Keyboard Styles The Doo-Wop Progression
In this lesson you will learn to use common keyboard patterns to accompany pop tunes that use the Doo-Wop Progression. The The Doo-Wop progression is one of the most enduring progressions in popular music. Perhaps the most famous use of this progression is Hoagy Carmichael/Frank Loesser's 1938 tune, Heart and Soul. But as you will see, many pop tunes are based on the "Doo-Wop" progression.
The Doo-Wop Progression
Create an arrangement to perform as an accompaniment for a singer or instrumentalist.
Songs Using Doo-Wop Progression Exclusively
Songs Incorporating Doo-Wop Progression
Even though all the songs on this list utilize the same basic progression, there are many stylistic differences. Style is influenced by rhythmic patterns, chord voicings, and harmonic content. In popular styles, the recurring accompanying pattern is called a vamp. In the popular piano duet versions of Heart and Soul, the basic chord progression is made distinctive through a bouncy rhythm.
Vamps use either blocked or a broken chord textures. These chords may appear in root position or in inverted positions. The simplest vamp will use a straight four feel appropriate for many songs including Geoge Gershwin: I've Got Rhythm; CCR: Lookin' Out My Back Door, and Village People: YMCA.
Rhythmic Variations on the Basic Vamp
These examples show simple ways that the basic vamp can be varied. This simple rhythmic variation might be used in Avril Lavigne's Complicated.
Blocked chords in triplet rhythm evoke 50s rock & roll and would be appropriate for Rodgers and Hart: Blue Moon; Smokey Robinson: I've Been Good to You; and The Beatles:This Boy.
Broken chords in triplet rhythm also evoke 50s popular music and can be heard in North and Zaret: Unchained Melody. A more contemporary example of this can be seen in Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah.
Variations on the Bass Line
Alternating the root and the 5th of each chord in the bass line is a common way to add interest.
Syncopation is an important element in popular music. This example demonstrates a typical syncopated "feel" found in pop styles. This vamp could be used to accompany many songs requiring syncopation.
In some songs, the vamp also serves as a hook designed to catch the ear of the listener.
Ben E. King's Stand By Me uses a syncopated, melodic bass line that creates a distinctive and easily identified sound.
In Bruce Springsteen's Hungry Heart, added chord tones (7ths and 9ths) are used to create richer harmonies.
In Every Breath You Take by the Police, the basic arpeggiated pattern is enriched with passing tones.
In Hoobastank's The Reason, a scalar melodic pattern creates this distinctive hook.