Do you include a VOICE with your STYLE?

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Do you include a VOICE with your STYLE?

Postby Hugh-AR » 10 Dec 2019 18:40

When you use a STYLE and form chords with your left hand, as far as the STYLE is concerned it doesn't really matter where you play your chord .. or even what inversion of the chord you play. The keyboard recognises the chord you are playing and you hear the 'backing patterns' based on the chord you are playing. What does make a difference is if you allocate a VOICE to go with the chord you are playing. The VOICE will sound the actual notes you are playing, so then it will make a difference as to where you play that chord .. and which inversion you use. What you predominantly hear is the top note of the chord you are playing. If you have the 'root' of the chord as the top note, then that is what you will hear. If the 5th (eg. the G if you are playing a C chord) then that is what you will hear. And if the 3rd as the top note (eg. the E if you are playing a C chord) then you'll hear the third. Out of these three, the 3rd is my favourite; followed by the root on top; and the 5th .. well I don't like that sound on top at all, so try to avoid that inversion where possible.

I also try to make that top note 'move' to suit the chord sequence I am playing. So for example, if I am playing G, then G7, then C, I will play the G chord with the root (G) on top; followed by a G7 with the F on top; and finally a C with the third (E) on top. This then has a 'walking down' effect from G, to F. to E.

In the short DEMO below I have (a) played a backing STYLE 'as is', (b) the same STYLE but added in a VOICE (Horn Ensemble), and (c) the same STYLE but now with 2 VOICES (Horn Ensemble & Choir). Then I have repeated it, so you can hear the STYLE again without any VOICE added etc. In this DEMO I have panned the Horn Ensemble to the left; and the Choir to the right. When you have two voices playing together it's always a good idea to get a bit of stereo separation by panning the voices. Makes them stand out better, and you don't lose one behind the other.

Click the below to listen, and then click the back-button to get back to this page.
DEMO of (a) a STYLE, (b) a STYLE + 1 VOICE, (c) a STYLE + 2 VOICES

In the DEMO I have got the volume of the voices up a bit higher than I would normally have them as I wanted you to hear those voices coming through.

Arthur (abr250) has played Chris de Burgh's Lady In Red.

Do a right-click to open this up in a New Tab
https://app.box.com/s/199x6itw1xjljghu0jtj1iuufppkgx3o

When I first heard this, this is the comment I made:
What I particularly like about your backing is that you have added a 'voice' to the chord you're playing with your left hand .. strings. This adds 'body' to what you're playing. Or are those 'strings' one of the backing PARTS?

I have been caught out with this one before! When I said about the voice on the left of the split, I was told that this was 'strings' from PAD in the STYLE .. and no voice was being used to the left of the split.

Arthur replied:
You asked about the "strings" as being a left voice or if it was part of the style?? I recorded it and listened to the recording, I was not entirely satisfied with it. So I recorded it again the next morning, but this time I added "Allegro Strings" as a voice for the left hand. So it is not part of the style, but is an added left hand voice. Thought it sounded better!!

Note that these strings Arthur is using are just playing stationary chords with the left hand. When he plays the tune with the Jazz Sax a bit later he also has a 'string' sound playing the tune along with the Sax. So he has two 'voices' allocated to playing the melody, with the string sound much quieter than the Sax. In this Board we are talking about 'Voice Combinations', so here's one for you. Sax and strings .. and they sound great together. Particularly with having the strings much quieter than the Sax, so the Sax is basically providing the melody.
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Re: Do you include a VOICE with your STYLE?

Postby Hugh-AR » 15 May 2020 00:21

Now here is one that Brian007 has played with a 'Choir' behind his Style. This adds 'body' to what he's playing.

No More Lonely Nights
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https://app.box.com/s/74kxus05grq7z7i543xv6f3baivp8iag

This is what I said about his piece:
Warmed the cockles of my heart! :D You must have had the 'touch' on when you played that saxophone as there was quite a variety of sound with it .. some really nice 'soft' notes. And then I really liked the 'Choir' voice you had playing those chords with the Style. I always like to hear a 'voice' playing behind a Style, and this is how I always play myself. In fact, on my AR organ I can have up to three 'voices' playing harmony in the background (but I think choosing three would be a bit over the top!),

Hugh
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Re: Do you include a VOICE with your STYLE?

Postby Brian007 » 15 May 2020 11:03

Hi Hugh,

I think the thing about left hand voices is very much a personal choice and used correctly they can certainly enhance a piece of music but sparing as its a good way to enhance a section of music or to create tension, bass lines do play a big part in a song especially if the original has a walking or prominent bass line and as you say the use of inversions and Bass on chord on a keyboard can certainly all add to the piece.

All the Best and Stay Safe Brian007
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Re: Do you include a VOICE with your STYLE?

Postby Hugh-AR » 15 May 2020 14:46

Brian,

I do agree with your comment ...
Using left hand voices is very much a personal choice, and used correctly they can certainly enhance a piece of music .. but sparingly.

Now I have at least one 'voice' allocated to the left hand for every piece I play. This is where the use of inversions comes into play. As far as the STYLE is concerned it doesn't matter where or how you play your chord. Take a C chord. CEG, or EGC, or GCE (ie. with the E on top) and the STYLE says "a C chord is a C chord" and plays the same backing regardless of what chord you form. So the aim of keyboard players is to play a sequence of chords moving as few fingers as possible. Notes that are the same in two chords should be kept as they are, and as few fingers as possible should be moved when forming the next chord.

I couldn't agree with that sentiment less! When you have a Voice allocated to the left hand as well then the harmony background will sound completely different depending on the chord inversion you play. And how far up the keyboard you play it, as the higher up you play it the higher the harmony notes. Forming a 1, 3, 5 chord (eg. CEG) will give the 'fifth' sounding on top. Not too keen on that myself. 3, 5, 1 (eg. EGC) will give the 'root' note of the chord sounding at the top. That emphasises the chord structure. Then 5, 1, 3 (eg. GCE) gives the 'third' sounding on top. I really like that.

So in Brian's piece above you hear the counter melody harmony from the top notes of the chords he has formed. And this stands out in the background. Here below is another example that I have done of using the Voice allocated to the left hand to form a melody. The Voice I have used is STRINGS. In this I have played four note chords for Gm7 (G minor 7th), C7, FM7 (F major 7th) and F6. Gm7 has the F on top; C7 has the E on top; FM7 has the E on top; and F6 has the D on top. And it's these 'top' notes that you hear predominantly when these chords are played. And you get that lovely counter-melody going on. In this example you can clearly hear the STYLE playing, but the piece I used this for wouldn't sound the same without having those 'strings' playing in the background.

Click the below to listen, then click the back-arrow to get back to this page.
Creating a melody with the Voice used with the STYLE in the left hand

And here below is the piece I used this in.

For Me And My Gal.
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https://app.box.com/s/8uhqhzyui50oub5sau6v4ut3ri48becl

Also notice in this piece that I have allocated two 'voices' for playing the melody. A Piano Accordion (deliberately chosen as it's a 'continuous' voice ie. hold a note down and it continues playing until you take your finger off) and a Piano (deliberately chosen as it's a 'percussive' voice ie. it fades away as you hold the note down). The Piano Accordion is a MONOPHONIC voice (ie. it only plays one note at a time .. the top one); and the Piano is POLYPHONIC, so will play any notes. When you listen to the melody you will hear both the Piano Accordion and Piano playing it. But when I hold a note, the piano accordion keeps playing and the piano dies away. I can then play little counter melodies with my remaining fingers 'underneath' the held note .. and these are just piano notes as the accordion can only play one note at a time .. the top one.

Another thing to add when having a voice allocated to the left of the split. I did say above that ...
how far up the keyboard you play the chord, as the higher up you play it the higher the harmony notes.

Of course there is a 'split point' on a keyboard and chords are played to the left of that; and the melody to the right. So, depending on how high up I want to play those chords, and how low the melody needs to come .. I will always set my split point to suit. So my split point is at a different place for each tune I play. Can't be having a 'default' split point determined by the keyboard!

Hugh
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Re: Do you include a VOICE with your STYLE?

Postby briber » 20 Apr 2023 14:54

Sorry Hugh,
Which instrument are you using for this? Reason I ask is, on my Genos I can't see where you can add a voice to the chord which will conform to the backing. I have a 'Left' in the Voice Select area but that just plays the notes that are depressed.

So either you are playing a different keyboard or, I'm just thick.
Put me out of my misery Please.

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Re: Do you include a VOICE with your STYLE?

Postby Hugh-AR » 21 Apr 2023 14:58

Brian,

You're quite right in your observations. And the clue, too, is in the TITLE of the topic .. Do you include a VOICE with your STYLE? This was played on my AR80, and before I even had a keyboard (I have a Tyros 4 as well now).

On an organ you have an UPPER manual and a LOWER manual and you can allocate two voices to each, as well as organ sounds from the drawbars. When playing my AR80 I always (nearly always) had a STYLE going and played my organ 'like a keyboard'. So those two voices I was demonstrating are the two I had set up on the LOWER manual. You don't even have to have a SPLIT POINT .. although you can, and then you have to allocate your lower manual voices to which side of the split you want them.

On all the Yamaha keyboards (and that includes your Genos .. I think?) you only have one voice that you can allocate to the left of the split .. and as you pointed out, it is called a LEFT HAND VOICE. Also, you said "that just plays the notes that are depressed". I presume you mean the chord notes you are pressing. That is what it's meant to do, and the idea is to provide some harmony, and even maybe a counter-melody in the backing you are playing.

I have done another topic specifically aimed at the keyboard.
Also on a keyboard's Left Hand Voice you have a HOLD option. This will hold that chord playing when you take your hand off the keys. If you don't have that ON then the chord will 'stop playing' when you take your hand off.

Click this LINK below to have a read and a listen of what is basically a continuation of this topic.

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http://www.tierce-de-picardie.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=479&t=11458

Hugh
It's all about the music ♫ ♪ ♫ Organ: Yamaha AR80 & Keyboard: Tyros 4
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