Anyone doing keyboard-heavy songs with no keys?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by tbirdsp, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I'm in a cover band with a female vocalist. We recently re-formed the band with just one (versatile) guitarist, bass, and drums (+ the singer). Trying to do stuff like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. I have been using a EHX Bass Microsynth to get some synth bass. I just bought a used Alesis Micron synth so I may actually play keyboard bass on some stuff. So far I think we sound pretty good on these songs.

    The singer can play a little keys, but I would hate to have her stuck behind a keyboard - she is a great front person and knows how to work the crowd.

    Anyone have any strategies and/or success stories doing this?
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    Groom Lake, NV
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    In my last band, the rhythm guitarist also played synth guitar, so we could get piano, strings, B3, and horns that actually sound half-way decent.
  3. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    I think getting the notes right is a lot more important than having a sound that's synthy, but synthy sounds are great if you can get them too, whether from keys or guitar-driven synth or effects or sequences. There's a lot of automation in tracks these days too, gradually rising filter cutoffs and stuff like that, so that synth tones are not static. You could use an expression pedal for a lot of that.

    These days I have sequences, but just for the hell of it we sometimes run a guitar through trance gates and stuff. I think I should start running the bass through the computer, too, so we can sidechain it to the kick or just fake a sidechain with volume automation.

    This thread sure brings back annoying memories, though, of having to play the accordion part from "Danza Kuduro" or synth melody from "No Limit" or sax loop from "Mr. Saxobeat" on DB because nobody else in the band had learned them yet. The audience didn't seem to mind, but...
  4. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    I do. I play bass/MD for some Rap HipHop & R&B in my area..

    Sometimes I use sequence & Sample from my MacBook,
    Speaking Bass,..sometime I use keyboard like you..
    Speaking Bass Guitar,.. I use Octaver and some effect or trigger bass sound from my MacBook (rarely)..

    I always thinking about some Keyboard Pedal controller, (Geddy Lee/Rush way LOL)..but I never have nor try one..

    How about something like Roland AX-Synth Keyboard for her?

    Attached Files:

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  6. Lobomov


    Aug 2, 2013
    She does have to be stuck behind a keyboard. place a small one sideways to her right and let her use it for intros and solos ... she can choose whether to play it facing the audience or just play the intro/whatever and then let go of keyboard and embrace the audience

    Just a thought
  7. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    True, and basic two-octave MIDI controllers are tiny. They could even be mounted to the side of a mic stand.
  8. Groove Doctor

    Groove Doctor

    Feb 23, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Excellent idea. You could share a keyboard, one at a time.

    Mostly backing tracks for one band I'm in.... 20 of the 24 tunes for a Tribute Show have backing tracks, it really helps us get an authentic sound. Also has extra harmonies & acoustic gtr tracks. People expect a certain sound with tribute shows. Means more $ per player.

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