Gear Spotlight: Fender Rhodes


The Fender Rhodes will without doubt go down as an absolute classic.  From its early production in the 1940’s (more about that later) to its role in shaping the sound of soul, hip-hop & jazz, those beautiful tones are instantly recognisable.


It’s for this reason that the Fender Rhodes is a Touch Loops favourite that takes pride and place in our studio.  You’ll also find this beautiful instrument throughout our favourite collections of Fender Rhodes samples, packs, loops and performances.


Let’s find out a little more..



The story of the Fender Rhodes is one based around commitment, invention and dedication where the creators story is as important as the instrument itself.


Born in LA in 1910, Harold ran a series of music schools throughout the 1930’s with the belief that all children should learn piano, and would want to.  His successful venture ran through the 1930’s but was interrupted by that little thing called the 2Nd World War!


Drafted into the Army Air Corps, Harold spotted an opportunity for injured soldier therapy in the form of a bedside electric piano.  Formed from the components of a B-17 bomber, this suitcase piano would form what we now know as the Rhodes electric piano.


After years of development, contractual issues and disagreements with Fender, the Rhodes finally took up its final shape and form in the late 60’s, ready to shape the future of music.  Little dig Howard know the impact this beautiful instrument would have on the future of jazz, soul, Hip-Hop & RnB.




What makes it so great?


For us, it has to be the tone.  The interaction between the notes when the tremolo is deployed is absolutely timeless.  Softer than a piano but with more life and texture than an electric counterpart, it’s sound instantly transports you to a late night jazz club or remember that epic hip-hop cut.  There's a reason we use this so heavily in all our Fender Rhodes samples and packs.


Famous lovers of the Fender Rhodes

From Herbie Hancock to J Dilla, DJ Premiere to Michael Jackson, the Rhodes has become synonymous with lush, smooth tones.  Below are few of our favourite examples of this stunner in action: 


Check the multi-tracks taken from Michael Jackson's 1979 classic Rock With You: 



Grammy wining producer Michael Bearden discusses the impact of the Rhodes on his career plus the work he did with Michael Jackson and beyond.  



Check this 1996 Hip-Hop classic by Example.  1990's Hip-Hop was covering in the sounds of the beautiful Rhodes. 



How could we leave out the biggest of inspirations JD.  Dope instrumental, great sounding Rhodes, killer beat.





Our Favourite  Fender Rhodes Samples & Sample Packs

Soulful Keys

Check these beautiful Fender Rhodes samples in our Soulful Keys Collection




Blue Tones

In this Blue Note inspired collection, lush jazz music samples fit perfectly against the delicious Fender Rhodes samples that we all know and love. 




Piano Noir

Created in honour of the hip-hop this famous instrument inspired, our Piano Noir pack includes incredible piano loops, Lush Rhodes piano lines and everything you need to create the perfect beat.  




Soul Chords

Covering both MIDI and stunning live instrument recordings, this collection of soulful chords are the perfect toolkit for beat instrumentals, hip-hop hits and soulful RnB. 




Feeling inspired?  Be sure to check the rest of our Rhodes Piano Sample Packs.