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#2936648 - 07/07/18 12:35 PM Accompaniment/Comping help for Electric Piano
llatham Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/06/11
Posts: 340
I'm going to go ahead and guess that playing EP has some special techniques that are not the same as playing Piano.

Are there things to avoid when playing EP?

Do you use sustain pedal?

I was working up "Jolene" for a Band - I looked at Miley Cyrus's version and it had Piano. IIRC the original does as well but I'm not sure if they're doing the same thing.

Also, I'm mainly a guitarist so the fingerpicking comping seems natural but if I try to do anything that sounds like that on an EP sound it's just too busy, or not full enough, and if I add an extra octave below then it sounds too muddy, and so on.

I've tried going (in Dm) - D-d-a-d like "alberti bass" but with octave and 5th. Moving that around to the proper bass notes and playing triad forms above - Dm, F - C - Dm

I actually can kind of "follow" the melody with the top note of the RH triad and that sounds fine to me - I like that.

But the pattern in the LH sounds too busy for that. But if I play broken octaves it doesn't improve it, now if I half the value of the octaves.

Maybe I'm overplaying?

Assuming the guitar is going to do a fingerpicking kind of thing, should I just play on the chord changes or something?

I feel like a lot of people just sit down an play EP as if they would a Piano, but I kind of feel like you can't ALWAYS do that - it doesn't always translate 1 to 1...

KC Island
#2936679 - 07/07/18 09:30 PM Re: Accompaniment/Comping help for Electric Piano [Re: llatham]
bourniplus Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 568
Loc: Québec
IMHO, there are countless possibilities. One would be to just play the triad in the RH -around or right above middle C- and root note in the LH.
If it sounds too "full" or too dull, some tremolo can help to make it sound more airy and light.
"Show me all the blueprints. I'm serious now, show me all the blueprints."
My homemade instruments

#2936681 - 07/07/18 10:25 PM Re: Accompaniment/Comping help for Electric Piano [Re: bourniplus]
Ledbetter Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 310
Loc: California
If there’s a bass player, minimize the notes you might play below the C below Middle C. Play partial chords. Use your ears. Less can be more if you play the right notes.
Kawai KG-2C, Nord Electro 4D, 5D and Lead 2x, Moog Voyager and Little Phatty Stage II, Some Slim Phatties, Roland Lucina, Hohner Piano Melodica, Spacestation V3, pair of QSC 8.2s.

#2936686 - 07/08/18 01:56 AM Re: Accompaniment/Comping help for Electric Piano [Re: Ledbetter]
MathOfInsects Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/04/15
Posts: 3826
Loc: California
EP is a "big" sound. IMO it's best to use your "busy-ness" for very intentional lines and fills, and adopt a rhythmic and harmonic comping approach. I try to avoid those "in between" notes that sound nice on piano and instead use chords and maybe one-note approaches for comping. Any longer melodic lines, I would do as fills. I would not use the "Alberti bass" approach unless you were playing solo and that was your interpretation of a particular song.

Seconding those who say to beware the LH. Again--big sound. I use my LH mostly for rhythmic effect against the RH.

Also, EP has the benefit of that long, wet, sustain, so don't be afraid to soundscape a bit as well. All that sustain makes a nice bed for others to play over.

#2936702 - 07/08/18 06:18 AM Re: Accompaniment/Comping help for Electric Piano [Re: MathOfInsects]
JimboKeys Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/25/11
Posts: 120
Loc: Raleigh NC
Agreed with everything that's been said. I do a solo entertainer thing, mainly (singing and) playing EP and left-hand bass with a drum track. Basically set up a rhythm with block chord hits on the EP, with a few Floyd Cramer type licks occasionally thrown in for fills. No sustain pedal except on ballads. If you're going to be using both hands on the EP, i'd say limit your left hand to just playing the lower notes of close-voiced chords (or has been mentioned, 2-handed rhythm).

- Jimbo
"It’s called an expression pedal for a reason: It’s not a volume pedal." -- Dr. Lonnie Smith

#2937375 - 07/11/18 12:05 PM Re: Accompaniment/Comping help for Electric Piano [Re: JimboKeys]
llatham Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/06/11
Posts: 340
Thanks everyone. You're kind of confirming for me what I've been feeling.

We have a bass player with a 5 string who's not afraid to play those low notes so I don't really need that low D.

In fact, I was kind of tinkering with this even with piano because I feel like I want that low octave. I was going to transpose some things down an octave for lower bass but when playing along with him the upper octave is absolutely fine.

Also if I were playing guitar, those are the notes I'd be playing if it were a "accompaniment lick" on guitar.

I think I really really just need to take a less is more approach with all of this stuff.

It's easy for me to do with a Pad or Organ sound because they'll sustain - but with Piano, Clav, or EP, they tend to bite more on the attack and fade away a little more, so I feel I need to "busy it up" to keep some activity going.

But the guitar and bass are doing plenty of rhythmic stuff so I think I just need to "round out" the sound rather than mush it up with extra stuff.

Plus, easier to play, fewer mistakes to make, win win. I'm not getting paid per note after all!


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