic improv going on, with a recurring melodic theme. Jotting down the melody and chords, then improvising harmonically in that style would sound more free, and flowing; capturing the mood and soul of Rhiannon perhaps better than a tight, semi-classical rendition. At least that's how I'd offer it: not diverting from the original style, but putting a personal dynamic on it.


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: allan_evett] #2936864 07/09/18 12:53 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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I'm not sure if they're insisting on a note for note recreation, probably not; but I'm positive they wouldn't object to it and would be impressed, and that given my abilities, that's my best bet: anything similar I came up with my on my own or tried to improvise wouldn't be near as good, and would sound amateurish I fear. Anyway, it sounds pre-composed to me and I'd imagine that the performer played it close to the same way every night on the tour. (I"m sure my own version still won't be note-for-note, it will probably be missing some material, but I think I can come close and have the right number of beats and measures and harmonic content.)


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2936871 07/09/18 01:27 PM
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Rich, this is as much of a solo spot that you're likely to get in such a band - make the most of it. Play in that general style and you'll be fine.

And if Steve gives you any guff, tell him to stick it. ;-)


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Bobby Simons] #2936883 07/09/18 02:23 PM
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Hey Bobby, I don't know if I knew you were here on this board! Yup this will be my one big moment in the spotlight in this particular band, and I intend to nail it (not fake it!).


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Bobby Simons] #2936884 07/09/18 02:24 PM
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It's not that hard to lift this one I'm thinking...you may not need a transcription Rich. Think you can nail it just using your ears ... just get the LH hand figure moving right. thu

Last edited by Legatoboy; 07/09/18 02:27 PM.

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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Legatoboy] #2936885 07/09/18 02:27 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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I think you're right Legatoboy, with a few more hours of listening, picking it apart and practicing, I am confident I can cop it or come pretty close. Still any resource that will help me cheat, I'm game to exploit!


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2936892 07/09/18 03:05 PM
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Legatoboy] #2936897 07/09/18 03:54 PM
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Stevie has been doing a version of "Rhiannon" with an extended Piano intro for many years. In 1983 at the US Festival she had both Roy Bittan and Bill Payne on Keys.



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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Shamanczarek] #2936900 07/09/18 04:16 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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Funny, I just remember a very old live version I used to hear on FM radio in the 70's, that started with Stevie saying, "This is a song about a Welsh witch!" The song went on forever but I don't think there was any piano intro.


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2936906 07/09/18 04:49 PM
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Quote:
In 1983 at the US Festival she had both Roy Bittan and Bill Payne on Keys.


No pressure, Rich.
smile


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Bobby Simons] #2936911 07/09/18 04:59 PM
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Long Island in da haus!

wink


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Joe Muscara] #2936918 07/09/18 05:36 PM
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The first example you gave us was beautiful.

Roy Bittan's was a bit more simplified but very effective.

Both of those versions were built around the chord sequence on a verse ( Am G Fmaj7 ). with the first example straying some.

Honestly, If I were you, I'd love the freedom of keeping the vibe and feel but allowing some of ME to shine through. You could talk to the bandleader about taking that approach.

Last edited by ewall08530; 07/09/18 05:38 PM.
Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: ewall08530] #2936925 07/09/18 06:12 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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Thanks eWall and everyone who's chimed in. The truth is, I don't want the freedom of doing my own interpretation (I might end up going more on that side if I can't get as close as I want to recreating the live version performance by the date of the gig), my M.O., what I strive for in band situations, and what I enjoy and am better at, is learning, copying and doing my best to recreate the recorded performance by the real pro; I get a lot of pride and satisfaction out of doing that and I do find that fellow musicians/bandmembers and audiences always like and appreciate it. My improv skills are minimal, but I find that if I put my mind and ears to it, I can come close to learning just about any solo within reason from a rock or pop recording (gets a lot trickier with jazz!). That's what I'm going to try to do with this piece! (Now, once I have the material internalized and am comfortable and confident with playing it like this, then I might eventually introduce some of my own ideas and variations within the metric and harmonic confines of the original, but not as a way of getting around learning it in the first place!)

Last edited by richforman; 07/09/18 06:18 PM.

Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Joe Muscara] #2936926 07/09/18 06:13 PM
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Al Quinn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Joe Muscara
Long Island in da haus!

wink

Yeah, I noticed that too Joe. And, if I'm not mistaken, you're originally from Long Island.

So even though I have nothing useful to add I'm posting just to add another Long Islander to the thread smile

Rich, what's the name of the band? Gypsy?

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Al Quinn] #2936928 07/09/18 06:17 PM
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Yes that's them! I'm good friends with the lead singer Janet if you know her (and her husband Vini), have been happy for them and not a little jealous as I've seen where they've taken this band project in the last year or so in terms of gigs; so I was just thrilled to get the call to join it now, I get the feeling something went wrong with the guy they were using (a good player I just know casually from the scene). Anyway that is always the best feeling, getting asked/invited to play thru references from people who know and have worked with you.


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Al Quinn] #2936929 07/09/18 06:17 PM
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Yes that's them! I'm good friends with the lead singer Janet if you know her (and her husband Vini), have been happy for them and not a little jealous as I've seen where they've taken this band project in the last year or so in terms of gigs; so I was just thrilled to get the call to join it now, I get the feeling something went wrong with the guy they were using (a good player I just know casually from the scene). Anyway that is always the best feeling, getting asked/invited to play thru references from people who know and have worked with you.


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2936932 07/09/18 06:30 PM
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No, I don't know Janet but I just read an online review from September that says Adam Tese is the sax player. Is he still in the band? I played with him last month.

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Al Quinn] #2936934 07/09/18 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
Originally Posted By: Joe Muscara
Long Island in da haus!

wink

Yeah, I noticed that too Joe. And, if I'm not mistaken, you're originally from Long Island.

So even though I have nothing useful to add I'm posting just to add another Long Islander to the thread smile
That's right, Al. Mom is still up there. I'm overdue for a visit. Maybe if I can get up there we can have a LIKCFH with me, you, Rich, Tony, and Bobby (and anyone else). thu


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Joe Muscara] #2936937 07/09/18 06:34 PM
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Yeah, that would be great!

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Al Quinn] #2936961 07/09/18 09:01 PM
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Yes, Adam is in the band. I’ve played with drummer Steve on and off since the mid 80’s, and he originally asked me to do this gig when they started. But I had just sworn off the Long Island cover band scene for the time being, and miss it so little that I suspect that it is for good.
Rich, be sure to bust his balls about stealing the band logo art directly from here; he seemed remarkably unconcerned about the thievery:
Gypsy


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Joe Muscara] #2936981 07/09/18 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: Joe Muscara
I'm overdue for a visit. Maybe if I can get up there we can have a LIKCFH with me, you, Rich, Tony, and Bobby (and anyone else). thu


OT now ( so what else is new? ) but jgb3ny lives in Oceanside and AnotherScott is on Long Island somewhere. I would make the trip if it were possible for a Long Island hang. Would be excellent. cool


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: davedoerfler] #2936991 07/09/18 11:47 PM
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I’m in.


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: davedoerfler] #2936994 07/09/18 11:52 PM
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That would be great Dave! Right, Joe Gennosa is in Oceanside. And, zaj58 (Jim Sotis) lives in North Massapequa. I think AnotherScott said he lives in Westchester.

Rich, the right hand of the piano intro sounds pretty clear / straightforward. The left hand is less clear to my ears. I think if you play with a beautiful tone, nail the right hand, do a reasonable representation of the left, and convey a similar overall attitude / vibe it will sound great and most people will say you nailed it.

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2936995 07/09/18 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted By: richforman
I intend to nail it (not fake it!).
No no no

Originally Posted By: richforman
Still any resource that will help me cheat, I'm game to exploit!
Yes! Now you're talking! Here's what to do. Make a pristine recording of this take (or some other great take out there). Get your iPod, patch into the P.A. system. When it comes time, stealthily hit play and start faking it. Not just with the fingers, but with your body, your arms, and especially your face. Scrunch up your brow, close your eyes and bob up and down, oh yeah! :-)


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: waygetter] #2936998 07/10/18 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted By: waygetter
Originally Posted By: richforman
I intend to nail it (not fake it!).
No no no

Originally Posted By: richforman
Still any resource that will help me cheat, I'm game to exploit!
Yes! Now you're talking! Here's what to do. Make a pristine recording of this take (or some other great take out there). Get your iPod, patch into the P.A. system. When it comes time, stealthily hit play and start faking it. Not just with the fingers, but with your body, your arms, and especially your face. Scrunch up your brow, close your eyes and bob up and down, oh yeah! :-)


that is soulful approach. Now I understand that post when you proclaimed how great you were ( or are). wink

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Al Quinn] #2937000 07/10/18 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
I think AnotherScott said he lives in Westchester.

Yup, but grew up mostly on LI, and still do some gigs down there, and occasional rehearsals for one of my bands which is split between "down there" and "up here."


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2937056 07/10/18 10:32 AM
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Rich, a scarily similar thing happened to me recently.

A bunch of local musos wanted to put together a Neil Diamond tribute, and asked me to be part of the project. I'm embarrassed to say I knew nothing about his music outside of "Sweet Caroline". But it sounded like fun and as far as I'm aware it's a unique concept where I live, so I thought I'd give it a crack.

Only problem was they wanted me to play "Prologue" from Hot August Night. I listened to it and pretty quickly realised this would not be an easy thing to recreate on a keyboard.

I could not find any sheet music for the thing so painstakingly listened to it, transcribed it on Musescore, and then learned to play it. The process took me weeks. Not easy as some of the voicings are impossible to play on keys so a bit of creative licence required. Plus I am a player of limited natural ability which slowed things considerably. No doubt some of the folks who post here could have knocked it off in an afternoon, but that's not the world I inhabit!

But I got there in the end. I tell this story because I'm convinced you will too, having listened to the Stevie Nicks intro. Just chip away at it bit by bit.

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: CowboyNQ] #2937311 07/11/18 12:34 PM
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Thanks Cowboy. I did a stint in a local Neil Diamond tribute as well (in fact, that's part of how I know the singer in the new Stevie Nicks project, she did backups in Neil for a while). And a Billy Joel tribute (second keys), a Journey tribute, a Bad Company tribute, a Foreigner tribute, several Beatles tributes, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting! Anyway the Neil Diamond tribute is one of those that is potentially very commercially viable, the one I played with for a while does shows all over the place, very popular artist to tribute. So stick with that, good luck, and see you out there!


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Shamanczarek] #2937313 07/11/18 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: Shamanzarek
Stevie has been doing a version of "Rhiannon" with an extended Piano intro for many years. In 1983 at the US Festival she had both Roy Bittan and Bill Payne on Keys.



This is interesting as Roy is never shown that clearly. Even on a lot of live Springsteen. He's always shown from the side or at a weird angle. He and Bill Payne is a wild combination.


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Outkaster] #2937352 07/11/18 02:35 PM
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I love the way she comes up and puts her hands on his shoulders... love

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Joe P] #2937407 07/11/18 07:32 PM
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I had a similar experience several years ago when I was in a Heart tribute band. Although I was pleasantly surprised to find more keyboard parts than I expected, the keys were mostly in a support role, so I wanted to maximize the few “spotlight” moments I had. Like the “real” Heart we covered “Love Reign O’er Me” by The Who, which featured a piano intro. While not as complex as the intro in Rich’s post, I had some fun copying, and then embellishing, on what Heart’s keyboard player Debbie Shair was doing.



We often opened our show with this tune, featuring a nice intro, as well.



So cool to have so much live footage available these days, very helpful for tribute bands.

Last edited by Moonglow; 07/11/18 08:59 PM.

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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Moonglow] #2937430 07/11/18 10:40 PM
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Quick update, not that anyone's losing any sleep over it but tonight I listened to that piano piece over and over all the way home from work and now have been working on it at home for about two hours and I'm proud to say I have it pretty close, I'd say 80 percent down and I'm confident I'll have it sounding good by our rehearsal next Wednesday. Like almost all of these types of parts and solos, with repeated listening and patient analysis by ear and practice, it turns out to be not nearly as hard as it sounds when you first listen to it. I seldom do this but at some future point I might be tempted to make a little home video or maybe I'll get a good one from one of the upcoming shows with the new band, and share it here just to show you guys how I did with your encouragement. ("Love Reign O'er Me," yes, was a great one I got to learn and play with a band a few times last year, found a transcription to the piano on line and did a good job on that if I say so myself. Locomotive Breath I could never conquer but I've bookmarked the video lesson and sheet music that were posted here for it today, for next time it ever comes up!)


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Outkaster] #2989819 05/16/19 10:46 AM
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Hey, thought I'd revive this thread of mine mine from last year, to show you guys what I eventually came up with this. Maybe not quite note for note but pretty close and I'm admittedly kind of proud of having taken it apart and copped it even this well, given how daunting it seemed when I first listened to it. This is from this past weekend; I learned the piece last summer and have been doing it at gigs since then, but this is the first time I have a take and a video good enough to want to share it here.

https://youtu.be/DrxKEWkwN8E


Rich Forman
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2989821 05/16/19 10:54 AM
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Good for you Rich!


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2989827 05/16/19 11:49 AM
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You did good, Rich!


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Outkaster] #2989831 05/16/19 12:10 PM
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patchogue, LI checking in...

To my ears, the bit starting around.48 would be the hardest to figure out. The texture in the lower range gets a bit thick.


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: RoadHousePiano] #2989832 05/16/19 12:12 PM
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oops, I posted before I realized you had posted a vid of yourself playing it....very nicely done!


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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: RoadHousePiano] #2989834 05/16/19 12:25 PM
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richforman Offline OP
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Thanks fellas. Your right RoadHouse, that is the trickiest part where it goes to the Dm, the left hand part there is tough for me to pick out, I'm definitely just kind of approximating it


Rich Forman
Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,
Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2989839 05/16/19 12:57 PM
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It totally evokes the original that you are emulating.

As you may know Jon Cain odes a piano solo on tour with Journey...often times before "Who's Cryin' Now"

I used to be concerned nailing it note for note, until I went and listened to several different date recordings from the same tour.

With the exception of some consistent basics, he would change it up.

So I took the approach of doing a "Jon Cain style" solo/intro that fit in the Journey motif.


When it comes to iconic piano solos that are written into songs, I do work to nail them, such a Jessica, Call me The Breeze, etc...


David
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Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2989914 05/16/19 09:02 PM
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Sounds really nice Rich - well done!

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: CowboyNQ] #2989935 05/17/19 12:35 AM
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You nailed it Rich! Created just the right vibe.

Looks like Willie on sax. We used to do a celebrity jazz gig together.

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Al Quinn] #2989980 05/17/19 11:10 AM
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richforman Offline OP
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Thanks Cowboy and Al for the kind words. Yup that's Willie in sax!


Rich Forman
Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,
Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2990017 05/17/19 01:33 PM
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Loved what you did with it, Rich, and your piano sound was nice, too. Is it strictly the Yamaha sound? I’m usually not a fan of Yamaha pianos.

I have an issue with your vocalist, though. She sounds a lot like Nicks, but she has also exactly copied her vocal cheats. Nicks has an excuse - she’s just 10 days shy of 71. This woman has no excuse to not hit, for instance, the ‘C’ on ‘life’ in the line “All your life you've never seen...”. She should sing the damn song. I would be pissed if I paid to hear a night of lazy singing.


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People only say "It's a free country" when they're doing something shitty-Demetri Martin
Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: Synthaholic] #2990387 05/20/19 02:31 PM
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Thanks for the compliment Synthaholic! Means a lot. All my sounds are from my Korg Kronos, I use the Yamaha MOXF8 strictly as a controller.

In defense of our (wonderfully talented!) singer, she is meticulously and deliberately recreating, the whole band is, the arrangements and performances from specific live versions we've selected, so however she sings it is (I'm guessing) exactly how Stevie does it on the version we do (the one I posted atop the thread in this case). So in most cases in our set (a few exceptions, but this isn't one of them), she wouldn't be doing the exact melody or phrasing from the studio version.

Last edited by richforman; 05/20/19 02:35 PM.

Rich Forman
Yamaha MOXF8, Korg Kronos 2-61, Roland Fantom X7, Ferrofish B4000+ organ module, Roland VR-09, EV ZLX12P, K&M Spider Pro stand,
Yamaha S80, Korg Trinity Plus

Re: Stevie Nicks "Rhiannon" live in Chicago - piano intro [Re: richforman] #2990479 05/21/19 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted By: richforman
...In defense of our (wonderfully talented!) singer, she is meticulously and deliberately recreating, the whole band is, the arrangements and performances from specific live versions we've selected, so however she sings it is (I'm guessing) exactly how Stevie does it on the version we do (the one I posted atop the thread in this case). So in most cases in our set (a few exceptions, but this isn't one of them), she wouldn't be doing the exact melody or phrasing from the studio version.


BTW, I love your piano intro. That original source is superior to the later one. You did well with it. I may be reading into it but you seemed to treat it as precious as it is delicate. I would like to be able to play that now.

I personally get what your vocalist is aiming for. Like Elvis there is the young fit/studio Nicks and the older road/drug worn Nicks. She has sounded and looked substantially different than those youthful days for the majority of her years now. Even though I have heard the studio versions countless times there are numerous live versions spanning her career once she started performing solo which have a lot in common with one another. I like some of the consistent live interpretations better in many instances.

An aside, it is always interesting how some people engage in long conversations during performances. It is one thing to make brief comments on the moment at hand but so many people seem to be oblivious to the setting. I realize this venue was more of a club but I hear it at full blown concerts of legends.

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