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#678940 - 06/08/08 10:19 AM Hammond Organ
Keanefan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/06/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Keane band plays Hammond Organ in several songs. But is it possible for someone who knows to play piano to play this Hammond Organ?

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#678941 - 06/09/08 05:06 PM Re: Hammond Organ
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2130
Loc: Pennsylvania
I'm not sure which model Hammond they have but I can answer generically.

It would be very much similar, in fact, many church organists ended up with the job because they could play piano, not organ. You'll pretty much play left hand on the lower manual and right hand on the upper.

Where you get into the differences are with things like the expression pedal - it will be a bit different using your right foot to vary the volume, as well as if you use your left foot for the bass pedals. Then there are the drawbars. They will affect the harmonics in the notes. You will have to play with them to get the tone you want. Initially you might just set them and then play, but I see the pros adjusting settings to get different tones as they play.

Then there is the leslie speaker if the organ has one. as you play you would use the swithch to change speeds to get different effects.

Those are the things that come to mind.

Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
http://www.pianoorgandepot.com
Hammond Organ Technician


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#678942 - 06/09/08 05:37 PM Re: Hammond Organ
Tim Wat Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 13
Loc: Northern California
If memory serves Keane are big Yamaha users - apart from the ubiquitous CP70 the live rig includes an S90 and a Nord Lead. Drummer plays Yammie drums as well.

That's not to say it's not real tonewheels on the record, but I'm betting it's S90 live...there seems to be little MIDI chicanery involved in their live setup far as I can tell.

Obviously both Hammond and piano share at least one thing in common - the keyboard. So you'll be able to pick out chords and lead lines immediately.

But things depart from there - the entire musical vocabulary of the venerable Hammond organ is distinct and separate from piano - the Hammond is indeed it's own instrument - often imitated but never really replicated.

The deeper you listen to real organists (Jimmy Smith, Groove Holmes, Joey DeFrancesco, etc.), the more you find that voicings, timbre, expression and volume, sustain, and countless other techniques and ways of approaching musical concepts on the Hammond form a different vocabulary which is a deep well to draw from. Things that simply cannot be done on a piano (for instance, a slow swell on held Bb13 to full volume, add a dash of upper drawbar, brake the Leslie, and smear down) add a different type of expression unique to the Hammond.

Not to cloud the issue too much - you'll be able to jump in with a great deal of satisfaction on either the real thing (if you have access to a real Hammond) or a decent emulation (most of the good workstation synths, or one of the many 'clonewheels' out there nowadays).

My advice would be to find a Hammond or emulation and start playing exploring, while adding in healthy doses of listening to the recordings of real Hammond players.

Tim
_________________________
K2600Xs, Kawai MP4, Logic 8, Novation SL 61, Dyno'd '74 Rhodes, Moog Source, etc.

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#678943 - 06/09/08 07:24 PM Re: Hammond Organ
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8401
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
The weighted action used by most digital pianos will perhaps be too heavy for most organ players.

Therefore, I would recommend picking up a cheap second hand synth from eBay, with a light, 'waterfall' type action.

Next, MIDI it up to a PC or Mac running Native Instruments' B4, and play around with the various presets.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#678944 - 06/09/08 10:49 PM Re: Hammond Organ
wildpaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 154
Loc: Richmond, VA
Repeat after me: "there is no substitute for a Hammond organ. Period." Now I say that partly kidding, but there is some truth to it. If you are a good pianist, you should not have a difficult time transitioning to a Hammond organ, though you will have to learn new areas mentioned earlier like bass pedals, drawbars, etc. There are Hammond "clones" out there that do a pretty good job of emulating the Hammond sound, I can even do a pretty good one on my Yamaha SY77 synth, through my Leslie cabinet most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference. It would be difficult (though not impossible) to do Hammond style playing on a weighted key action, a synth style unweighted keyboard is much easier for organ riffs. Almost forgot, check out this Hammond player, Barbara Dennerlein at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60ut7yIuCEY .
Clyde
_________________________
DX7IIFD, SY77, SY99, Hammond C3, Steinway L, CP300, etc.

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#678945 - 06/10/08 12:01 AM Re: Hammond Organ
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2130
Loc: Pennsylvania
 Quote:
Originally posted by wildpaws:
Repeat after me: "there is no substitute for a Hammond organ. Period." [/b]
A man after my own heart!! \:D


Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
http://www.pianoorgandepot.com
Hammond Organ Technician


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#678946 - 06/10/08 03:53 AM Re: Hammond Organ
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Apparently Hammond is now working on an affordable, electronic version of their organs for release in the coming year.

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#678947 - 06/10/08 08:06 PM Re: Hammond Organ
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8401
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hammond was taken over by Suzuki a number of years ago. Since this time, their instruments have begun to embrace portability at an improved price.

As for the "no substitute for a real Hammond" argument, the 'KeyB' and 'KeyB Duo' produced by an Italian company have garnered a considerable amount of positive attention in recent months.

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=eLdF1jUj99A

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#678948 - 06/13/08 03:10 PM Re: Hammond Organ
ginger_vitys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 58
Loc: Nashville TN
I am a former Nashville session musician and have been playing keyboards some 30 years. I own a 1963 Hammond B3, an acoustic piano, and a Roland RD700GX. My training is in classical piano. These days I work on developing hand independence for playing Hammond jazz trio styles. My greatest musical skill is playing CD's.

Any pianist moving to organ will immediately confront the problem of tactile and muscle memory acquired by former study of piano. This is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome to be able to play the organ with full relaxation in hands and arms with accuracy, speed, and agility.

It takes a long time and considerable practice to learn the very light touch required for the organ. Unlike piano technique, there is virtually no use of arm weight, and no ability to effect the tone by velocity. Moreover, the organ's lack of a sustain pedal is very unforgiving- there's no way to fudge your errors.

One way to learn the tactile sensations of organ technique is to transcribe and play jazz solos. In order to play them at speed, one must sufficiently relax the hand and arm, thus learning the required tactile sensation.

Attempting to play the organ manuals with pianistic technique will result in sloppiness, tension, and eventually will wear on the organ mechanics. As Joey D says, "I never wear anything out because my touch is so light." That's the key.
_________________________
If you think education's expensive, try ignorance.

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#678949 - 06/13/08 03:14 PM Re: Hammond Organ
ginger_vitys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 58
Loc: Nashville TN
Hammond organs are like cats: no one owns one. We're merely custodians for a season.
_________________________
If you think education's expensive, try ignorance.

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#678950 - 06/17/08 06:39 PM Re: Hammond Organ
WRB-Greg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/17/08
Posts: 6
Loc: CT
I have a Hammond Porta-B that I used to "lug" around. When Hammond came out with the XK2, which was the first electronic Hammond that sounded real enough for me, I bought it. I haven't looked back. You MUST have a "tube" Leslie amplifier to get the true sound. A Leslie 145/147 is fine, and they still make them.
My recommendations would be to get an XK2 or an older "real" Hammond and play around with it. The stops (draw bars) are what you use to "color" the sound (mixing different pitches together in each note). A real Hammond is an amazing instrument that I took to within a few months. I hate to say this, but I actually enjoy playing my Hammond organs (with a Leslie, of course) as much as a good Piano!
Once you're looking to get a real rig, there is only one company, IMO, to speak with. Goff Professional in Newington, CT. Their web site is http://www.goffprof.com and they can customize your matched Hammond/Leslie pair to give you the full, rich sound these instruments are known for. FYI - they're clients are impressive. Check out the site.
_________________________
http://www.thewhiskeyriverband.com

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