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Keyboards..?


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Is it just me, or has the number of bands with keyboards declined? I haven't seen a keyboardist on stage in donkey's years.

 

Sure, I've seen some bands that have a keyboard ON the stage, but they'll use it here and there for some tinkly intro, and there's no-one playing it full-time.

 

I presume the development of better and more amazing FX pedals has a lot to do with it, but then again I may simply be interested in genres that don't really favour keyboards.

 

Is it just me or have you guys noticed it too? How many of you play regularly with a keyboardist? I know Lee does... but the rest of you?

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I noticed that in listening to Deep Purple again and realized how many of the bands back then had a strong organ sound. That is the sound I love hearing.

 

Then there is JT and Lyrnyrd Skynyrd with their pianos.

Raise your children and spoil your grandchildren. Spoil your children and raise your grandchildren.
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Hey, I'm playing keys as well now for exactly that reason Kramer.

 

I LOVE keys in a band.

 

Hey, if you have a great drummer and bass, add a Strat & Les Paul, then throw in a good B3 or keys....and you've got some KICK ASS music goin' on there my brotha'! :grin: :rawk:

 

I love playing keys. It really inspires me musically and rounds out my outlook on making music in general. :)

 

Randy

"Just play!"
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The last concert I went to was The Black Crowes and Robert Randolph. Both bands had organ/keys. I don't think that is really indicatave of what's going on in general though.

Locally, there are a couple of guys in Seattle that drag Hammonds to blues/jazz gigs in the clubs, but I don't really see any keys in the rock bands. I'm not really out checking out local bands that much, but it seems like there is a lot of heavier music going around now, so I don't think keys are really in the mix.

I think most of the touring pop/R&B singers feature keyboard players in their bands, but that doesn't really count.

 

 

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it seems like there is a lot of heavier music going around now, so I don't think keys are really in the mix.

 

Yeah... I guess you could get some interesting results just by chucking any keyboard through a decent overdrive. I mean, instant heavy sounds or what? :) And of course, some of the older synths have some pretty grungy old sounds, esp. the mono ones.

 

But personally, in my current context, I wouldn't know what to do with a keyboardist.

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Allman Brothers

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Kansas

Foreigner

SRV...some

Deep Purple

Uriah Heep

Tom Petty

Boston...some

All with some great keyboard work.

 

The list goes on...but you're right....I think the trend is going with less keyboard work.

 

Randy

"Just play!"
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I'm really enjoying getting back in to playing the keyboard again, probably due to the rise in popularity of the old analog synths again (My Korg Radius came today). I love getting a good farty bass type sound going for a bit of funkyness. At the other end of the scale I have the NI Akoustic Piano, it'll probably sound better when I switch ove to my new (faster) pc.
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Is it just me, or has the number of bands with keyboards declined? I haven't seen a keyboardist on stage in donkey's years.

 

Sure, I've seen some bands that have a keyboard ON the stage, but they'll use it here and there for some tinkly intro, and there's no-one playing it full-time.

 

I presume the development of better and more amazing FX pedals has a lot to do with it, but then again I may simply be interested in genres that don't really favour keyboards.

 

Is it just me or have you guys noticed it too? How many of you play regularly with a keyboardist? I know Lee does... but the rest of you?

 

Let's face it, the keyboard guys are just smarter in that theory stuff. But, you can't windmill into an open E chord on any keyboard that will be as cool as the same on guitar, no?

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I'm not really out checking out local bands that much, but it seems like there is a lot of heavier music going around now, so I don't think keys are really in the mix.

 

Butif you go back to the late '60s/early '70s...keyboards actually helped define a lot of the heavy rock sound...Deep Purple, Doors, Uriah Heep, Yes...

...though often the primary keyboard was an organ (no real synths back then).

 

I think with most local bands...it's about keeping things light and also about not having too many band members to have to split the gig money with.

So...keys end up being a luxury for most bands unless they really want to focus on keyboard-oriented rock.

And...as a keyboard player...dragging keys around is not something you will want to do for a $50 gig. ;)

 

I did double duty in a couple of bands I was in...guitar and keys...and it really was a drag hauling all that gear around. :(

 

But speaking of organ sounds

Most of the cuts Im working on right utilize my Hammond organ. It provides a very solid bed for the songsand its such a big difference than just having a couple of guitars.

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Key-rigs have gotten lighter, if you can put up with a laptop or something like Muse Receptor (currently doing a tour of the banner ads here) and a midi controller. My K2000 is still way lighter than my Fender Power Chorus though.
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The cool thing about KEYS NOWDAYS is, with today's Work Stations, you can not only add Convincing sounding pianos & organs with a light weight unit...but you can add back ground vocals and most any sound known to man!

I'm getting ready to either pick up the Roland Fantom-X6 or spring a little more dough for the new Korg M3.

With sonic power like that at your hands, the sky's the limit.

 

Just keep the old 6 string stapped on and wail when you need to. :grin:

 

I had a lot of fun the other day playing the guitar parts and the key parts to Abacab at the same time, because they alternate.

Hell, I felt like somebody. :grin:

 

Randy

"Just play!"
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I think you are right, keyboards may be going the way of the dodo bird in local bands. It takes more time and effort to become proficient on a keyboard than a guitar, I think. And, the guitar has become an icon in western culture, more popular than keyboards, I think. Even in churches, you are more likely to find a guitar player leading things than a keyboard guy these days. Parents don't push their kids to learn piano anymore, not like they did in the 40's, 50's and 60's. Shucks, the kid is more likely to enjoy learning the guitar, and they cost a lot less.

 

I think the last really big rock 'n roll keyboard star may have been Jerry Lee Lewis. Almost everyone since him has mostly been part of a band, and didn't have the same sort of star status he did. It's a shame too, because nothing sounds better to my ear than a well-played B-3.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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I think it's a problem at the local level more than at the professional level.

 

It's just easier to get 2 guitarist, a bass player and an drummer. I personally have only been in one band with a keyboard player and I really loved the experience.

 

I'd rather have a keyboard player than a second guitarist really but I don't even bother looking for one. There are guitar players all over it seems.

Rob Robitaille

 

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I saw What Made Milwaukee Famous (the band, not the brew) on Austin City Limits the other night. They had a full-time keyboardist who had what appeared to be a synth-free keyboard rig. For their closing number, the lead singer/guitarist ditched his guitar and they dragged out a Rhodes piano for him to play. They sounded great so long as I wasn't watching them (they were going for that "we ignore our audience and all need a bath because we are artsy" look :rolleyes:).

Mudcat's music on Soundclick

 

"Work hard. Rock hard. Eat hard. Sleep hard. Grow big. Wear glasses if you need 'em."-The Webb Wilder Credo-

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If Kat and I owned a keyboard, it would be in our music. My ultimate band set up would be drummer, guitar, bass, and keys - a 4 piece. I love the dimension they can add. Or maybe even a setup like Warthog said of Rush - a 3 piece with Geddy on keys as appopriate.

 

I wonder if the decline of keys also has a little to do with the fact that we were bombarded with it back in the 80s. I mean - some of that stuff was really cheezy. And I seem to recall the guy from the band Human League making a prediction that keyboards and synths were going to render the guitar obsolete! Hah! And whatever happened to the "keytar"?

 

Regardless of that, I still love keyboards. I guess as always, it is about what you are playing. Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Joel, Bruce Hornsby, Elton John...I have seen some great rock and roll out of these guys with keyboard/piano leading the way. If your music is guitar driven, well a keyboard is going to be in the background and not necessarily used on every song.

 

 

Eric

 

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but then again I may simply be interested in genres that don't really favour keyboards.

 

Is it just me or have you guys noticed it too? How many of you play regularly with a keyboardist? I know Lee does... but the rest of you?

 

I think your music taste probably leans towards being keyboard-less. If it's Hard Rock, I don't mind not hearing keyboards, but I think piano and organ add a lot to the sound.

 

Deep Purple is my fave band; I can live without Blackmore, but if they got rid of Don Airey (Lord has been gone a while), I'd quit listening.

 

I *do* notice the lack of quality players on TV show appearances. Like you said...they don't do much except make noises with it or fill the audio space.

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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I wouldn't know what to do with a keyboardist.

 

I dare you to go to the Keyboard Forum and say that. :grin: :grin:

 

They would agree with him in saying that guitarists have no idea at all what to do with a keyboard player. Guitarist just wanna go :rawk:

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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I wouldn't know what to do with a keyboardist.

 

I dare you to go to the Keyboard Forum and say that. :grin: :grin:

 

They would agree with him in saying that guitarists have no idea at all what to do with a keyboard player. Guitarist just wanna go :rawk:

 

+100 Picker :thu: :grin:

Lynn G
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A recent local music want ad:

 

We would consider the following line up: Lead/Rhythm Guitarist, Keys, Bass and Drums or Lead Guitarist, Rhythm Guitarist, Bass and Drums.

 

While Keys would be very acceptable to them...they also can be done without.

And that's what happens often at the local level.

 

There are a lot of two-guitar bands with 2/3 of their covers originally utilizing keyboards...but, they just strum-through instead. ;)

I remember back in the New Wave days some bar owners being very specific about NOT hiring guitar-only bands because a lot of the current music had keyboards...and they didn't think a guitar band could pull it off as well, since they wanted the covers to sound just like the originals.

 

AlsoI think a lot of the new, younger musicians that DO take up keysare just not as much into MOR pop/rock that you hear in many local clubs.

Keys take up a certain kind of commitment that a lot of younger players may not be into. The guitarwhile not easy to learn/playseems to have more quicker gratification, and its a more focused instrument.where unless you JUST learn pianokeys CAN get quite involved.

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Key-rigs have gotten lighter, if you can put up with a laptop or something like Muse Receptor (currently doing a tour of the banner ads here) and a midi controller. My K2000 is still way lighter than my Fender Power Chorus though.

 

So you're the other guy with a Fender Power Chorus amp! ;)

 

As for keyboards... well so far the conversation has been pretty myopic. The unstated assumption is we're talking strictly of rock bands. I would agree that keyboards have been less visible from what little of new rock I've caught on tv or in local bands I'm aware of in Nashville's thriving rock scene.

 

But in country music keyboards are virtually a given. It seems like every band has a keyboard player. Jazz is somewhat marginalized, but the piano is often the center of attention in most bands. Dance music is virtually all keyboard-centric so if Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Madonna, etc. are your idea of music you're bound to see multiple keyboard players.

 

The area I've seen LOTS of keyboards and piano has been in the singer/songwriter genre. Lots of keyboard players again. Regina Spektor comes to mind, but she's far from alone.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Actually, Robin with her Yamaha (and vocals) was the base of The Geezers, we just naturally followed Her Keys... which made me happy ;)

 

So you guys were Keys-Her and the Geezers?

 

How often do you get a set-up like that? :grin:

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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