Awesome Artists Who Were Great Pianists or Keyboardists
The history of rock and roll music is covered with larger-than-life personas and some of the most talented artists to ever grace the stage. These legends changed music with their talents and charisma, and set the benchmark for cool throughout history.
Even though they are all iconic musicians in their own right, these guys share one more thing in common. Despite their fame coming from different areas in bands, these guys are also legendary for the skills behind the ivories. They are the renaissance men of rock history, and we should take the time to salute these five music legends for their amazing skills while we learn piano!
1. Freddy Mercury – Queen
Without a doubt one of the greatest showmen in history, Freddy Mercury was also one of the most talented musicians ever. His natural skills as a singer gave Queen its signature sound, but his keyboard skills turned the band’s songs, including “Bohemian Rhapsody, and ‘My Best Friend”, into anthems that are still remembered to this day. His piano riffs have become the stuff of legend.
2. Geddy Lee – Rush
The frontman for the greatest prog-rock band to come out of Canada, Geddy Lee is a multi-faceted man. Rush is known for its over-the-top science fiction infused lyrics, as well as its ridiculously talented musicians. Lee stands out, however, as the man who can pull off playing amazing keyboard arrangements while making songs about arguing trees sound epic!
3. John Paul Jones – Led Zeppelin
Although he’s known as Led Zeppelin’s Bassist, Jones also split duties on keyboard, and is responsible for some of the band’s most iconic sounds, such as “No Quarter’s” haunting introduction. His playing style, while very subtle, shines through on more upbeat songs like “Houses of the Holy” and “Trampled Underfoot”, and his footprint is a steady presence in a band driven by larger-than-life egos such as Page, Plant, and Bonham.
4. Billy Preston – Various Acts
In addition to being in the running for best hairstyle of the 60s and 70s, Billy Preston had a resume that most musicians would kill for. Preston worked with everyone from Ray Charles to the Rolling Stones to Sly & the Family Stone, and is one of only two additional musicians to be credited in a Beatles song. Preston also had a long and successful solo career playing synths and keyboards.
5. Axl Rose – Guns ‘n’ Roses
Axl Rose is one of the greatest rock frontmen in history. The original lineup of Guns ‘n’ Roses is still in the conversation for greatest rock bands in history, and it’s hard to deny that without Axl’s talents, the band would not have been as legendary. Aside from his iconic voice, Rose was able to help make some of the band’s most iconic songs with his impressive piano chops. Shining especially bright on the classic “November Rain”, Rose’s skill on the keyboards was an underrated part of the band’s mystique.
Pick up a piano or keyboard today and try out one of these legends’ riffs!