Learn How To Play “Riders On The Storm” on Piano

some_textRiders On The Storm was a big hit for the Doors and is a fun song to play as the season gets a bit rainier. The Doors’ late keyboardist, Ray Manzarek,  created a beautiful, moody atmosphere in this song that continues to influence artists around the world.

How To Play Riders On The Storm on Piano

  1. Beginners can choose a basic version here (note that it shows the lyrics are above, instead of below the music) and intermediate players should choose this version*.
  2. Listen to the original recording with its ethereal electric piano for some inspiration.
  3. Watch these players here and here playing their versions, to help you learn the part.

*Beginners can try this version too, but perhaps keep to the melody part as the chords might be tricky. Also “8va basso” indicates that you should play those notes (the bass part) an octave lower.

Ray Manzarek played keyboard bass parts in the Doors, as they did not have a full-time bassist. Here Ray talks about how they wrote the song and how his *easy keyboard* bass became a *tough* part for a string bass player.

HINT: Open the music/transcription in a separate window in your browser from the videos so you can see them both!

PRACTICE HINT: If the parts seem difficult, concentrate on each hand separately. And remember that exercises in eMedia Intermediate Piano and Keyboard Method can really help you master hand independence and more complex chords.

Band Parts

  1. The guitar part is covered here.
  2. Here is the bass part and here’s a bit for the drummer.

Other Versions

Always a popular track, there are Santana and Snoop Dogg treatments, plus Creed and members of Doors played a version together. Of course, there is a jazz version and a dance mix too (this one by trance band Infected Mushroom).

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