Keyboard in Rock and Folk

Posted by: Victorius

Keyboard in Rock and Folk - 10/03/12 07:07 AM

Hello, I started to play in a rock band and it's my first time playing this genre. What do keyboardist play usually in a rock band? I am doing the chords but I'd like to do something more, but am not sure what and how. We have drums, bass guitar and 2 other guitars - 1 is rhythm guitar and the other I am not sure.

And I will meet with someone in a few days to talk about playing in a folk band, and would like to hear your hints what I must play there. The folk band have 1 guy with acoustic guitar and other guy with acoustic guitar and doing the voice part. What am I supposed to play on my keyboard, bass and drums?
Posted by: Kbeaumont

Re: Keyboard in Rock and Folk - 10/03/12 12:24 PM

Chords and bass patterns are pretty much your meat & potatoes of both styles. You can embellish parts to provide interesting transitions using pentatonic & blues scales.

Rock can either be simple or demand quite a bit of technique. Depending on the style of rock you could be asked to improvise blues & pentatonic based solos. Progressive rock styles by artists like Yes, Steely Dan, Supertramp etc can have some very difficult solos with classical and jazz influenced lines. Rock songs can have organ parts from a full blown Hammond with distortion ala Deep Purple or combo organ like the Doors. Also there can be synthesizer parts like Jump from Van Halen, Piano like Billy Joel, Billy Preston, Chuck Leveall or electric piano (Rhodes or Wurlitzer) sounds. It all depends on what bands songs you will be playing. If your playing stuff like Coldplay its straight piano. Most of these sounds are on most modern keyboard workstations.

If its all original you can decide what works best and hopefully someday they will be playing your music. The best thing to do is immerse yourself in the songs maybe try and find note-for-note sheet music such as can be found HERE.

Folk is much easier, it is usually broken chords using simple arpeggios and simple LH base pattterns 1,5 octaves etc. Like country music, the emphasis in folk is the singer and the story.
The guitars are using simple strummed chords and finger picked chords. Just find a pattern that works with what the guitars are doing. Again immerse yourself in the songs and if needed you can usually find the sheet music if it isn't original music.

Above all HAVE FUN!!
Posted by: daviel

Re: Keyboard in Rock and Folk - 10/03/12 12:44 PM

Most rock, you are part of the rhythm section; keep the groove alive. Listen to what the artists cited above do on records. Less is more; when in doubt, lay out. Folk? Listen to Larry Goldings backing up James Taylor. These are "ear" genres, but accurate sheet music can get you on the right track. Good luck with it. It is lots of fun.
Posted by: LoPresti

Keyboard in Rock and Folk - 10/06/12 01:04 AM


I have been thinking about your questions, and about Daviel's advice to listen to some samples of rock and folk.

Is it possible that you already are, or are hoping to become, the piano/keyboard player in a couple of these groups, but do not know what the music sounds like? Help us out here please.

Posted by: ROMagister

Re: Keyboard in Rock and Folk - 10/06/12 06:09 AM

You may listen e.g. to Benny Andersson's piano or keyboard part in 'The ABBA sound'. It is intros, outros and sometimes a fairly complex secondary melody supporting the main melody usually 'heard'. All become part of the Wall of Sound sensation.
Posted by: Victorius

Re: Keyboard in Rock and Folk - 10/07/12 02:38 AM

Guys, thanks for your help but the guys at the rock band told me they like how I play and I'm accepted.In the next day they called me just to tell me they want to listen other keyboard players as well.
The folk guy, he was supposed to call me to meet but didn't called yet, so I am stuck and disappointed.