Years ago Steely Dan recorded Aja, and the opening song is called “Black Cow.” Larry Carlton is one of the guitarists featured on the record. The riff he used inspired me to write a song called “North Carolina,” which I did on my first solo record called The Inside Story. So I took that and ran with it.

’m playing sixths on the B flat chord. Then the four chord, then the five chord. Something that you really should understand is that so much can be played just off of a major scale. The piano is the most brilliant way to view this. It’s the most visual instrument, more so than even the guitar. All of the white keys on the piano are all notes from the C Major scale.

It’s important that you understand that a major scale and simple things – thirds and sixths played in a linear way – is music. You’re playing a scale in a soulful way. I covered my chord voicings here. I’m adding something of myself to something very basic. Without you, the guitarist, it’s just bones. You are the blood that runs through the body, you put warmth and beauty to these notes; they can’t do it on their own. You have to do it. That’s the great joy of making music.

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