Elton John: The Rocket Man of Rock Pianists
If you’re starting to learn piano online and need a little inspiration, look no further than Elton John, one of the greatest rock pianists of all time. Take a stroll down the alleyways of music history, and see where the Circle of Life sire began.
The Early Years
Elton John, born Reginald Dwight, grew up in London and knew how to play the piano even as a toddler. Raised in a proper British home, Elton John’s parents didn’t support a musical career. The young Reginald left school before even taking his A Level exams, with his father trying to convince him into a banking career instead. Despite these sentiments, the Dwights always enriched their son’s life with music, both mother and father playing instruments, as well as stocking the home with all the greatest records of the times.
A Natural Musician
By age three, Elton John loved music, though proper piano lessons wouldn’t start until age seven. Even before John formally learned how to play piano, he would be able to play a song just after hearing it once. It wasn’t long before he became known in school for his musical compositions and in-school performances.
Elton John won the Royal Academy of Music junior scholarship when he was eleven. He enjoyed these classical music years with a bittersweetness that combined an appreciation for the indisputably great Bach and Handel composers with a disdain for the stuffiness of institutionalized music.
A rebel without a cause, John developed a love for music on his own terms.
At the age of 15, John was playing piano in pubs on the weekends; things progressed quickly from there.
The band Bluesology was formed by Elton and his friends, backing artists such as Patti LaBelle and Long John Baldry (the inspiration for Elton John’s name change).
In 1967 Elton John composed the music for some lyrics that Bernie Taupin had written, and the partnership of a lifetime began. Since then Taupin and John have written numerous chart-toppers and have won loads of awards for their legendary songs.
Elton John is lauded as a living legend, and duly so. He has sold 300+ million records, earned more than 50 top 40 hits, and nine number one hits. John was knighted, played the Pinball Wizard in the rock opera Tommy, and collaborated with some of the greatest musicians in history, including Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton.
Who hasn’t shed tears hearing the moving words of Candle in the Wind after Princess Di met her untimely death? More than the words, though, Elton John’s piano fingers drew out the emotions from within us, making everyone understand, feel, and relate to Diana’s suffering. The energy, the emotion, and the power behind the song came first and foremost from the unparalleled piano chords that played like keys unlocking the catacombs of our hearts.
Fans can revel in the music of Elton John, enjoying classic hits like Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Empty Garden, and Sad Songs. Piano lessons for beginners seldom teach you these songs, but Elton John has some exceptional piano chords that you can start playing even in the early stages of your piano lessons.
Check out Your Song or Tiny Dancer, and take part in the legacy of one of the most influential rock pianist’s of all time.