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would learning keyboard help my guitar/bass playing?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by richardjones89, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. richardjones89


    Jun 6, 2007
    im thinking of trying out keyboard, for writing purposes and a wider view on a musical level, thinking perhaps it would help me as a bass player and/or guitarist. :)

    because id be using my fingers and dealing with notes more often i imagine it would help with my playing altogether. would it strengthen my fingers also?

    i should have changed the title of the thread really :p
  2. middy


    Mar 14, 2007
    I don't think it will help your fingers much. Strength isn't important, precision counts.

    It will, however, help your music theory if you use it in that way, and will open your brain up to more musical ideas.
  3. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    Do it. Yes it will help your bass playing. Not in the way you think it will though. you're not going to have huge forearms and be ripping on the bass just from playing keys. You will however, have a better understanding of that instrument, how your bass works with it, and how your bass can compliment it. That is a great tool and everytime i learn a new instrument I enjoy learning how All of them fit together.
  4. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    i'm also wanting to start playing the keyboard, i'm thinking about getting piano lessons first but i dont know if that will really help in anyway, also, i dont have uch of an idea of what to look for in a keyboard, is there anyone out there who plays keyboard to help out plz?
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Keyboards are great for any musician to learn because it shows you a graphic description of the notes in a way that helps you understand it like no other instrument can do. And once you see it all laid out on a keyboard, it's much easier to understand the notes on a bass. Most good musicians know enough about piano to stumble through a couple songs or to figure out chords that might be difficult on bass or guitar.
  6. BadMonk

    BadMonk Enjoy The Ride

    Feb 25, 2006
    Whitehall, PA
    I played keyboards first and it sure helped me get under way a lot faster with the bass, sax, and a couple other things...at least as far as theory goes. For me, it's easier to see on the keyboard how scales, chords, etc. are made up. Although I'll confess it took a while to get my eyes used to reading bass clef only. I plan to go back to keyborads again soon.
  7. IAmTheDood

    IAmTheDood Shake and Bake

    Dec 15, 2006
    Waterford, MI
    i grew up playing piano from ages 6 - 12 .. still tinker with a keyboard and can still play it.

    it has DEFINATELY helped my bass skills .. understanding notes, chords, reading music .. etc.

    there aren't tabs for keyboard! .. you have to be able to read music! :)
  8. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    I also took about 8 years of piano instruction. Without a doubt helped me become a better musician and a better bass player. With regard to my guitar and bass playing I am essentially self-taught. No way was that happening without keyboard experience. Chord theory at least is essential to any bassist. I can't play keyboards the way I used to but I can reason my way through most any chord chart, problem, writing,etc because of the knowledge gained.

    Joel :)
  9. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I picked up a small keyboard a couple years ago and been great for working on ear training, working on improv sustain chord and try out scales, working on chord voicings. Plus not being a keyboard player a lot of fun just sit and noodle around.
  10. I'm sure the musical knowledge would help.

    On the flipside, an hour spent playing the piano is an hour NOT spent playing the bass. So there is some tradeoff...
  11. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    An hour working on music is an benefit to any musical endeavor. Try playing what you do on one instrument on the other will usually help you see or hear things you didn't before.

    Also these days with more and more keyboard bass on recordings more bass players are starting to double on keyboard playing bass lines. So the more skills you have the more work you can get.
  12. need4mospd


    Dec 22, 2005
    This is pretty much exactly my story as well. 8 or so years of piano lessons, self-taught guitar/bass.
  13. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    is reading music a must on keyboard? i never read music and would be a waste learning it at this moment in time coz i would just forget it again from not using it enough, is there any keyboard players who play by ear?
  14. moogboy

    moogboy Inactive

    Mar 1, 2007
    Moog Artist in Rock/Pop 5th down
    you CAN use music. and yes, keyboard players DO play by ear. i dont know of one who doesnt.
  15. eedre


    Feb 26, 2007
    St. Louis,MO
    Helps me every time I pick up the bass. Somehow I view the keyboard on the fretboard at the same time when I'm playing...
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    Primary TB Assistant

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