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#895193 04/28/11 09:46 PM
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(What song or artist . . .) inspired you to pursue keys as your instrument of choice?

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Hi Jeff:

I use an arranger keyboard because it allows me to set up the accompaniment for a song (in just about any genre) then adjust the individual volume for each instrument as well as the vocal.
A friend demonstrated how easy arrangers are to use once all the essentials are learned. I only play chords and the keyboard (after I program things) pretty well does the rest. I can even select various vocal harmonies to use in order to enhance the song. The setup can be as simple as a one guitar deal, a jazz trio, a big-band from the 40's or just about anything in between.

A friend introduced me to arrangers and I was intrigued. Best investment I ever made. The only thing better would be to have an entire symphony orchestra available at your command. Several companies manufacture their own brand of arrangers. Mine is by Yamaha and they have a large selection of different models.

These are fairly expensive keyboards and you often see them used by "one man acts" in bars and clubs.

I hope this helps.

Dave Rice

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Hi Dave,
Thank-you for your very detailed reply. You'll have to pardon my confusion as I'm not sure which topic you were replying to here.

My question pertained to what artist(s) or song(s) may have inspired you to pursue keys as an instrument of choice.

For me, it started with Elton John in 1973. His song Goodbye Yellow Brick Road sucked me in - followed by Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me a few short months later.

Later on, it was Keith Emerson, George Winston, Lyle Mays & Keith Jarrett. But Elton got me back to lessons that I had previously quit one year earlier.

Hope this helps in understanding the question. smile


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Jerry Lee Lewis and Professor Longhair. But I consider myself more of a pianist than a keyboard player.

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Sergei Rachmaninoff! Rachy!

The day I heard his Prelude in C-Sharp Minor (Bells of Moscow) I was hooked for life. What a hook! grin

John smile

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Tori Amos - I stopped playing (began pretty young) and heard her stuff when I was a teen and I brought me back to the piano. I grew up in the 90s when everything was guitars and she stuck with her piano! The piano was my instrument in college and I love how you can bring melody, harmony, counterpt together on one instrument without needing an ensemble... but I hate that when playing live it comes down to playing digital pianos and even worse non-touch sensitive midi controllers and keyboards in most live settings. but nothing beats the feel and tone of a real, GOOD QUALITY piano. I love my Baldwin M2 (I wish they hadn't sold the company, but alas, times change..)



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As a guitar player, I cannot speak for myself about this.
But my son asked me if he could piano lessons after he heard "Für Elise" for the first time when he was 7 years old.

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I started out liking eighties pop/rock with helpings of guitar. Such as The Fixx and After The Fire. ATF broke up for differnces in their band direction just a few months before their smash hit in 1983, never to reform. Then I got into the grunge invasion acts like Nirvana and gravitated to classic and pre-rock influences. Even though the keys are still my primary instrument, I take to making up my own chords and beats instead of matching chords and beats to genres. It is not something I expect to knock people out with. But the eighties acts I followed had something unique to offer them and more from within. I guess I like keyboard players like that. It turned me on to what Brian Eno and also what Bryan Ferry did after Eno's departure from Roxy Music. So many stylistic changes with the synth that is often overlooked.

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The Beatles harmonies got in my head as a toddler, before I knew what the instruments were. But there was one piano player who really, really impressed and inspired me early on, and that was Chico Marx: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Fx252AgYeM

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I started off liking new wave influences such as British Romantic, Europop and American Rock N" Roll new wave. Then got in to Roxy Music and much of the avant scene. Then tried to integrate forms in to what I was doing and brought them here. Not too many on here seemed to understand that, although in other places I was put in playlists and looked to be understood with the comments.
Now I am trying to be a bit more rote for this site so members will understand what I am trying to do more.
Would like to hear some trad influences to look at.
I have been trying Mozart on piano lately to better build my fingering and synapses.

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i wish i played but if i did Richard Wright of Pink Floyd then on the flip side Dr.John

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I'm with Michael, want to be more proficient on piano but have not found the time to put into it yet.......love Mike Lindup, Joe Sample, Joe Jackson, Steve Eggars.......and such.

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Mozart.... ironically I have no classical talents!

And a couple of other guys. Besides classical, my mom also made sure my young ears were filled with the sounds of Billy Joel, Elton John, and Keith Green blaring on the 8 track. Guess I was doomed to write songs from the piano!

-Mike D.

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Jackson Browne

As Neil says: Keep On Rockin' in the Free World!
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Hi Jeff:

I don't drift down to this part of the "board" often and just saw your response. I failed to make myself clear that the artist who inspired me was my friend and partner, singer, actor, portrait painter and all-round genius, Mike Hackworth.

Sure I had other influences but for me, the keyboard was a "means to reach an objective" and though I'm probably not "there" yet, I'm very pleased with the bang for the buck I've received from my arranger keyboard.

As to other artists who inspired me... well, like John L. said... Rachmaninoff inspired me on a regular basis but my musical tastes are fairly broad. As a young man in Hawaii, I was stunned by the Martin Denny Trio and their exotic brand of music. Willie Nelson, George Strait and Don Williams don't play the keys... but they, too, inspired me. Music of all stripes is such a gift and I am grateful for it.

All the best,


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I like a lot of piano female singer/songwriters like Tori Amos, Charlotte Martin, and Kate Bush, so they were the ones who made me want to learn piano. I tried teaching myself piano when I was a teenager but I just couldn't manage to do two different things at the same time, so I gave up. Then about 6 years ago, on a whim, I bought a Yamaha DGX-230 from a local big box store and I haven't looked back! Been teaching myself ever since! smile

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Keyboards are a real important thing for a songwriter to know. Because almost everything you want to simulate in a recording will be played on a keyboard. From drums to bass, to sax, to violin etc, so it is really helpful to know. I can play basic stuff, but not very well. I went with family to a fancy restaurant, and there was a piano in the hallway, something compelled me to sit down. Next thing I know people were asking for a song. I'm like I can barely play this thing. They are like oh cmon you can do it.

I sang a three chord song, alludes me now, they went bonkers. I hadn't seen some of these relatives in 20 years!

But for me, it's gotta be Billy Joel, and the less renowned Roy Bittan. Roy is the E street pianist, and has played on most of meatloafs stuff, which is fantastic stuff..Ie bat out of helL. Played with Stevue Nicks and a Dire Straits too

it's what the player brings to the song. Are there better musicians? Oh yeah, are there better piano players of song? I doubt it


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 02/25/18 10:38 PM.
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I recall that there was a major difference between keyboards and synths. I have synths, originally favored new wave and electronic music and still like it. But keyboards is something far more organic. Even with moog technology in the seventies and eighties, synths was meant more to add. Although Brian Eno and acts like Kraftwerk brought out more with the synth.
I remember up to the age of 7 a Hammond organ that had different types of organ and string sounds. There is a certain emotiveness and vitality left out with the abscence of authentic instruments.

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Erroll garner/joe sample.

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