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How I got started/keyboard techniques
Old 3rd May 2008
  #1
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How I got started/keyboard techniques

A friend of mine needed a ride to Guitar Center and I gave it to him. I was a DJ at the time and I was just hanging out. Anyway when we got there the sales guy was pushing a new sequencer called the Yamaha QX1 on us. He told us with the QX1 we could play keyboards like Stevie Wonder, even if we'd never played keyboards in our lives. My firend didn't believe him, but I, having never played keyboards in my life, was all ears. I listened and I believed him.

He found out I worked at the Post Office and gave me a huge line of credit, about 10k. I
bought the Qx1 and was ready to go, but the sales guy brought up a good point, telling me i should'nt have a sequencer without a keyboard, so I bought a keyboard too. Then he told me I really needed a drum machine too, so I bought one of those. Then he told me I really should have a mixer, so I could hear everything playing at the same time, so I bought that too. Then he told me I should have a 4 track recorder to record everything, so I bought that too..........and another keyboard..............and a TB303...............

The final tally was about $9000, and it was all I could do to get out of there before he got the final $1000 of my credit iine. News got out pretty fast that I'd spent a load of money on musical equipment and I didn't even know how to play anything. My friends came over and laughed at me for a good 6 hours..............I felt about 11 inches tall when they finished with me........................

I wrote my 1st song 2 days later. I gave it to my friend Sleezy, and he gave it to Ron Hardy at the Music Box. Ron Hardy started playing it and within 6 months, I had 15 songs playing at the Music Box. The next year I had Move Your Body, the House Music Anthem out, and Dj's everywhere started hiring keyboard players and telling them to play like Marshall Jefferson.

All I do is what the sales guy told me: play everything at a slow speed, then speed it up. repeat, add notes to chords, and you can even step time notes on top of parts you've played. It was easy then, and it's even easier now with today's technology. When I 1st started I would play things at 40 bpms, and then speed it up to 120. Today, I'm a little better, I can play things at 80, 90, or even 100-110, and speed it up to 125-135. I'm not as meticulous as I used to be though.
Old 3rd May 2008
  #2
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthere View Post

All I do is what the sales guy told me: play everything at a slow speed, then speed it up. repeat, add notes to chords, and you can even step time notes on top of parts you've played. It was easy then, and it's even easier now with today's technology. When I 1st started I would play things at 40 bpms, and then speed it up to 120. Today, I'm a little better, I can play things at 80, 90, or even 100-110, and speed it up to 125-135. I'm not as meticulous as I used to be though.
Hey mate,

That's funny and great to hear! I do my head in often as I don't sample on my releases and so either use session musicians OR (what I thought before today was cheating) play keys in at a slower speed before speeding it up.

Pretty much all my releases have a part in the track that's been played in PAINFULLY slow then sped up... I've had a huge complex about this... and would get coy around my jazz friends who bust of chops at 190 bpm 16th notes like it ain't no thing!

ski
Old 3rd May 2008
  #3
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inthere's Avatar
 

Ralph, I never worried about what musicians thought about my playing, all i thought about was playing what I wanted to hear. Ce Ce Rogers is a sensational keyboard player, but i played all the keyboards on his 1st record (Someday). My cousin Bill Dickens is a world class bass player, I've written scores for both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra-I don't care how many credentials somebody has, we're all making music.
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