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do you play keyboards too?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Chad Michael, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. hey kids,

    i'm revved up to do some keyboards with my band NRG.

    i have an old ensoniq esq-1, like 14 yo technology, but it works. i'll start out with some easy cheese like crue intro to 'home sweet home' (switch to bass after intro) and the 6 chords of 'werewolves of london' (someone else can paly bass on that song,,,,, all 4 notes.....)

    i hope my bass playing isn't compromised by this 'distraction' of playing keys, but i have to try it!!!! the guys in the band are all for it as well.

    anyone else do keys as well as bass in your cover band? any advice to a newbie? :confused: :confused: :confused:
  2. :confused:

    either no one plays keyboards and bass, or no one wants to talk about it.

    you won't spoil my fun.

    did i just break the 'ye fuggin HA' code of bassplayer ethics,

    never EVER touch a keyboard....

  3. Nails


    Jun 4, 2000
    Austin, Tejas
    I've been obeying the "never touch a keyboard rule". I'd say I bend it, but it hasn't broken yet.

    I do some MIDI stuff, but I need to obtain a few more pieces before I'd confidently bring it into a band setting. Gear wise I need a sequencer, and probably a sound module (I've got a sampler, but I think adding something to handle more frequently used sounds- piano, strings, synths, etc- would be a good idea; that way the sampler can be used for tones, loops, and vocal samples I create.)

    My plan is this: control the sequencer with my Roland PK-5 (looks like organ pedals, 13 keys, this will probably be the closest thing to a keyboard I play live), the sequencer will then play sounds off my sampler (Roland S-760) and the sound module. I also would like to hook a live keyboard controller into the mix so a band member could play "piano" live. I'll sequence strings, synths (although someone may play these live with the controller as well,) piano fills (if it's a piano based song then someone would play the controller), drum loops, and a click track. Mentally I know how to set it up, now if I just physically had the gear to do it.........

    Anyway, good luck with the keyboard and bass thing. Have some fun while you're at it, of course it sounds like you all ready are.
  4. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i think i'm either gonna get a set of roland/yamaha midi pedals and a cheap synth controller, or a set of moog taurus pedals and start kicking some synth shiz.

    other than that - i've got 3 semesters of class piano under my belt, and i'm probably only marginally better than the couple of 1st graders my brother started teaching piano a week ago.
  5. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    I play piano for 9 years now...what the hell is wrong with playing keyboard(piano) and bass...long as you don't use the keyboard as a bass...ugggg.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have played keyboards in bands before, but I didn't really enjoy it. :(

    There was a period in the late 80s/early 90s when loads of bands wanted me as a keyboard player but I couldn't get to play bass!

    I really enjoy playing bass live and love the feel and feedback you get - really making people dance if you are grooving.

    Keyboards just seemed lifeless and peripheral to me - it filled out the sound nicely but was really not "felt" like bass - especially in loud rock bands.

    I used to find that the guitarists and even bass players (!) would gradually turn up thoughout the gig and so I couldn't be heard by the end - well unless I accepted a really dirtorted sound ! :(

    By the end of gigs like that I felt like it was irrelevant whether you were there or not!
  7. sweetpea

    sweetpea Guest

    Jun 6, 2002
    S'port, LoUiSiAna
    There is no such thing as a cheap keyboard. If It ain't got the "feel" weighted keys, and ENOUGH keys then it ain't worth buying... Plus you gotta have the extras...I mean who doesn't like surfing through the gozillion sounds in a memory bank...;) just to find that perfect sound...

    Oh, and don't forget if you're gonna take it on the road... you need a case...and lawd knows you gotta have one with wheels... 'cause um, you'll break you back.

    A "boring" song can always be livened up... You just gotta be creative. I'm just starting to play the guitar... I know it's not the same as the bass...and don't crucify me for saying this but... you know... they're almost like the same instrument... I figure once I get the beginner's numbness/blisters off my fingers and learn the basics of it... I'll pick up the bass next...

    I didn't realize how hard the wear and tear was on your fingers... there goes my beautiful hands. I mean it would piss my piano teacher off when I didn't cut my finger nails... but like... you CAN NOT play the guitar with nails.... that kinda stinks... but I'll get over it.

    One thing that was weird... When I played piano... I always sat down. Well, when I started playing the keyboard I would stand up and taping/ holding the sustained pedal... well, my leg used to feel weird 'cause it was like I was standing on one leg during the gig... but that only lasts a couple of days...
  8. :)

    thanx for sharing some thoughts on the 'bassist doing keyboards' concept.

    it will be a reality for me in the very near future, and hearing your stories will help me to keep a good perspective...

    i will always be a bass player first

    but if the occasional keyboard part adds flavor to the band, i'll go for it!!!!
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    My .02-
    Every musician should be familiar with the piano/keyboard.

    And Mingus played a pretty fair piano...
  10. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I sometimes use an old harmonium in my home recording 'studio'. I know what all the notes are and where the root chords are (and some inversions) but I am not at performing level.

    I've recently toyed with getting a decent keyboard and guess what? Most keyboards are virtual analogue, what happened to digital that was 'better' than analogue?

    BTW Jim just read an article that advocated using compressors on synths, now that is barking...
  11. I was kicking around the idea of taking a music theory or piano course at the Community college.

    I'd like to get a keyboard, and saw a nice one for not too much money. Still not too sure though.
  12. a local music shop has a roland 'piano module' rackmount for sale cheap.

    q- could i midi to this from my keyboard and access it's sounds?

    q- what is the likelihood that i will like the sounds better than the ensoniq?

    my ESQ-1 has a rhodes and a digital piano and a few others that sound pretty good, but alot of the sounds are weak by today's standards, and the majority of it's sounds are absolutely worthless garbage. there are some HUGE sounding keyboards these days.... i'm a cheapskate though, i just want good rhodes / dig piano / grand piano / basic synth sounds to start.

  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    That's just fine!
    ...as long as it's not on my bass.
  14. Nails


    Jun 4, 2000
    Austin, Tejas
    Can you MIDI them together?

    Short answer: Yes you can MIDI them together. Assuming you're ESQ-1 has a MIDI out and the Roland has a MIDI in (which it will), then you can MIDI them together.

    Long answer: Yes you can, but you might have to do some fancy wiring to get it working right. I'm not familiar with the ESQ-1 so I don't know how it would handle being a master controller.

    The main problem I can see is that when you want to play a sound from the Roland module, the ESQ-1 will also receive the note on command and play the currently selected sound as well, so you get both units playing at once when all you wanted to hear was a Rhodes from the Roland. I can think of a few ways to fix this off hand; but won't get into it unless you want me to.

    As for if the Roland unit will sound "better" than the ESQ-1, that questions a little harder to answer. Sound modules are like basses in a way; no two people hear them the same.

    Personally I think Roland's presets sound good, but some are prone to being too "synthy." The pianos are decent (I like them more than Korg's but less than the ones in Yamaha's Motif), but the strings are obviously Roland if you don't do some editing to them. Leads and random sounds don't sound to bad either. You might want to check out the Roland JV-1010 as well as the module you mentioned earlier.

    Hope I helped, and I hope I didn't confuse you more.
  15. thanks for the info!!!!!!!!

    my idea was to go midi cable from esq-1 to the roland piano module, then audio out of the module to kbd amp / mixer. is this how i'd hook it up (to use exclusively roland module sounds?)

    i can't remember the model of the roland, but it was only like $70.00.....

    the sounds of the ensoniq are pretty 'digitized and synthy' to my ears, the roland seemed like a cheap experiment.

    what other sound module (cheap cheap CHEAP or easy to find used) should i consider?

  16. Nails


    Jun 4, 2000
    Austin, Tejas
    here's the first two ways I can think of to take care of the both keyboards at once problem. The first will be easiest. Hook the audio outs from both keyboards to a mixer, then run the mixer into either a keyboard amp or the PA, then just turn up the synth you want to hear, or down the one you don't want to hear. The other way would be to set the Roland to recieve information on a different MIDI channel than the ESQ-1. In this case, you'd have to turn local control on the ESQ-1 off, and hook MIDI cables both to and from the Roland to the ESQ-1. This method will only work if the ESQ-1 can transmit on multiple MIDI channels, individually and together. In this case to play just the Roland you'd select MIDI channel 2, for example, and to play the ESQ-1 you'd select 1, to play both you'd play on both channels at the same time. You'd play all the parts on the ESQ-1 either way.

    If you want to just use the Roland's sounds all the time and use the ESQ-1 as a controller you would just not hook the audio out of the ESQ-1 to any amplification. You would still have to MIDI the Roland and ESQ-1 together though.

    I can't think of any other units aside from the Roland JV-1010 I mentioned earlier to try out in the cheap/easy to find used range. I think the JV-1010 retails for higher than $70, but can't remember off hand. My MIDI knowledge is pretty good, but my knowledge of actual hardware is not quite as high. Personally I'm waiting for Yamaha to put the Motif in a rack unit, then I'll be a happy man. You might look for a Korg Trinity rack, it's been discontinued, but a lot of people aren't crazy about Korg's pianos (including me.) Naturally, you would have to buy used, and I don't know how easy to find they are. There's also the possibility of finding a used E-mu sound module, which many of these sound great, but I don't think you could get one for $70 unless the seller was desperate.

    Good luck in your search.
  17. thanx for the advice, nails!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i should just pack my 'board down to the used music shop and try some modules and some of your ideas for control / patching.

    thanx again!!!
  18. TheLastMinute


    Jun 23, 2002
    I dont play keyboard in my band...but i do write the keyboard parts :) .
  19. :D

    i just bought the roland digital piano module. i plugged in and OH MY GAWD!!!!

    it sounds unbelievably sweet compared to the rhodes and piano in the esq-1. i love it to death, holy crap it sounds nice!!!

    put it this way... dear sweet wifey and baby came downstairs to be with daddy while he practices music in the music room. i played some nice sweet mellow tunes, having a ball enjoying the recharged passion for playing keys (with my new sound!!!) and mommy and baby went to sleep with a smile.

    must have done something right...

    by the way. i paid a whole 55$ for the module. it's a roland p330. i can't wait to perform onstage for the first time as a part-time key player!!!!

    ok, you folks who are 'diehard new technology keyboard players' may laugh at my late 80's keyboard rig.... that's ok!!!! i love it!!!!

  20. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002
    ...my room...
    i play my dads hammond once and a while..
    im familer with the keys .. i can play it.. i dont know many chords....
    the hammond is really nice ..its an xk-2
    Im starting to play it more and more though.. and its gonna be in my room/ the studio pretty soon so me and my dad can jam more.. because hes gonna start playing in a band and he wants to practice more soo.. yay!

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