Check out my book: http://bit.do/billsbook
This video is a response to a question I've had: "I have a question about the song Amoreena by Elton John. I have the chord structure, and I have no problem with that, nor with the inversions and so on. My problem is going beyond the mere chording of the song to add some of the runs and overall flavours that Elton puts into that tune."
So in this video I'm going to talk about Elton John's piano comps, with a bit of reference to Amoreena. I don't believe in doing walkthroughs, so what I to do is talk a little bit about Elton John's comping style, mention a few bits and pieces about the way he writes songs -- which is important, and has a major effect on what we're talking about here -- and give you some examples of the techniques he uses.
Also, I'm going to assume that, like Mitchell, you're OK with the different chords and how chord progressions work, and you understand terms like 'comp', 'cadence', 'suspended ninth', 'dominant' and all the rest.
In the vid I consider three different strands in Elton John's piano comps. The first is hymns and church music. Then I talk about the influence of the blues, then the influence classical music has on him.
How do you make use of this? Take the chord sequence, and play it through as a basic comp on the piano lots and lots of times. After a bit, try to incorporate just one or two of those ideas and techniques, the little classical runs, the suspended notes, the bluesy touches, and after a while and a lot of practice, add a couple more. Listen to the way Elton John does it, play around, and you'll start to get close to the Elton John sound. And when I say "a lot of practice" he himself will have played these things through five, six, seven hundred, a thousand times before performing them. That's how you get that good -- it does take a lot of time, in particular if you're trying to sing as well. But, you know, nothing worthwhile is easy. It's worth sticking at it, because when you can do it it's a lot of fun.