Playing in different keys

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salan
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Playing in different keys

Post by salan » 15 May 2014, 20:29

Hi all

Something I've sometimes thought about, do players have a favourite key to play in, I realise C is the easiest but I think a different key adds a new " flavour" to piece of music.Also do people try to transpose music to a different key? I know this is not very easy but is not too bad if the tune only needs the I, IV and V chords .I myself like the sound of Bb and Eb keys and enjoy playing in those keys.I find it easier to play if there are flats in the key rather than sharps.I suppose the simple answer is to use the transpose button but quite often the busker books feature songs written in " difficult" keys ,is this because they were originally written these keys?
Just a few thoughts of my own! I look forward to reading others thoughts on this subject.

Regards
Alan

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Eileen
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Eileen » 15 May 2014, 22:00

Hi Alan,
If I am busking by ear I prefer the key of F and use the transpose button if other keys are needed. Therefore I never have a tick in my memory for transpose when using a registration bank as I like to chose where to use it with whatever registration button I may be using.
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Michael R
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Michael R » 15 May 2014, 22:20

Hi Alan. I don't know how much time you have available to practise, but if you can, it really is worth learning to play in all the keys. It makes life so much easier when you can open a book and not have to worry about what key the piece is in!

Michael
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salan
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by salan » 16 May 2014, 09:29

Thank you Eileen and Michael for the replies, I think the "key" words here are as Michael said "time" and "practice" I have to admit that I have seen a tune that I want to play but it's written in an awkward key with lots of sharps and then I've not bothered to play it, but later gone back to it and with a bit of practice have managed a reasonable result and been quite pleased with myself for persevering to learn it.Michael, I think you are quite correct, it is much easier to open a book and be able to play any tune in different keys, but that is what comes with practise and learning.

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Alan

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Eileen
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Eileen » 16 May 2014, 10:55

I suppose I have an advantage in that My husband rewrites my Music for me and enlarges it and puts it in the key I prefer. I then put it onto my Ipad in play lists. It is easy for me to find and I also keep all the PDF's on my computer so it is easy for me to replace anything I may lose.
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Graham from Derby
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Graham from Derby » 17 May 2014, 16:04

Hi Eileen. Dose Ray have a program to change the key?
I am the same. I like to play in C but if it is a piece in another key that I can not find in C I try and work my way through it . Put reminders above notes that I need to flatten or Sharpen.
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Wally Z
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Wally Z » 17 May 2014, 16:40

Not being musically trained key signatures and transposing is like a foreign language to me for the most part. Since I pretty much only play my own creations, I was looking for a way to change things up so I wasn't always playing in the same key. This also helps out with learning new chords. What I did and it really works out great is to purchase "The Chord Wheel" by Jim Fleser. Just turn the wheel to any key and it shows you the chords that work in that key. By reading I have figured out how to make chords by counting half steps and some of the little tricks for the different scales. Once you know the notes that make up the chord you can play variations of that chord which will make it easier to change chords and gives the songs a different feel. The chord wheel is a good tool.
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salan
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by salan » 17 May 2014, 17:53

Some interesting replies here, Eileen does Ray manually work out the new key for your tunes and literally write them out or does he use a computer program of some sort to reprint them?
It would be useful to have a computer program to scan in the songs and have it reprint them in your chosen key, or maybe something does exist to do this.

Wally, that looks a useful device you have mentioned, it is based on the circle of fifths or fourths whichever way round you use it, I think what is required is a tool to instantly convert songs into a key of your choice and show all the chords required to play the song, maybe I'm wishing for too much.

Alan

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Fred
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Fred » 17 May 2014, 19:25

Another couple of useful devices (one for chords and the other for scales) that retail for £15 each --- http://www.pianowand.com/pianowand/

I think the one thing that spoils a lot of music playing these days is that lots of people use the simplified Leads sheets that we used to get from Wikifonia. The music was simple to read play which made the format popular, but none of them actually changed key during the song. A key change during the performance gives that little bit more variation, which keeps the interest going.

One thing that helps me a lot with difficult keys is to use the Music Software to colour the Sharps and Flats.

Fred
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Graham from Derby
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Graham from Derby » 18 May 2014, 08:02

what musical software would that be Fred?
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Fred » 18 May 2014, 10:15

Hi Graham

The only one that I can afford ------ Musescore

Fred
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Graham from Derby
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Graham from Derby » 18 May 2014, 10:22

If its free I will have ten :D

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Eileen
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Eileen » 18 May 2014, 11:15

I have the free version and it is quite good.
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Graham from Derby
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Graham from Derby » 18 May 2014, 12:18

Is that what Ray uses Eileen?


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Eileen
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Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Eileen » 18 May 2014, 14:43

No Graham,
We use a programme called Music Time which allows you to enlarge music cleanly and do lots of other things to.
So far have never found another programme to touch it for my use. It is a little expensive though but has paid for itself over and over. Just the job for an Ipad if you require the music a little larger.
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Cminor

Re: Playing in different keys

Post by Cminor » 22 May 2014, 17:04

I have found all the discussions on this topic very interesting and I agree with Fred in that a change of key does add interest to a piece. I must admit, however, I find key changes constantly trip me up no matter how many times I play a piece. I don't have a favorite key to play in but I do find a key containing flats easier than one with sharps in - is this just me or do other members prefer flats to sharps or vise versa.

Pete

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