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And besides, it's good practice

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Don Higdon, May 28, 2002.

  1. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Working a piano/bass duo Saturday, crowd was noisy and self-absorbed. It was late, a boring night, we were going to play It Had To Be You, medium up. It started as a joke, but we played it in B natural.
    I recommend this for brushing away the cobwebs and avoiding cliches. Especially good with standards, i.e., a tune with real changes and not a two chord vamp. Besides, you never know when you'll have to do this for a singer.
  2. I occasionally work with an excellent piano player who happens to be entirely self-taught -- can't read a note of music or even chord symbols.

    Anyway, he prefers playing in sharp keys and often throws in chord substitutions, key modulations and form variations at whim. I'm usually soaked with sweat by the end of the night trying to keep up with him, but I always feel like a better player for the experience.

    Plus, I always expand my repertoire. To him, "Theme from Mannix" is as acceptable a vehicle as "Up Jumped Spring."
  3. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    You know, most of us who have played for a while have been fortunate enough to have been forced to work in all the keys. But, I noticed a few years back that my students simply would not practice the harder keys on their own. So, I began to bust chops!

    I now have play-alongs, which I created, for practicing everything I teach: IN ALL TWELVE KEYS. At first the students hate it of course but a few months down the road and they are very happy to have the freedom.

    I have noticed two specific problems in beginning to learn the keys: 1. too difficult of material to move around. 2. without a play-along it is difficult to hear if you are correct.

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