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Under Pressure Piano Riff


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I've been playing Under Pressure for years, since early college. Since the first time I transcribed the iconic top piano riff, I immediately layered it with a staccato flute patch. I was told by multiple bands there was no flute there, that it was just sculpted compression on the piano. But I've always been suspicious, and still layer a flute in there. I just went back and listened to it closely after many years of not really giving it much thought. Sure enough, I can CLEARLY hear the twin attack of two different types of instruments. Furthermore, you can hear French Horn and what sounds like lower flute notes mixed in throughout the rest of the song. To the point, where I usually whip out my trumpet and play the horn parts during the ending section.


Am I crazy? It sounds to me like sustained piano with really heavy compression for punch, and then a flute playing the upper note very staccato. There's been a lot written about how the basic tracks for Under Pressure were recorded during the Queen/Bowie jam session, but almost nothing about the orchestral backing tracks. Anyone know what's what?

Puck Funk! :)


Equipment: Laptop running lots of nerdy software, some keyboards, noise makersâ¦yada yada yadaâ¦maybe a cat?

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