Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Yamaha CP4 Rebate
Yamaha CP4 Rebate
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
119 registered (Al LaPorte, anamnesis, A Guy, ando, 36 invisible), 1071 Guests and 13 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#1786146 - 11/09/11 11:19 PM Keyboard, for a 60s / 70s fan?
6070sMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 51
Loc: Iowa (US)
Dear all,

If I trip over local keyboard players I would ask these questions, but for the moment, anyone care to give an opinion on this? If so, I do appreciate it.

I have read and heard it said that a (lead) guitarist could play most real-world music that he'd come across, knowing just the major and minor pentatonic scales. If true, is there an answer like that, for someone playing keyboard in a band? (My interest, as former guitarist/drummer, is overall confined
to 60s and 70s music). Call me a dinosaur, or narrow-minded, but I know what I like so that's the name of that tune. ;-)

I could also ask if, in general, is there a particular facet of music that you learned over time that you found to be of great help that you would pass along to others? Was there a certain "a-ha!" moment or the time when the light bulb went on for you when you "discovered" something cool and that others perhaps actually noticed when you played?

It may depend in part on how many people are in a band, and who plays what. In one case, if there is no rhythm guitarist the keyboard could perform that chords background function, I would imagine. But, if there is a rhythm guitarist, what then in general does the keyboardist play? (Yup, what I ask does in fact stem from my current ignorance about these things, which is why I am asking). In short, are there certain areas/elements that serves the keyboardist well, for older rock music? I am slowly coming to realize that one likely can't be just a chords guy / button pusher technician in white lab jacket like a mad scientist - although, having said that, it may serve as a starting point if nothing else.

Or, is it the same, no matter what? Should I memorize a zillion scales, learn all key signatures by heart, or learn 4 chords or 12 or 72? If you play the music that I like what one thing or things, well and truly matter, would you say?

I am trying to get a sense of the lay of the land, to learn about what a competent keyboardist should know (for the type of music that I like). My "big dream," if you could even call it that, is to make it back to the garage or basement someday and make noise with the boys even if in the end it's just for
the pleasure of playing again and hanging out with like-minded people.

And, for this type of music, does one look at synths? Right tool for the right job, and of course, "more power." ;-)

Your opinions are appreciated, thanks.


Piano & Music Accessories
#1786292 - 11/10/11 08:19 AM Re: Keyboard, for a 60s / 70s fan? [Re: 6070sMusic]
Gerard12 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 776
Loc: South Carolina
I would start by learning most (if not all) of the major and minor triads and maybe dominant 7 chords in all their inversions with correct fingerings for both hands. Arpeggiate each inversion into octave wide patterns, also. That will really loosen you up.

Maybe learn a smattering of theory - start with the concept of I, IV, & V chords, and build from there.

Learn to play chord progressions with smooth voice leading (meaning that you really need to have knowledge of inversions). That'll help you when it comes time to play behind guitar solos.

Be able to play the blues and pentatonic scales at various tempos from ballad to frantic in keys that guitar players like to play in. Start with E and A.

There's a ton of books that'll help you with this stuff, but it's best to do it with a teacher. Any skilled player in a local band would be able to help.

Build your ear - play along with the recordings that you like, starting with the songs that only have 3 - 6 chords. Buy a transcribing program so you can slow stuff down.

Outlined above are the bare minimum starting points that I use with any student that asks what you're asking. You might want to post in the Digital Piano..... forum for questions concerning equipment. Have fun!

Edited by Gerard12 (11/10/11 08:34 AM)
Piano performance and instruction (former college music professor).

#1786638 - 11/10/11 06:52 PM Re: Keyboard, for a 60s / 70s fan? [Re: Gerard12]
6070sMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 51
Loc: Iowa (US)

Great, thanks. That was a help, in what to know, look for.
And, enough to keep this little old man busy a spell, I daresay. ;-) Again, thanks.


#1787353 - 11/11/11 10:46 PM Re: Keyboard, for a 60s / 70s fan? [Re: 6070sMusic]
Daniel Marsalone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 36
Loc: Phoenix, AZ

For 60s and 70s rock learn your power chords (root fifth) and fourths (fifth root) for chords. Practice them til you can play them like single note scales, chromatic, thirds, whole tone etc.

Also work on triads and their inversions for all keys.

For single line work/solos learn your minor pentatonics and then blues scales starting in the guitar keys D, A, B, E and then jazz/horn keys, F, Bb, Eb. You can get a lot of mileage out of minor pentatonics.

As far as what to play with a rhythm guitarist, I'd play pads quiet in the mix. Nice long organ or synth pads.


#1787448 - 11/12/11 06:54 AM Re: Keyboard, for a 60s / 70s fan? [Re: Daniel Marsalone]
6070sMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 51
Loc: Iowa (US)
Daniel M.,

Thanks, for very sensible real-world advice; you and an earlier poster homed in on very concrete examples.

My list grows, of what to learn; it all helps. ;-)

Thank you, kindly.

#1787797 - 11/12/11 07:49 PM Re: Keyboard, for a 60s / 70s fan? [Re: 6070sMusic]
IPlayPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 104
Ohhh this is fun! Two things: 1) Language. 2) Function.

1.) While all of the exercises mentioned above are very useful, they must be put in the context of language. How might you use an arpeggiated 7th chord in 60's and 70's music? Is it a part of the language? How are chords used in this era? I HIGHLY recommend transcribing note for note and listening closely to keyboard parts in your favorite tracks. What are those keyboardists doing? What does their language speak? Some things work and some things don't. THIS is pertinent.

2.) You mentioned something about playing chords if there is no rhythm guitarist. Perfect. This would be your function as it is what would be needed. However, if there IS a rhythm guitarist AND a lead guitarist then you now take on a new function. It all comes down to what you can add that is DIFFERENT and EFFECTIVE. This goes hand in hand with musical language. The keyboardist is never the rock star so get used to being Mr. One-Note rocker in the background making everything funky! The keyboardists has the power to hypnotize the audience without them even knowing. When listening to those tracks, ask yourself "Why did this keyboardist make this choice? What effect does it have? Also, listen for what the sound the keyboardist is using. Whirlies? Organs? Strings? Pianos? Sine Leads? Pads? Synth? Two sounds at once? Sometimes more? What effect does organ A have against organ B?

Make sense?

#1787921 - 11/12/11 11:41 PM Re: Keyboard, for a 60s / 70s fan? [Re: IPlayPiano]
6070sMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/11
Posts: 51
Loc: Iowa (US)

Wow - nicely phrased reply, with excellent points, and an angle that I had indeed not looked at (in the way which you described it very well).

Thanks - very much appreciated. ;-)
Regards, --Pat


Moderator:  sharpsandflats 
What's Hot!!
The February 2015 Issue of our Free Piano News Newsletter is out now! FREE Piano Newsletter
The best thing I've learned on Piano World....
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) Jazz Piano Online
Jazz Piano Online Lessons
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Unknown (to me) Grieg Op 3
by jdw
03/02/15 07:32 AM
Dynamic Quality of recordings
by peterws
03/02/15 05:47 AM
Wm Knabe & Co 1894 upright grand piano
by Dwinchester
03/02/15 01:38 AM
Recording your practices
by Anita Potter
03/02/15 01:23 AM
Yet another hand coordination question
by nw31304
03/01/15 11:07 PM
Forum Stats
78,364 Registered Members
43 Forums
161,992 Topics
2,378,663 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission