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Why did grunge music shun keyboards?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by RosesFromYesterday, Jan 15, 2022.

  1. RosesFromYesterday

    RosesFromYesterday Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North America
    Does anyone know why use of keyboards was a big taboo in grunge music?
  2. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    17 newly created threads in the span of 2 days lol is this some sort of SH Forum record you are shooting for?

    Anyways, I would say because with the emphasis on the heavier guitars and more dense production with each core instrument employing darker sounds, there just wasn't much room sonically or heavy keyboards although sometimes piano and various keys are used (Mailman by Soundgarden uses a mellotron for example)
  3. Evethingandnothing

    Evethingandnothing Forum Resident

    Keyboards aren't used much in either heavy metal or post punk/indie guitar music which are the two things that grunge comes from. Some folks (me included) don't like the way that keyboards colour and often soften the sound. That's not to say that I don't enjoy keyboards per se.

    Plus, the 80's was awash with keyboard washes. It seemed a standard thing to put keyboards in the background of tracks to fill out the sound. I hated it and I expect many others did too and rebelled against the practice.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  4. fretter

    fretter Forum Resident

    My guess is that keyboards conflicted with grunge's punk ethos. Mudhoney's Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge had some keyboards but this is pretty much a post-grunge album. Released before Nevermind, both albums had a slow start (just like GN'R's Appetite). There was no internet to speak of.
  5. RosesFromYesterday

    RosesFromYesterday Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North America
    I'm not shooting for any kind of record. If it's not allowed to make so many threads, please let me know, and I'll ease up on it. All of my threads have been sincere and serious, though, and I'm not posting just for the sake of posting.
  6. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    It was mostly in jest, no worries, I just noticed many of the threads the past 2 days I clicked having the same author and such high volume is not typically seen on here ha
    RosesFromYesterday likes this.
  7. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux One in the Crowd

    Placerville, CA
    "Come again?"
    JasonA, CassetteDek and FloydMaui like this.
  8. RosesFromYesterday

    RosesFromYesterday Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North America
    Do you think my threads are good?
  9. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    Yeah I think they can be interesting thoughts, all good here.
    RosesFromYesterday likes this.
  10. UnderTheFloorboards'66

    UnderTheFloorboards'66 Forum Resident

    San Francisco, CA
    because they couldn't play them!
  11. Jonathan Halen

    Jonathan Halen Forum Resident

  12. Dingo

    Dingo Forum Resident

    The age old dilemma, two chords good , three chords bad ( and too hard).
    Ryan Lux and Folknik like this.
  13. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Planet Earth
    Why aren't there much keyboards in Grunge? Probably because Black Sabbath are a bigger influence on the genre than Deep Purple? :whistle:
  14. The Curator

    The Curator Forum Resident

    Probably. But I feel the Hammond organ has been underused in all the subgenres of rock. Jon Lord made it sound as dirty as the guitar in Deep Purple.
  15. RosesFromYesterday

    RosesFromYesterday Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North America
    Most grunge songs have way more than just three chords. Listen to the album "Dirt" by Alice in Chains.
    '05Train and Lownote30 like this.
  16. BeatlesObsessive

    BeatlesObsessive The Earl of Sandwich Ness

    Keyboards are their OWN thing... besides.. why sit down and plink at a keyboard which is one of the hallmarks of dinosaur rock or self serious singer songwriter-ism when you can plug that Les Paul into a 150 amp head and then plug THAT into a 6 foot tall Leslie speaker and shake the Cascade Mountains with your gee-tar ... slouched like Slash.. women grooving appreciatively... and that C chord just dissipating like a truck full of hydrogen into ANY room you play!! And you want me to bring the specter of Billy Joel, Rick Wakeman or David F***** Foster into this BEAUTIFUL scene?

  17. dryjoy

    dryjoy Brother In Sound

    Bournemouth, UK
    That right there is the definitive answer to the question posed by the OP!
  18. Donfrance

    Donfrance Forum Resident

    Vesoul, France.
    I think that if you didn't agree to the no keyboard rule they didn't let you do it. Fine by me!!!:winkgrin::winkgrin::winkgrin:
  19. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    They hadn't heard Jimmy Smith.
    Brudr, Instant Dharma and veloso2 like this.
  20. zphage

    zphage genre fluid

    I’m pretty sure there was no organized prohibition against piano/keyboards. Piano had pretty much fallen away since the mid 70s, it takes skill, practice, and access to learn and practice piano. Keyboards and synths allow for some noise making ala Allen Ravenstine (Pere Ubu), but through the 80s they were mostly pop and pomp, and grunge was backlash against that excess. Guitars are cheaper and portable, and forgive not playing well in a way piano and keyboards do not. The screamers, Suicide, tuxedomoon, etc., had already set a punk keyboard template, which I am sure if there had been a grunge keyboard based act they would have been accepted.
  21. ghoulsurgery

    ghoulsurgery House Ghost

    New Jersey
    It just wasn’t part of the aesthetic. There were no keyboards on Black Flag records
  22. AndrewK

    AndrewK Forum Resident

    Cleveland, Ohio
    The Final Teen Spirit mashup :)

  23. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

  24. Loup

    Loup Ancient Wool Unraveller

    It was a way to rebel against the synth laden ‘80s.
  25. Zerox

    Zerox Forum Resident

    You mean you missed Nirvana jamming with Jools Holland? I never knew Come As You Are was missing boogie-woogie piano until then...

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