Piano Tutorial

The Piano Styles of Dr. John

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38 Videos | Length: 1hr 49min 23sec
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  • Early Influences 4:39

    Early Influences

    The tutorial starts with Dr. John playing an intro piece and then discussing what inspired him early on.

  • Texas Boogie 4:03

    Texas Boogie

    In this video Dr John talks about how he was shown the Texas Boogie at an early age and goes over some of the techniques he developed from that.

  • Swanee River Boogie 4:35

    Swanee River Boogie

    The Swannee River Boogie is used in the video to show case rolls and turn-a-rounds.

  • Pete Johnson's Blues 2:32

    Pete Johnson's Blues

    Dr. John shows what he likes about Pete Johnson’s Blues.

  • Mess Around (Cow Cow Boogie) 3:35

    Mess Around (Cow Cow Boogie)

    The origin of Mess Around, Cow Cow Boogie, is played and broken down.

  • Big Chief 2:18

    Big Chief

    Dr. John plays Big Chief and goes over the parts that impressed him when he first heard it.

  • Buddy Bolden's Blues 3:15

    Buddy Bolden's Blues

    Here he goes over the interesting style of Buddy Bolden Blues.

  • St. James Infirmary 0:53

    St. James Infirmary

    St. James Infirmary is played and briefly discussed in this video.

  • Didn't He Ramble 2:44

    Didn't He Ramble

    In this video, Dr. John reminisces over Didn’t He Ramble.

  • Five Nights Drunk 3:17

    Five Nights Drunk

    Here he plays another minstrel, Five Nights Drunk.

  • Cold Black Night & Hoodoo Man 2:54

    Cold Black Night & Hoodoo Man

    Dr. John plays Cold Black Night and Hoodoo Man showing how he adds his own flavor to the originals.

  • When The Saints Go Marching In 1:38

    When The Saints Go Marching In

    The Saints Go Marching In is played in a uniquely Dr. John way.

  • Wade In The Water 4:46

    Wade In The Water

    Here, Wade in the Water is played in multiple versions.

  • Tuts Washington's Blues 3:31

    Tuts Washington's Blues

    Dr. John plays Tuts Washington Blues the way it was shown to him.

  • Butterfly Stride Piano 2:25

    Butterfly Stride Piano

    One of the songs shown to him early on was Butterfly Stride Piano.

  • Qualified 2:39


    Dr. John plays Qualified in his own way.

  • Careless Love 3:23

    Careless Love

    In this video he goes over the different ways he plays Careless Love.

  • Cry Me a River 5:22

    Cry Me a River

    Cry Me a River is played with an adapted style.

  • Senor Blues 1:32

    Senor Blues

    Dr. John shows why he feels Señor Blues has the perfect blend between the bass line and melody.

  • It's All About Me 3:12

    It's All About Me

    It’s All About Me is played using generous pedal tones.

  • Lloyd Glenn Voicings 1:33

    Lloyd Glenn Voicings

    Dr. John shows the Lloyd Glenn Voicings and talks about how he incorporates it into his style of playing.

  • Love, Life, and Money 3:20

    Love, Life, and Money

    Love, Life, and Money is played with a different arrangement.

  • Show Me How 5:43

    Show Me How

    Show Me How is played and discussed for it’s uniqueness.

  • Need Your Love So Bad 3:05

    Need Your Love So Bad

    Dr. John shows why he likes the song Need Your Love So Bad.

  • A World I Never Made 4:42

    A World I Never Made

    The song A World I Never Made is played and the music as well as the lyrics are discussed.

  • Lonely Avenue 1:49

    Lonely Avenue

    Lonely Avenue is played and shown why it’s one of the all time most quoted melodies.

  • Next Time You See Me 1:39

    Next Time You See Me

    Dr. John plays and praises Next Time you See Me.

  • Ray Charles Intro 0:47

    Ray Charles Intro

    The Ray Charles Intro is shown.

  • Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying 1:39

    Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

    Different ways of playing Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying are played.

  • Stone Cold Dead in the Market 1:20

    Stone Cold Dead in the Market

    Dr. John plays what he calls a ‘great song’... Stone Cold Dead in the Market.

  • Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out 2:44

    Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out

    Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out is played.

  • Don't Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes at Me 1:37

    Don't Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes at Me

    The shuffle Don’t Roll Those Bloodshot Eye’s at Me is played and discussed.

  • Since I Fell For You 2:13

    Since I Fell For You

    Dr. John plays Since I Fell For You and talks about how it had a big influence on him.

  • Mercy, Mercy 2:19

    Mercy, Mercy

    Mercy Mercy is played and Dr. John talks about how much he likes the main riff.

  • One Naughty Flat 2:05

    One Naughty Flat

    Originally written to be a guitar duo, One Naughty Flat is played on the piano.

  • Solitude 5:42


    The ‘old piece’ Solitude’ is played in the Dr. John style.

  • Don't Get Around Much Anymore 1:49

    Don't Get Around Much Anymore

    Don’t Get Around Much Anymore is played with enthusiasm .

  • Auld Lang Syne 2:04

    Auld Lang Syne

    Dr. John closes out the tutorial with a final song.

Product Overview

In this vintage Homespun video series, sit down with Mac Rebennack (a.k.a. Dr John) as he performs his remarkable music, discusses his influences, and shares early musical memories and intriguing stories of a life in the music business.

The two-time Grammy Award winner and celebrated ambassador of New Orleans music covers more than thirty songs in this two-hour session, from traditional blues to his sophisticated arrangements of songs by composers such as Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and Doc Pomus. Our overhead camera provides up-close views of his hands as Mac plays the licks, turnarounds, chord progressions and unique voicings that make him an incomparably influential musician.

The material in this video series represents a goldmine of musical knowledge and a rare opportunity to hear Dr John's solo piano (he does not normally perform without a band). It can be viewed and studied as an in-depth master class, or can be watched and enjoyed for its documentary and entertainment value alone. Either way, this session will provide many hours of fascinating viewing and listening for Mac's legions of avid fans.

Songs include: Texas Boogie, Swanee River Boogie, Pete Johnson's Blues, Mess Around (Cow Cow Blues), Big Chief, Buddy Bolden's Blues, St,.James Infirmary, Didn't He Ramble, Five Nights Drunk, Cold Black Night & Hoodoo Man, When the Saints Go Marching In, Wade in the Water, Tuts Washington's Boogie, Qualified, Careless Love, Cry Me a River, It's All Right with Me, Love, Life & Money, I Need Your Love So Bad, A World I Never Made, Lonely Avenue, Next Time You See Me, Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying, Stone Cold Dead in the Market, Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out, Since I Fell For You, Mercy Mercy, Solitude, Don't get Around Much Anymore, Auld Lang Syne, and more!

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