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#405532 - 07/25/15 03:35 PM Arranger KB lessons, anyone?
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 5825
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Well yeah, if they were slightly more popular. There are piano lessons, organ lessons, trumpet lessons, etc., etc. etc. Each requires a different skill. Same can be said for getting the most out of an Arranger KB. In fact, it may require several skills, such as, arranging, and the ability to realistically simulate non-keyboard instruments on the keyboard. Understanding the role of the drummer is key and if you're not a drummer, how do you learn such things. Another needed skill is knowing which/what lead voice to play over a given background. I have heard some SZ performances lately where one, two, or ALL of these skills were missing. Songs played all the way through with ONE (horrible) lead voice consisting of multi-layered something or other (maybe calliope, strings, tuba, and ocarina, mixed together) played like a chorus several milliseconds off the beat. I didn't throw up but I did pass on dinner.

I don't know if you can actually teach timing because the player doesn't hear themselves being out of time. But for the other 98% of people who don't have this problem, it is a nightmarish listening experience. It is only exacerbated on a arranger keyboard with it's metronome/rhythm machine-like precision.

Luckily, most don't (and couldn't) play for pay but still manage to find long-suffering audiences to subject to megawatt 'performances'.

So, the question is, given the unique nature and capabilities of modern arranger keyboards, should MUSIC STORES, teaching studios, and private music teachers, provide arranger KB-specific instruction OR just continue to improve the technology but leave the poor customer to muddle through on his own to learn how to get the most out of these instruments.

Motorhome dealers provide driver training courses before they turn you loose with a $300k, 40ft, 35,000lb, 4-500hp, motorhome.
Beech, Cessna, and most small plane manufacturers have flight schools and safety courses for their specific planes.
Given the uniqueness and complexity of today's MOTL and TOTL keyboards, shouldn't Korg, Yamaha, Roland, and Ketron do the same?

Just asking.

chas
_________________________
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#405533 - 07/25/15 04:28 PM Re: Arranger KB lessons, anyone? [Re: cgiles]
spalding1968 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1233
Loc: United Kingdom
I'll bite Chas .

No special arranger keyboard lessons are necessary . If folks are struggling with timing then ordinary keyboard / piano lessons are not going to help so arranger lessons won't help either . If someone can't hear that certain lead instruments don't sound their best played as a chord throughout an entire song then it might be a struggle to teach them how to get the best out of these fabulous instruments However there is a valid argument for arranger keyboard lessons as many great musicians miss the opportunity of using an arranger because they don't know what they are capable of . Have a listen to this tutorial by Peter baartmans . I wish the whole session were available on dvd as I would surely like to hear his tips . http://youtu.be/-50DHkxtoAw

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#405534 - 07/25/15 05:27 PM Re: Arranger KB lessons, anyone? [Re: spalding1968]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4174
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Wow what a subject. Of course there should be keyboard arranger lessons. The beginners need it badly and so do the pros that get paid dollars for their performance.

There is never a time when we have arrived, we know it all. I certain musical keyboard talents and they are good, but there are areas where I help would be appreciated. Most people do not look at themselves objectively; they can hear when you run short but fail to hear their own errors. When I jumped off the band stand I did not want to know how good I was – my question was always, “Did you see any area that I could correct”. I did not ask that question of everyone.

The untalented player can be taught timing. How do I know this? I owned and operated a school of music with well over 400 students and 13 teachers. The only question I felt was important was, “Are you enjoying what you are doing”.

Those who are tone deaf – and they don’t know it, must read.
Lesson are for everyone, none of us have arrived.

Only my opinion, John C.

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#405553 - 07/25/15 10:39 PM Re: Arranger KB lessons, anyone? [Re: cgiles]
Henni Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 3168
Loc: South Africa
"Luckily, most don't (and couldn't) play for pay but still manage to find long-suffering audiences to subject to megawatt 'performances'."

Aaaah Chas my mate,

You have no idea how you offend by your "being the superior" yourself remarks. But then I've become accustomed to your personality by now. You come & go rather often over here, don't you? Some have nothing to contribute to their community apart from critsism. Some even see this as some sort of a "gift"

I would not allow myself to be insulted. We see the results of what we do almost daily. I've enriched both the Ketron & the Yamaha community with thousands of my midnight creations & they are being downloaded & used by others rather often. Some talk & some DO. I can say so much more, but I'd rather restrain myself before things get real ugly...

As for the right hand voices: I NEVER use them when we play live. I'm blessed with a wonderful, talented wife who sings. (Yeah, I KNOW you'll not like her singing also...). No need for me to impress anyone with any solo stuff, hence my poor choice of instruments.

One last thing - in what we do it's not about us in the least. We use our music only as a tool for some greater quest. But I'm sure you won't understand. Our audience is mostly not drunk when they hear us. I think for the intoxicated ANYTHING goes & it makes the artist esteem himself as being superior as is clearly demonstrated here.

"Dear Lord it's hard to be humble when you're PERFECT in every way..." comes to mind.

Henni
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Make sure you'll fly forever!

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#405555 - 07/26/15 12:24 AM Re: Arranger KB lessons, anyone? [Re: Henni]
Saswick Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 860
Loc: Garstang, Preston, Lancashire,...
Talking lessons reminded me many many years ago I went for a few lessons on a Yamaha spinet organ and I learnt to play Moonlight Serenade. Taking my life in both hands cause I only use the keyboard as an accompaniment tool these days I decided to see if I could still remember it, played by ear on the Pa800.

It's a bit hesitant and a few chords missing but here goes: keys

Style: Serenade band.

https://app.box.com/s/zq5vtowh5ee3dj8k925nk4jfak8nu188

Makes a change from vocals.

Col

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#405557 - 07/26/15 02:07 AM Re: Arranger KB lessons, anyone? [Re: cgiles]
abacus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4906
Loc: English Riviera, UK
Some have a natural musical ability, others would like to play music but feel they don’t have any skills, and there are those that play by ear (They hear a tune and can easily transpose it to the keyboard).

All can benefit from lessons, with the first learning how to put his musical ideas down, the second learning how music is made up and the third can learn how to commit his memory to hard copy.

A straight instrument (No backing features) is the most difficult learn, (but ultimately is the most satisfying) as everything has to be played by the one person. (Piano, Organ etc.)

An instrument with backing (Piano, Organ, Arranger etc.) can be very helpful in the learning process as it allows the player to sound good earlier in their learning curve, (Thus helping them to maintain interest) however, unfortunately a lot of them (Particularly if they only have one keyboard) tend to stay at this stage, rather than moving forward to find their full capabilities.

It is fairly easy to identify which is which, as the more experienced will develop their own style and use backing to just enhance their performance, whereas the others will sound pretty much the same as each other as they are effectively just playing along to a backing.

If you look at the more experienced musicians, they do not have a lot of backing tracks (Styles are just backings) as they prefer to stand out by being individual.

Depending where you are in the world will determine what teachings are available, with Asia being the top, as their parents push their youngsters to learn to play. (You will find many on YouTube that have fantastic playing skills, but ultimately it sounds cold as they are just playing the notes, rather than the music) Europe is also reasonably well supported as a lot of manufactures (Yamaha in particular) encourage it. (There are also professional exams available for those that are interested) The US on the other hand seems to be more limited with the most common probably being the Lowrey Organ teaching school. (Not much use if you don’t have a Lowrey though)

There are also many self-teaching books available (Many with a CD to show you how it should sound) which are a great help if you have no teachers local.

Most learners usually play a keyboard as if it is an organ, no matter what sound they are using, as they do not realise that to mimic an instrument requires more than playing the notes, and this is where a good teacher comes in.

If you understand how music is put together and how instruments work, then you will always be way ahead of those that don’t.

If you don’t have formal teaching in the early stages (Either via a teacher, DVD or books etc.) then you will develop bad habits which are very difficult to overcome at later stages.

There are always some people who just cannot play no matter what they do, and so usually move onto other things.

When new keyboards come out (Particularly Arranger Keyboards) you will soon see plenty on eBay as their owners find they cannot make it sound like the demonstrator did. (This is because the demonstrator is paid to show all the easy play features that will make the customer sound great, and miss out the fact that you still have to know about how music works to get that realistic sound)

There are many self-teaching information out there, so just do a Google search to find one that is suitable

Bill
_________________________
English Riviera:
Live entertainment, Real Ale, Great Scenery, Great Beaches, why would anyone want to live anywhere else (I�m definitely staying put).

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#405560 - 07/26/15 06:08 AM Re: Arranger KB lessons, anyone? [Re: abacus]
Bachus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 6756
Arranger keyboard lessons used to be a big thing here in the Netherlands, they replaced the organ lessons from when home organs where pretty popular..

Tough over the last 10 years they are slowly dispearing, where piano lessons are still going strong.. However, there is a new thing surfacing, its called keyboard player, where you learn and play all kinds of keyboards, like piano, organ, synth and... Arranger, where arranger playing actually focusses on playing acoustic instruments realisticali on an arranger... And some basics to music production..but also playing in bands and such... Its very very diverse..

Its not a beginners course, but a course for mainly medium level piano trained students..
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Yamaha Genos, Roland Jupiter 80, Ipad pro.

http://keyszone.boards.net

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#405562 - 07/26/15 06:39 AM Re: Arranger KB lessons, anyone? [Re: Bachus]
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 5825
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Originally Posted By: Bachus
Arranger keyboard lessons used to be a big thing here in the Netherlands, they replaced the organ lessons from when home organs where pretty popular..

Tough over the last 10 years they are slowly dispearing, where piano lessons are still going strong.. However, there is a new thing surfacing, its called keyboard player, where you learn and play all kinds of keyboards, like piano, organ, synth and... Arranger, where arranger playing actually focusses on playing acoustic instruments realisticali on an arranger... And some basics to music production..but also playing in bands and such... Its very very diverse..

Its not a beginners course, but a course for mainly medium level piano trained students..


Interesting! I wonder if the model you described is unique to the Netherlands or is it representative of most of Europe. Interesting too (but not surprising), is the fact that piano lessons seem to be the preferred way for most parents to introduce their kids to music. Any thoughts about why the waning interest in Arranger keyboard lessons? Does that reflect a waning interest in the instrument itself? Out of curiosity, how often do you see them featured in public venues there? Is it mostly in OMB settings....or?

chas
_________________________
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#405564 - 07/26/15 06:57 AM Re: Arranger KB lessons, anyone? [Re: cgiles]
124 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 2075
I'm not sure if it's outside of North America too, and it's not specifically for arranger players, but there's something called 'LoKnoPla'.

I found this blog on it and, if you scroll down to the Comments section, there's a quick explanation of the method. Sounds interesting.

http://dianemoserpianostudio.blogspot.ca/2011/11/life-of-piano-teacherpart-1-judith.html

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#405581 - 07/26/15 09:29 AM Re: Arranger KB lessons, anyone? [Re: cgiles]
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 15952
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
For whatever reasons, I've been approached a lot about giving arranger lessons. I've tried to help some friends get started, but so far none of them has really had the "want to" enough to do much with it.
It seems SO simple to me but when you start teaching someone you realize that maybe it isn't so simple, because so many different skills are involved--timing, learning chords, learning notes, music theory, instrument emulations, learning the operating system. . . on and on. There are so many levels of arranger use. I mostly play the styles and comp with right hand. You can also use sequences, multi-track your own recordings, make your own styles, songs, sounds, again, on and on.
Both my younger sons took a couple years at Yamaha music school and learned a little, but neither was interested in pursuing it. They do, or did at the time, offer an excellent program. But it takes desire and perseverance, as does anything worthwhile.
The wonderful thing about playing arrangers is that you can enjoy them and benefit from playing them at just about ANY level. You don't have to be great to make music with them. Music should be FUN and playing it is GOOD for you, at whatever level.
Years ago I thought I was pretty good. Now I go back and listen to some of it and it was not very good. Now I am my own worst critic. Most of us are very slow to criticize how the others sound and are satisfied to encourage them. I have always welcomed criticism because I use it to learn and try to get better. I've been fortunate to have friends who will say things like "The right hand is too loud, the vocal is too loud, the sax guy didn't take a breath, that is not the way that song was written, you're playing the wrong chords, etc." All chances to improve and much appreciated by me.
It's a deep subject and I'm ready for breakfast after another long night of entertaining rich folks from Texas!
God bless 'em though, they keep me from having to get a real job.
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DonM

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