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Bassist's guide to the keyboards

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by belzebass, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012
    Hello, fellow earthlings!

    I'm thinking of getting me some keyboard skillz.
    Hell, I've got a keyboard (full-size) laying around, so no financial investment :) And many recent concerts I've been to had keyboard bass, and the players left me strongly impressed and inspired, as well as threatend and insecure :)

    There are a lot of books and courses for keyboards, but I would like some advice on learning bass-centric keyboards.
    My purpose is playing basslines on keyboards (full-size or those smallish 2-octave ones), and, ideally, some chords. Pure accompaniment, no lead or Shopen.

    Has anyone learned piano/synth in that perspective?
    Did you follow a book?
    Did you just play same songs on electric bass and on keyboards, or did you play competely different stuff?
    Any insights/advice/experience?

    So long, and thanks for all the tips!
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I used to play keyboards and bass in one band. I used a Korg polysynth for playing stuff with my right hand and an old Yamaha CS5 monophonic synth for playing the basslines with my left, and had my bass strung around my neck the whole time. For most of our set, I'd switch between bass and keys several times in each song.

    I always found that I needed to play basslines differently on the keys to how I'd play on the bass. It was never just a straightforward swap of the same line from one instrument to the other. There's lines (or styles, or types of feel) that you can do on a bass that you either cannot do or just won't work on a keyboard, and vice versa.

    As far as learning goes, I'd advise you to start with some fairly conventional keyboard learning, either through lessons or some sort of self-tuition. Once you start developing some proficiency, you can think about what sort of things you want to do with it later. Just my opinion FWIW.
  3. I love studying The Doors on keyboard. It really teaches you how to play different lines with your left and right hands, how to mix 3/4 with 4/4 times, and so on.
  4. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012
    So, I'm sure there are people there who took up keyboards after bass.
    Please share your experience: did you do formal training (scales, classical etudes) or did you just dive directly into songs?

    I already have a good grasp on basic music theory like chord progressions and construction, scales etc.

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