Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Romance of Playing Keyboards

I’ve been an amateur keyboardist now for about three years.  I was originally a guitar person, but circumstances compelled me to adopt the keyboard as my primary instrument since 2011 (I learned how to play it a year prior).  I still play guitar once in a while (and bass occasionally) whenever I’m required to do so, and this particular instrument will always hold a special place in my heart.  But at this point, I have grown to love the keyboard the most.    

There is this distinct pleasurable charm found in playing the keyboard.  There is something romantic about it that I can’t really put my finger on.  

Maybe it’s the kind of versatility that it possesses that other instruments don’t have.  Sure, there are thousands of sounds you can get out of the guitar with the help of guitar effects.  But the different, unique sounds that can be produced and simulated out of the keyboard are unparalleled. 

Nah. That’s one of the things to love about the instrument.  But, no. That’s not entirely it.

Maybe it’s because there are just too many guitar players out there already, too many who subscribe to the guitar’s musical philosophy.  So I prefer to be unique, and go for a lesser fancied instrument and approach on making music: the keyboard.    

The guitar’s seemingly fundamental nature is to be “aggressive.”   There is this need to draw attention to itself.  It is indeed awesome, but in a gratifyingly badass kind of way.   On the other hand, the awesomeness of the keyboard relies on its ability to gently captivate and woo with its refined allure. 

Sure, there are times that the keyboard significantly blares prominently; especially if its purpose in the song is to simulate the elements of brass instruments or to serve as the central factor in stirring up the listener’s emotion.  But there are more times that the keyboard is subtle.  You can’t really hear it without making a conscious effort in finding the sound it produces that is lost among the more dominant sounds of the other instruments.  But it’s there, providing the needed sound that holds everything together, in which absence would leave the metaphorical musical equation incomplete.

Just like the drums, the keyboard is in the “background” of the performance.  But the drums are easily noticeable by its loudness.  The keyboard, however, is comfortable at truly being in the background.  Just there enjoying itself, making music, lost in its own little world, content in supporting the other instruments, with no real priority at all in being recognized. 

I really can’t properly explain why.  It’s magical.  That’s just how it is: I found myself preferring the musical attitude that the keyboard brings.  For me, there is something greatly appealing and touching about it. 

Maybe I’m just born to be a keyboard player.

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