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Playing keyboards in the band


TheForkWigger
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Do you stand or sit? Is it Rock to stand and Jazz to sit? Are you pooping when you sit and peeing when you stand at the keys? On a case or rack? What if you sit but get excited and want to stand? Do you just stand? Do you Jerry Lee and kick the bench over and then stand? Are your knees flexed? Are you leaning forward at all or remain relatively upright? What should be the role of pyrotechnics? Isn't it dangerous to have them so close to your face if you sit? It's probably better to stand in that case. That's my only question bye!

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I've always stood, but I started playing live in the 80's when I had a pair of A-Frame keyboard stands full of various keyboards. Back then it made sense because you needed to be able to get to all your different keys when the parts came up. Today the synths are so good, you can get away with just 2 and the days of hauling around 5 or 6 are long gone, unless you play in Yes or Saga :)

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I think it depends on the style of music you are playing. If you need to use a sustain pedal at all more than once a song, standing is a pain in the legs because you end up pretty much almost standing on one leg so that you can operate the foot pedal and even then I've always found it awkward.

So for me, normal piano style music means sit, organ or synth type is either but standing give you more visibility and lets you be part of the action rather than being hidden away.

 

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I'm a piano player and I find that posture makes a difference in my ability to perform at my best.

 

I sit when I play (I care more about the music than what I look like) whether it is a solo piano gig or playing synth in a rock band.

 

I tried doing some of the Lord/Emerson thing when I was younger but if you've ever had a B3 fall on you, you'll know it's the kind of thing you only allow to happen once.

Edited by onelife
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I use an L-shaped setup, 3 total boards, with a total of 6 pedals (2 damper, 2 expression, 1 leslie on/off, and 1 for changing patches of all 3 boards via a MIDI routing unit). Also, a small rack unit containing said MIDI router, some FX, and an iPad for recorded effects. That is my set-up for my prog tribute, and there's no way I can control all of that standing (need both feet simultaneously for pedals, and need to see/edit pieces in the rack unit here and there, which is at sitting height)... Standing would be my death knell.

 

For other bands (like the country band I'm in), just 2 boards and way less pedals, and no rack unit. Still, sitting is my preferred way to play, I'm just so used to it. Never got into the A-frame thing in the 80s, not really an up-front in-your-face kind of guy... more Banks than Emerson.

Edited by ChipCurtis
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Do you stand or sit? Is it Rock to stand and Jazz to sit? Are you pooping when you sit and peeing when you stand at the keys? On a case or rack? What if you sit but get excited and want to stand? Do you just stand? Do you Jerry Lee and kick the bench over and then stand? Are your knees flexed? Are you leaning forward at all or remain relatively upright? What should be the role of pyrotechnics? Isn't it dangerous to have them so close to your face if you sit? It's probably better to stand in that case. That's my only question bye!

 

These are important questions. There are many knowledgeable people who have the experience and where with all to answer these vexing questions. As for myself, I must remain neutral in these matters because of the sensitivity of the issues and my position in the public eye. But I wish you success in finding answers to these perplexing questions.

Edited by Etienne Rambert
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I think it depends on the style of music you are playing. If you need to use a sustain pedal at all more than once a song, standing is a pain in the legs because you end up pretty much almost standing on one leg so that you can operate the foot pedal and even then I've always found it awkward.

So for me, normal piano style music means sit, organ or synth type is either but standing give you more visibility and lets you be part of the action rather than being hidden away.

 

 

THIS IS EXACTLY RIGHT - when I stand for gigs, my feet are killing me by the end of the night, esp. since I have Plantar Fasciitis (probably from standing on too many gigs over the years!)... and my left foot has a "sore spot" on the "pad" of the foot because I guess I lean on there in order to get the stability to allow my right foot to work the sustain pedal - sometimes 2 sustain pedals (for 2 different keybaords).

 

But I've found that standing gives me more energy and just looks like I'm there to ROCK... ha ha - and it's easier to sing. I've even started using mat to stand on, like chefs do in a kitchen. I got a nice black one from a restaurant supply, so it doesn't stand out or anything... and it seems to help a little bit.

 

Sometimes I do get to play mellow gigs sitting down - usually a trio, acoustic/unplugged format... "unplugged" is inaccurate of course, it really just means the guys are using acoustic guitars - but they are still "plugged" into the PA! :p

 

This is my take on it from many years of slugging it out on gigs as a working keyboard player

(with occasional stints as a bass player and limited guitar "strummer"):

 

Standing = easier to sing (and play any instrument)

Sitting = easier to play keys but harder to sing

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Do you stand or sit? Is it Rock to stand and Jazz to sit? Are you pooping when you sit and peeing when you stand at the keys? On a case or rack? What if you sit but get excited and want to stand? Do you just stand? Do you Jerry Lee and kick the bench over and then stand? Are your knees flexed? Are you leaning forward at all or remain relatively upright? What should be the role of pyrotechnics? Isn't it dangerous to have them so close to your face if you sit? It's probably better to stand in that case. That's my only question bye!

------

Tough questions. I think each of us strives to find the balance that best fits our stage presence and our audiences' expectations. My audiences go wild when I start pissing all over my rack cases. That's the thing that seems to get them excited. When the sparks start flying, some rush the stage. Most just rush for the fire escapes.

 

I'd never play in a band that poops on stage. I'm not being judgmental. That's just me.

 

I don't find sitting on toilet seats to play the keys objectionable at all though, as long as one is properly attired. To each his own.

 

 

I find it incredibly difficult to play non-trivial organ parts standing. I completely lose expression pedal finesse. I'm not sure how Jon Lord did it.

 

I only play trivial organ parts on stage.So I stand proud.

Edited by Etienne Rambert
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I have always stood playing keys, so I continue to do so and can't really imagine not in a rock band setting. Especially since I'm taking a guitar off and on a lot as well.

 

But there are certainly times where I've got so much going on with my feet that sitting would likely result in a better sound. With two volume pedals, two sustain pedals, and running the light show with my right foot, 'balance' can be a trick for sure at times! But the look wouldn't be right for the type of stuff we do and the type of band we are. So that's one of the trade-offs that gets made for the sake of the overall performance.

 

Although I do sit when we're doing a "cocktail" or "dinner" set. Seems the right look for that sort of set.

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