Courtesy of Bdgr over at the Home Recording BBS
So you want to be a keyboard player.
A few things to know....
GUITAR players have it easy. Vintage is cool for GUITAR , but except for Rhodes or Hammond, if your gear is older than your car, you have a problem. In fact, if your car is paid for, your gear should be newer. And even though Hammond and Rhodes are cool, your band will hate you for having to help move it...A Hamond weighs 600+ pounds. So be prepared to broke, or hopelessly outdated.
Everyone will do that d*mn Bill Murray routine on your keys,...You know, the Ghost busters "they hate that" thing.
If your keyboard has knobs, expect someone to screw with them if you walk away. People who never think of jacking with a guitar amps tone settings will come up and screw with your $5,000 keyboard.
Get a hard case for everything you own. Trust me.
Get used to the question "Cant you get one keyboard that does everything?...I know Casio makes this keyboard that has drums and built in speakers, why do you need more than one keyboard?"
Always set the volume control on your board to no more than 3/4 the way up during sound check. That way, when the idiot sound man turns you down where you can't hear yourself, you have a little room to move.
If you are going to use "Vintage" Keys, like a Rhodes, a Wurly, Hammond, analog synth....Learn to solder.
Get extra midi cables. You always need one more than you have.
If you get lost in a song, turn the volume off and pretend to play. Half the time nobody will notice anyway. GUITAR players cant do this without being obvious, but we can...just blame it on the sound man.
NEVER buy a Wurlitzer Electric piano that is out of tune.
Never buy a hammond with a dead key. There are thousands of wires in the keyboard of a Hammond (No, I am not exaggerating)
Learn to pronounce Moog. Its pronounced mowg, not mooooog. I dont care if you never actually even see one, if you are keyboard player, and mispronounce it, you will be shunned, and or beaten.
Don't play an outdoor gig in the rain. I actually played with a band that tried to convince me to do so.
Just because it says Hammond on it, doesn't mean it's a B3.
If you use the transpose function on your keyboard, dont forget to turn it off when the song is finished.
If your gonna play Hammond parts, make sure you have a volume pedal.
If you play a synth, for Heaven's sake program your own d*mn sounds. Nothing is more pathetic than someone with a monster synth still using the factory presets.
Listen to people like Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Billy Powell, Pinetop Perkins, Booker T, and Jerry Lee Lewis...
Notice Elton John and Billy Joel weren't on that list.
Only computers and fast food depreciate faster than keyboard gear.
Only Drummers take longer to set up (and only sometimes).
Only Drummers have more stuff (and only sometimes).
Leslie Simulators don't...at least not well...
Turn your board off when you walk away, otherwise everyone in the room will feel the urge to come over and play whatever puke they learned in piano lessons in third grade. I actually had girl do this at a gig, during a song (it was part of the song that didnt have any keyboard parts).
Be prepared to hear GUITAR and bass players say that Keyboard players aren't real musicians, or that a synth isn't a real instrument. We are somewhere between Dj's and drummers on the scale of things (in their eyes). The only consolation is that there are practically zero keyboard player jokes, but a metric sh*tload of GUITAR, bass, and drummer jokes.
Memorize the aforementioned jokes for when you hear the aforementioned comments.
Don't play standing up... It makes those of us who use a sustain pedal, a volume pedal, and a leslie speed foot switch all the same time look lazy.
Don't wear a gold cape unless you are Rick Wakeman.
Don't throw knives at your keyboard unless you are Kieth Emerson.
Don't set your piano on fire unless you are Jerry Lee Lewis.