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Technique confusion


Phred

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I had a gig on the weekend and I conga slapped my piano patch during a solo. The resulting sound scared me and my band mates half to death. I chalked this up to something that I call technique confusion. As keyboard players we have to know how to emulate many different instruments, each with their own techniques. (Eg: Conga slaps/glissandos on Hammond, pitch bend/vibrato on Brass patches, dynamic touch response on Piano, playing monophonic lead patches etc...)

 

Do you ever get confused by it all and end up trying to conga slap a piano, pitch bend a Rhodes, or play a chord on a monophonic patch?

 

If so, do you have any advice for those of us who have also had this problem? For me it rarely happens, but I have noticed it before in solos (ie: parts that I improvise vs play the same every time). I also wonder why it doesnt happen more often than it does

 

Share your thoughts...

I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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Lots of people pitch bend Rhodes patches, for some reason unbeknownst to me (I saw the fantastic Geoff Keezer do it on some YouTube video for the Locke/Keezer group). Ray Charles used to pitch bend Rhodes, vibes and other not-usually-bent patches. JT Thomas, keyboardist with Bruce Hornsby, has run his organ through a wah pedal for years, which while not necessarily confused technique, is rather on the unorthodox side.

 

I kind of feel like if players confuse idiomatic techniques for different patches, it's either due to their lack of interaction with the music and sound at hand, or their lack of knowledge of the vocabularies of each instrument/sound. I think a strong instance of the former can make up for any shortcomings of the latter - if the player's really listening to what's going on around them, and really gets into the patch they're using (or has the foresight to change the patch if it's not working), nothing atrociously wrong should occur.

 

David

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Like kanker, the sound I'm playing often informs my technique. But not always.

 

Two things I catch myself doing:

 

1. Playing "monophonic synth" style on an organ solo. Whoops, that didn't work so well. :D

 

2. Doing Hammond-style left-hand slapping while comping on a piano or Rhodes patch. I can actually do that for half a song before I catch myself. :rolleyes: Especially if I'm not smearing, just slapping. The smears are a dead giveaway though.

 

--Dave

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I wants to get funked up.

 

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I had a gig on the weekend and I conga slapped my piano patch during a solo.
I believe you can just get off with a warning this time. If you continue this manner of playing the Jazz Police will certainly fine you.

 

(I'm not 100 percent sure but repeated infractions could result in a punishment of having to play 15 minutes on a job using a bagpipe patch. It's rarely enforced though, this is just a word to the wise.)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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:D

 

Kanker, I agree that *most* of the time the sound fills in my technique. I (like most keyboard players) seem to adapt to the playing style required of the particular patch. However rarely I have gotten confused and play a cool technique on exactly the wrong instrument.

 

Dave Horne, Just so I am clear - the conga slap on the piano was quite definately an accident... :D I will make sure not to let it happen again, not even sure that my rig can do a bagpipe patch.... :)

 

Dave Pierce, The left hand conga slap was exactly what I did - nice and loud. Sounded like I knocked over a piano :)

I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I had a gig on the weekend and I conga slapped my piano patch during a solo.
I believe you can just get off with a warning this time. If you continue this manner of playing the Jazz Police will certainly fine you.

Which brings us to the next question: Is Cecil Taylor a jazz pianist?

 

:D:D

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Marino, I think Dick Hyman answered something, perhaps not that question on his A Child Is Born album. On that album Dick Hyman plays A Child Is Born in the style of other pianists. After he 'did' Cecil Taylor he slammed down the keyboard cover very hard.

 

Boy, I could listen to Cecil Taylor twenty-four hours a day, ... but I'm not going to. :D

 

Perhaps Legatoboy could provide insights into CT's mind. (Just kidding.)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Technique confusion ... just be careful not to conga slap your girlfriend at a climactic moment ... unless, of course, she likes that kind of thing.

 

Since I don't play congas I've never conga-slapped the keyboard. I play guitar, but I've never caught myself trying to fingerpick or strum a piano (except when playing Take a Pebble, but I need help with that). Or vice versa.

 

But it sounds just like the kind of damn fool thing I'd find myself saying "DOH!" after doing, so I bet I have done something like that some time or other.

 

I guess the main thing I do is after a couple too many beers, playing a Rhodes patch that doesn't quite bark, hitting those keys like I used to on my Rhodes. Result: sore thumb, broken keys. Fortunately, when the keys "break" on my Ensoniq (Fatar), they keep working just fine, but they "clack" at the bottom.

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Originally posted by Phred:

Do you ever get confused by it all and end up trying to conga slap a piano, pitch bend a Rhodes, or play a chord on a monophonic patch?

 

If so, do you have any advice for those of us who have also had this problem? For me it rarely happens, but I have noticed it before in solos (ie: parts that I improvise vs play the same every time). I also wonder why it doesnt happen more often than it does

 

Share your thoughts...

personnaly i find i have to limit myself to 1/2 a joint on break....
"style is determined not by what you can play but what you cant...." dave brubeck
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Somtimes technique confusion results in an innovative trick you can use. Taste is relative and keyboards/synths are developing new vocabulary all the time. The first time someone slapped a B3 it likely sounded "wrong" to someone. Until it started sounding right. No'm sayin? ;)

 

Jerry

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Tru dat!

 

Rules are made to be broken. I mean, Clapton played a Les Paul thru marshall stacks and that was unheard of back in the day. And how about slide guitar? I'm pretty sure that was an unconventional technique or summat.

 

Cydonia: I dunno... I maybe onto something with my semitone bending in Chopin's Nocturne in Cm ;) it makes it kinda spacey.

 

j/k j/k.

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I have scared the band and myself by leaving a horn patch on when it should be an organ. The results can plast you away when your looking for a smooth sultry sound.

 

I have also changed patches on my RD700 while playing a lead. When that rocking piano turns into a guitar sound or often the Clav it just takes the wind out of me as I scramble to regain the piano.

 

Never remember playing the wrong style i.e organ slaps on piano. Though I can't say I have good style with either.

Jimmy

 

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Great Gig in the Sky (last song on first side of Dark Side of the Moon) used a pitch bend on the end of the last piano chord. I always kinda liked that, and playing that tune for years on my CP70, at the end I always felt like grabbing the piano somewhere and pulling to make that happen. Of course, at 6'1" and 140 lbs, not much hope of my really having any effect. ;)

 

For some reason the CD remasters didn't include that detail.

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Originally posted by learjeff:

Great Gig in the Sky (last song on first side of Dark Side of the Moon) used a pitch bend on the end of the last piano chord. I always kinda liked that, and playing that tune for years on my CP70, at the end I always felt like grabbing the piano somewhere and pulling to make that happen. Of course, at 6'1" and 140 lbs, not much hope of my really having any effect. ;)

 

For some reason the CD remasters didn't include that detail.

That always sound to me like the tape speeding up, sounded pretty cool, I thought. And quite possible to achieve on your modern rompler piano.

 

And why is it so punishable by death to use a pitch bend on a piano? I've used an autowah on a piano for god sake, because it sounded groovy! Well ok, afterward people from the crowd asked me what the hell I was doing to piano sound...it amused me though, and that's what it's all about, isn't it?

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Originally posted by Clifton:

And why is it so punishable by death to use a pitch bend on a piano?

For that Pink Floyd piece, it's OK since it's not a real pitch bend done at the synth, it was done with the recording. :evil:

 

:D

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Originally posted by kanker, apparently:

What if you're trying to simulate the sound of a real piano being tuned?

Well, then you'd have to layer 3 piano patches, and disable pitch bend on 2 of the layers, then pitch bend only while playing single notes.

 

Unless, of course, you're attempting to recreate the sound of 4 piano tuners all tuning the same piano simultaneously by the same amount at the same time... :freak::cool:

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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Originally posted by kanker, apparently:

What if you're trying to simulate the sound of a real piano being tuned?

Well, then you'd have to layer 3 piano patches, and disable pitch bend on 2 of the layers, then pitch bend only while playing single notes.

 

Unless, of course, you're attempting to recreate the sound of 4 piano tuners all tuning the same piano simultaneously by the same amount at the same time... :freak::cool:

Exactly. I was thinking of the sound of a performance art piece, just without the performance art. I guess.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Originally posted by kanker, apparently:

Exactly. I was thinking of the sound of a performance art piece, just without the performance art. I guess.

Hmmm... call it 4'33" Part II and you're onto something... ;)
Yeah. Now I just gotta figure out how to get the premiere to happen up there In Toronto at Zanzibar. :D
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Originally posted by Sven Golly:

Originally posted by kanker, apparently:

Yeah. Now I just gotta figure out how to get the premiere to happen up there In Toronto at Zanzibar. :D

:eek:

 

Damn... let me make some calls... :thu:

Dial away man, dial away. Spent a pleasant hour or two there earlier this year back in July. No cover, no minimum, no clothes. Gotta love it.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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