Matt Johnson of Jamiroquai

People, I am the writer here and unfortunately you get to read everything I post on our Rocket Piano blog. I am sorry if you find some stuff you don’t like which actually is stuff I like… this time, what I like is Matt Johnson. Probably his name doesn’t ring any bells. How about Jamiroquai? Sound familiar? He is the keyboard player for this band.

I think Jamiroquai has been a great band since the beginning, doing what is called “acid jazz” which is basically a fusion of funk, jazz, soul, hip hop and disco, you have to admit it’is a great combo! I personally love it!

This particular music has just good things, it is groovy, soulful, you can really feel every track and of course, it makes you wanna dance!

So what’s Matt Johnson’s magic about? I think it is about playing the keys to fit each song. He is very musical of course; he plays what the song needs. From Classic piano sound, to Rhodes, to organs to the most weird and spatial synth sounds! He nails every note of a song making it sound unique and funky as!

You wanna see how good this kid is? Check out this video at his home creating a “crap tune” as he calls it – whatever Matt. He creates a super funky and groovy track in just a couple of minutes:

Here’s another video of him talking about his Yamaha Motif Synth where he also tells you a little bit about himself:

And of course, how could not I add a Jamiroquai live track?

If you like what these guys do, you should definitely check out his “live at Verona” DVD which is actually pretty awesome.


What to practice?

Getting into a practice routine is not an easy thing, especially if you are a beginner when most of the time you do not know where to go or what to practice among all the available and existing content in books, on CDs, DVDs and the Internet.

Have you ever felt that you have been stuck in the same place for a long time? Like when you feel that your playing sucks, no creativity is flowing, you play the same piano licks all the time and sometimes you don’t even feel like playing the piano anymore? I have, and it sucks badly; however I discovered myself that getting into a new practice routine can be all it takes to get out of that “black hole”. Getting into a routine will kill all those concerns and bad feelings about your playing and it will make you improve a lot, you will be hippier, sorry, Happier!

I am not gonna talk about how to get a routine, if you need some help with that, you should check out this Rocket Piano Blog post.

What I’m wanting to talk to you about is what to practice. In other words, asking yourself where your playing is at? What does your playing need? What do you want to learn? Do you think you need to focus on your playing technique, speed, or maybe introduce a new groove.

There is no one better than yourself to know where your playing is at and then find out what you need to work on.

Finding out what your playing and soul needs.
Play your piano for a while, as you normally would or listen to some music you are currently into, get a feel for it and see if there is something you would like to learn from it, something new that you want to be able to play, something that inspires you or something that gives you shivers.

Something that I found really good to include in your “what to practice” is basically one or two warm up exercises. I have found this to be an important part of any practice session. Scales and arpeggios are good for building speed, but remember to start at a slow tempo and gradually increase the speed… this of course involves the use of a metronome.

And of course, there is one last resource on what to practice which is probably the most common – learning to play songs. Songs that you like, songs that everytime you listen to you say, Man, I wish I could play that! Those types of songs are what you need to get into.

I would love to hear what your practice routine looks like, what you start with, how long you spend warming up and how often you practice. Share your training regime with us and with other Rocket Piano users who might need some extra help getting started.