We've got a real treat for you today, as longtime Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment keyboardist Jordan Rudess joins us for this edition of Loudwire's Gear Factor. In this exclusive video, Jordan shows the evolution of his playing and pays it off with the amazing parts that he's laid down for both bands.

While many guitarists point to "Smoke on the Water" as their first riff, Rudess ties his first experience with his given instrument to a childhood classic, quickly finding his ear for music at a very young age.

“The first song that I heard that made me want to learn keyboards was ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ I was very young and I was in second grade and that melody was in my head and I walked over to a piano that was in the classroom and I found the notes," recalls Rudess. "And then my first teacher taught me some chords and I started improvising.”

Once Rudess heard Deep Purple keyboard great Jon Lord, it absolutely blew his mind. "Jon Lord doing this amazing stuff on the organ, I was like, ‘What is that?!’ I’d been to Juilliard but I’d never heard anything like that before. All these intense, wild kind of sweeps and swirls and all this crazy stuff, so that got me in the mood to rock."

Reflecting on his own career, Rudess shares a trio of favorite keyboard moments, pulling up the opening of "Dance of Eternity," rocking a honky tonk part from Liquid Tension Experiment and mesmerizing us with the progressive middle section of "Dark Eternal Night." He also recalls the lead in "Overture" from Scenes From a Memory being one of the first pieces he wrote for Dream Theater.

Finishing out the episode, Rudess delves into the upcoming third album from Liquid Tension Experiment, pulling out his favorite moments from LTE 3 within the songs "Passage of Time" and "Beating the Odds."

That new Liquid Tension Experiment album is due April 16* and you can currently pre-order here. (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases) Check out Jordan Rudess' full Gear Factor episode below.

*Editor's Note: Though Rudess references a March 26 release for LTE 3, the band revealed the album had to be pushed to April 16 due to a manufacturer printing error. The announcement came after Rudess taped this episode.

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