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Big Road Blues Discussion Forums 2005-08-14T02:44:23+00:00 2005-08-14T02:44:23+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]> >time at the blues jam. Winter is just around the corner.

man, don't remind me. Winters up here are brutal. That would be so cool to visit and jam - especially after I read your vocal training program you outlined in the Dam My Voice thread.

Statistics: Posted by nizer — Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:44 am

2005-08-13T22:51:00+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]>
Here is a way to take the digital edge off of a stage piano. I play a Yamaha P120 and love the piano sounds but I really want more of an old upright piano sound like in an old juke joint or on Memphis Slim or Otis Spann records. A couple of months ago I got a 1969 Fender Twin Reverb chassis and still plan to have the three minor mods made to take it back to Leo's original specs and have cabs built, etc.

Two weeks ago, because I was working in my new music store (not open yet) but word has spread and I am buying some great gear. Anyway, this guy brings in a Fender 135 Tube PA system. The amp section and tubes are almost identical to a Fender Twin Reverb but the transformers are larger and this has 135 watts of power and four channels. The columns are black tolex with white "wings" extending from the grill cloth and at an angle out about 8" to meet the front of the cab and each column has 3 - 10" Fender Blue "Special Design" speakers. I'm guessing it is early 1970s.

I experimented with it and took it to a jam I host. I ran my piano through one channel with both cabs leaning at an angle against the wall. I cranked the Master Volume to 8 to let the tubes breathe and set my volume at 1 1/2 with the Bass and Treble Controls set at flat. Man, what a sound! Nice and warm and not so brittle. I added the delay on my P120 and though it still won't sound like an upright it now has a whole new great texture run through the tube amp. I then ran three of the jammers guitars (though not 3 guitar players playing at the same time) through the other channels. I explained the Master Volume was like a gain and it was hot and I fixed their volumes at 1 - 2 they could control the treble and bass on their channel as they saw fit. The Volume control on each channel is a push/pull knob and pulled out adds reverb. I dialed in a good reverb sound on the Master Controls and thankfully no one thought they needed to sound like The Ventures. They all loved playing through that tube PA head and the 6 - 10" speakers filled the room with sound and warmth.

So when are YOU coming to Florida? We'll all have a great time at the blues jam. Winter is just around the corner.

"I chose to sing the blues." Ray Charles

Statistics: Posted by doc williamson — Sat Aug 13, 2005 10:51 pm

2005-06-17T15:55:59+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]>

Statistics: Posted by nizer — Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:55 pm

2005-06-16T22:51:50+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]> Statistics: Posted by nizer — Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:51 pm

2005-06-16T18:39:09+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]>
Now if I can just learn some Champion Jack Dupree, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, etc I'll be all set . . .


Statistics: Posted by blues4u2go — Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:39 pm

2005-06-10T21:05:24+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]>
Anyway, the problem with entry level Yamaha keyboards is that there are probably a dozen or more in this price range. I have tried to do some research on Harmony Central, but it is all a bit confusing.


Statistics: Posted by blues4u2go — Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:05 pm

2005-06-04T17:05:32+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]>
It also got me writing in a different way - forced to go back to simple stuctures and concentrate on melody - which is cool. Like when I first started guitar.

Like I said, I'm a completely uneducated neophyte here, but it might be an option if you want something you and your daughter can learn on. My 9 year old daughter loves it - she's already making up songs.

Statistics: Posted by nizer — Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:05 pm

2005-06-04T15:31:17+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]>
That said, I grew up around an upright piano -- very old, not tuned regularly, but a pretty damn good instrument which I'm sure would not bring more than 100-200 dollars, if anything at all, were it to be sold today. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed learning to play as much on a digital or on a spinet (acoustic) with very light (uncontrollable) action. Most acoustic pianos have their own character and sound which, I'd imagine, would be a learning experience in itself, as one tries to coax the most from it. You *might* be happier with a nice full-sized upright, with decent action -- combined with a going-over by a very good piano technician (you might try asking at a local college, for starters, especially if you can chat up a professor/adjunct who performs on piano regularly and get a personal recommendation of whom he or she employs as a piano tech), I'd be surprised if you paid more than the costs of a low-end digital piano.

There's nothing quite the same as having the *sound* emanate from the soundboard of a real piano -- amplification is a huge issue, for me, with the digital pianos, about which I'd be happy to discuss more from my own experience if anyone wants to throw in any comments. However, there are some real bad (by which I mean terrible) acoustic pianos out there, even or especially brand-new or recently-made low-end models, and, for me, a good digital would be preferable to a lot of them. But there's a lot to be said for finding a real *instrument*, on the cheap, of course, and getting to know it up close and inside out as you master your tunes.

As a sort of oddball suggestion, you might even consider buying a Fender Rhodes piano -- I use one, in fact, more than my digital, for practicing, which was the original purpose of these Fender Rhodes/Rhodes pianos, anyway. On my own Rhodes, the action is more than satisfactory (real hammers, etc.), and can be worked on by yourself if something isn't right or needs tweaking, and the tuning can be easily done at home as well, in about an hour, unlike an acoustic piano. It's not very good for boogie-woogie or very demanding classical pieces -- in my opinion -- but it's a *great* blues instrument and *more* than adequate for everyday playing, including a lot of classical things. I bought mine for $250 locally and use a Peavey guitar amplifier with it -- it's a lot of fun and has tons of character, and is *very* playable. If your daughter (I forgot how old) has some interest in science or stuff, it might be a good *safe* (the piano itself doesn't require electrical current) toy to tinker with as well as to learn scales and repertoire on. Plus, it's sort of hip these days, with pop musicians and stuff. Justin Timberwhatshisname and all those guys whatever. If you've seen the flick "Piano Players Rarely Play Together" (or whatever it's called), you'll see Allen Toussaint (I think) playing the Rhodes on the jam with Fess, Toussaint, and Tuts Washington. I think Fess had a special hidden compartment in his wall in his house which hid a Rhodes -- when you hit the switch, the piano would fold down like an ironing board or a Murphy bed, at least according to Dr. John in his autobiography (if I remember right). Good piano, good funky blues instrument, good for playing bebop, too.



Statistics: Posted by j_tour — Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:31 pm

2005-06-03T15:38:29+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]> Statistics: Posted by papatex — Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:38 pm

2005-06-03T01:57:33+00:00 <![CDATA[RE: Help! Starter keyboard]]> Statistics: Posted by jeffl — Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:57 am