Fats Domino had a very unique style of playing rock and roll piano, and had the ability to combine a left hand boogie with right hand triplets – AND sing over the top. Doing these three things at once can be difficult, but Fats Domino made it look easy!
If you’ve always wanted to play like Fats Domino, here’s a fantastic guide along with sheet music to get you started…
It’s all about the left hand boogie woogie!
Although Fats Domino was famous for playing rock and roll piano, his style along with blues and boogie woogie are quite similar. Boogie woogie piano is all about playing a left hand that is both a rhythm, bass and melody all rolled into one to make it sound like you have a whole band playing with just your left hand.
Fats Domino used this technique and created a fantastic rock and roll left hand rhythm which would allow him to play triplets over the top with his right hand, and although he had a full orchestra playing along, he still preferred to play the piano like they weren’t there!
Here are two bars of C and two bars of G so you can see what this triplet right hand and boogie left hand combo looks like –
Here’s how this sounds –
Fats Domino likes the triplets!
Fats Domino loved to play triplets in his right hand whilst he sung, which is one of his signatures styles of rock and roll piano. Next time you listen to Blueberry Hill; have a listen out for them!
Like most rock and roll songs ‘Ain’t That a Shame’ followed a similar 12 bar blues pattern, apart from the repeat for bars 5-8. If you were to play this song in the key of G, you would also need to use the chord of D for the middle part before he goes back to the intro.
Here is how it looks when playing in the chord of D –
And here’s how it sounds –
This song is one of my favourite rock and roll songs of all time, and I just had to make a video tutorial for it. I had lots of fun talking about this song and I love to help other people learn how to play awesome rock and roll, blues and boogie woogie piano.
Here is how the full song sounds from my tutorial video so you can see how it all fits together –