How to Play “Time of the Season” on Keyboard

Time-of-the-SeasonTime of the Season is a classic rock track by The Zombies that helped cement Rod Argent as one of the most influential songwriters and keyboard players of the late 60’s. The song’s slinky minor key vamps and skillful organ solo have become a rite of passage for anyone studying pop/rock keyboard technique.

 

Time of the Season is from the 1968 album Odessey and the Oracle. Other big hits from the album include She’s Not There and Tell Her No. Originally the record was received with very little enthusiasm and sadly, the band broke-up after its release. However, it later gained legions of fans and the album was recently voted #100 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Best Albums of All Time.

Getting the Tone

The sound of the Hammond organ plays a big part in this song. You can hear a percussive “click” at the beginning if the note, some distortion, and a rotating speaker effect. If you have an electronic keyboard try using a program with labels like “Percussive Organ” or “Rock Organ.” However, the song sounds great on piano too.

How to Play Time of the Season on Keyboard

  • First listen to the original version by The Zombies so you are familiar with the song.
  • Go here to see a basic transcription of the parts on a site that also lets you hear the notes as they play.
  • When it’s time to tackle that organ solo, go here for a great transcription.
  • A recent video of the band helps you to see how Argent plays it live.

Practice Hint

If the parts seem difficult at first, then concentrate on each hand separately.  The organ solo has some fast runs. So start slow, take your time, and try to pick out individual phrases. Then learn it phrase by phrase. The exercises in Intermediate Piano and Keyboard Method can help you to improve your technique, play faster, and have better hand independence.

Artist Notes

Argent started as a choirboy at the St. Albans cathedral, where he discovered his love of Bach and the organ. “I didn’t really listen to pop music until I first heard Elvis,” he said in a recent interview. “At the cathedral, there was a very young organ master who turned out to be one of the best organists in the world. To sit in the organ loft and hear him play Bach was just fantastic.”

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