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Keyboardist Left Hand from Hell !!!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by SCT1422, Apr 6, 2001.

  1. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    Awhile ago I was working with a keyboardist who also thought he was a bassplayer too.. The funny thing is I couldn't figure out what he was worst at, keyboards or bass !!!! In the middle of the song, I walked over to his side of the stage and politely asked him if he could find something more useful to do with his left hand, like putting it in his $:#<{&~ pocket and play with himself...
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I used to play with a keyboardist who not only had a spastic left hand but also used a Taurus bass pedal. Yuck!!

    I know EXACTLY how you feel.
  3. Heavier Than Thou

    Heavier Than Thou

    Jan 25, 2001
    I know what you mean, bro.

    I had to confront a keyboardist in a 50's band once and say, "Look, if you don't want to have a bass player in the band, just let me know, because your bass lines are clashing with my bass lines."

    I should have ripped that glitter-strewn toupee right off of his head !!!
  4. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I did a wedding gig briefly for a band that had revolving door on bass players. Because of that, the keyboardist, who was an old bandmate (no telling, Herm!), had assumed the bass role with the left hand. It was a bit difficult at times - especially when HE made the mistake, but everyone looked at me!
  5. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Yeah, I hate that. Whenever something doesn't work it's always, ALWAYS assumed by everyone else that the bass player is the one doing it wrong.
  6. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    I was asked to join a band which had a keyboard player instead of a bass player. We didn't have a practice, just "here is a list of the tracks, here are the keys get on with it"

    End of the first no. (Queen - Crazy little thing Called Love) I said to the keyboard player "Play one more of my bass lines and I'll cut your ****!ng left hand off"

    He left the band at the end of the night which I thought was a pretty good result !
  7. Sherman


    Nov 24, 2000
    This story reminds me of a joke that always grates me:

    Q: How many bass players does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: Who cares the keyboardist can do it with his left hand

    El Pelusa likes this.
  8. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    That sucks! I have only once played with a keyboardist, but that was in a jazz band and she didn´t play ANYTHING low :)
  9. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    that´s why i don´t join bands with keyboard players! and I kinda hate em!

    all you need is Drums-Guitar-Bass-vocals!
  10. Scrap that, all you need is Bass! :D

    Actually, I've found that some times I just can't help but follow the piano/keyboard bass line.
    For example, in The Whereabouts of Wally Dudes we've got bass, drums, guitar, and piano. Some times the music director/teacher guy has a clear idea of what he wants on bass, so I play what he wants. Other times he has a general idea, gives me his idea, and lets me work with it. And other times still, I'm free to do what I want on my bass.
    BUT, of those times where I'm free to write my own lines, I've found that I'm just playing the same thing as the pianist is doing with their left hand. Why? Because it's a good, simple line. Sure, I could throw in fills here and there, but essentially I'm still playing the exact same thing.
    To me, if I can't hear the bass, or there is no bass in a song, I start getting an idea of how my OWN bass line would go, and then I play it out. But if there IS a bass line, I usually just listen to it, unless it's something like Truly Madly Deeply which is just whole notes, then a new line starts forming in my head again.

    This might not be the best thread to ask this in, but...if I'm playing the same thing as the piano/keyboard, but the teacher wants me to play something different and I can't think of anything and neither can he...what do I do?
  11. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Sheepman - play the line and ask the keyboard/piano player to play a harmony (third or fifth would be easy enough) or play one yourself !

    There is an awesome boogie-woogie / honky tonk type keyboard player locally and his lines are better than anything I can come up with, so when I was sitting in with him my job was just to follow him and fill the sound out.

    Mind you he is definetly from the dark side of keyboard players.. not to loud, not to flash, good to chat to, great guy. Complete opposite of most keyboard players as gifted as he is !
  12. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I've also had the fortune to work with some keyboardists with great left hands, but they usually came from a honky tonk, swing and blues background... Maybe from that perspective, they learn more about feel and groove...
  13. Tuomas


    Mar 14, 2000
    Helsinki, Finland
    I once played with a keyboard player who had the annoying habit of playing bass parts with his left hand, so once during a gig i stomped on a tremolo pedal, cranked the volume and played his chords/melodies with stingrays piano kind of tone. He got the hint and now we live and play in perfect harmony.
  14. Thanks! :)
    Now I just have to go practice that...
    d'oh! No keyboardist around!
    Double d'oh! It's 1:00am, and I can't play my bass past 10 or I'll wake up my grandmother...
    or...can I? Time to go whip out the good ol' Ibanez AE...which I'll hopefully bring in to the shop to get the bridge checked tomorrow. :D
  15. This is something I've experienced with most keyboard players. I think the reason is beacuse they learned to play alone. Most music written for piano has he/she playing all the bass. When these people come join the world of playing in a "group", especially with an electric bass player, they have no idea what to play, so they play what they know, which is play the bass line. They've been playing this way for so long, it's almost impossible for them to change.

    I avoid playing with these type of pianists at all costs.
  16. Well, I used to play piano, and I definitely had a 'left hand from hell', but that's only because I could never get it to play the right notes.
    That might have something to do with the fact that reading the bass clef was right up next to impossible for me... :D:p
  17. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    I can't stand the pianist I play with. A product of the Korean education system, she can work up any piece of notation you put in front of her, but is incapable of improvising off of a chord chart (hell, even I can comp chords). And she has to play EVERY written note, no matter what - UNLESS it involves some kind of tension (like the demonic tritone) and THEN she changes it. Oh, and she has no sense of rhythm. And she's afraid of her own volume - if you turn her up, she plays softer. It's infuriating.

    I used to bitch about my pianist back in the states because she always played in root position, but man, I'll take her back any day (she was a lot cuter too ;)).

    The best one I ever played with was a bass player too, and he would give me all the space in the world, and then follow my lead. No ego at all; it was a total love-in. He was the coolest.

    And no one has a worse left hand than I do. :D
  18. Guess I've been lucky.

    The keyboardist I first worked with in New Orleans on Bourbon St. knew every part of every song ever written (well...that may be a slight exaggeration...heh, but close enough for me!). If someone called a tune I was unfamiliar with (hell, we did tunes I'd never even heard half the time :eek: ), he knew it, and would take the time to play the bassline so I could hear AND see it (I played enough piano to be able to follow it visually). All I'd have to do was say "Hook me up", and he would, no questions asked. Once I was up to speed, he'd get out of the way and let me do my job. The guy that replaced him was the bandleader, and shouldn't have been allowed anywhere near a musical instrument, particularly when he was stoned (which was most of the time) :p.

    The guy I'm working with now, who happens to be in both bands I'm in, started out as a bassist. I believe that gives him some advantages, both that he knows and understands the construction of basslines pretty well (he's suggested some pretty hip ones on a few tunes, some were not so hip, but worth checking out) and knows well enough to stay out of my way. Nice dude too, a rarity among keyboardists it appears. ;)

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