Producer's Homework for Keys: PART FIVE

Producer: Chakra Bleu prepares for keyboard flavours: PART FIVE

I was so grateful to have the opportunity to work with Ronnie Godfrey again, for the third time in the studio. Ronnie has played with many greats and his extensive experience over the years provides him with an encyclopedia of wisdom as a keyboardist. He also is visually impaired, which also adds layers of insight to his taste in choosing textures on the keys. 

Because Ronnie cannot visually read charts, I prepare weeks in advance for a 'joint collaboration' in deciding the key parts. Wha?

Now that the charts are written and I know the instruments that go with each song, I can now direct my attention to what key parts I hear for each song. I use the same basic guitar/vocal demo. I'll now drive or exercise to these songs with the question, " What keys are playing on this song? Is is piano, Wurly, synth, strings, etc.? I'll eventually hear what key part would most likely be best. Often there's two key parts. For example, there may be piano with layers of synth or strings on the chorus. 

Meanwhile, I've sent Ronnie the guitar/vocal demo of all the songs. He is coming up with his ideas of key parts as well. 

Finally, I'll give him a phone call and I'll share with him my suggestions of key parts for each song. He then will weigh in with his ideas for those songs. Strangely enough, we will have both come up with the same ideas for the keys! Ronnie then kicks in his mojo, and rehearses the songs well. He also charts the songs on Braille. His positive, laid back energy and preparedness surely add to a nice solid foundation for the intense recording day.


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