The Fender Rhodes

Fender Rhodes

The Fender Rhodes piano was developed by Harold Rhodes during World War II. The first version was very small, with only 32 keys, allowing wounded soldiers to play songs from their infirmary beds. After the war, Harold Rhodes would start working together with Leo Fender, and together they developed the piano to the one we know today.

Most Rhodes pianos have 73 keys and an easily identifiable bell-like sound. Inside the piano is a large tuning form, rather than the strings which are found in a traditional piano. This tuning fork has a tine for every key, and once a key is struck, a hammer hits the tine, producing the correct note. The sound is nowhere near as loud as it would be in a traditional piano, and as such the Fender Rhodes requires amplification. It is most common to use a Fender amplifier in order to achieve the authentic Fender Rhodes sound.

If you want to learn more about the piano, check out our article about learning to play the piano.

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