How to Jam with others on keyboards


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" I understand that we fill in space in songs and have bits and parts otherwise there is too much noise."
Sorry if my response repeats, I wrote it and forgot to log in, and my original response didn't appear to take.
Anotherscott mentioned ELP, and Yes is another example of a band that featured keyboards because they had extraordinary musicians on keyboards. Rather than being limited to the idea of filling in space, consider your job to being disciplined within your skill set.
 

HRF

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" I understand that we fill in space in songs and have bits and parts otherwise there is too much noise."
Sorry if my response repeats, I wrote it and forgot to log in, and my original response didn't appear to take.
Anotherscott mentioned ELP, and Yes is another example of a band that featured keyboards because they had extraordinary musicians on keyboards. Rather than being limited to the idea of filling in space, consider your job to being disciplined within your skill set.
I'm at a unique place in my playing "career". At the age of 70, I have some arthritis that has slowed down my velocity when playing...no lightning quick leads any more; However, I've found that I've switched my direction to being the best support keyboard player I can. Background chord rhythms, string or horn fills allow the other musicians, with more dexterity, the freedom to expand on what they do. Works for me.
 
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Great question. If your complimenting one guitar player, it’s easy. You’re laying down the rhythm while he solos or second harmonizing guitar during the meat and potatoes. But it gets a little trickier when there’s more guitarists like a southern rock band. Where I’m at, guitarists don’t like giving you a piece of the action, and if you start looking like you might be a better musician than them, forget about it. Now I’m talking about a cover band here. Most I’ve worked with weren’t very professional in any facet of the project. They gotta smoke pot and drink beer before we get started rehearsing, rush through songs never stopping to fix timing issues, etc. Hell, I played in an original band that never wanted to practice and get good. Just learn your parts, get used to the possibility that the solos you learn by the record might get cut short on measures so the guitarists can play a solo too even though they don’t have one on the original recording. Stay out of the bass player’s neighborhood too. Especially if you get good at key bass. You’ll just make an enemy. Just fill in the voids with little runs and licks, keep your volume under control, insist that the whole band runs through the PA so you can hear what is being played through the monitors. Wide open guitar amps on stage are just too loud and it’ll be hard to keep track of where you are in a song in relation to where the rest of the band is. My whole band goes through the mix, everyone has a monitor. I run my keys in stereo to a stereo volume pedal then to a small mixer that I control. The mains from that run out to a stereo strip on the FOH. I get a much fuller sound that way. It helps if you’re in a band that values you and wants what you can add to the big picture too. Good luck, man.
 

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