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Prioritizing what to play


Nillerbabs

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So, folks!

 

 

Today I felt like putting on a CD and playing some synth on it. Playing along I suddenly realized that the track featured a wonderful clav, sweet rhodes, some nice hammond and synth too.

My friends and I have talked about covering some of the tunes from this particular album, and now I'm sitting here trying to cut out the least important keyboard parts, as unfortuneately I don't have 5 hands. This got me wondering, how and what do you guys prioritize in such situations?

 

 

Niels :wave:

 

 

BTW, the tune is "Money, Money, Money" from Nils Landgren's "Funky Abba" album - highly recommended!

When in doubt, superimpose pentatonics.
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I always give priority to the melody lines -if the keys play melody- or the very distinguish keyboard licks (Superstition=clavinet and so on). Apart of this, there's always what you wanna play: after all you play also for your amusement, not only for the money. So if you're a hammond guy you'll naturally lean towards the hammond sounds, a pianist will prefer the pianistic thing and so on. I always give more to hammond and rhodes sounds. When there's double bass i use acoustic piano as much as a can.

BTW Niels Landgren is one of my favs!

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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Great question! If I accept the fact I'm not duplicating in tribute fashion....I go my own route. All depends on your scenario. With my current main band, I'm always trying to emphasize making the song our own. A lot of times I find myself driving the keys towards the backup vocals that might not be getting covered.

 

On another note, what do you do if your covering a song that didn't originally have any keys at all? I actually probably enjoy those the most as it lends to being creative. Just don't get overly busy or the guitarist will get confused ;-)

Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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I look for "Signature Licks". They could be something as small as the decending 6th run by Billy Powell on "Sweet Home Alabama".

 

Or, as mentioned above, as large as Stevie's clav.

 

For instance, I'll play the 8th note piano chords with the left hand while doing the horn lines with the right on Joe Cocker's version of "You Can Leave Your Hat On".

 

What ever part jumps out at you as a defining musical phrase, concentrate on that.

"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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Good question - German Keyboard mag had a good article a while ago where an arranger took apart Ain't Nobody into signature parts (that the audience will expect) and filler lines that other instruments might cover (e.g. a single note clav or string line that a guitarist might pick up). That's if authenticity is your goal.

With the Landgren stuff (we played Voulez Vous and Summer Night City from the same album) I would focus on Rhodes and Clav, not really copying them verbatim but trying to play "in the same spirit".

"You'll never be as good as you could have been, but you can always be better than you are." - MoKen
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Always depends on the function of each part (rhythmic, harmonic, melodic, etc.) and the instrumentation of your band. It also depends if your covering the song or re-arranging/reharmonizing or doing your own take.

 

Hard to say without knowing the song or what your band lineup is.

 

As general rules of thumb,

 

clav parts are less important because they're in the same freq range as guitars, and guitarist can often either cover those parts or fill the space they take up. In certain cases (like superstition for example) the clav is driving the whole song so you've gotta play it.

 

If the song is rich in harmony with many extentions and chormaticism, piano/rhodes/wurly/organ become essential in supplying all the proper voice leading to move the song forward harmonically.

 

Solo string/synth lines are always important if you can. But if your hands are already full those could always be played by another instrument (guitar/sax/brass/vocal).

 

Background pads and atmospheric stuff is always at the bottom of the list of priorities, because even if you are able to play them, chances are they won't be heard in a live context.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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Always depends on the function of each part (rhythmic, harmonic, melodic, etc.) and the instrumentation of your band. It also depends if your covering the song or re-arranging/reharmonizing or doing your own take.

 

Hard to say without knowing the song or what your band lineup is.

 

As general rules of thumb,

 

clav parts are less important because they're in the same freq range as guitars, and guitarist can often either cover those parts or fill the space they take up. In certain cases (like superstition for example) the clav is driving the whole song so you've gotta play it.

 

If the song is rich in harmony with many extentions and chormaticism, piano/rhodes/wurly/organ become essential in supplying all the proper voice leading to move the song forward harmonically.

 

Solo string/synth lines are always important if you can. But if your hands are already full those could always be played by another instrument (guitar/sax/brass/vocal).

 

Background pads and atmospheric stuff is always at the bottom of the list of priorities, because even if you are able to play them, chances are they won't be heard in a live context.

 

+10000 ... that the way I approach the song.

SK2 /w Mini Vent / XK3 Pro System /w 142 Leslie, Roland D70, Korg SP250 B3 1959 (retired) , Porta B (retired), XB2 (retired)

 

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