Video: Benmont Tench on Sculpting Keyboard Sounds

In recent months here at Reverb, we've been fortunate enough to greet not one, but three different Heartbreakers in our studio. We talked to bassist Ron Blair about composing parts for the hits, and chatted with guitarist Mike Campbell about vintage guitars and vibrato.

Today, organ expert Benmont Tench gives us an overview of his approach to sculpting keyboard sounds over the years. In the video above, Benmont talks about starting on a Baby Grand piano as a kid before moving onto a Farfisa and later a Wurlitzer that he played during the early Mudcrutch sessions.

As a keyboardist with a dynamic tone range, Benmont also talks about how he balances using effects pedals without letting them overpower his sound. "The sound is in the player, and I never want these [effects pedals] to get in the way of it, but damn, they're really fun."

Beyond his work with Tom Petty and the band, Benmont has enjoyed years as an in-demand studio musician in LA. It's a career that's landed him gigs with everyone from Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan to Ryan Adams and Jenny Lewis. Watch the video below for a recollection of some of his most notable studio moments.


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