General Discussion of the Nord Stage and Nord Stage EX Synths, FAQ, Troubleshooting etc.

Organ newbie

Postby arvidsson » 17 Aug 2011, 11:06

Hi all!
I upgraded from Nord Stage EX to a Nord Stage 2 when it arrived to my local store and i really love it!! The sound, feeling and look is outstanding!
I'm currently playing in a Rock n Roll band and also some solo performances. It also has been many late nights with earphones in my room experimenting with the sounds.
When gigging with my band, we play a lot of good old 60's, 70's a lá Status Qou, Stones, Chuck Berry etc. old time rock n roll in other words =)
I play mostly on the piano section but also some organ and synth. When it comes to the brilliant organ sound, which I really love, I feel like I'm stuck. I've never really learned to play organ so instead I've improvised from my piano skills. Does anyone know a good tutorial for organ newbies how to master it in a good way with drawbar settings etc. Is it worth to invest in a extra pedal as well? Please offer me some tips how to master the organ section on the NS2.

Best Regards
Daniel
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Re: Organ newbie

Postby frantzkb » 17 Aug 2011, 11:27

Sometimes I am stuck too with the organ and would like to use it better too. Good questions ;)
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Re: Organ newbie

Postby shark » 17 Aug 2011, 13:24

I recently expanded my skills from guitar to keys and in particular the B3 (the hottest instrument in creation!).

By joining this forum you made the right first step, great advice available here by very competent and nice people!

Here's what I did: found websites with B3 drawbar settings (you will find them on this forum) I also bought "Beauty in the B" by Mark Vail (a must have) and "Hammond Organ Complete" by Dave Limina. Furthermore I compiled a playlist on itunes with great organ songs I like e.g. Againts the wind by Bob Seger, Your own sweet way by Nottingham Hillbillies, Refugee by Tom Petty etc etc. And I play along - I found this the best way to learn those typical organ chops like smears, legatos etc.

My takeaway is that to sound right the chord progressions played on B3 must be seamless with no noticeable attack so you need to figure out how to play the chords so you only need to change one or two fingers at the time while always holding down one note.

As an example of what I do check out this link to my band:

http://www.lemonsieurdenface.fr

But that's just me: a guitarplayer turned organist but I love it!
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Re: Organ newbie

Postby lennaerttol » 17 Aug 2011, 14:05

You can search for famous organ players, like Joey DeFrancesco, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy mcGriff, Lonnie Smith etc. and try to copy their stuff. You can also watch tutorials for hammond b3 beginners on Youtube.
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Re: Organ newbie

Postby qwert » 17 Aug 2011, 18:59

It's completely off-topic but I would suggest Ilprincipe to change an italian sentence of his website:
del rock per i vostri orecchi (uncorrect) ---> rock per le vostre orecchie
Sorry for my pedantry... :oops:
However, very good site!!! :thumbup:
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Re: Organ newbie

Postby jazzystu » 17 Aug 2011, 23:10

Whack a control pedal in and get your initial drawbar setting up. Press the control pedal button and move the drawbars into a new position. Enjoy being able to do all sorts of drawbar movements with your foot. This is better than a proper hammond.

Learn how to "split" the keyboard. 83800000 and 88800000 w 3rd percussion fast decay, Jazz Organ style.

You can hook the leslie speed up to the mod wheel (button again) so you can run at odd speeds.

A really rude JTQ style effect is to rig up the leslie speed to the aftertouch (button again).

For a very old pre B2 organ, set up the synth with a sine wave (Cos with the thingy knob turned full left) and set that to the bottom part of your keyboard, turn the bass up and then you have the effect of the bottom drawbar going all the way to the bottom (unlike the C2 C3 B2 and B3 organs). This sounds fat through a good sound system.

Then muck about with running each of your splits through the EQ and amp sims. You can have a clean bass sound with a really harsh overdrive rock organ jobby.

For something totally different. Run a cos wave from the synth through the leslie with overdrive. It sounds like a hammond, but subtely different.

Hope this gives you some ideas.
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Re: Organ newbie

Postby muckmuck » 18 Aug 2011, 01:49

good stuff, Jazzystu!
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Re: Organ newbie

Postby bdodds » 18 Aug 2011, 06:30

i second the call to listen to some of the jazz greats for ideas. I've got the opposite problem, I learned organ and basically ham-fist me some piano - they're really completely different approaches. Organ chord voicings are going to be a little different - a good place for tips is keyboard magazine, there are often bits about playing organ aimed at piano players. Some things to listen to for inspiration:

Allman Brothers Band
Steppenwolf
the aforementioned James Taylor Quartet (not to be confused with James Taylor the American singer/songwriter)
Deep Purple
anything with Steve Winwood
Medeski, Martin and Wood

the list goes on and on but listen in particular to the things unique to organ: legato, volume swell dynamics and use of Leslie. 'Playing' the drawbars are more difficult on the Nord, admittedly, but using Jazzystu's idea of morphing between settings can allow you to explore some more tones. John Medeski often moves the drawbars around to great effect while soloing or holding chords down. Listen particularly to when to spin the Leslie high, low, when to turn it off, how to use it to draw out suspense. Often you can combine Leslie with drawbar changes for dramatic effect, like this solo by Joey DeFrancesco:


Solo Excerpt from Please Send Me Someone to Love from Jack McDuff and Joey DeFrancesco - It's About Time on Concord Jazz

That might be a bit over the top for starting out, but that kind of idea is what the organ is all about. The MMW song Kenny off of Shack-Man (an album that is required listening for any organ aficionado) is a great study in drawbar manipulation - listen closely to the harmonic changes with the same notes being played over and over in this outro snippet of the song:


Outro from Kenny off of Medeski, Martin & Wood - Shack-Man on Gramavision

but it's not all about flash, some of my favorite organists are guys who sat in the back - Rick Wright, Benmont Tench, fantastic players but knew where to fit in without overpowering, lots of foundation - performing possibly the role of rhythm guitar, but with infinite sustain comes more possibilities for laying the foundation of the song.

eh, just some things to think about. What are you interested in playing? What appeals to you about the instrument?
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Re: Organ newbie

Postby zippo » 18 Aug 2011, 08:26

Whack a control pedal in and get your initial drawbar setting up. Press the control pedal button and move the drawbars into a new position. Enjoy being able to do all sorts of drawbar movements with your foot.


But only if you have TWO control pedals! Controlling the volume by foot pedal is essential for hammond organ playing!


A really rude JTQ style effect


What's "JTQ"?

Cheers Zippo!
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Re: Organ newbie

Postby frantzkb » 18 Aug 2011, 10:31

Wahou ... technical and artistic guidance we have on this subject ! :thanks:

I wonder if we can get this sound with a NS2 :

bdodds wrote:Solo Excerpt from Please Send Me Someone to Love from Jack McDuff and Joey DeFrancesco - It's About Time on Concord Jazz


bdodds : the second music you have posted sounds simply amazing to me !! from another planet !! thanks :)
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