I’ve been playing my electronic keyboards since 1998, starting with a Casio WK1200. My parents bought me a Fender-Rhodes suitcase piano that was electronic when I graduated from college…but when I discovered on the Casio that I could put instruments and sounds together, and layer them, and record them to play back, I was astounded! That was my 2nd musical epiphany!
After a few years I wandered into a music store and discovered Yamaha keyboards and that was that. I now have my 4th Yamaha keyboard, which is my 3rd arranger workstation and once I started playing the ukulele again a few years ago, my keyboards (I also have another one that’s not an arranger workstation) became an entirely new and fun way to make music.
The functions of these workstations are made for creativity, I started creating my own arrangements which I turned into backing tracks with which I could play my ukuleles. Once I started doing this there was no going back! I have created dozens of tracks, so I can hit the play button on my PSR-S950 for the tracks and play along with one of my ukes. I don’t know of many things that are more fun than that!
But knowing that this keyboard has the capability to plug in another instrument to play along right through the speakers – the same speakers that are playing the backings – has been on my mind too. It has seemed like that would make the songs more cohesive or something. Still, I had 3 ukes, we live in a motorhome with very limited space, and I wasn’t in the market for a 4th.
I’ve already written about how I came to have an electric ukulele so I will skip past that part. But I couldn’t get it to work with the keyboard. After spending HOURS reading online resources (as well as the next-to-useless manual) I finally wrote to a user group I’m a member of online, PSR Tutorial. I’m a lifetime member for years, and some of the best keyboard musicians I know of are there.
I got some brilliant replies and, with Pete’s assistance, within a few minutes I was playing just as I have in my dreams, with my new electric ukulele blending right in with the recorded tracks as I played it. Yes, this is the realization of a dream, and I can’t imagine that I will be doing much else in my spare time for a while.
How exciting is THAT???
Watch for recordings in the future, once I get used to it all and put a few songs together I will share them with you here. Of course :).