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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Nord stage
Funky Style 70s Rhodes Playing
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markmorgan10



Joined: Sep 10, 2010
Posts: 4
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Funky Style 70s Rhodes Playing
Subject description: Stevie Wonder, Greg Phillinganes, Frank McComb etc
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Hi.

Main reason I got this keyboard (Nord Electro 3) was for its Rhodes sounds. But can anyone recommend any good resources (DVD/Books etc) to help get the 70s style funky kind of playing.
I know the main thing is to listen, and transcribe but I find that a lot of the chord voicings I play sound really 'vanilla' and my sound needs to sound a bit more rough.

Any help with this would be welcome, either here or via PM.

thanks

Mark
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Eag



Joined: Feb 14, 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Central Pennsylvania
G2 patch files: 3

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm no master of Rhodes, and don't know that much about funk. I have a Nord Stage in my setup, though, primarily used for organ and EP sounds, and non-funk people are sometimes fooled when I have to fake it.

I can say that with the Nord Stage's built-in effects, adding a little ring modulation and a bit of distortion can give a much grittier, organic texture to a Rhodes, and that can help. Depending on what exactly you're looking for, other effects might apply.

When playing extended chords, don't feel like you have to hit every note in the chord every time; traditionally, you'd play everything up to the seventh and then the highest note after that (the thirteen in a thirteenth chord, for instance). I tend to bounce around a lot in my voicings, and relatively often leave out things I shouldn't (at least if playing with a band, where someone else will almost certainly be hitting what I don't touch). Also, don't be afraid to stray outside the official chord a bit. Little chromatic runs and grace notes, and unexpected visits to notes that don't belong in the chord can be helpful.

In my limited experience, catching that flavor is more about the rhythmic work than the chord voicing. Both are necessary, but when you're stuck, I'd say think foremost in terms of rhythm.

As far as resources that are really good for learning this sort of thing - I've never really seen any, but I haven't looked, since it really isn't a specialty or focus of mine. Mostly, I'd recommend looking for good local teachers, wherever you might be. The best way to find them, in my experience, is to talk folks who demonstrate good musical taste while playing, and see who they recommend.

Most of all, like you said - if there's a sound you want to achieve, spend hours grinding alongside the albums, getting as close to them as you can.

I realize that since you're looking for advice on this corner of music, you probably know a lot more about it than I do and that everything I've said you already know (or even know to be wrong) - I thought I'd throw it out there, though, in case any of it might be helpful, figuring it might be nicer to get a reply that wasn't particularly useful than no reply at all.

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markmorgan10



Joined: Sep 10, 2010
Posts: 4
Location: uk

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Eag

Thanks very much for taking the time and trouble to reply. Yes there were some useful points there so once again - appreciate it.

Mark
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Keysandslots



Joined: Aug 18, 2006
Posts: 266
Location: Mississauga, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have an 88 Stage Rhodes, bought it in 1974. I use Maxon effects, a chorus and a phase shifter, both stereo. The phase shifter is very handy for 70s stuff, gives you that Joe Zawinul sound.

I'm not sure how you would do this on the Nord, but the pickups on the Rhodes should be close to the tines, so that when you play softly you get the bell-ish sound, and when you whack it you get the bark. There's a preset on the Yamaha S90 called mid-70s Rhodes or something like that, it's perfect for this from what I remember.

I would spend some time listening to Weather Report and to George Duke. George is a great funk player and got some nice stuff out of the Rhodes. Herbie Hancock is another good influence, and Billy Preston.

These guys are combinations of jazz, funk, rock and gospel. One thing you may want to try is some 4ths in your chords, instead of just thirds or sixths. Play a C root in the left hand, and in the right play (lowest to highest) E-A-D as a chord, and head down either chromatically or diatonically.

Randy
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markmorgan10



Joined: Sep 10, 2010
Posts: 4
Location: uk

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks a lot Randy - some helpful advice there.
Mark
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