Piano Duo Jam Session With Dave Becherer

I had the opportunity to catch up with my pianist friend Dave Becherer and shed a little piano/keyboard duo with him. We did a couple arrangements of some jazz standards. The first tune we recorded is Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance".

It is really fun to play with another keyboard player. It's not something that I've done a lot of in the past. Usually on gigs, there is just one keyboard player but I am thankful that Dave asked me into his studio to do some hanging and recording. Dave is a very fine pianist who plays a lot of jazz and classical around the STL area. We both studied at Webster University and were in classes at the same time. I've always admired Dave's technique and ability to rip off 16th note runs. He truly has a great feel for jazz improvisation and it was great catching up with him.

Playing with another keyboard players requires a lot of listening and attention to what the other person is playing. With 20 potential notes in play at any given time, the challenge is leaving space for another melodic and harmonic instrument to create simultaneously in a similar register while still finding a way to play authentically. Much like in conversation, there has to be a give and take. This really applies to any collaboration but especially one of the same instrument.  I had a really great time hearing how Dave approached one of my all time favorite tunes and exchanging ideas about it. 

The older I get I'm finding how important it is to play and network with people who play the same instrument as I do. I think naturally as musicians we can be a little avert to spending time with musicians who play the same instrument as we do, due to competitive nature, ego or accessibility. One of my mantra's for the year has been connection and collaboration. I'm excited to play and hang with other keyboard players this year. There is so much to learn and everyone has valuable information to share or acquire through observation and proximity.

They say "as iron sharpens iron so does man sharpen man".  With this in mind, I'm challenging myself, and you as well, to surround yourself with peers and successors who do the same thing you do or are on a level you wish to be at for the betterment of community and personal growth. 

Let's all move out of our comfort zones and connect in ways that challenge our creativity, imagination and potential!  Let the cross pollination begin!

I think I'm going to keep this keyboard player collaboration theme going for the entire year! I've got my sites set on a number of piano/keyboard players I would love to hang/hang with!

Stay tuned for more!

Check out Dave's website here:



Ryan MarquezComment