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Two hands is sometimes too many...

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Hey everybody! I've been playing piano (well mostly Rhodes) for about nine years now and I would claim to be a decent jazz/funk keyboardist. I'm the keyboardist/singer/primary songwriter for my band and it's getting to be a pretty big band. Right now the lineup is bass/drums, vocals/Rhodes/Melodica, guitar, trombone/backing vocals, sax/backing vocals. My songwriting is pretty haphazard. I don't have a fixed routine when I write, it either just happens or not. So finally, the point of all this is, when I write songs, I'm usually alone at the piano and so I have to provide bass notes with my left hand. However, when I get the band together to learn the songs, I never know what to do with my now useless left hand! I usually end up filling out chords with root/fifth in the left hand or I do root octaves and sometimes if I work it out beforehand I'll do two-handed chords/riffs. Like I said before, my band has gotten to be a good size and I try to make my parts sparce, giving space for the other instruments, but this usually means my two-handed business is too rich and sound-consuming. Any suggestions about better ways to write my own parts in songs would be VERY MUCH appreciated.


Thanks and sorry about not using paragraphs, I tend to write in a stream of thought style.

All I need in life is a bong and a piano.
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You should pop over to the Keyboard Corner. Combined, the posters there have about a billion years of experience doing just what you're doing. I think your question is more about arranging than songwriting, which it sounds like you have down.


IMHO, there is nothing wrong with a simple part. You may miss moving all your fingers, but the total sound of the band is primary. After all, it's the combined sound of the band that is delivering your song to the crowd. No one's out there keeping tabs on whether your left hand is pulling its weight. :cool:



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