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  #1  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:03 AM
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Default My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Ok, I've taken the plunge into contributing song / arrangement ideas for my band. After a number of years bashing out covers, the Fired Up boys are slowly introducing originals, & as a drummer, I had no way of transporting my ideas.

I can't play piano, but I can wing it a bit on chords, so I need to significantly improve my skill level on this instrument. I'm really happy with the sound quality & playing feel of this entry level piano though.

For the keys / gear guys here: Roland FP30 + Rode NT-USB.

I've no idea where this will take me, but at 57, I find that exciting!

Tips from keys / vocals songwriting drummers much appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Are you going to write songs from scratch with melody and harmonies and sing as well?
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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Originally Posted by blinky View Post
Are you going to write songs from scratch with melody and harmonies and sing as well?
That's the aim - yes. The band is already working on two originals submitted by other band members in a semi finished arrangement form. I aim to do the same - essentially, keys for chord structure / arrangement / bass line - acoustic drums - layered vocal scratch tracks.

The band then take that initial submission & work it through the band "machine", with each player interpreting the initial guide in their own way, then collectively deciding on final overall form.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Very cool Andy!! Didn't know you played keys as well. What other instruments do you play?
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Dang. I really expected to see somthing Bozzioesque here.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Very cool Andy

Always great to add more colours to your palette as a musician. Good luck with the writing.

The next Neil Peart!
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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Originally Posted by konaboy View Post
Didn't know you played keys as well.
I don't, but I can string a few chords together. Improvement needed.

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Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
Dang. I really expected to see somthing Bozzioesque here.
I hold my hands up to thread title deceit ;)

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Originally Posted by Juniper View Post
Very cool Andy

Always great to add more colours to your palette as a musician. Good luck with the writing.

The next Neil Peart!
Thanks Jon, but I don't have a head for hats, so the Peart angle is out :)
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

I studied piano in college and did a few recitals (wow - that was over 30 years ago now) so itís always a good investment to know how to work the keys. Congratulations on getting started!
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:03 PM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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I studied piano in college and did a few recitals (wow - that was over 30 years ago now) so itís always a good investment to know how to work the keys. Congratulations on getting started!
What was your major? Mine was percussion performance, which worked out, since Iím a technician with the phone company.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Good on you, Andy. Roland FP30 is a real nice unit, for the money.
I too, dabble with keys. Got a "old school" RMI 368x,
an Alesis Micron, and an Alesis Timbre Wolf.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Those who play multiple instruments are annoying! LOL

That's cool Andy. Should be a ton of fun.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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What was your major? Mine was percussion performance, which worked out, since Iím a technician with the phone company.
This is my favourite line on this forum.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Weird. I just came into the same situation. Saw a craigslist for a nice full featured workstation keyboard with a stand for it, a really nice music stand and even a good mic stand.

60 dollars total. Obviously I wasn't going to pass that up. The music stand alone was worth more than a hundred. It's almost too fancy to me.

Anyway, I'll be joining you on your drummer turned keys player adventure. Though your equipment appears to be a fair deal nicer!

So far, I'm having trouble generating the same "drive" to practice this as I get when I see a drum kit. Hope that will change as I get more adept.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

I always wished I could strum a Guitar or play a bit of keyboard, may you have the best of luck on your new venture.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:47 PM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

A great way to improve your drumming and overall musicianship, terrific idea, way to go! I find it so difficult to bite the bullet and pick up something besides drums. Respect, just wish that new kit was a classy natural, stain finish. I assume the keys are made from exotic mabooku wood from the Zandor rainforest.
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  #16  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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What was your major? Mine was percussion performance, which worked out, since Iím a technician with the phone company.
I did my level best NOT to major in music and got my degree in paralrgalism and did a stint at UCLA working in an English degree because I was gonna transfer to law school.

I ended up at Disney as a musician for 15 years and an audio engineer for 17 now. With the last few years being a rodent featured on a drum set in a parade named after the rodent. Go figure.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

My tip would be to use a midi keyboard along with a recording program. That way you don't have to play your parts perfectly. Just get it close and fix them. You don't even have to play the whole song or progression. I can play the hell out of any midi instrument.....one measure at a time :)

I suffered the same fate for decades, not being able to get my thought across on an instrument. Now it is extremely easy to play exactly what I'm trying to convey.
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  #18  
Old 01-14-2018, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Right on Andy! Good for you.


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Old 01-14-2018, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

I wish I could offer some advice.

My writing:
Hear something in my head.
Roll tape.
Reproduce a facsimile on guitar
Click the loop pedal.
Run to the bass.
Run to the drums.
Run back to my other guitar.

And BLAMO ---- Crap in a can.

At that point, you move on to the next song, and the next song. When you do get together with the guys, you have two dozen 16-bar-fart-songs lined up. Like tinder, they can simply swipe right or left. Nods get developed, Nays get regurgitated into something else down the road.


So I guess my advice is... Get your ideas recorded, even if it's just the hook, even if it's just a facsimile that captures the feel and concept of the song. Don't waste a lot of time developing things early on... Just enough to make it presentable. My other advice is... 80% of what we write is crap. You're going to have to figure out how to cope with disappointment.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:30 AM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I did my level best NOT to major in music and got my degree in paralrgalism and did a stint at UCLA working in an English degree because I was gonna transfer to law school.

I ended up at Disney as a musician for 15 years and an audio engineer for 17 now. With the last few years being a rodent featured on a drum set in a parade named after the rodent. Go figure.
But how are the rodentís paradiddles?
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post

So I guess my advice is... Get your ideas recorded, even if it's just the hook, even if it's just a facsimile that captures the feel and concept of the song. Don't waste a lot of time developing things early on... Just enough to make it presentable. .
Crap in a can was awesome and a great example of getting the song body in place! I loved the slightly unorthodox string bending.

Now throw some vocals into the mix.
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:11 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
I loved the slightly unorthodox string bending.
Unlike Bo, I only minored in Plagerism.... YOINK!

I can totally rip off Eric Clapton and Dicky Betts simultaneously.

;-)

Here's another 16oz can-o-turd, so that Andy gets the gist. Capture the feel, the idea of the song, and move on to getting the next one. Repeat until you're exhausted.

When an idea gets the nod, everyone takes it home and it becomes stone soup. Once everyone comes back with their bits, tack together an arrangement and begin developing the song. Do it often enough and it becomes a fairly happy-organic-band-experience where everyone gets to contribute.

Last edited by KamaK; 01-14-2018 at 05:36 AM.
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  #23  
Old 01-14-2018, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
My tip would be to use a midi keyboard along with a recording program. That way you don't have to play your parts perfectly. Just get it close and fix them. You don't even have to play the whole song or progression. I can play the hell out of any midi instrument.....one measure at a time :)

I suffered the same fate for decades, not being able to get my thought across on an instrument. Now it is extremely easy to play exactly what I'm trying to convey.
You're kidding, right? The whole idea behind playing an instrument is to play it well. No technology - just you and your talent speaking through the instrument.

I used to do a lot of MIDI arranging and sequencing back in the 80s and the 90s, and when I look back on it now, I'm pissed that I spent all that time doing that, when I imagine what I could've achieved on piano had I just practiced my arse off for 20 years!
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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But how are the rodentís paradiddles?
Best dang paradiddles by a rodent EVER!
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Thanks guys for your support & advice thus far - has turned a somewhat frivolous thread into something much more interesting. Too many thread replies to post individual responses, but as a general roundup:

I've no intention (for now at least) to make a real go of mastering piano. It's here simply as a song writing aid, so as long as I can attain enough facility to fulfil that function, I'm good for now. I'm not opposed to "cheating" if it's the fastest route to the most important immediate goal. Who knows, in the future, I may get bitten, but that's for another day.

KamaK - your posts were extremely useful, thank you. I intend to approach song writing with the vocal melody / phrasing / arrangement as the fundamental starting point. To me, it's by far the most important aspect of almost any song. Everything else can wrap around & support the vocal. I'm not getting hung up on instrumental detail, as the individual band members will take it away & work their own ideas into it anyhow - something I'm keen should happen.

At this early stage, we're received submissions that come from the opposite direction - an almost finished backing track. I find this difficult to work with, as it severely limits vocal melody options.
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:21 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I intend to approach song writing with the vocal melody / phrasing / arrangement as the fundamental starting point. To me, it's by far the most important aspect of almost any song. Everything else can wrap around & support the vocal. I'm not getting hung up on instrumental detail, as the individual band members will take it away & work their own ideas into it anyhow - something I'm keen should happen.
I worked with a singer that was like this. What ultimately happened is that he would write melody/lyric/cadence and a rough arrangement over very sparse music, like a three-chord-wonder song. I would do my thing with the rhythmic feel and orchestration completely independent of his stuff. We'd end up getting together and forming Voltron with the individual pieces. Take his words/melody over some droning Dmaj-in-4 and put it atop one of my arpeggiated Dmaj-in-4 riffs and guitar hooks. Worked well.

Opposite sides of the same damn coin I guess. ;-)
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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You're kidding, right? The whole idea behind playing an instrument is to play it well.

You're kidding, right?

The whole point of the thread was finding a way to convey his ideas to his bandmates.

It's not about playing an instrument, it's about composing.
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  #28  
Old 01-15-2018, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

Very nice. Reminds me of the Yamaha P-80 I had for several years. It was actually my wife's. I bought it for her when we got married because we didn't have much space and were moving to another town. I sold it a few months after we finally bought a home and replaced it with an acoustic upright, but that P-80 will always have a special place in my heart as I composed quite a few songs on it. And no, I don't really play piano either but have always used keyboards for sequencing and arranging.
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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You're kidding, right?

The whole point of the thread was finding a way to convey his ideas to his bandmates.

It's not about playing an instrument, it's about composing.
Nope. Iím not kidding. There is always a point of learning how to play something. Otherwise, why buy the keyboard? Why not just hum ideas to a band member to get the idea out?
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:24 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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Why not just hum ideas to a band member to get the idea out?
This isn't going to go the way you think...


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Old 01-15-2018, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: My latest kit: 88 up - 3 down - black wrap

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Why not just hum ideas to a band member to get the idea out?
Humming is not allowed, The whole point behind singing is to sing it well. You need to take the time and learn to sing properly.



Don't be foolishly stubborn. Tools are a good thing. And you still missed the point of the thread.
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