Coming from a background of playing acoustic piano, I was a bit surprised to discover that there aren't a lot of arranger players here who come from a piano playing background. It seems that the largest percentage of arranger players here come from a background in organ playing. It also seems that a number of forum members are accordian players as well.
I started playing acoustic piano at 4 (classical lessons), getting into rock in jr.high school and jazz type bands in college. Being both a vocalist and piano player, I needed a way to make money performing solo and found the arranger keyboard the best way to achieve this. Before the arranger, I gigged SOLO (playing the piano & singing) with custom made midi backup sequences playing back via my laptop computer. This soon began sounding rather predictable.
Prior to my discovery of the power of arranger keyboards (4 years ago), I had a lot of negative pre-conceived prejudices about them as tacky shopping mall toys for kids and non-legit musicians only. This all changed of course and now I love the arranger keyboard because it permits flexibility and spontaneity: being able to change the number of chorus/verses played, changing styles mid song, adding spontaneous drum fills, and throwing in tasty chord substitions to fit the spontaneous mood of the moment. The arranger keyboard just 'cannot be beat' for a LIVE solo or duo act.
I'm now interested in hearing from other forum members about YOUR music background and HOW you got into arranger keyboards. Also, how has your unique musical background helped you in transitioning to arranger keyboard type playing? - Scott