New synth player here

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leftyguitarjoe
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New synth player here

Post by leftyguitarjoe » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:49 pm

Hey forum. I'm Joe. I've been making music for 7 years now, mainly on guitar and bass, but about a year ago I purchased a Yamaha PSR keyboard. I used it to control VST's on my computer via midi, but I wanted a real deal synth.

I recently picked up a Korg R3 and I'm loving every second I spend with it. I got it almost brand new for under $300.

I wish to improve my technique and skill. For a year, I've basically just been plunking around making noise. I've tried google and have yet to find any tutorials specifically geared for synthesizer players.

Any direction to some warm-ups, exercises, and skill builders would be very much appreciated. I look forward to being a productive member of this community.
Correct handed

ImperatorDX
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Re: New synth player here

Post by ImperatorDX » Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:57 pm

Any direction to some warm-ups, exercises, and skill builders
You know, in the synth forum these words have different meanings.

A warm-up: the process an analogue synth undergoes from switching it on until it stabilises itself.

An exercise: this is when you carry your old heavy analogue synths around.

Skill builders: hmmm... this is unknown here.

;)

Welcome to the forum :-)
My music and instrument demos: ImperatorDX

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Re: New synth player here

Post by ninja6485 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:01 pm

congrats on the r3! doesn't that share the same synth engine as the radias?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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leftyguitarjoe
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Re: New synth player here

Post by leftyguitarjoe » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:05 pm

ninja6485 wrote:congrats on the r3! doesn't that share the same synth engine as the radias?

It does!!

And I like your avatar. I love eastern art and philosophy.
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Re: New synth player here

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:25 pm

leftyguitarjoe wrote:I recently picked up a Korg R3 and I'm loving every second I spend with it. I got it almost brand new for under $300.
Welcome! It sounds like you managed to get yourself an excellent deal! If you want to learn some exercises and get practice, I'd suggest buying a book with a lot of chords for piano and using that to stretch for chords. Play a lot of them arpeggiated (by hand, no cheating ;) ), and also get a book with scales and learn them. I feel like I learned the most and got the most practice from just picking out parts in my favorite songs and playing them, but that's just me. If you listen to stuff absent of a lot of synthesizer, try to pick out the bass parts and learn them. They're not as flashy or fast, but they'll help your coordination.

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Re: New synth player here

Post by rhino » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:04 pm

welcome to out mad little world!
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

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leftyguitarjoe
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Re: New synth player here

Post by leftyguitarjoe » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:56 pm

sequentialsoftshock wrote: Welcome! It sounds like you managed to get yourself an excellent deal! If you want to learn some exercises and get practice, I'd suggest buying a book with a lot of chords for piano and using that to stretch for chords. Play a lot of them arpeggiated (by hand, no cheating ;) ), and also get a book with scales and learn them. I feel like I learned the most and got the most practice from just picking out parts in my favorite songs and playing them, but that's just me. If you listen to stuff absent of a lot of synthesizer, try to pick out the bass parts and learn them. They're not as flashy or fast, but they'll help your coordination.
Thank you for the advice. I learned guitar and bass all by ear and by learning songs. Learning to play an instrument from a book is an alien concept for me :lol:

I never thought of learning the bass from a song like that. It sounds very interesting. I'll definitely give it a go. Thanks again!!
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Re: New synth player here

Post by tekkentool » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:14 am

Hey :) Good to see a new member eager to learn. And another schecter owner!

As far as the technical abilities on keys go, there are a few bibles for technical learning. The main one i used in the beginning was hanon's exercises. They're great For getting finger strength and training all 5 fingers to be as useful as the others.I think it's better if you start doing this as early as possible to burn good technique for your fingers in, i spent a long time using the wrong fingers for things. But this really helped. There are also scales and Arpeggio runs in the second half of the book. This book is so widespread most of it is available for free online. (e.g
(however don't simply do these, you'll get very bored. Also pay very close attention to your technique when doing these, otherwise you'll burn in poor technique)

As a guitarist first you're probably going to have issues separating the hands, and having them become independent. When i trained this i did two things, one was improvising using a metronome, the other thing was bach's inventions. When practicing with a metronome, i'd choose an arpeggio pattern or a bassline. Drill only the left hand until i could do it very easily. and improvise melodies with the right hand. Make sure you get used to transposing these arpeggio patterns to meloies/chord progressions when doing this. It'll get you to think more musically about it.

Bach inventions are great for right and left hand independence.These pieces have melodies on both the left and right hand that bounce off each other.These were designed by bach for teaching hand independence. Beware though, these are quite advanced, and you really have to pay close attention to fingering instructions on the sheet music. But they're great skill builders for left/right hand interaction. There's 15 of them all in different scales too :)

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Re: New synth player here

Post by Sir Nose » Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:36 pm

Trying to create the patches in Welsh's Synthesizer cookbook help me a lot in the begining to understand sound creation and the interaction of different components.
http://www.synthesizer-cookbook.com/

I don't use the sounds much, but they helped me to learn my instrument well.
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all that is good is nasty

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leftyguitarjoe
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Re: New synth player here

Post by leftyguitarjoe » Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:59 pm

Oh man!! Thank you all so much!
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Re: New synth player here

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:24 pm

leftyguitarjoe wrote:Oh man!! Thank you all so much!
No problem. Hopefully you enjoy the world of synthesizers! If you have guitar pedals already, you should try 'em with your keys too. ;) Sometimes the impedance won't match and it will drop level, but still fun. There are great tips in sound production though if you really want to get into using them with a DI and ReAmp!

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Re: New synth player here

Post by maindeglorie » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:20 am

The best advice I can give is to understand and get to know your synth inside and out.
Forget piano techniques. They really don't apply to synthesizers, at least if you want to be an interesting synth player.
Your on the spot and improvisational techniques are what will make you solid, and that applies to the knobs and sliders just as much as the keys.

By now for playing guitar for 7 years you should know all the theory you need. Find the scales you play on the guitar and play them on the keys. Learn all the scales. Muscle memory is very different on keyboards than strings, so play them till you hate them. The second main thing is chord inversions. Learn all the different inversions for all chords up and down the keyboard. Once you have that... start breaking the rules.

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