For years, I’ve gone on record saying it’s pretty damn hard to look cool playing a keyboard. I know, I know, it’s not about looking cool – it’s about making art, but still… Sorry, all you ivory ticklers out there, but it might not matter how amazing you are at your instrument if you’re playing with a band. While the rest of the group are running and jumping all around the stage, it can be tough to pull off the same kind of presence when you’re stuck stationary in front of your instrument. I would imagine that’s why the Keytar was invented…
Now, as with anything, there are exceptions. For example, Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess seems to pull it off, but he’s likely helped by his wizard goatee and the fact that he can literally run circles around the stage while still playing his keyboard.
Okay, so it looks like he no longer uses his old keyboard rig that would rotate 360 degrees, but if you do a search for some older videos, you’ll see it. I guess it also helps you look cool playing a keyboard if you just shred the hell out of it, like Rudess does almost effortlessly.
I’ve found you CAN look cool if you play keyboards AND another instrument though. You don’t often see people playing multiple instruments at once, but even if you’ve got a guitar (or bass) strapped on while you’re playing the keys, I think that helps… Just look at Geddy Lee.
However, there ARE some people out there who have trained themselves to play multiple instruments at once, and I gotta say… Seeing that is pretty damn cool. This guy’s name is Gabriel Guardian, and he’s become known for his ability to shred on a guitar and keyboard simultaneously!
You need to watch his incredible take on Sweet Child O’ Mine, if for nothing more than the solo. It’s all quite impressive, but the solo will melt your mind.
See what I mean? The guy has a wicked talent. He’s posted a few videos of him covering other songs on keyboard and guitar as well.
For example, here he is at 16 years old, playing Free Bird. Oh, worth noting is the video description, which says he never really learned the song, just improvised in his own style. If only we could all do that…
Here he is tackling Santana‘s Black Magic Woman:
And here’s his little tribute to Dimebag Darrell, a little bit of Pantera‘s Cemetery Gates:
Well, I think I’m about ready to give up trying to make music now, because I’ll never be as good as this guy.