Finding a keys player:

Discussion in 'Keyboards' started by Banditt, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Banditt

    Banditt Supporting Member

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    I'm a Guitar player in a Funky, Souful, rocking blues Band...Think Robert Cray, Tedeschi Trucks, with some Sam and Dave thrown in. And have been having a really hard time finding keys player.

    I'm doing/done Bandmix, Reverbnation, Fandalism, craigslist, Guitar center board, and spread the word as best I can with all my fellow Musicians...not getting good results.

    The praise and worship bands in the area seem to be quite good, but neither I or anyone in the Band have any current connection to that crowd. I've even reached out to local Piano Instructors to see if they, or one of there more advanced students would be interested..

    Do you guys have any suggestions?..where do we find YOU GUYS? lol!...

    Edit: I'm involved in local Jams, friends with other Bands in area..active in local scene. The person I'm looking for is not in that group, coming out to jams, so looking for how to find someone not active in scene.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  2. Jr Deluxe

    Jr Deluxe Member

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    Good keys players can make money and dont have the patience to sit around while a start up band works out drum intros. Im not saying your band is a start up, im just saying if you got gigs where mr keys can make $150 a night, he'll find you.
     
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  3. Meriphew

    Meriphew Member

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    Go check out some live bands that have keyboard players. If you like them, talk to them and see if they’re interested.
     
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  4. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Keys players are an interesting bunch (maybe no more so than other musicians, but they definitely are "special").

    This is going to sound harsh - but how much money do you have?

    What your ad is missing is how much the person is being paid.

    There are 3 types of good keyboard players:

    1. Guys who have their **** together and are working playing, getting paid, and have no need to haul out a 3 tier rig to Joe's Pub and Grub for $50 a show.

    2. Guys who are great players, but who have some kind of issue that prevents them from getting paid - usually drugs, other issues (some out of their control) and so on. I've met unbelievable players who didn't even own a keyboard because they've had to sell it off. They needed a ride to rehearsal too. These guys will play in your band if you basically "home" them. But the issues are going to cause further problem that greatly outweigh their playing ability.

    3. Guitar players who can also play keys "well enough" and who "get it" from the typical rock band perspective. Usually they're not going to be the best keyboard player you can find, but they may be the best keyboard player you can find - and get to play with you...

    Honestly, you need to advertise a paid position and they'll come out of the woodwork. If you can't afford that I understand, but that's kind of how it works with keys players - you get what you pay for (which is really true of any musician, it's just that keyboard players are much rarer as "willing to play for free hobby players" than guitar, bass, and drums).

    If you have paying gigs, you need to advertise that.

    But you really need to look at "hiring" someone, not "looking for people who'd like to join a band".

    People that can play well and are into the kind of stuff you're playing are most often already working doing shows, union gigs, have church jobs or accompaniment gigs, theater work, pit band work, teach lessons, and all kinds of things that are both more lucrative and less trouble than playing bar/club gigs.

    Then there's the whole personality it takes to be a keyboard player thing, so...there's that too.
     
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  5. stevel

    stevel Member

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    See ;-)
     
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  6. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Or, rather, ask them how much they'd charge... ;-)
     
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  7. Banditt

    Banditt Supporting Member

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    Ha, yeah regarding type #2:. Guy told me if I wanted to hear him play, he had a gig at the big Hospital in town. Played 3 days a week from 11am-1pm. Went down to see him, Faboulous player! Grand Piano, from Bruce Hornsby to Bach.

    So intrigued I stuck through his set to his break, and I really had to be some place! Long story short, he's homeless, doesn't own any equipment. He does it for free cause they let him "Practice". Lol!
     
  8. Banditt

    Banditt Supporting Member

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    I used to live a mile from the beach in Virginia Beach...man I miss that area! Did you ever play the Jewish Mother?
     
  9. Jr Deluxe

    Jr Deluxe Member

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    Really great keys player in Guitar Center a couple of days ago. He was just browsing while some kid banged out jingle bells. He sat down at another keyboard and played along with the kid but ultra harmonising and substituting chords but all the time leaving space for the kid and not overpowering. But the guy looked only a couple of notches above homeless. I didnt ask him to jam. No offense to anyone but i cant adopt a player and become his keeper even to score great keys for my band. Been there already.
     
  10. Meriphew

    Meriphew Member

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    Well I guess that depends on how good your band is, and if you’re doing originals or covers. If your band isn’t great, or if you play covers, then yeah, you’re likely going to have to fork over money for a good player.
     
  11. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Not the old one down at the oceanfront. Played plenty of other places down there (all the beach stages, old cavalier ballroom, top floor of a hotel, other oceanfront clubs, the contemporary art museum, etc.)

    There was a 2nd Jewish Mother out on First Colonial that used to be something else and everyone played there. It was JM as well for a long time and then suddelny one day just closed its doors. It's now the Eagle's Nest "rockin country bar" and I've played there.
     
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  12. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Yikes!

    Yeah it's weird - I mean most musicians have, at best, an "artistic" personality, but many range more towards the "autistic" side sometimes (not to make light it that). Eccentricities abound but I think with good keyboard players there seems to be more of a left brain/right brain disconnect or something and many of them have been academically trained or are called on to do much more complex playing than most "rock" musicians, so playing keyboard pads and honky tonk piano doesn't seem to be interesting to them - or if they can do it they've got some other issue.

    Again I know the rest of us can be real peaches too but for some reason it seems like keyboard players don't seem to "get it" - they're a little more snobbish and elitist, and in a way sort of "outside" of band playing - the only way to get a good one is if some other band breaks up and one becomes available. Hard to catch the younger up and coming ones, and most of those guys aren't playing the kind of music we want them to be.
     
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  13. stevel

    stevel Member

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    The most telling part of the post!

    Yeah, this is one where it seems like we've all been there.

    I've met other instrumentalists who were similar in terms of "homeless" ish, but they're never good enough that you couldn't find someone "normal" to use instead. It's always the keyboard players who are just amazing, but have the host of other problems you want to stay away from (at least IME - and of course there are good ones who don't have issues as well so not all keyboard players are like this).
     
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  14. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    Working horn players always have leads on keyboard players that play jazz. Finding Rock and blues keyboard players is much more difficult. Like someone already mentioned , if you have gigs booked it's much easier, but that's true for any good player. Good luck, it's tough.
     
  15. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    You could try the Keyboard Corner forum (official forum of Keyboard Magazine). Brace yourself though for the posts/threads you will find, in which they rant about playing with guitarists. ;)

    The denizens there range from "It'd better be prog or I don't wanna talk to you" types, to jazzers, to quite a few who might actually be compatible with what you're looking for.

    It would definitely help if you have a dollar figure at hand when you do find a prospective player - they might not work for cheap, and def. won't work for free.
     
  16. stevel

    stevel Member

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    I'm a member of that forum as well.

    I only go there when I have very specific keyboard questions. There is a definite clique there and it's a much smaller forum so the sample size is much smaller (plus they tend to chase away those with a casual interest or who aren't of their ilk). There are a couple good, helpful poster (and I try to be) so good information can be had.

    But yes, if you really want to get a handle on the things I posted above, this is a good indicator of the general attitude you'll find with keys players (I'm not saying that guitarists don't deserve their own rants against them because there are plenty of dopey guitarists too, but again, there's something "special" about keys players that sets their issues apart from other instrumentalists).
     
  17. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    The sample size appears to be smaller, but one is more likely to find somebody who actually plays the keys there, than in many other keyboard/synth oriented forums. I don't even mean virtuosos - just peeps who can play keyboard parts in a band in real time.

    Another synth forum I go to is dominated by sequencer users - very different crowd than the weekend warriors, cover band players, etc.
     
  18. Jr Deluxe

    Jr Deluxe Member

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    I left KC about a year ago because of too many snarky jerks . Then the rest fawn over a couple admittadly great players but that kind of sucking up is hard to watch. Good info over there especially about keyboard midi.
     
  19. BSHARP

    BSHARP Member

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    It is really hard to find a keyboard player that can let it rip on a B3 like Jimmy Smith, Gregg Rolie, Greg Allaman or play the synth like Jan Hammer, or the Rhodes like Chic Corea. A lot of players can play from sheet music, but have a hard time improvising in a jam. And what was said earlier about moving a ton of keyboard equipment for a $50.00 gig says a lot. I would take a look at the local musiscians union to see who is available and might fit.
    I would also look at who is doing session work. You never know, you might meet someone you bond with. Good luck!
     
  20. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

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    I’m a keyboard player that also plays guitar. I’m not flashy at all; I’m more of a support guy. Because of that, I can literally be as busy as I want to be. I’ve only met a handful of keyboard players that I thought were easy to work with. Quite a few are prima donnas, and those folks are best left to their own devices. They have no idea what it is to support other players. So I’d say that if you check out other bands, look for keyboard players that blend with the other band members. I hope you find somebody soon.
     
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