If you are familiar with the wave of recent recordings which feature synthesizer solos as prominently as guitar solos, you no doubt already appreciate the musical excitement that the instrument generates when used properly. The pitch-bending techniques I discussed last month are an important part of creating this excitement—and Jan Hammer is one keyboardist who has mastered the pitch bender and developed a very distinctive style of playing it (or playing with it, if you prefer).
Given below is a transcription of Jan's Minimoog solo in "Led Boots" from Jeff Beck's album Wired (Epic, PE 33849), which illustrates real-time use of the pitch bender. The notes shown are the audible pitches: those beneath which arrows appear are the result of bends. Jan makes extensive use of guitar-like bends, where notes are pushed sharp by various intervals. It should be remembered that even though this solo really kicks, it still only represents one individual's stylistic approach. You'll find that exploring your own avenues of expression will yield the most direct results and progress.