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Can guitar players be good keyboardists ?


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I wonder how good an accomplished guitarist can get on the keys. What do I need to do to get to that level? I was about to buy a keyboard at the music store but I pulled out... I'll just use my rubber keypad and use the hal sonic of my Cubase le 9.5. I can't seem to find progress that much however. 

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Only one reason, actually several; all derivative of the same issue.

Your fretting hand has to "play" the notes before your picking hand can do anything. The timing becomes second nature until you play keys where it can become an issue. You may or may not notice or even care. Depends on the keys parts and styles involved. Otherwise there are tons who can do it all.

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1 hour ago, 1001gear said:

Oh and you need to be an accomplished gitterer first.

I tried writing a song on keys and it didn't turn out that good. Very cheesy 80's sound main riff. at least I can say it sounds like eddie. but it won't keep me playing. I'll get bored with it. I wonder if I bought Casio keyboard if I might find some meaning in the keys.

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the only way to get a mastery of any instrument is to play it. I studied piano in college; and I was an 'A' student, but I rarely even set up my keyboards any more, so my skills are way down from where they were 40 years ago.

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2 hours ago, mbengs1 said:

I tried writing a song on keys and it didn't turn out that good. Very cheesy 80's sound main riff. at least I can say it sounds like eddie. but it won't keep me playing. I'll get bored with it. I wonder if I bought Casio keyboard if I might find some meaning in the keys.

Manual writing - hmm interesting pun, on keys is different than manual writing with guitar. You have the sustain pedal but that doesn't guarantee good sonorities like you'd get with guitar. Plus you don't have much in the way of manual abilities so it would have to be an intellectual process iOW theory, harmony, composition, ie. actual writing.

Do buy the Casio and keep plugging (intended) away.

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29 minutes ago, 1001gear said:

Manual writing - hmm interesting pun, on keys is different than manual writing with guitar. You have the sustain pedal but that doesn't guarantee good sonorities like you'd get with guitar. Plus you don't have much in the way of manual abilities so it would have to be an intellectual process iOW theory, harmony, composition, ie. actual writing.

Do buy the Casio and keep plugging (intended) away.

Very novice writing I can do on keyboard. I just play 3rd's everywhere (in key of C) and see if I can fish out a melody. maybe if I buy the keyboard, the doors to heaven for keys will open up for me. but I doubt that... I already major in guitar.

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My journey was keyboards first starting at 5 (whether I wanted to or not) and then guitar later on. So by 18 I was pretty good with a guitar but had forgotten some about keys however I came back and have done both in bands for many years.

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I've played piano and guitar all of my life. My father, who was my first teacher, taught me to play, to read music and some basic theory. I had a very good music teacher in high school.

I approach the guitar the same way as I do the piano - where I see all the notes and the chords laid out in front of me. I make us of fingering patterns on the guitar but don't limit myself to 'boxes' when I improvise.

Electric guitar is my main instrument and, although I sometimes use synthesizers (guitar and keyboard), I would describe myself as more of a piano player than a keyboard player.

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I took piano lessons for a while when I was in high school, but I am only a so-so keyboardist. In fact, it's kind of surprising I can play much of anything - I really don't have the hands for it; my fingers are fairly short. But the essentials are the same for any instrument - you have to commit to study, to practice and to playing - that's what it takes to learn and to become accomplished on any instrument. 

I tend to write differently on different instruments. I have talked to other multi-instrumentalists who have shared similar stories on that. I tend to write a bit more analytically on piano, and a bit more intuitively on guitar, if that makes any sense. 

Learning at least some piano is something I highly recommend for all musicians. IMO it really is a great instrument, and not only does it give you a whole new palate of sounds if you get into MIDI keyboards, it makes theory so much easier - everything is easy to "see" with the logical way the keyboard is laid out - much more so IMO than the fretboard is. 

 

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How good do you want to be ?  Seriously.  You can play out with knowing a lot less musically as a guitar player than a keyboard player.  If you want to sound good the level and the ability has to be higher. It's the nature of the instrument that dictates it.

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On 3/16/2020 at 6:02 AM, Phil O'Keefe said:

it makes theory so much easier - everything is easy to "see" with the logical way the keyboard is laid out - much more so IMO than the fretboard is. 

 

That's an interesting take and certainly makes sense. Things were rather opposite for me in that early piano lessons were sight reading only but I'm certain that's likely the best way to train most single digit age minds. Theory didn't enter until later when I was picking up a lot of knowledge from guitar players I met and hung around with about scales, diatonic chords, etc.. Most guitar players I met couldn't read notation to save their life. Later when I "re-involved" myself with keys I approached it with a lot more theory and improve perspective.

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I want to follow that up with some other fun and interesting thoughts about what's going on currently at home. I met my wife in late 2015 and we married mid 2016. She's an accomplished keyboard player who is an excellent sight reader. Her background mostly involves playing classical pieces from sheet music and she also served as a church organist at some point in the past.

After I came into the picture we decided to do our own thing covering pop/rock music as a duo with me primarily on guitar and her on keys. This was all new territory for her in that, if you've got to learn 50/60 songs to play a full night on a standard paying gig, you can't have sheet music for all the songs! I helped her get started on creating chord charts/lead sheets to work from and she quickly learned to transition her ways although she still doesn't understand much about theory/improv.

She likes to joke that I ruined music for her because, like myself, she can't listen to it anymore without analyzing the transitions and sounds.

I suppose the point, in regard to this thread, is that no matter what instrument you're playing there are at least a couple different approaches you can take.

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