Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Topic Options
#1041094 - 12/05/00 02:35 AM Keyboard Technique

In the spirit of learning from other keyboardists.... I was wondering what your favorite "technical high points" are, where a keyboard player did something and you said to yourself "that is a high point with respect to...." I am thinking more broadly than keyboard (finger) technique.

So here are two nominations from me:
Tony Banks - Solo from "In the Cage" on Genesis "Three Sides Live" cd.

Isao Tomita - Daphnis & Chloe from "Bolero" CD.

The Banks piece is absolutely the most melodic synth solo I have heard. It is actually a piece of expository writing, which is pretty remarkable because it fuses "solo's" from several of the Genesis tunes. Transitions between these solos are intuitive with lots of melodic foreshadowing, and there is an overall ease in the way the drama builds. It is not blisteringly fast in a Wakeman like way, but it will take some practice to play live.

The Tomita piece is brilliant sound design, the range of sounds (from choirs to whistles, to clangorous tones) and it all fits the required orchestration. My understanding is that the moog modular was used to process most of the sounds on this piece... Very effective. Many (solo)lines involve some kind of modulation or transformation of the sound in real time.

Hope to hear about some cool music.



KC Island
#1041095 - 12/05/00 09:26 AM Re: Keyboard Technique
Pim Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 865
Loc: Amsterdam
Dave Bryce on a QS8 doing the drum programs.


#1041096 - 12/05/00 02:09 PM Re: Keyboard Technique


Thanks for the pointer. Dave's reputation precedes him of course. I haven't heard him, though I hope to have the opportunity someday. My loss. Is there any media (cd, vhs etc.) you could point me to?



PS: I am sure Dave's ears are burning at this point. Given what he did with the qs8, I am having quite a chuckle imagining him cutting loose on an A6. That would be quite a treat.

#1041097 - 12/05/00 07:23 PM Re: Keyboard Technique
Dave Bryce Administrator Offline
KCFFL Champ '14,'16,'18
20k Club

Registered: 09/24/00
Posts: 20000
Loc: Thousand Oaks,CA,UNITED STATES
Now cut that out...

For me, the first time I heard the Keith Emerson soloing on the big modular Moog in Blues Variation (off of Pictures at an Exhibition) it made my hair stand on end - I had never heard such a sound or had a sound reach inside me in the way that piece of music did.

The other one that comes to mind right away was Athur Rubenstein plaing the Grieg piano concerto in A minor. I was a kid - I don't even remember how young - but I remember being captivated by the way that the piano and the orchestra wove in and out and around each other...Rhapsody in Blue (with Bernstein playing the piano) did the same thing for me years later...

I could go on forever on this topic...good one, Jerry!


rockit ==> David Bryce Music Funky Young Monks <==rawk

Professional affiliations: Cloud Microphones Crumar elysia Reverb Foundry Roswell Pro Audio

#1041098 - 12/05/00 10:20 PM Re: Keyboard Technique
Pim Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 865
Loc: Amsterdam
My dad had a record of Jerry Lee Lewis.
I was a very shy and quiet lad. Except when my dad played "Chantilly Lace". I went wild.
This was in the Sixties. I can't find this particular recording on cd... All other recordings of Chantilly Lace sound much smoother, weaker.
The drive in the piano part was unforgettable.
So much energy and aggression from an acoustic instrument!

Dave, I didn't want to cause you to blush, or embarrass you... (but you're so damn good!)


#1041099 - 12/05/00 11:27 PM Re: Keyboard Technique
marino Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 8090
Loc: Rome, Italy
Maybe we should retitle this thread "Musical Experiences that changed your life".

The Emerson solo on "Blues Variation" was an high point for me too. Also, when I heard the Weather Report live for the first time, I was stunned by the fact (among many other things) that Zawinul played the closing keyboard solo on "Birland" exactly like on the record, keeping the riff chords in strict rhythm with the other hand, and at the speed of light. I was like, "wow... it's impossible!"
And being a jazzer at heart, I remember quite a few really devastating solos, both live and from records.

But if you ask me (you asked, didn't you?) the most revealing music experiences of my whole life, I can only think of two, and only one is keyboard-related.
OK, watch for my English!

When I was about 13, one of my music teachers, a lady, told me: "Rudolf Serkin is about to come to Rome, you should go - and learn." I wasn't that enthusiast (I never heard of him), so she called me again: "I got tickets. Let's go - you won't regret it."
Serkin played some of the last Beethoven sonatas, op. 106, 110 and 111, I believe. He was quite old already.
Well, from the first note I was drawn into a new world. Technique? Yeah, he had technique to spare of course. But technique was the last thing I was thinking about! It seemed to me that he could think of the deepest meaning of every phrase with absolute identification, and then "tell" the piano to play like that. It seemed not only magical, but effortless. I'll never forget that night.

About 20 years later, one summer evening I went to see an outdoor show featuring the Ivory Coast National Ballet. Three Musicians (all drummers) and about five dancers.
Well, the dances were wonderful, and the dancers themselves were so beautiful that you would look at them even if they didn't move. The costumes too, really a joy.
And after I while, I stopped completely to watch the dance, and gave my total attention to the music of the drummers. Those guys were playing a symphony of rhythm, a counterpoint more complex than any Bach double fugue, with *incredible* dynamic control and rhythmic elasticity.
Tempos an signatures constantly changed, shifted, stopped, added, regenerated, all with absolute and *natural* flow and togetherness.
I thought, "we really don't know anything about rhythm.... they are the masters."
I still think so.



Moderator:  Dave Bryce, Stephen Fortner