This is a 16 minute 19 second video lesson by David Cook that addresses the dynamics of a pianist accompanying a vocalist. This 2014 release comes from the awesome My Music Masterclass website which has a really impressive catalog of instructional videos. In this video, David Cook shares his experience working with vocalists and the considerations for the accompanist. David has an impressive resume working with vocalists like Taylor Swift, Lizz Wright, Natasha Bedingfield, Jennifer Hudson, Marianne Faithful so we’re definitely in good hands.
It begins with a performance of Amazing Grace with vocalist, Shayna Steele. Then, he shares some possible ways of accompanying depending on the demands of the vocalist. The video essentially is a very conversational honest document of what to think about working in a vocalist-pianist duo situation. Although I’m a guitarist, I find that the concepts are definitely transferable for vocalist-guitarist duo settings. There’s a mix of psychology, musicality and overall logical thought process that goes along this specific musical situation. As I’ve worked with vocalists in duo settings for many years, I could definitely relate to what David’s advice. A lot of it reaffirmed what I’ve intuitively learned over the years and some of the tips have given me good food for thought.
Pros: Covers a very specific topic. Lots of good tips from a very experienced musician!
Cons: May feel like a short video to some people. Could benefit from some additional transcriptions and examples but then again, if you’re interested in this video, I feel that you might be quite experienced.
TLDR: Recommended for pianists and guitarists who work with vocalists or plan to work with vocalists as an accompanist.
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