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#187737 - 11/22/10 04:47 PM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
rattley Offline

Registered: 11/14/99
Posts: 773
Loc: Punta Gorda Florida USA
Started playing cornet in grade school in 3rd grade.

Family bought Lowrey Console organ when I was in Jr High School. It had no automatic anything, so I learned left hand chords and rhythm and right hand melody with harmony. I remember those cheesy "Magic Organ" LPs advertised by Ktel on TV. Always wanted an organ with auto rhythm and auto chords.

Right after High School, 1978, bought my first portable keyboard. May have been an early PSR??

Sometime around 1982 I first saw MIDI stuff at a local music store. I was immediately hooked. Soon after had a Casio CZ101, Yamaha TX81Z, QX5 sequencer and finally a DX-7. WOW.................those were the days!!!!!

Later...............PSR1000, PSR2000, Korg i40M, Roland SC8850, PSR3000, Tyros2, Tyros3 and now Tyros4!!

................and the journey hasn't ended yet, I hope!! Here's to the future! -charley

#187738 - 11/22/10 05:30 PM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
btweengigs Online   crying
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2142
Loc: Florida, USA
Tony, I think it was a KN700. In order to select a style you had to hit a quadrant of buttons. As I remember, 3rd party styles could not be utilized. Preset styles very limited by today's standards. Key feel was non-existent. Piano sounds were so thin I added a Roland E20 to the setup.

It was next to impossible to keep a performance seamless for all the necessary button pushing.

I never had a KN 1000, but a few of my buddies did and it was a major leap for Technics.


[This message has been edited by btweengigs (edited 11-22-2010).]

#187739 - 11/22/10 06:01 PM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4356
Loc: Michigan
Yes, organ since early on. (Dad was an organist). A natural progression of learning chord theory works well.

Dad bought me a Farfisa way back. In bands, I played that and eventually the B-3 and Rhodes.

While away from music and in the corporate world for 25 years, I ALWAYS made sure to have a keyboard at home, albeit a grand piano, D-20, etc. Mostly, I was intrigued with workstations (sequencing). Never did I lose my playing skills.

As an industrial chemical rep, manager, etc, I frequented music stores more than I should have. It was my true love - always. I fell in love with the Technics KN7000 and VA-7 and maybe 5-6 years ago, finally stumbled into the arranger world. My first purchase was the PSR200O.

I went independent a while back and while doing the chemical sales routine, I decided to buy my first arranger (2000) and play my first gig, just for giggles. Well, the rest is history, because I now play full time and make a fairly good income. (As long as my wife works, I can do this ).

Life is good, as the technology allows me to solo like a band, including the harmonizer. Working up material in my studio is pure joy. I haven't played bands for a while, but am totally content to use my skills and imagination on an arranger.

There is sooooo much to learn in the music field and soooo many projects to do. It will never get tiring and I hope to continue life's work journey in this venue
Korg PA3X / PSR SX900 / MTM monitors / QSC 8.2s / Zed mixers / Blue mics

#187740 - 11/22/10 07:02 PM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
montunoman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/20/09
Posts: 2527
Loc: Dallas, Texas
What a great thread! It so neat to learn about other folks backgrounds.

I started off on drums. My HS band director had a great music program. We learned music theory, had a great jazz band, orchestra, marching band, and show orchestras. I ended up learning mallet percussion, tympani, drum set and Latin percussion. In college I kept on doing music and took group piano classes. I was lucky to have very good teachers. After two years of group lessons I took a jazz piano harmony class taught by Dan Harlee. I got good enough at jazz comping that I played in some jazz combos and even a jazz trio. I also became really fascinated with latin styles and got the nickname "montunoman"

In 2000 I bought an old upright piano and I've been practing on it ever since. Around the same time I started a latin group with my wife. I played percussion and marimba and she sang. Eventually I started making midi files because it was too hard to maintain an 8 piece band.

I had always thought that arrangers were toys for home use. I heard a Tyros a few years ago and it blew me away. In my dou, I do just keyboards now and hardly use midi files. I love freedom that the arranger gives use.

I still have a lot to learn but I love the journey!
It not the keyboard, it's the keyboardist.

#187741 - 11/22/10 07:23 PM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
Stephenm52 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 4848
Loc: USA
I started with piano lessons at 11 didn't have much real interest but still took lessons, didn't learn much, quit at 14 or 15. Then at 18 after hearing Keith Emerson, I started back in a did a few years of some serious practice. When reality struck I'd starve if I had to depend on playing music for a living I wound up buying a 6 foot Samick grand piano to play at home and a B3. Ironic, because my career in sales gave me the $$$ to buy the toys and frustrating because those toys could never earn a living for my wife and I.

Fast forward to my early 50s and for one birthday about 6 years ago my wife bought me a $149 Casio arranger I just laughed and said "ya gotta be kidding!" I got this great piano and you bought this toy. I was all set to return it then realized it was a fun instrument, took it to a few parties, then one thing led to another and I sold the Samick bought a couple of different Clavinovas CVP series, I still have the 307 Clav, it never goes out of tune like the Samick did when the seasons changed. I'd never go back but in the meantime my left hand technique ( what little I had ) has gone away. But I'm having one hell of a time playing the arranger.

[This message has been edited by Stephenm52 (edited 11-22-2010).]

#187742 - 11/22/10 08:21 PM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Wow, I'm thoroughly enjoying reading about everyone's fascinating backgrounds as it provides a deeper understanding & appreciation of one another, where we come from, and where we may want to take future forum discussions.

Please keep the member background stories coming. Thanks - Scott

#187743 - 11/22/10 11:12 PM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
rikkisbears Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 5505
Loc: NSW,Australia
started taking piano lessons at age 20 for about 1 year.. Was told I was too old to ever play properly. For the next 15 years or so, I'd have the odd spurt of playing for a few months, then dropping it again.

Then I also got involved with synths & midi files & keyboards in the late 80's.

best wishes

[This message has been edited by rikkisbears (edited 11-22-2010).]
best wishes

SX900, P121 Piano, Band in a Box 2019
V Arranger/Ketron SD2

#187744 - 11/23/10 10:13 AM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3353
Loc: The World
I started Piano Accordion lessons at 7, went through to 14. Studied not only the "normal" accordion, or Stradella, but I also concurrently studied the, at the time new, Classical Accordion. And of course, ugghh!! Theory...Every Saturday afternoon, two hours of theory lessons....LOL, most of which I cannot remember now. Same as all that maths S@#t at school

This is where the bottom three rows of the chord buttons were transformed to single notes, allowing the playing of classical style music. It was in this form I won the Australian title when I was 13.

I gave up music for about 7-8 years, before being talked into joining a three piece combo, BUT I had to play "normal" keyboards. So I bought a Rhodes Flat-Top mk II with the Dyno-My-Piano kit installed. Adding a Roland JX-3P a few months later, which started my involvement with electronic keyboards. This led me into the world of piano keyboards, and I progressed as most do, through many different models and brands after that.

I then played in a few bands over the next 23 or so years, arriving to a point where I had given up bands, but I still wanted to play music. So I looked around for solutions to how this could be achieved.

It was at that time I discovered the Roland RA-50, and IT was the start of my arranger career. Coupled it with the A-33 controller.

When I look back at that start I realise just how far arranger keyboards have come. And really, in my view, the difference between them all now is so close, we can have the luxury of allowing "personal taste" to sway our decisions.

I am still looking for my "nirvana" in an arranger keyboard, one that does everything in one box, but that day is still to come


[This message has been edited by miden (edited 11-23-2010).]

#187745 - 11/23/10 11:49 AM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
Bill Lewis Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 2047
Loc: Bluffton/Hilton Head SC USA
Started piano at 10 . Wanted to play trombone but my father said play piano you can always work alone. Great advise. Started gigging at 16 with my red Farfisa. went through all the changes up to a Hammond B3 with pedals, a Rhoades, Synths and the whole deal with a kick a** trio. Eventually wound up with just me and a drummer. When he left for Florida I went solo with a drum machine. Went through a few girl diva singers and wound up solo again. Still played two keyboards, pedals and drum machine. Started checking out arrangers at my friends music store and fooled with a few. Bought and hooked up an RA90 to one of my synths, had fun with it and then bought my G1000. I still have it and two others. I miss playing everything "Live" but no one minds and its a lot less to move. Still use styles for the freedom and cannot bring myself to sing over backing tracks as so many are doing now.
Its the thing to do and the wheel has turned but I think I've got a flat HA!

Bill in NJ
Bill in SC --- Roland BK9 (2) Roland PK5 Pedals, Roland FP90, Roland CM30s, JBL Eon Ones (2) , EV mics, Apple iPad (2) Behringer DJ mixer

#187746 - 11/23/10 02:46 PM Re: How did YOU get into Arranger Keyboards ? !
spalding1968 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1241
Loc: United Kingdom
i started playing the guitar at age 10 and sang with my sisters as a family singing group though my teenage years. Took up the flute for a couiple of years but it didnt really grab me. I loved composing songs and felt that keys were a better fit to me. i was about 20 and went into rackhams ( are department store in the UK) in Birmingham and on the top floor roland had a display of home instruments and highend electric/digital pianos. A guy was sitting at the keys of a roland EM2000 playing Michael bolton s song ' how am i supposed to live without you ' and i was stunned that such great music was coming from this one instrument. As a song writer it was a dream come true and i was literally moved to tears.

I was a student with no money but i worked all through the summer holidays coaching basketball and saved up until i could buy my first arranger which was a casio HT 5000 i think. Then i bought a technics KN1000 which was awesome and then the yamaha psr 8000. Many years later a client of mine who was a jazz pianist agreed to teach me to play jazz piano if i gave him free financial advice. Musicians are typically terrible with money ! Anyway he is now a very well off retired musician and i now have a life time love for arrangers , jazz funk and blues. Just finished a DVD for my choir with 9 songs on it all played live on my PA1X and if i get clearance i will put excerps up on yutube for you all.

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