#1
Hey guys,

I'm caught between instruments here. I have a background in classical piano (10 years, I'm 21) and was wondering how many rock bands actually want or need a keyboard player/singer. I have a great performance keyboard/synth that I'm very familiar with (Nord Stage) if that helps.

I would love to just focus on piano/vocals/writing as competent musicianship is really important to me but I do feel a little limited artistically, especially in the kind of rock I'm into (Smashing Pumpkins, Alcest, Amesours, Slowdive, Buckethead, just to name a few influences).

Would I spread myself out too thin if I tried to pick up guitar? I want to be a great pianist and a decent singer but I'm afraid that picking up guitar would take away practice time from the piano and singing. I'm a huge believer in hard work and practice when it comes to music.

It feels like these are my options especially because of full-time school and part-time work:

Be a killer pianist/decent singer
or
Be a good pianist/decent singer/mediocre guitarist

Maybe I can just play rhythm guitar? I don't know, maybe this is my OCD all-or-nothing kind of mindset. I just don't like the idea of being a jack-of-all trades, master of none kind of musician. I do still feel that I'm missing an important aspect or element of my artistic voice, though.

I practice around 2.5-3 hours a day on the piano. There's no way I'm letting anything else cut into that time. Is an hour enough for practice on the guitar? I doubt it. On the guitar, I'm not trying to be Billy Corgan or Buckethead good, I just want to not suck and be able to play decent solo's.

I'm really lost here. Is this realistic?

Mods, please move if this is in the wrong forum!

Thanks for reading and any input, guys. I really do appreciate it.
#2
I honestly read bits and pieces of that, but really you can be amazing at multiple things (see Navene Koperweis) and keyboardists (especially good ones) are often a really awesome addition to a band in any genre.
#3
i think you'll be fine either way. an hour a day of practice everyday should be fine to get you to a fair level of competency within a few years. it's really about practicing effectively. but if you decide that you'd rather stick with keyboards, keyboard would be very useful for rock, and in fact many great bands' sounds have prominently featuring keyboards, such as ELP or The Doors. and since there are a far smaller number of keyboard players that play that type of music compared to the number of guitarists, you shouldn't have too much of a problem finding a decent band if you are competent (and with 10 years experience, i'd imagine you would be).
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#4
Expand your influences and things open up. Journey, Van Halen (*flame shield*), etc., all use a lot of piano/keyboard synth.
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#6
You're not gonna forget how to play piano by letting go a minute or two from practice time.

If you can apply all your musical knowledge to the guitar effectively you've got half of your learning down. The other half is just technique, which takes time.

Don't make it feel like a chore, play when you want too and whatever instrument you want too, and how good you come out is completely up to you.
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#10
Every major rock band has a keyboard player, most just keep them offstage. Plenty of stuff a keyboard player can do.
#11
It definitely helps to have a good synth nowadays, which you have.

You don't need to know that much for guitar - it's very user friendly. The theory that classical background gives you should make it just a matter of figuring out what each string is tuned to and working on muscle memory exercises, I believe.

It's handy to have I'd say, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Don't invest a whole lot in it, but a used Mexican strat can be had for $200-$250, even less if you haggle it(I got mine at $220 with a free case), and it's always handy to have the instrument there if you do want it.

Also, you definitely can rock pianos.
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#14
Also, if we want to go back in history, Jerry Lee Lewis (who was a leading figure in early rock 'n roll) rocked the piano pretty hard. See?
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#15
Quote by lawinnn
Hey guys,

I'm caught between instruments here. I have a background in classical piano (10 years, I'm 21) and was wondering how many rock bands actually want or need a keyboard player/singer. I have a great performance keyboard/synth that I'm very familiar with (Nord Stage) if that helps.

I would love to just focus on piano/vocals/writing as competent musicianship is really important to me but I do feel a little limited artistically, especially in the kind of rock I'm into (Smashing Pumpkins, Alcest, Amesours, Slowdive, Buckethead, just to name a few influences).

Would I spread myself out too thin if I tried to pick up guitar? I want to be a great pianist and a decent singer but I'm afraid that picking up guitar would take away practice time from the piano and singing. I'm a huge believer in hard work and practice when it comes to music.

It feels like these are my options especially because of full-time school and part-time work:

Be a killer pianist/decent singer
or
Be a good pianist/decent singer/mediocre guitarist

Maybe I can just play rhythm guitar? I don't know, maybe this is my OCD all-or-nothing kind of mindset. I just don't like the idea of being a jack-of-all trades, master of none kind of musician. I do still feel that I'm missing an important aspect or element of my artistic voice, though.

I practice around 2.5-3 hours a day on the piano. There's no way I'm letting anything else cut into that time. Is an hour enough for practice on the guitar? I doubt it. On the guitar, I'm not trying to be Billy Corgan or Buckethead good, I just want to not suck and be able to play decent solo's.

I'm really lost here. Is this realistic?

Mods, please move if this is in the wrong forum!

Thanks for reading and any input, guys. I really do appreciate it.


yes you can. My rock band needs a keys player atm, but I doubt you're from New Zealand or likely to be moving to Australia
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#16
Holy shit.

Mike Garson
Jordan Rudess
Jerry Lee Lewis
Nick Cave

Thanks for the advice and keyboardist recommendations, everyone. Maybe I've been misguided from the false notion that you can only rock with guitars, bass, and drums. Maybe I can feel 100% and not limited when I actually perform live with a band.

Druz, I'd check out and audition for your band in New Zealand, but I'm in California. Sorry!
#17
also Jack White, not an amazingly talented pianist but he sure can rock em, also Matt Bellamy
'08 Gretsch White Falcon
'98 Fender USA Deluxe Tele
'79 Greco Les Paul Standard
Airline Stratotone Crafter GAE8

A bunch of funky pedals

Handwired 50 Watt Plexi Lead Clone w/ Orange 4x12
#19
Check out Deep Purple, Jon Lord's organ is a huge part of their sound.

A keyboard is as important as anyone else in a Rock Band, and how visible and how major a role is completely up to your specific band. Not to mention music is music, if you can write music for the piano you can write music for the guitar, bass, and vocals just as easily.
#20
Rock and play the piano?


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#21
What bro? Have you not listened to the many rock and roll bands with pianists? Isn't the whole sound of rock and roll based on the sound of a piano drums bass guitar and vocals? You know how many bands have keys? Tons bro, tons....
#22
A lot of alt rock bands have keyboardists.

Hell, rock bands from every genre have keyboardists. Just find a band that can accept you, and you'll make it work.
#24
Quote by lawinnn
Maybe I've been misguided from the false notion that you can only rock with guitars, bass, and drums. Maybe I can feel 100% and not limited when I actually perform live with a band.


yeah, there are tons of bands with keyboards. here are a few bands to give you an idea of the diversity of uses of keyboards within rock and metal:

Deep Purple
Duran Duran
Guns n Roses
Arcturus
Elton John
Skepticism
Faith No More
Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
Sonata Arctica
The Animals
Windir
Blood Stain Child

and there are hundreds more examples i could give.
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#25
Jack White can rock out on a piano.
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#27
yeah, i instantly thought Deep Purple.
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#32
ITT: TS looks for attention by asking obvious question.
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#33
Pick up guitar anyway.
Learning another instrument vastly improves and changes the way you play your main instrument. It maybe won't you give your more speed/technique on the piano. But it'll open your mind musically in ways you can't imagine at this point. Which is I hope the most important thing.

And yeah sure, you'll be able to find a band. Especially these days, keys are getting popular again.
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#35
Quote by ortrigger
Expand your influences and things open up. Journey, Van Halen (*flame shield*), etc., all use a lot of piano/keyboard synth.



this ^^ But also get into death metal/black metal. Lots of really good bands with keys.

Fleshgod Apocalypse is my personal Fav.

But Abigail Williams, dimmu, etc
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