Re: Piano-X ???

from: popeye-x 1/28/02-10:14:30-

hell no there ain't no electronic piano that has a handle and sounds and feels the same as a real one. I'm sure its advertised, but its nonsense. My favorite grand piano attempts are Kurzweil [the high end models] and Gigasampler [hard disc streaming software]. They only sort of sound like one, forget the feel. The only way to deal with the weird feeling of every keyboard being a piece of plastic shit is to adapt to each one. I remember when I had some difficulty playing the way I wanted to when moving between weighted wooden keys and plastic organ keys, (we're talking 1973). I also used to play by how my hands felt in specific positions forming chords over certain notes. In fact, that's also how I visually located the notes, by my hand patterns. I'd tell myself B major, and my hand and brain would locate on the white B key with the two black keys above it, D# and F#. But right around the same time, 73-74, I was doing a lot of sax charts every day, writing parts and making transpositions for tenor or alto, etc. and the daily grind of the notation staffs became my vector equilibrium for notes, i. e. no hand positions at all, just the notes on the staffs somewhere, and I'd apply that to all the instruments, not just the one's I played. Real quick I stopped using my "chops" to play. For one thing, they were always behind the curve of pressing necessity, and also because I couldn't get any new sounds with familiar techniques. They weren't anywhere near fast enough to cope with the crazy music we were creating at the time. So... I started playing by note, or theory if you wish, and that allowed me to play any keyboard as a fresh approach, just starting from scratch all the time, and dealing with it. The best benefit was how it opened up a clear path to play fluently anywhere, anytime, anyway, for any ol' reason, or at least be able to TRY, and I could endlessly make up and play stream of consciousness shit like a white trash Cecil Taylor, I could play it way before I could fully hear it, so I just let my ears be the chops, instead of my hands, and when it got too confusing, I'd just leave notes out until it made sense. I don't know ANY songs, not on keyboard, nor on any instrument. I know how songs go in my head, and if I were playing a given song in a given key, instead of memorizing how to play it, I listen to the sound, and play where I hear it going, I can tell what the upcoming chords are as a song plays, even if I've never played it, sometimes even if I've never heard it. The on the spot analysis of what's going on in my ears gives me more than enough buffer time to be grabbing the right notes when the right time comes. One tricky thing about music is how it will fool your hands. A certain melodic lick will seem like its making different intervals in your head, than it really does when played. This is caused by the harmonic, or chord related, tension between notes, it makes the scales trick your ass every time, that's what makes it fun. But, to overcome that wonderful illusion you do have to tell yourself, oh yeah, when I go there, do this instead of that. But that's the only "chops" I use. I tend to apply chops rather than play with them. I play them, not the other way around. I guess the ONLY conscious technique I use to play the way I need to is paying microscopic attention constantly to rhythmic feel. It is a rhythm I am listening for, NOT generating, but receiving it, in a constant state of fixed attention to feel it, NOT play it. It will tell me when to play, and what, and how much. I let IT play, and I follow it and supply the hands at the proper time. I don't tell my hand, go there, play that... NOW. Even if I did that perfectly in time, it would still feel and sound dead, because it has no rhythm. Rhythm is more than time, its how time feels, and if you play notes, with discipline, using rhythm feel as your only guide, you can play any keyboard, any song, or just complete abstract nonsense, which is not only really really fun, but that's the secret cave where all the licks in the future come from. That's the pussy fresh music slithers out of... that's how you break into the vault and steal all the lost chords. That's when you get to "keep" anything you can play. If its something that no one has ever heard before, not even you, then it qualifies as originality, and when played from the heart, this is the criterion for excellence in the music world.



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