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Keyboard player and technology aren't friends.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BassGuyFL, Mar 30, 2015.


  1. BassGuyFL

    BassGuyFL Formerly known as RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    So having a bit of an issue with my keyboard player. He's a great guy and a great player but he's one of those people that just doesn't play well with technology. Takes way too long to get his sounds ready because he doesn't know how to save his patches for a quick recall. He just futzes around with the settings until he gets the sounds and it's a real buzzkill between songs. He also just got a new mini mixer to replace the old school keyboard amp he's used for years and just randomly plugs stuff in and pokes at the controls until something makes a sound. We won't even get into his new smartphone. :eek:

    Now he's no amateur he's in his 50's and was formerly in a national act. But it's getting to be a pain that he can't/won't figure out his gear to optimize the band's time. He's a bit touchy about criticism as well so we're not really sure how to approach it.

    So is "man I just don't get technology" a legit excuse? Not asking you to fly the Space Shuttle but it's not that difficult in the digital age to download a manual and figure out how to push a few buttons. No one has to tell me to have my gear at a pro level. I make sure my tuning and intonation is always on, fresh strings, amp and effects sound good and it's all worked out on my own time.
     
  2. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    To be fair, keys have evolved a lot faster and changed a lot more than basses. Keeping up with it is a lot of work.
     
  3. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Yeah, keyboards have evolved; but unless this guy's been under a rock since the 70s he'd have worked out saving patches by now.

    What kind of music do you play with that keyboardist? If the music allows, I'd rather have him just play a piano patch or B3 or Rhodes than futz blindly before every song. Either that, or he learns how to save patches, or he does it really old school. (That is, if the keyboardist wants a different sound, he brings another keyboard.)
     
    DirtDog likes this.
  4. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    What kind of keyboard is it?
    If it's old enough, he may not be able to save patches.
    But...it would have to be really old.
     
  5. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Those three are pretty much all you'd need. Oh, and the D-6 clavinet if you're doing any Stevie Wonder.
     
  6. BassGuyFL

    BassGuyFL Formerly known as RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    We play funk/R&B/disco. He's has a Yamaha Motif and a Korg Krome. Not the latest stuff but not ancient either. I'm just of the opinion that playing your chosen instrument is all encompassing. Drummer should be able to tune his own drums, guitar player has his amp and pedals dialed in, and the keyboard player should be able to save and edit sounds and patches. I don't think it's asking too much.
     
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Anyone who wants to be in a band has to have his equipment ready to go. Ignorance is no excuse, and there are plenty of dead simple synths with all the sounds for most bands.
     
    lfmn16 and Spent like this.
  8. randyripoff

    randyripoff

    Jul 12, 2008
    Chicago
    I don't think it is either. Do the rest of your bandmates feel the same way? If so, you should sit down with him and spell it out. Ask him if he needs help learning to do what he needs to do.

    Unless he has a name that will bring people through the doors, you shouldn't be afraid to give him constructive criticism. You don't have to be a jerk about it, just sit down and say something like, "Hey, we noticed you're having a difficult time with this, and it's starting to be a problem in rehearsal. We looked it up, and we noticed that your keyboards can save your sounds and patches. Is this something you need help with? What can we do to help? We need to get this resolved." If he gives you static after that, maybe he's not such a great musician or such a great guy either, and maybe you should start looking for a new keys player.
     
  9. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    Definitely not asking too much
     
    RichardCranium likes this.
  10. Spent

    Spent

    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Why don't you try to learn the next song mid set. Some learn by example.
     
  11. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    No. Everyone is responsible for being able to operate their own equipment. I hate these sorry old farts that just won't keep up and blame it on everything except they are too stinking lazy to work through the manual. :banghead:
     
    odineye and RichardCranium like this.
  12. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp

    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I'm an old guy, recently bought a Korg Kross. I could spend the rest of my life figuring that thing out - but I'm a bass player;) I agree he should know his own gear though.

    I played back in the day when our keyboard player actually HAD a B3 (with Leslie), a Rhodes, and a D6 clav!
     
    Keithwah likes this.
  13. Robus

    Robus

    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    Easier to help him out than the complain about it. Have him set up the sounds he likes. Then you can help him save them as patches. If he wants, you can even trigger the patch changes for him with an external MIDI controller.
     
    Keithwah, Nephilymbass and mambo4 like this.
  14. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Agreed.. but I can count the number of drummers I know that can ACTUALLY tune their drums vs "thinking they are doing so" on one hand! Most have no clue how to tune their drums, yet turn those keys, put gel in places it shouldn't be, and so on!!

    Same for many guitar players with effects/patches etc. NO!! maxing your reverb out on a clean patch does NOT sound good for rock!
     
  15. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Sounds like he's playing the wrong instrument. Keys are pretty technology heavy.

    Maybe he should just get an old B3 and straight piano and call it a day?
     
  16. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Look, if you like this guy and his playing, then you're just gonna have to help him out. Hold his hand and walk him through whatever he needs to do, but don't be condescending about it. Keep it as simple as you can. With that, if he won't make the effort to hold up his end, then you gotta question his motivation and commitment to the band.
     
    JimmyThunder and Robus like this.
  17. I've been in bands with guys like that, it drives me crazy. I just let it slide when it was a problem before, but going forward I weed people out with basic tech tasks. Usually just making sure that someone can deal with email, upload a file to dropbox, and return a text message is enough.
     
  18. Joebarnes

    Joebarnes

    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    I hate tonnes of buttons and dials and everything hidden on a different screen. Hard to deal with on stage for sure. I prefer a bunch of pedals to a multi effects unit for the same reason.

    Can he simplify his setup from a buttonny doohickey standpoint? Find a stage piano with just 5 or 6 sounds and 1 button = that sound. Really, unless you're doing a bunch of '80's stuff or need horn pads, what do you really need? Natural Piano sound, Rhodes sound, and Hammond B3 sound would cover what I would want from a keys player.
     
    Downunderwonder likes this.
  19. might just be time for the guy/gal to find something more ideal to play. I don't know what type of music it is but if it's all synths it could be something as simple and cheap as a micro korg. A lot of keyboard players just like bass and guitar players like retro instruments. But the new workstations are fantastic. The newest ones can do huge fat analog sounding synths and very realistic sampled pianos. And most new workstations have a favorites section where you can just assign the patch to a favorites button and recall them with the press of one button.

    A lot of keys players had bad experiences in the 90s with all the boards that had hundreds of sounds that were more difficult to find. Now with the favorites buttons and better menu navigation ;categories and so on its not as bad.
     
  20. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I played with a keyboard player like that. He even bought a MIDI module to get more sounds, but he never learned how to use it other than to get helicopter sounds out of it. He played piano well, and sometimes got an organ tone. But, it was difficult to get him to play other sounds. Even if he got other sounds, he definitely phrased more like a pianist than an organ or synth player.
     

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