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Keyboard players - why so hard to find?

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  • Quote Originally Posted by rhat
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    I think it comes down to there is a major difference between say a solo piano act and playing keyboards in a band. we do a jam night on sundays and I on an occasions get a solo keyboard type that uses my board to sit in with the band. Now alot of those guys are what i consider better players from a technical point of view, but really dont play with band as well. They are used to having to cover bass , rhythm and melody and can end up mr busy fingers in a band situation. What they are playing is cool but tends to clutter the mix.




    Very true.



    All musical performances strive to achieve a complete sound - bass, chords, rhythm, lines, etc. A guitar trio obviously isn't going to leave room for keyboard parts if that chair is empty. You strive to achieve a complete sound within the limitations of the chairs that you have, but if you then decide to add a keyboard, I think it's reasonable to suggest that every moment of every song in the set list needs to be reexamined with fresh ears. It's basic Kindergarten: take turns, share.

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    • Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBlues
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      . Wouldn't it be nice to select and arrange music based on who you've got in the band, rather than default to a style that marginalizes one of the members.




      I think that good bands do this. It only makes sense to get the most out of all your players regardless of the song you've chosen to play. Personally, I don't mind having the keyboard parts 'marginalized' on the guitar-heavy songs because I also play guitar. So I'm happy to pick up the rhythm parts. But while I'm perfectly capable of filling a lot of space and covering the needed parts on a modern synth-heavy tune, it doesn't make sense to just have my very-talented guitarist standing around doing nothing simply because there were no guitar parts on the original recording. So we re-arrange stuff to fit the line-up we have. Plus it helps to keep the wide variety of music that we do sound more cohesive throughout the set.

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      • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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        I think that good bands do this. It only makes sense to get the most out of all your players regardless of the song you've chosen to play. Personally, I don't mind having the keyboard parts 'marginalized' on the guitar-heavy songs because I also play guitar. So I'm happy to pick up the rhythm parts. But while I'm perfectly capable of filling a lot of space and covering the needed parts on a modern synth-heavy tune, it doesn't make sense to just have my very-talented guitarist standing around doing nothing simply because there were no guitar parts on the original recording. So we re-arrange stuff to fit the line-up we have. Plus it helps to keep the wide variety of music that we do sound more cohesive throughout the set.








        . . . . but I didn't see you suggesting that the guitar player take up another instrument as you have done.

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        • Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBlues
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          . . . . but I didn't see you suggesting that the guitar player take up another instrument as you have done.




          Well, that's just a result of the fact that I already play guitar. I didn't take it up just to have something to do on guitar songs. If I didn't play guitar what would I do on the AC/DC songs? Hmmm...not sure. Never really thought about it. Maybe be the band videographer like Grant does!



          But funny that you mention it because I'm thinking of putting up a keyboard on the other side of the stage for the guitarist and female vocalist to use. Neither of them play, but the parts I'm thinking of having them play would be very simple 'fill in' stuff that might be a better use of their abilities on certain songs rather than guitar parts that only work moderately-well or tambourine.

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          • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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            Well, that's just a result of the fact that I already play guitar. I didn't take it up just to have something to do on guitar songs. If I didn't play guitar what would I do on the AC/DC songs? Hmmm...not sure. Never really thought about it. Maybe be the band videographer like Grant does!



            But funny that you mention it because I'm thinking of putting up a keyboard on the other side of the stage for the guitarist and female vocalist to use. Neither of them play, but the parts I'm thinking of having them play would be very simple 'fill in' stuff that might be a better use of their abilities on certain songs rather than guitar parts that only work moderately-well or tambourine.






            Interesting. I can see that working for a band like yours. You have free hands in your band you an put to work.. Was keyboard your main instrument before you started playing guitar or the other way around?

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            • Quote Originally Posted by rhat
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              Interesting. I can see that working for a band like yours. You have free hands in your band you an put to work.. Was keyboard your main instrument before you started playing guitar or the other way around?




              I started with piano lessons at age 7 which I took until about age 14 or 15. My mom bought me a guitar when I was 10 or 11 and I became self-taught at that, largely from what I already understood from knowing piano. By age 15 I started my first band playing guitar. At age 21, realizing that I would never be a good enough guitarist to compete with the flashy players coming up in the 80s (Eddie van Halen pretty much wrecked any chance I had of being a rock guitarist!) , I bought a couple of synths and switched over to being a keyboard player who could do some guitar when needed.

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              • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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                I started with piano lessons at age 7 which I took until about age 14 or 15. My mom bought me a guitar when I was 10 or 11 and I became self-taught at that, largely from what I already understood from knowing piano. By age 15 I started my first band playing guitar. At age 21, realizing that I would never be a good enough guitarist to compete with the flashy players coming up in the 80s (Eddie van Halen pretty much wrecked any chance I had of being a rock guitarist!) , I bought a couple of synths and switched over to being a keyboard player who could do some guitar when needed.






                Ok <, i was just wondering. I started out with the piano and organ lesson thing ,,, and like yourself ditched the sheet music to play keys in a teen band. Later when I went off to college ,, the keyboard playing went on the back burner to teach myself to play a more dorm friendly guitar. I never stopped playing keys ,, but I did stop the band thing. Just never had the time for it with what I did for a living. Now that I am back doing the band thing all I do is play keyboards. I have given some thought to selling off a couple guitars... I wont ever sell them all.

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                • I hate to sell old gear. I end up having an emotional attachment to most of it, plus it often goes way up in value.



                  My biggest regret is, when I was really broke in the mid-90s, selling off my 80s rig of a Prophet 5, Roland Jupiter 6 and Moog Source for practically nothing. With all the new keyboards coming out at that time, nobody wanted those old analog dinosaurs anymore and they weren't worth anything.....THEN.



                  Now original Prophet 5s and Jupiter 6s are worth thousands. Wish I still had those boards. Not so much for the value (although that would be nice too) but for the memories attached to them. I wouldn't buy those same boards again unless I somehow found the ones I owned.

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                  • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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                    I hate to sell old gear. I end up having an emotional attachment to most of it, plus it often goes way up in value.



                    My biggest regret is, when I was really broke in the mid-90s, selling off my 80s rig of a Prophet 5, Roland Jupiter 6 and Moog Source for practically nothing. With all the new keyboards coming out at that time, nobody wanted those old analog dinosaurs anymore and they weren't worth anything.....THEN.



                    Now original Prophet 5s and Jupiter 6s are worth thousands. Wish I still had those boards. Not so much for the value (although that would be nice too) but for the memories attached to them. I wouldn't buy those same boards again unless I somehow found the ones I owned.






                    I dont get attched to things. When I was getting ready for the move to texas ,,, I sold off a fender musicmaster bass amp , a peavy tnt100, a 2001 electraglide, a speedboat. I did keep an old ampeg B-15 flip top and a 69 gibson ebo bass... and my guitars. I dont miss any of the vintage keyboard I offed over the years..... they suck compared to what I am playing now. Ya gotta be willing to move on from physical posessions. People said ,, wont you miss the lake house you had for 20 years. to be honest I cant say that I will. Maybe its because I always did alot of horse trading and buying and selling of things... you cant fall in love with inventory.

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                    • Quote Originally Posted by rhat
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                      I dont get attched to things. When I was getting ready for the move to texas ,,, I sold off a fender musicmaster bass amp , a peavy tnt100, a 2001 electraglide, a speedboat. I did keep an old ampeg B-15 flip top and a 69 gibson ebo bass... and my guitars. I dont miss any of the vintage keyboard I offed over the years..... they suck compared to what I am playing now. Ya gotta be willing to move on from physical posessions. People said ,, wont you miss the lake house you had for 20 years. to be honest I cant say that I will. Maybe its because I always did alot of horse trading and buying and selling of things... you cant fall in love with inventory.




                      I'm not that way with most stuff. Just some musicial equipment I made a lot of great music with. (Especially stuff I sold for cheap that went up in value later.) But I've never been one to live in the past. Cars, houses, ex-girlfriends....I can forget all those things pretty easily.

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                      • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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                        If I didn't play guitar what would I do on the AC/DC songs? Hmmm...not sure. Never really thought about it.




                        Sometimes I feel like I'm beating the proverbial dead horse on this issue, but the solution to the AC/DC dilemma for keyboards is simple . . .



                        Leave those songs to the guitar bands. DON'T PLAY THEM! You've got keys; most of them don't. Do stuff they can't do. Seems so obvious to me, so what am I missing? Yeah, they'll request guitar band stuff because they don't get that your style leads you in another direction, but it's not like you can't put together a long night's worth of material that's suited to your style and instrumentation that will get the job done, ie keep them on the dance floor, right?

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                        • Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBlues
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                          Sometimes I feel like I'm beating the proverbial dead horse on this issue, but the solution to the AC/DC dilemma for keyboards is simple . . .



                          Leave those songs to the guitar bands. DON'T PLAY THEM! You've got keys; most of them don't. Do stuff they can't do. Seems so obvious to me, so what am I missing? Yeah, they'll request guitar band stuff because they don't get that your style leads you in another direction, but it's not like you can't put together a long night's worth of material that's suited to your style and instrumentation that will get the job done, ie keep them on the dance floor, right?




                          Hmmmm....but I LIKE being in a band that plays AC/DC songs...

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                          • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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                            Hmmmm....but I LIKE being in a band that plays AC/DC songs...




                            Well yeah. That's because there's something you can do on the song - play guitar. . . . . You asked what you would do if you didn't, right?

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                            • Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBlues
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                              Well yeah. That's because there's something you can do on the song - play guitar. . . .




                              No, it's because I like AC/DC songs and I like the way the audience responds to the ones we do.



                              Now do I like AC/DC songs because I play guitar? Or do I play guitar because I like AC/DC songs? Or would I like them regardless? Impossible to say for sure.



                              It's like asking what would I do if I only had one arm. I'd do a lot of things differently, and some I might choose to not do at all. But since I have both arms, it's not really a scenario I spend much time contemplating.



                              Now, I'm 100% cool with keyboard bands wanting to go to whatever-lengths they need to go to to remain successful and avoid guitar songs, if that's the route they choose. But I'm not sure I'm 100% on board with the idea that guitar bands only do guitar tunes and keyboard bands only do keyboard tunes and never the twain shall meet.



                              And I'm not sure it is necessary that every member of the band be fully involved on 100% of the material.

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                              • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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                                Hmmmm....but I LIKE being in a band that plays AC/DC songs...




                                Same here, I like the AC/DC but I don't have a problem now because I just switch from keys and keys bass to bass guitar for the guitar only songs. Back in the old days when the band played Judas Priest "You've Got Another Thing Coming" I would just step off stage and line up a girl for later.
                                Yamaha MO-6, Roland JV1080, Roland JV1010 (X 2), Crown XLS 602 amplifier, Genz Benz Shuttle 6.2, Hartke VX 1508, Peavey PR-12 (keys monitor), Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass, Fender Standard Precision Bass, Squier Vintage Modified Jazz fretless.

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