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what's your favorite part about playing keyboards


CP

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With me it used to be just being able to play a simple song. Now its being able to arrange a song out of a fake book, using different voicings. Hopefully, the next step would be being able to compose my own songs.
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For me, it means I'll always be able to find work. Whether it's a duo or a 10-piece band, almost always one of them has to be a keyboardist. (unless they're playing with tracks, in which case why even bother having a band?)

 

And for creative work, being a keyboardist enables me to try out so many different arrangement ideas before committing to a recording. Sometimes a little trial and error can lead to some pleasant surprises! :)

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Steve

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Great question. For me, it's the immediacy in the translation of your thoughts into music, and the possibility to express a complete musical idea, bass, harmony, melody, etc.

I mean, everything is right here, in front of our eyes! It's easier to follow your inner ear that way. Not by chance most great composers played and worked at the piano.

The keyboard can be misleading sometimes: Beethoven used to say that "the piano leads to disgusting ideas"! But, ehm, he was one of the greatest pianists in history himself... What he probably meant is, if you follow what your hands, as opposed to your ear, dictate, you're bound to end up with endless cliches - but this is probably true of any instrument.

After 30 years of piano and keyboard playing, I'm happy as ever to have chosen the right instrument. Most good piano and keyboard players I know are also composers and arrangers as well - you couldn't say that about most other instrumentalists.

 

marino

 

[ 10-31-2001: Message edited by: marino ]

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i know that , like steve, i am good at it - probably the only thing i'm really good at. the thing i love the most is playing on stage and really getting into the music - jumping, playing to the crowd. and one day i'm gonna be a rock star so i'm getting used to it.
"Consider how much coffee you're drinking - it's probably not enough."
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for me it would be the experimentation of discovering new ways to play. trying out wierd chord changes and impossible arpeggios. for me having fun with music and enjoying the experience of playing is what makes my day. trying to do a trance dance set live without any prelooped drum tracks,doing an entire set with one sound or sample,etc... :D
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god where do i start??? basically every thing everyone has said so far (except for me being a rock star...think im a bit old for that!!!)...but i think the greatest buzz i get is that feeling when you come across a piece or a song and it just seems impossible and feels like youll never be able to play...but piece by piece you work at it...and then one day...BANG youve got it!!!! sure this could be applied to any instrument but when its a Chopin piece or a Herbie solo,DAMN its a great buzz when you get it!!!!!
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I play gtr, drums, bass, etc. so playing keys sorta rounds me out as a musician. I love being able to walk into a situation and pick up whatever instrument isn't already being played, and contribute musically.

 

My fave is playing the Hammond, particularly a well-timed smear or staccato riff.... one guitarist I played with last year said it was the best session he'd ever played, and it was because of my Hammond playing! That was quite a compliment :) I can't wait til I actually learn to play the damn thing LOL

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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After a stressful day at work I go home, put on the headphones, load up my best piano sound, and just play. I dont play a song. I dont play along with the sequencer. As someone above said, I play my emotion.
This post edited for speling.
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I'm an architect by day... a typical project of mine takes 2 or more years from concept to move-in... a lot gets modified or lost along the way. When I play the keyboard, I like the immediacy of improvisation, going from inspiration to creation in milliseconds... as fast as you can imagine it, you can make the sound. I also like that (since it's not my day job) there's very little downside to taking risk in music. Make a 'mistake' in music, and you get a little embarassed for a moment in time. Make a mistake on a building, and the ugliness, or costliness (or god forbid, endangerment of life), has more 'permenance'.

 

I particularly like the keyboard because it has an elegant presentation of underlying structure of the sound. The black-and white keys that form the scale are obvious, and makes it easy to discern chord structure, etc. In contrast, a six-string guitar is like looking at six 'keyboards' at the same time; it's good for serendipitous discoveries (such as stumbling upon unusual chords), but it's difficult to see the underlying reason as to why it works when you're working with 6 different 'scales'. Does that make sense?

Nord Stage 88, Roland XP80, Barbetta Amps, and a bunch of stuff gathering dust in the corner.
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I have to agree with those who pointed out that music theory is more obviously laid out in your hands with a keyboard than with anything else (except a Stick, perhaps). How convenient for writing, arranging, and serendipitously discovering new mistakes that turn into cool hooks.

 

The other thing I really love about playing keys is being able to provide such a wide variety of sounds. Tony Banks of Genesis is a big influence to me in this regard. I love playing an instrument that do single line melodies, busy accompaniment, lush pads, swelling brass, ringing percussion, high-tech bleeps, crisp organ notes, etc., and I find it to be great fun to mix 'em up in the same song. No other instrument does as much: drums just crisply boom or sustainedly sizzle, bass just plays low or a mid-low melody or somewhat-low chords, guitar can't span the pitch and dynamics range of keys except in the hands of a virtuoso (while it's easy on keys).

 

Chris

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Originally posted by marino:

Great question. For me, it's the immediacy in the translation of your thoughts into music, and the possibility to express a complete musical idea, bass, harmony, melody, etc.

I mean, everything is right here, in front of our eyes! It's easier to follow your inner ear that way. Not by chance most great composers played and worked at the piano.

. . ."

marino

 

[ 10-31-2001: Message edited by: marino ]

 

Ditto.

 

I would add that I cannot think of a more versatile instrument to play and experiment with, even for parts that end up performed on other instruments.

 

Albert

 

[ 11-01-2001: Message edited by: tuttorney ]

Gear: Yamaha MODX8, Mojo 61, NS2 73, C. Bechstein baby grand.

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While I think that the best reason to be into anything is what it can do musically, I suspect that the origins of being into keyboards have to do with my having a serious technology fetish. As a young kid, before I even knew what a synthesizer was, I was drawing pictures of things with piano keyboards on them that otherwise resembled a bridge station from the starship Enterprise. This led to my folks, who were all musical and insisted that I practice piano, knuckling under and buying an organ when I was eight, in the hopes that I'd practice more if I could play something with electronic controls on it. I judged organs by the number of blinking lights on them, and was transfixed by buttons that illuminated when you pressed them. But we compromised... my grandfather, a swing trumpeter back in the day, said "Nothing but a Hammond and Leslie is going in this house. The rest are all tinny-sounding." Fewer blinking lights than I wanted, but when I got a little older, I found it remarkably easy to make it sound just like the tones on my favorite Santana albums.

 

So the best thing about keyboards for me is still the way they fire the imagination. A rack of synths still feels like the helm of a starship than can take me anywhere, and since (partially) growing up, I've learned to appreciate the piano. It's like that seemingly primitive edifice found on an alien planet that turns out to be an incredible source of power.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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Chicks.

 

no wait, that's guitar ....

 

never mind.

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong: James Bryce
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Hmm. Well, I WISH that I could play keyboards. ;)

 

My favorite thing about USING keyboards (in tandem with a computer) is being able to create complex arrangements in real time. I can't begin to imagine what my life would be like without this ability. (Thank you, electronic music engineers!)

 

Luckily, as a bassist, I've got the chick thing covered. ;)

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