New to Forum and Glad to Be a Part of Now

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Chuck Harvey, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Chuck Harvey

    Chuck Harvey

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    Hello everyone,

    I have played bass guitar in blues and funk bands the last 3 years of my life but as of this week I am leaving band life and leaving the bass to pursue something I have wanted to do for a very long time - start learning how to play the keyboard.

    I took piano lessons when I was a kid and I can goof around on the keyboard but now I am finally getting a chance to pursue it in a more studious serious manner. I also have some experience with what is called polyrhythmic two hand tapping on bass guitar which is essentially playing an independent left hand bassline and right hand melody much in the same way a keyboard is played. I truly loved learning that because I have a strong desire to play music alone for people and this worked because people identify with the melody more than the bassline.

    So I do already possess some independence skills from the tapping but I want to take it to a much higher level and therefore the keyboards are my next project. I also have an understanding of music theory and have studied rhythmic notation. I can tell you I have spent thousands of dollars on basses, amps, strings, pickups etc.. and I was never really really happy with the tone I got from the bass. I heard a $180 dollar yamaha keyboard going through a small bass amp and guess what the keyboard actually had a better tone than the bass. The notes are so clear and clean that I think I just got so used to the not so great bass tone from my bass setup. Then I got super excited when I heard a $700 keyboard going through a small speaker - it was like heaven to my ears. I can also tell you that bass players and drummers generally do not get the level of band respect that the vocals and guitars get but keyboard players command alot of respect and in my area they are in very rare supply.

    Glad to be here.
    Thanks,
    Chuck.
     
    Chuck Harvey, Nov 16, 2016
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  2. Chuck Harvey

    CowboyNQ

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    Welcome Chuck.
     
    CowboyNQ, Nov 16, 2016
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  3. Chuck Harvey

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Hi Chuck.

    Welcome to the forums.

    Keyboards are in fact VERY addictive.

    No other instrument allows you to play all the parts of a virtual orchestra with such ease.

    Agreed, most sub $500 keyboards have a cheezy sort of quality but usually that's just the cheapo built in speakers.

    If the sounds are at all tweakable and they have proper line outs for a decent set of studio monitors or a proper keyboard amp you can squeeze out some pretty impressive sounds from some lower end Casios and Yamahas as well.

    Korgs and Rolands, however, are usually a step up.

    Anyway, enjoy your stay and if you have any tech questions this is the place to ask them :)

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Nov 16, 2016
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  4. Chuck Harvey

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    In retrospect, there are days when I wish I learned to play Stick. Two independent hands. MIDI availability. Wide chords are much easier to play.

    But I didn't put the time in, and now I'm too old. Is there a reason you decided keyboards rather than Stick?
     
    Fred Coulter, Nov 17, 2016
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  5. Chuck Harvey

    Chuck Harvey

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    Thanks everyone.

    Fred, I was not even aware of the chapman stick and just looked it up. I have heard about Tony Levin (bass player for Peter Gabriel) uses one but I never investigated into it. Wow! That is a cool looking instrument. I wish it simply had 4 strings like a bass and 4 like a guitar but it looks like the way the strings are set up it would be such a radical change - like the bass strings get lower as you physically move lower down them and that would take alot of getting used to. Still, this is a fascinating looking instrument for me to look into more at least since I really enjoyed tapping on bass. I love the idea of playing baseline, chords and melody and of course keyboards provide that opportunity but the Stick looks like it does also but in a much different way. Anyway, thanks for introducing the idea to me.
     
    Chuck Harvey, Nov 17, 2016
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  6. Chuck Harvey

    mikekeyboards

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    Hi Chuck and welcome
     
    mikekeyboards, Nov 17, 2016
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  7. Chuck Harvey

    Becky Administrator

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    Hello and welcome to the forum :)
     
    Becky, Nov 17, 2016
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  8. Chuck Harvey

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    The Stick is held vertically, with the lowest strings in the middle. You use both hands for tapping only.

    The traditional tuning is that the bass is tuned in fifths, while the treble is tuned in fourths. This means that you can do very wide open chords with the lower strings, and much tighter (but not as tight as a keyboard) chords on the treble strings. (A tight chord in the bass turns into mud very quickly.) The range is from the C below the bottom of the bass guitar (a third from the bottom of a normal piano) to the top of a strat's neck.

    Like I said, if I had actually practiced when I was younger. I used it, but ended up selling it.

    Life is full of regrets.
     
    Fred Coulter, Nov 17, 2016
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  9. Chuck Harvey

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Actually the proper name for the instrument is the Chapman Stick and even though it's over thirty years old there are very few virtuoso players out there who can play one competently.

    Tony Levin is one such virtuoso.







    To be honest, while there may be other Chapman Stick greats out there Tony Levin is the only one I know of offhand.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Nov 17, 2016
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  10. Chuck Harvey

    Oriane Lima Hold on

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    Welcome Chuck.
     
    Oriane Lima, Nov 17, 2016
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  11. Chuck Harvey

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    Tony mostly used the Stick (Chapman is the name of the inventor) for bass, although he did some stuff with rhythms in the treble.

    I just went back to the web site, and nowhere do they refer to it as the Chapman Stick, just The Stick.

    Here's a bunch of videos by different artists - http://www.stick.com/artists/videos/
    Here's stories about a bunch of artists that use the stick (including Tony) - http://www.stick.com/artists/artistfeatures/

    I've seen Tony (obviously) live with King Crimson and in at least one seminar. I've also seen Emmett Chapman play it live. I also went to see Blue Man Group in Orlando which has a stick player. (I'm sure that he appreciated the fact that after the show I talked to him rather than to the blue front-people.) There was a guy who did jazz with a drummer here in Orlando. All of them had very different styles, which is indicative of how flexible the instrument is.

    I had a Classic Stick (ten string) which I sold because I was an idiot. I'd like to try the twelve string, but my fingers may be too short. I also need to find a way to get a couple hours a day to devote myself to learning to play it well.

    (As a keyboard player, I was bothered a great deal by the 80s and subsequent versions of King Crimson. How DARE they produce such great music, and such interesting textures, without using a keyboard. It's just wrong.)
     
    Fred Coulter, Nov 17, 2016
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  12. Chuck Harvey

    Chuck Harvey

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    It is a very interesting instrument (the stick) and shares with the keyboard the ability to play bass lines, chords, and melody all together at once. I just love the ability to play all parts alone on one instrument as you are then a self sufficient musician who can play alone or with others as opposed to feeling a dependancy on other musicians to make complete music. I love how Tommy Emmnanual has been able to do that kind of thing on guitar too. Funny last night I played keys with a drummer friend of mine and it sounded like complete music compared to when I would just play bass with him. We no longer feel like we need a guitar player to play along with us to make it sound complete as my left hand takes the bass and right hand takes the harmony and melody - I love it more than the tapping.
     
    Chuck Harvey, Nov 17, 2016
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