The legendary Herbie Hancock, Academy Award winner for Best Original Score & 14 time Grammy Award winner, obviously needs no introduction. His years as a player of all styles has put him at the top of the lists for any and all keyboard and synth enthusiast aspiring to greatness. It’s been said that “As part of Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet, Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the “post-bop” sound.”

Known to be an early adopter of synthesizers and new keyboard based instruments in general, Herbie Hancock was one of the first to embrace a slew of keyboards / pianos, one of which being the Rhodes piano. As a pioneering jazz fusion musician with an affinity for gadgets, techy toys, synthesizers and pianos, Herbie Hancock often filled his music with the freaky and soulful blips, bleeps and bops of various synths. The Rhodes, however, was often present and center-stage.

As for Herbie’s hip-hop affiliation we all know the seminal joint “Rock It” which featured electronic instruments (drum machines and synths) and what I believe is considered to be the first major record to feature a DJ scratching. Crate diggers and students of the art of sampling would certainly recognize Hancock’s works as it has been sampled and chopped by the likes of Q-Tip for joints like Dee Lite’s “Groove Is In The Heart” and Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones Pt2“. Or perhaps you’ll recognize it from J-Dilla productions for Slum Village’s “Get Dis Money” & “Fantastic.” Notice his use of the rhodes therein? Yeah Herb is official.

In this webisode Herbie discusses a bit of how the Rhodes Piano cultivated the music tech in him. Because of it he learned the intricacies of repairing the Rhodes himself when the tines would break and maintenance was needed.

About The “Down The Rhodes” Webisode Series on

For a total of 10 weeks, will present weekly webisodes of ‘Down The Rhodes’, courtesy of Down The Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story. Each new webisode will feature a noted – Fender Rhodes Loving – Crate Worthy  Musician speaking about the historical Fender Rhodes and the influence that it had on their lives and music.

Stay tuned to for an exciting series of ‘Down The Rhodes’ webisodes.

For more on the Down The Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story book & DVD please visit

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