Friday, July 29, 2011

The Old Basement Piano

The Old Basement Piano (mp3)(pdf)(harmony pdf)

Most of my life there was an old upright piano in the basement of my parents' house. It was very much like the one pictured above, although it was painted a different color. I was always told that it had been waterlogged in the historic 1937 Louisville, Kentucky Ohio River flood and that, as a result, it was not very good. But it sounded great to me.

I never spent much time trying to learn how to play piano, I was too much under the spell of the guitar after the Beatles, but I certainly spent many hours picking out little tunes and learning how chords are made. One of the pieces of sheet music that was always on that piano was a simple version of "Sugartime", composed by Charles Phillips and Odis Echols.

The opening measures of this new tune of mine are very similar to the tune of "Sugartime." I noticed this almost as soon as I started to play the melody but I thought I would go ahead and see where it led. I'm glad I did because I've enjoyed playing this new tune quite a bit. The 8th notes are meant to be bouncy and not straight as you can hear on the recording.

I don't know where that old piano is now but I sure hope that it's bringing pleasure to another generation of budding musicians. Maybe that tattered sheet music is still with it.

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