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So I got my first gig as a keyboardist


Magpel

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One-shot gig, short set of tunes by a ethereal guitarist/songwriter type. His reference points are Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, The Cure, etc. Just thought I'd share the news.

 

It's kind of a comedy, me on keyboards. I'll be playing guitar on 50% of the tunes, keyboard on 50%. I went out and bought a gig bag for my Z1 and a sturdy stand just for this occasion. Mostly I'll just be laying down luxurious pads. I'm doing a lot of preparatory programming, and making sure that every patch I use has some "freak out" options so I can send the Z1 into spasms, given the need or opportunity.

 

My biggest concern is that I'm going to look foolish. I think I'm going to stand. And maybe get a Flock of Seagulls haircut for the ocassion.

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Have fun. We all know you will be great.

 

One tip while you are programming, check all your patches for volume. Try to make it consistant. Large variances in volume may be one of the biggest headachs when playing your first gigs.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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Thanks all! Just for context, I'm hardly new to gigging. I'm almost 40, for pete's sake, and have played guitar in numerous original bands, oftentimes as the principal writer and (yikes!) singer. I've also been noodling of keys in my studio for nigh 15 years. But this is, I think, my first official gig as a "keyboard player." Sorry, I just can't keep the quotes off. I don't think of myself that way and my fear is that the audience own't either! Thanks for the support, you friendly bunch of keyboard-type guys.
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I used to be in the EXACT same position as you; a guitarist who eventually went to the keys. I had the same mindset too, but as long as you look confident in what you're doing, the audience won't know the difference. Just because you don't view yourself as a "keyboard player", it doesn't mean that the audience won't. You're the guy at the keyboards, thus you're the keyboard player. Trust me it won't be hard to fool 'em. :D:D:D
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Congrats John!

 

You might miss standing up.

Somebody might kick the power cord.

The Z1 might freak out.

Or you might have a good time and blow the audience away.

 

I'm betting on the last one.

 

All the best,

 

Jerry

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Hey John, I'm sure you'll do a great job. Think of yourself as a musician first and as a guitarist or keyboard player second, and you'll realize that you're right where you belong!

 

Obviously you put a lot of thought into your posts, and you're putting a lot of thought into your keyboard patches as well. I'm sure you, of all people, will be prepared.

 

Playing pads is a good way to ease you into things. The audience will be less focussed on what you'll be playing; and if you hit a wrong note no one will notice unless you hold it down for awhile (I'm presuming your pads will have a slower attack than, say, a guitar would). The Z1 is a good choice too! :thu:

Enthusiasm powers the world.

 

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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Yes, Geoff, there is safety in pads! Aesthetically, I'm anti-pad! My own music is extremely linear, but the fellow I'm working with (a fellow by the name of Jonny Wang, half-American, half Taiwanese, raised in Amsterdam), his music screams for pad support, and, while his essential chord progressions are fairly simple, he uses all kinds of ninths and sevenths and 13ths and tritones, so there aren't an awful lot of baldly "wrong" notes. It should be a ton o' fun. The gig is on the 25th, and I've got an awful lot of part learning to do before then.

 

*Incidental aside* On guitar I'm exrememly quick study. I commit arrangements, even compex onces, to memory very quickly, even though (or because?)I can't read well. On keborads, I'm finding it's a different story. Lack of established muscle memory pathways, I guess.

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Not quite in the same boat (I play bass instead of guitar). I really look forward to the day when I can make this same post.

 

Break a leg!

 

RobT

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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This gig is rapidly turning into a nightmare. Johnny Wang and I have been rehearsing his songs a couple of nights a week, but the bass player and drummer keep blowing us off. The gig is Thursday night and we have yet to play as an ensemble. I don't know what these guys are thinking. Johnny's songs ain't exactly Proud Mary or All Along the Watchtoer. They're full of structural anomalies and asymmetries. Alpha-leo type that I can be, I have to keep reminding myself that it is not my gig. I'll be prepared. But frankly, this will be my first time playing out in about 2 years, and my first time ever as part-time keyboardist. I'm afraid it's going ot be a ramshackle and bush league affair. If we were playing loose and flexible tunes, that can be cool. Butthese are complex tunes that are going to beplayed poorly, and there's no shabby charm in that.

 

Rant off.

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John, what a drag! It's tough when you're a professional and you're stuck with flakes! In LA, NYC, or Nashville, you can just fire 'em and there'll be 100 more waiting to take their place. However in Phoenix, where I first worked professionally, and probably in New Paltz and most of the world, you've gotta suffer through the flaky ones if they're talented!

 

Best of luck,

 

Geoff

Enthusiasm powers the world.

 

Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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Post Mortem

 

Well, the gig was pretty abysmal, but I had a good enough time anyway. Hell, I knew my parts. Two of the 12 songs actually went well...

 

The Bass player was inexcusably unprepared and that kind of spoiled things a bit. He's not a great ear player to begin with and, for rock songs, these were tough ones and with often asymmetrical stuctures and odd changes, so you can imagine the kind of rootless, harmonic chaos that afflicted most of the tunes. The drummer, a really fine and inspired "modern rock" drummer, was a bit bombastic and over-dramatic, probably attemtping to compensate for the bass problem. He rode roughshod over the lilting prettiness in Johnny Wang's songs. You know the story with dynamics in a small club. You can't go up if you're starting at the top.

 

Stage sound sucked terribly. I had about four or five guitar solos over the course of the set, and by the third I just caved and went for the squalls of notes-and-noise thing 'cause I just couldn't hear myself.

 

The Z1 acquitted itself well, as far as I could hear. I used the Wurli patch on a couple of tunes and it seemed to sound rich and full. Cool. And I didn't blunder much on the keyboard parts. I did have to fall back on my "freak out" programs at a couple points, and the audience really seemed to perk up when I sent the Z1 careening off into mayhem. In this guitar-driven town, you don't see a lot of synths in the clubs.

 

Que Sera. It's true, I haven't played out in a while and this was hardly the splendiferous return to stage life I would have hoped for, but it's under the bridge and under the belt, and I actually got paid pretty well, which I have a hard time understanding. I guess the small crowd drank an inordinately large volume to help deal with the sonic pummelling we were dishing out.

 

Thanks for your support all along, and see you at Carnegie Hall...

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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  • 1 month later...

Addendum: two weeks ago, I did another show with this band, with a different rhythm section that actually knew the changes. You'd be surprised what a difference that makes. ;) It was everything the first gig was not -- reasonable volume that provided for excellent dynamics, a responsive ensemble that was listening to each other. I was even comfrtable enough with the sound and interplay to improvise some vocal harmonies. That's a good sign. Small crowd, but genuinely responsive--they could really hear Johnny's songs coming through this time, and they are nice songs.

 

Don't know what the future is for this little group. It ain't up to me, but I did want to report that the story had a happy ending (should this be the end...)

 

Also, I like the Z1 more and more as a live tool. I'm surprised how much the fluidity of its synth sounds cuts through live, and I'm continually impressed by the sound and playablility of its Wurli model.

 

John

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Originally posted by ktempo7of9@aol.com:

Congrats Magpel. You'll do just fine. I can tell that you're really nervous about this gig because your posts are quite lengthy. :D

 

Just kidding :P Break a leg, arm, neck, skull... :thu:

Thanks. No, my posts are lengthy because I'm a wordy mofo if ever there was one. In a past life, I must have been paid per word, like Tolstoy and Dosteyevsky.
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