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Thread: Difference between Pianist & Keyboardist?

  1. #1

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    Difference between Pianist & Keyboardist?

    Is there any difference between Pianist & Keyboardist? Can a pianist play a keyboard or vice versa, what special skills are needed for either?

    Modern keyboards are able to mimick a real piano touch and tone, from pressure sensors, to pedals etc.

    The only difference I know is that a keyboard can install VST for different sounds, able to adjust volume, or add sound effects, some may have pitch bend/pitch shift.

    So if I'm a pianist, can I play the keyboard in bands, or advertise myself as an available keyboardist?

  2. #2

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    Well from what I've heard, it's really dependent on your playing style. If you're a classically trained pianist you definitely can play like pop-style keyboards, just that you'll need to adapt and change your playing style slightly. There's still a learning curve to play keyboards, just not as steep as it would be if you didn't play the piano already.
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  3. #3

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    Well, being a keyboardist and a pianist myself, I find that keyboards is a lot much easier to play.

    Partly because that for most keyboards used in modern music, the keys are either semi-weighted or unweighted, so you can just apply full force onto the keys without much thought of how it would sound like. Either way, the MIDI would still register and play the note. Even "Velocity-Sensitive" keys won't be entirely velocity sensitive - it'll just play the note accordingly, just that the volume has been changed depending on the force you put on the keys

    Unless you talk about emulating real time instruments, such as strings and brass instruments, that is. The velocity sensitivity would play a huge part in shaping how they sound like. But as I've said, its all about the touch that you place on the keys.

    Also, most common pop music doesn't require very much technique. You're mostly playing chords, scales, random notes, etc. Most music doesn't demand that you play it freakingly fast or in an expressive way. For expression, most people use the aid of an expression pedal or the analog effects to get it done.

    Piano, unfortunately, is a lot more complicated then a keyboard. This is why a pianist always transits to a keyboardist with much ease but not vice versa. The piano is a very sensitive and technical instrument, especially if you want to play "classical" pieces. The techniques and different styles of such works are usually quite demanding, as you would need to get the tone and the feel of the song right. If you get it wrong, everyone facepalms at your playing.

    By the way, while modern keyboards can handle the emulation of a piano well, nothing beats the instrument itself.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by theliverevolution View Post
    By the way, while modern keyboards can handle the emulation of a piano well, nothing beats the instrument itself.
    I quite agree ^

  5. #5

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    In a band setting, two keyboardist do different function. Commonly one keyboardist to do solo piano and the other sound design and do much complex midi device handing.

  6. #6

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    a keyboardist basically means u can play all forms of keyboard instruments. From organ, to piano to clav to synthesizers etc. A pianist plays piano only. Keyboardist are usually applied to more contemporary musicians while pianist are usually the classical players, or people who just stick to the piano. Pianist are usually soloist while keyboardist can be a soloist or plays with a band. Keyboardist require a totally different skill. As playing the keyboard is different from playing the piano. U cant play the organ in the same way as a piano. It is hard to define who is a keyboardist becoz its always overlapping somehow, and sometimes, some pianist is their later career might turn to keyboards as well.

  7. #7

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    hmm...ok here goes..


    Often a reclusive, hard-worked teenager and soon to be eccentric adult who has spent much of his youth practicing Hanon, Dohnyanyi (spell?) Clementi, Buona Vista, Commonwealth.. (ok u get the point)

    Finished his grade 8 at 8 years of age, LRSM at 12, FRSM at 15, honorary masters at 20

    An individual who prides himself on being able to play Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Liszt, Rautavaara, Marty Brunderly, Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo, and other avant-garde shit that we've never even heard off.

    Is often atas, an egoist, and gay

    Uses the fact that he is get to girls (and boys...)

    Suffers from acute sinusitis, throws tantrums and mood swings when his fish is slightly dry, when his glass of water is slightly warm, or when his piano's A=439.99999Hz, instead of 440Hz

    Thinks Maksim and Richard Clay(der)man, as well as Vanessa Mae in a broader context, are all traitors of the purist, classical doctrine and as a result, are blatant abominations and an insult to their music profession (usually cuz they can't earn as much as these popular icons -grin-)

    Sees pop as the world's greatest sin and evil, and should be avoided at all costs, failing which their ears will burst a thousand explosions and their (male) genitals rendered sterile



    Usually an outwardly-friendly, extroverted, fun loving person, often found in the form of mats, thambis, ah bengs and ang mohs, all with one thing in common - they wear their shirts unbuttoned from the top so as to show off their manly chest hair, as well as their long sleeves folded up their arms in typical PCK style

    Doesn't have a BLUES' clue of what an "adagio piu mosso" means, but can do a damn good job at playing said genre.

    Can also improvise, play by ear, play jazz, as well as three of his girlfriends at a time, often to great satisfaction.

    As above, doesn't need to state that he is a "pianist," or "keyboardist" to get girls - he performs enough in popular places out of the concert hall for Singapore's young, nubile and ignorant to "get it."

    Are a result of pianists with personality, like myself. Minus the gay.

    Doesn't need to care if his keyboard is A=440 or A=10000000001 because he's playing a friggin electronic device

    Thrives on the fact that Jazz + Funk = Junk, and often makes a good show of it too.


    disclaimer: the above statements were meant to be stereotypical, exaggerated satirical jokes and are not meant to be taken seriously. No flaming, offense, insults and marginalizations were intended, and I apologise if anyone has taken this to heart
    Last edited by nikolaiski; 09-11-09 at 01:38 AM.

  8. #8

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    all i can say.

    very very shallow tinking.

  9. #9

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    lighten up man ) it was meant to be a joke..hehe

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikolaiski View Post
    lighten up man ) it was meant to be a joke..hehe
    "Finished his grade 8 at 8 years of age, LRSM at 12, FRSM at 15, honorary masters at 20"

    If the guy has done this, must be a real prodigy to know anything else other than music... your satire didn't work this angle enough

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