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Having issues with the keyboardist

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by DionClassic, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. DionClassic

    DionClassic Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    So I'm in a band... We've been doing really well and started playing a lot of local venues... All of a sudden at practice we have a keyboardist...

    Right off the bat I was not thrilled... Sure enough... We is left hand heavy and lives ringing out chords.

    I'm a bassist who likes to move around the neck and throwin fills here and there... Enough said I fill like quitting the band

    I told my guitarist that this whole thing is rediculous and that he's adding nothing to the band and "if it ain't broke don't fix it"... They understood and said the decision would have to be unanimous.

    Now... At the end of the day I understand the tonal options that a keyboard/organ may bring to a band so I want to know what is a way to have keys in your band without messing with the current sound while adding new dimensions...

    Is it maybe a volume thing... Or less is more...

    Keyboardists or people that play with keys please chime in... I plan on having a talk with him soon and I'd like to give him some tips and see if things get better. I will add that he is very talented so there is potential.

  2. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    My experience is that anytime you add a player, everyone should think "less is more". This includes withh bass fill. More players means more listening.
  3. Well, most inexperienced keyboardist overplay until they learn how to blend with a band - and veteran players know better - so good luck and best wishes.
  4. +100%
  5. DionClassic

    DionClassic Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    I think I definitely agree with that its just tough when we have songs that are written and we've played them a certain way and it all needs to change... And I'm not quite certain it's for the better.
  6. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    A new member needs direction at first. Have a discussion and try to make it work. You make it sound like he was brought on without an audition by stating , "all of a sudden there's a keyboardist at rehearsal" , is that the case ?
  7. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    If the keys are effing up already written parts which you wrote specifically for bass then the keyboard player needs to stop treading on you in the song's you've already written, and you need to work together to solidify your parts.

    If you've just been a jammy bassist up to now who has no written or set fills and just bungs chromatic or pentatonic runs in based on feel then odds are you're causing as many problems as your new keys dude.

    Sounds like you might need to synchronise what parts you're playing. It might mean that you'll have to rewrite some of your parts and you might have to be less jammy and work harder at being a line player. If he works with you on it and you get in tight with your keys player you'll be a far more impressive unit. I'm in so much awe of bassists who can play in the pocket with their keys person.
  8. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Usually a keyboardist adds a whole lot to a band's sound. Talk to the new keyboardist and let him know what you have been doing before he joined the band. Find a happy medium where you both get to fill and add your signature sound to the band. I've always had excellent success working with a keyboardist unless they are a complete beginner.
  9. DionClassic

    DionClassic Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    Yeah pretty much... Hes been just kinda jamming with us... But at our last show our singer introduced him as a new member... And hes been doing picture stuff with us... I finally opened up today and spoke up about it. I'm honestly open to the idea so yeah I definitely want to talk with him about where he can be very useful.

    From experience do you guys find that keys have been an asset in the long run?
  10. Absolutely :bassist:
  11. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    A good keys player can be a huge asset to a band. A bad one can be a nightmare.
  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Tape his left hand to his hip. :)

    If he hasn't played in a band much, then he needs to be trained.

    Record rehearsals/gigs so everyone can hear the balance of the instruments.

    Go from there.

    A keyboardist is like a rhythm guitarist. He needs to find his "sonic space" so that everything works together.

    Adjusting his eq. so his sound is not so "big" is a place to start.

    You can also put an fdeck HPF/pre in his signal so it cuts off anything below 140hz. That'll help. A lot.
  13. Note that 'good' in this context is not the same thing as virtuoso. Even fairly mediocre keyboardists can be assets and the guys who can solo brilliantly often cause the most problems. This is really about understanding how to play with other musicians.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware

    He could have KBD. KeyBoardist's Disease. Kinda like LSD. Lead Singer Disease.:D
  15. TIP: if he has a heavy left hand but its really good - learn all of his bass lines. ;)
  16. huckleberry1

    huckleberry1 Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    +1 Stumbo
  17. DionClassic

    DionClassic Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    I think that the issue isn't about what he's playing... He just seems to be in the same frequency range as me... It just seems to make everything sound muddy and it kinda takes away from the dynamics
  18. DionClassic

    DionClassic Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    I like your tips stumbo!
  19. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    If you've been playing these songs the same way for a long time, it might be fun and interesting to change them up to suit, and take advantage of, the new lineup. It might or might not turn out to be "for the better," but I say give it a try, and think of it as a feature rather than a bug.
  20. Desirsar


    Mar 1, 2013
    Stay above the 12th fret until the guitarists complain, then point out that you have nowhere lower to move to.

    Note that in other threads, people have said the band kept the 7 string or the keyboard over the bass player...