The synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument that is used to create a wide range of different musical sounds, which can be added to a piece of music. It is a subclass in the keyboard family of instruments. However, a traditional keyboard and a ‘synth’ (as a synthesizer is usually called) are often used interchangeably. Remember that a notable difference between a standard keyboard and a synthesizer is that the latter one may not feature any onboard speakers, has an ocean of different sounds, and does not have drum patches. Other than that, learning a synthesizer is almost the same as learning to play the keyboard or a piano. Now let us have a look at how to play a keyboard or synthesizer.
How to Play the Synthesizer
Hand and Finger Positions
Be it a keyboard or synth, proper hand placement on the keys is very essential. See to it that the hands are relaxed enough on the keyboard. Note that there are no specific rules regarding which finger has to be placed on which notes. While playing individual leads or complete chords, play according to your own convenience. Place fingers on each note in a way that would allow you to comfortably move up and down the octaves.
Scales and Chords
A Major Scale A Major Chord
B Major Scale B Major Chord
C Major Scale C Major Chord
D Major Scale D Major Chord
E Major Scale E Major Chord
F Major Scale F Major Chord
G Major Scale G Major Chord
Functions and Sounds
Along with scales and chords on the keyboard, you also need to be aware of the different sound effects and profiles incorporated in the instrument. For this purpose, you need to spend a considerable amount of time checking out all features and functions of the knobs and switches. Get acquainted with the different effects, pitch benders, balancers, equalizers, reverbs, tones, and mixers on the console. Knowing all this will surely help you to coordinate the melody with unique effects that the instrument is meant to produce. This was all about how to play the synthesizer. In the following, you will come across some tips on how to learn to play synthesizer.
Learning to Play a Synthesizer
There are many different ways to obtain lessons on playing a synth. A combination of these methods along with a good amount of daily practice will definitely make you a seasoned synth player.
Firstly, you can choose the traditional way of learning any instrument, that is taking music lessons from private tutors. Simply make sure that the tutor you are planning to take lessons from is reputed. You can even enroll in a music course in an arts school. But this would be more appropriate if you want to make a full-time career in music.
Instructional Books, Guides, and DVDs
Secondly, keyboard playing books, guides, and DVDs can also be of great help here. Just visit a musical instrument shop or a bookstore and you will come across a wide range of good material that would guide you further in the skill. In addition, you can even use the web for obtaining some useful lessons. Watch instructional videos and go through relevant blogs and forums to get familiarized with playing the synthesizer.
Being with Other Musicians
One of the most useful tips in learning to play the synthesizer is to be in a company of people who know much about the skill. Being with keyboardists will help you learn new playing techniques, know about musicians, concepts, etc., and also recognize your flaws. This will enable you to develop a deep interest to know more about playing the synthesizer.
These are just the major chords and scales that you can practice on as of now. After you become good at these, you can then move forward to the minor chords and scales. Along with using these chords and individual notes for leads, you also need to learn to use the sound effects simultaneously. Practicing in this manner and experimenting with different sounds and effects will make you a proficient synth ace. If you want to start out with learning leads or chord progression, you can use the C scale, as the scale has relevant notes only on the white keys. To become a good synth player, you should be willing to invent new sounds and riffs by just playing around with the functions of the electronic musical machine.