I started playing the keytar about three years ago because I wanted freedom when performing. I have been playing a band for about 10 years now where I play keyboards and I wanted to get an instrument that allowed me to do more. Keytar players are rare, but I believe it’s becoming more common.
The point of this post is to give some tips on things that can help you get better at your craft and get comfortable moving around while playing. I want to point out that there are a lot of different features on the newer models of keytars and it is important that you learn the functions of them if you want to take full advantage of your instrument.
My Tips For Keytar Players
Learn To Play Standing Up
Get comfortable playing standing up. This sounds like a no-brainer, but a lot of keyboardists aren’t used to play standing up since they typically sit down. Practice your songs or whatever songs you might be playing standing up. Get in the habit of playing the songs while moving around.
Once you are comfortable playing standing up, you should incorporate moving around and getting a style. The whole point of being a keytar player is so that you have the ability to move around and perform the way you want to. Simply playing this instrument and not taking advantage of it would be silly.
Watch Other Musicians To Get Inspired
My favorite musician who plays this instrument is without a doubt Matt Bellamy of Muse. The way they incorporate this instrument is like no other band. I believe his incredible background from classical music greatly helps his playing and song-writing.
When I started playing the keytar I started watching videos to see how he moved and see what kind of parts he would play. This helped me greatly and I believe it will help you as well.
Here is a video of a solo he plays in concert:
Find The Right Sounds
There are many different options with this instrument and it is important that you are taking advantage of your instrument fully. If you have a MIDI controller keytar, then you have way more options and ability. You can basically use and sound that you could possibly want.
Bass parts always work great on this instrument just because it kind of resembles a guitar. You also can cover the root notes a lot easier than trying to play guitar chords.
Finding good bass sounds is also easier than finding sounds that resemble guitars.
Use It To Write New Ideas
For inspiration, you can use your instrument to come up with new songs. If I hit a dead-end I will sometimes play around and come up with riffs that I end up really liking. Everyone likes to a change of pace so I recommend finding it here when it comes to writing.
Riffs are probably the biggest reason why I use this instrument. I can use it to write bass riffs or even riffs that would be played by guitar or keyboard. It’s kind of a fun way to try something new and out of the box.
Put In The Time
Practice. Try to spend part of your time that you would practice piano practicing the keytar. Learn the ins and outs of it and what works and what doesn’t. Certain things just don’t work on the keytar as it’s a little different than a piano.
Don’t just try and play it like a piano because you haven’t had the time to practice on it. You can learn super expressive solos on it if you put the time in. This is where you can sound like a guitar player shredding your favorite solos or solos you even wrote.
I hope you found this helpful, I would love to hear in the comment section below if you did. You can read more on the keytar here where I break down all of the best on the market. Keep practicing, and keep trying to become the best keytar play that you can become.