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Nice Change of Pace


J. Dan

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So my buddy calls me up this weekend looking for a last minute Keyboard player for his church. I've done it a few other times when he needed me either for keys or bass, but it's been a while. So I said sure, shoot me over the chord charts. So I played this morning. Not really my bag of chips, but there were a few things that were very refreshing compared to my normal gig:

 

1) Used 3 patches for 6 songs (piano, organ, pad).... as opposed to having a bazillion patches prearranged in various splits and layers on multiple keyboards.

2) Walk in, plop down one keyboard, plug it in, turn it on, and play... as opposed to a 2-tier stand with 2 keyboards, a rack, interconnecting snakes, my guitar, my sax, vocal mic, sound check, put out T-shirts, stickers, temp tatoos, email list, load set list, 1hr later, ready to play.

3) Didn't have to learn anything note for note. Follow the chord charts, just kind of jam along, watch the director for cues... as opposed to learning every song exactly like the CD.

 

I like the end result of my regular gig better, but this reminded me how much fun (and simple) it can be to just show up and play.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Tru dat, Dan. My regular gig seems to keep getting complicated. My own fault, I keep dreaming up new ways to integrate more patches and splits and cool Mainstage can do that and man if I just had Omnipshere and...

 

Then I jammed w/ a kicking band with a primary KB player - guitar player is ex-James Brown, drummer spent time playing w/ George Duke. And all I brought was my Kawai MP4 - piano, rhodes, a little clav. Had the greatest time, and they liked having the second KB so much they've invited me to join. What's the Brian Eno vibe? Sometimes the limitation is the strength (not his words, my paraphrase).

..
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Limitation is the strength! So true! I did a outdoor gig yesterday in a nearby park. It was supposed to be a low key gig so I just grabbed my Kurzweil SP76 and an old Korg Symphony module (1988) I got at a computer flea market last year for $20. Does decent strings, brass and pipe organ (and killer choir which I didn't use). So going rather old/low tech!

 

So I had basically just 6 sounds I used: piano, electric piano and organ on the Kurz; strings (layered with the piano), brass and pipe organ on the Korg. Mostly played a lot of piano bringing in strings with the controller pedal on occasion.

 

Had a blast focusing more on playing than on all the complexities I normally have and like Dan and Tim normally deal with. Fantastic time, people loved us and I may just do this a lot more often!

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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Aethellis

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I had a band for a while, and dealt with a little of the band stuff, trying to get gigs, promote it, etc. (not very much before we broke up, mind you, just enough to know what all that's about).

 

Late last year and early this year I did a few gigs with another band as a hired gun. It was really nice to just focus on playing and let the bandleader deal with the promotion, the gigs, the violin players*, etc. My gear was pretty minimal too, just the Electro and pedals and such.

 

*The drummer brought in two violin players at the bandleader's request, but turns out one didn't like the other one, and when she found out about the second one, she pouted the entire rehearsal, never came back, and stopped taking the drummer's calls. How professional. :P

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Last one year in many cases i try to use my Nord Stage Compact (a Macbook when absolute needed...) and nothing more. And i have a blast. It's nice to have everything under my fingers, set up in a minute and focus on my performance.
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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There's a lot to be said for those hired gun gigs. I got the call to cover the keyboard chair for a Denver based variety/country band earlier this month. Turns out that their regular keyboard player was seriously injured at a gig July 4th, and needed a sub for, at least, the middle two weekends of July.

 

I agree: It's great to be able to focus on playing. In one of my other bands, I often have to cover - on the fly - the unofficial MD slot: pulling together requests in a variety of styles, i.e. - sometimes kicking LH bass, playing rhythm guitar intros (that guitar bank in the Motif XS rack really comes in handy), conducting a variety of cues, etc. (The band is a group of veteran roots rockers who often get stuck on some of the variety tunes requested; Thankfully the drummer is a 'jack of all trades').

 

On the other hand, the hired gun gig was a dream: For most of the night I played piano and Wurli on my S90ES, and finally got to stretch out on my XK-1. Knew many of the tunes; had impeccable charts for the rest - thanks to the bandleader. It was great to be able to just play for a change...

 

 

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That's one of the things I like about my current band. It's all about having fun with the music. We don't do anything note-for-note. Every time we play a song, it's a bit different. We never know what we're going to play until we start the song. We'll add a new song or two at just about every gig. Plus, we've never rehearsed.

 

We've been together since February, and have played 25 gigs, with 25 more booked through the rest of the year. My wife is starting to complain that I'm never home on the weekends, because I'm gigging.

 

We've become one of the more popular bands in the area, because every gig is fresh. I hate bands that, while they may play absolutely wonderfully, you can set your watch be what song they're playing, and they sound exactly the same every night.

Might as well just listen to the radio.

 

 

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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I have the best of both worlds. One band where things are worked out pretty tightly, lots of patches, lots of keyboards. The other one is a jam band and we've never learned anything note for note. We haven't practiced in 10 years either. For that one, grab the Electro, put in the ear plugs, and crank it up.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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A singer I work with a lot in my band (whose husband is also a great guitarist and singer, among many other things) asked me to go over on Sunday to play some stuff for her mother's 60th birthday party.

 

I did a bit of solo stuff, then Cath and I did some of our duo repertoire, then Scott got out his guitar and I sat in on some Police, Stevie and Dylan numbers. The PA was aged and crappy but it was great fun and it made me appreciate once more the versatility and sheer handiness of my Stage 76, to the point where I'm seriously reconsidering my plans to sell it.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I got the call to cover the keyboard chair for a Denver based variety/country band earlier this month. Turns out that their regular keyboard player was seriously injured at a gig July 4th, and needed a sub for, at least, the middle two weekends of July.
The first thing I'd want to know is, how did he get injured at a gig and is there any risk of that happening to me if I sit in? ;)

 

(That's mostly a joke, but now that I reread it, since you mentioned it was at a 4th July gig, maybe you don't have to worry about that until the next gig with fireworks or firearms)

 

it was great fun and it made me appreciate once more the versatility and sheer handiness of my Stage 76, to the point where I'm seriously reconsidering my plans to sell it.
Aidan, you're starting to remind me of some other members of this forum. :)

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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