FDP Forum / Stand up or sit down?/ 31 messages in thread.

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Contributing Member

South Central PA

Tune In Turn On...
Jan 30th, 2008 06:12 AM        

Maybe I'm being superficial about this but I prefer keyboard players to sit down. I've had a few chances to try out keyboard players for the bands I've been in and everytime I always wonder if they are going to be a sit down or stand up player. You never really know until they show up and play!

Next week I will be trying out a new keyboard player. I've asked all kinds of questions beforehand about musical taste, gear, experience, but I cant bring myself to ask the big question!!! Sit down or stand up? Its one of those things that shouldn't matter and it's all about appearance. It seems like most stand up players are in new wave, electronica, 80's, or even hard rock bands. The players that sit down are more in the roots area; Blues, Rock, and Country, which is more our style. Thoughts?


Contributing Member


Jan 30th, 2008 06:36 AM        

I'm with you, although it's not a deal breaker.

Sort of on the same topic, back in the '80s it satisfied me to see Phil Collins hire another drummer so he could come out from behind the kit to sing stage front.


Contributing Member

Greater Boston

Where suspense is never in short supply.
Jan 31st, 2008 08:01 AM        

"The players that sit down are more in the roots area; Blues, Rock, and Country, which is more our style. Thoughts?"

John Mayall, who stands, comes to mind first. I'd be more concerned with the auditioning person's playing and technique (chops, ability to change patches/voices on the fly) and compatability with the band rather than whether they stood or sit down while playing.

Ramblin Rhodes


Ramblin Rhodes
Jan 31st, 2008 11:21 PM        

As a keyboard player, it is incomprehensible for me to consider that the posture of a keyboard artist would factor into the equation of acceptability into any musical ensemble....ie If you need a "good" keyboard artist it should NOT matter that he or she may want to sit,...stand...or,...stand on their head,.. while executing....if the objective of the ensemble is to attempt to achieve musical excellence.



Feb 1st, 2008 09:38 AM        

To me, playing a keyboard standing up is like playing a guitar hanging at knee level. It may look cool, but it can only hurt your technique.

K9 Big Dog

Contributing Member


Feb 1st, 2008 10:39 AM        

"It may look cool, but it can only hurt your technique."

Tell that to Dave Clark.

Ramblin Rhodes


Ramblin Rhodes
Feb 1st, 2008 12:55 PM        

....and Keith Emerson,..and Rick Wakeman,...and Rod Argent,...and Jon Lord,...and,..Jordan Rudess,...etc...etc..



Feb 1st, 2008 04:39 PM        

The fact that some people can perform well while handicapping themselves does not mean that handicapping yourself is a good idea.

crispy goodness

Contributing Member

Carolina Norte'

maple syrup beats kwality, every time...
Feb 2nd, 2008 04:25 PM        

"The fact that some people can perform well while handicapping themselves does not mean that handicapping yourself is a good idea."

So I'm guessing you play guitar sitting down as well, Tele?

I may be stirring up a pile o' poo here, but if you don't like a keyboard player that stands, it may be more an issue of said person drawing more attention to ones' self than a guy who sits down, out of view of the crowd. Nobody likes a potential stage hog, especially if it's not you. And I'm speaking in general here--no (personal) digs on BigSlackWater.




Mar 14th, 2008 04:47 AM        

Maybe I'm superficial, too, but a band's appearence for me is an important factor. I always found it strange when keyboard players are standing.

...Except the Beatles at Shea Stadium of course :) but then again John wasn't really their keyboard player


Contributing Member

Memphis, TN

Do or Do Not. There is no "Try".
Mar 16th, 2008 03:34 PM        

Being a pianist, I guess I watch and am more sensitive to any keyboardist on the stage. But I have yet to find one with talent that stands up.

Yes, all the best I've encountered sat down, be they sighted or not, their technique was better, no matter how many keyboards they were surrounded by.

BTW - Kinda hard to play the old Hammonds standing up. You can do it but geez....LOL!

As far as guitarist sitting down... drives me nuts when my hubby does it on stage. I think it detracts from his performance.... but BB King does it all the time.



you want me to play where?
Mar 17th, 2008 11:38 AM        

I personally play standing up but I am primarily a guitar player who plays about 1/3 keys. It's kind of hard to play guitar standing up and then sit down to do a song. Also, I find it a LOT harder to sing sitting down so I'm not inclined to sit even if I'm doing a few songs in a row at keys(I croak bad enough standing up!) I wouldn't care if dedicated keyboard player stood on his head as long as he could play and sing both. I'm to the point that if they can't sing TOO, they aren't contributing as much as the rest of us and therefore shouldn't be payed as much. THAT ought to stir up the hornets!


Contributing Member

Chicago, IL USA

Mar 18th, 2008 07:04 PM        

I play a Hammond so I have little choice...
I guess I could stand up and loose the ability to use the bass pedals.


Ramblin Rhodes


Ramblin Rhodes
Mar 25th, 2008 11:18 PM        

I play a Hammond Organ as well,... along with Kurzweil PC2X, a Fender Rhodes and other various keyboard instruments. In my situation(s),.. I 'DO' have choices and I exercise them depending on the situation. Sometimes I sit....especially when performing on acoustic piano. (more often than not in a solo situation) I also perform on Hammond Organ, however, within the ensemble context that I utilize my Hammond/Leslie combo,we have an extremely proficient Bass Guitarist who prefers that my bass parts do not conflict with his. (an efficient compromise of musical arranging if I must say so myself) Therefore, my utilization of bass pedals in this context would be inappropriate,.. thus lending the situation towards a vertical posture for my performance. I have found that a sitting posture with respect to the utilization of the Hammond Organ expression pedal is somewhat more advantageous, although as with any other performance parameter, work-arounds can be achieved.
And as far as "The Best That I Have Encountered".....that is a subjective statement to say the least. One listener's "best" is almost always different than someone else's... so it is pointless to debate this issue on that basis. The only point that I WILL steadfastly defend is: That extreme degrees of talent can be found that utilize one or the other and frequently BOTH postures during their performances. And that with musicality as the ultimate objective of an ensemble (as opposed to "looking cool") the posture of the musicians should matter least...


New Jersey

One of the Jam Ho' Caped Crusaders
Nov 1st, 2009 07:31 PM        

I also sing and play sax and have always stood while playing keys.<br /> Vocally you can sing better and project more if standing. Sax wise you get more breath to use standing. Your diaphram can move more.<br /> <br /> So to sing and play keys was just natural. I really dont think it matters and to say sitting players are better players is too much of a generalization to suit me.


Contributing Member

Colorado Front Range

Nov 3rd, 2009 04:20 PM        

K9 reminded me of the old days of Dave Clark. I tried to emulate them in those days with my dinky-legged Wurlitzer, and I was nearly 6'7" (see link). I don't think I was playing my best, but the girls liked it. It was not comfortable, but I always stood until a few years later when I started playing smokey blues clubs. Then I pulled out the stool and made like Ray.


Contributing Member


I got plenty of nuthin'
Nov 5th, 2009 05:20 AM        

I gigged sitting down for many years at acoustic pianos, but standing to play keys (usually owing to lack of space on the bandstand for a big band).<br /> <br /> Once you've got the keys on a stand at the right height, standing or sitting comes naturally if the forearm is pretty much level.<br /> <br /> Keytar players look stupid sitting down ;-)



May 19th, 2010 01:13 PM        

You def need to stand up to rock and roll! I gave up "sitting down" 20 some years ago! Now I play guitar too in my band so it makes sense to stand up for both. I kinda think keyboard players who sit are kinda wussies LOL!!



May 19th, 2010 01:17 PM        

Shoebox, maybe you should go to our website and listen to my keys. I have lots of talent and I have always stood up in rock bands. And keys are my main and first instrument. It is far easier to play in a band standing up on the keys than sitting down. Unless I am home playing my Steinway grand, there ain't no reason to sit! The talent crack? Again, listen to "Because the Night" on our website!!



May 19th, 2010 01:20 PM        

I forgot the part about singing, since there are a few "keyboard" songs I also sing. I can't sing as well sitting down (who can?) because your diaphram is not in the correct position for proper singing. I can tear the keys up like Jerry Lee when I feel like it! So, as far as technique Shoebox, I take issue with your comment.

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