Today was a very special day in Rock House history, today was the day we actually had the opportunity to produce an instructional DVD for Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bernie Worrell.
For those of you who don't know who he is , Bernie is the person credited with creating the modern language for the Keyboard. He has performed on over 300 records for a diverse range of musicians including The Pretenders, Parliament, Buddy Guy, Robin Ford, Burning Spear, Talking Heads, Keith Richards and the list just goes on and on. Two years ago there was a documentary released on his life called "Stranger Here on Earth"
Bernie was, first and foremost, a chief architect of the music of Parliament and Funkadelic. On monster jams like “Flashlight” and “Aquaboogie,” he revolutionized the use of synthesizers. On trippier album cuts like “Tales of Kidd Funkadelic” and “Atmosphere,” Bernard flexed classical chops in a radically post-modern context and blew a generation of minds.
WHAT WE LEARNED AND WANT TO PASS ON RIGHT NOW!
Here is the a little a little sample of what we learned from Bernie today. This little bit of advice goes out to not just Keyboard players, but all musicians. The number one thing Bernie teaches is "LESS IS MORE." So many times during the production he wasn't playing anything to complicated or complex, the beauty was in how he was finding the spaces musically and filling this spaces sounds that fit with the tracks. He was more concerned with the over all sonics of the piece. He is thinking, "what can I add that makes sense but doesn't step all over the other musicians."
Many times as musicians we tend to want to play the most technically complex riff or we get into a setting and want to show off or just plan rip it up. Bernie kept hammering home LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN... it is the key to adding ingredients that work. be concerned with what the piece sounds like when it all comes together, not just your what your part sounds like.
Solid advice from a a true musical legend! Look for Bernie's DVD early 2008.
Trailer from Bernie's Documentary "Stranger Here on Earth"