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Flats or Sharps?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jazzin', Jun 20, 2005.

  1. Ab, Bb, Db, Eb, Gb

    40 vote(s)
  2. G#, A#, C#, D#, F#

    28 vote(s)
  1. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    What do you prefer? Personally, I'd rather see a Db (an example) than a C#.
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Depends on the key.
    I would prefer seeing a C# when in the key of B Major.

    I do sorta chuckle whenever the leader of the band I'm in sez "A#"...all the time.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Depends on the key. I don't like one or the other better. For example, I like Db, Ab, Bb, and Eb, and I like F# for key sigs. For accidentals, it all depends on the key.
  4. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    I've always been told that jazz is flats and country is sharps.
  5. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    :confused: This is a strange question. :meh: Sharps and flats are functional. It totally depends on the key signature, modulations, harmony... I don't favor one over the other. Therefore, I can't give an answer. Sorry. No hard feelings.

  6. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    But just in general, forget about what key you are in. Just a note by itself.
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Sharps sounds more important.
  8. Mr.Phil


    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    I like the look of sharps more...
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Every keyboard or piano player I have ever played with has preferred the flats.

    Personally, I have no preference. Either works for me. E=Fb
  10. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Okay, I gotcha. I need to lighten up a bit here I guess. Sorry about that. :) I totally love sharps when I am ascending and flats when I am descending. My vote was for sharps because they make me feel more secure.

  11. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    When I play sax, I am more comfortable with sharp keys, so I picked sharps!
  12. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    Sharps are a lot easier for me to think in.
  13. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    and now, for the fretless players with GOOD ear... can you tell the diference between a flat and a sharp?

    you know, the sound diference betwen c sharp and d flat.

    thats o though one... i know
  14. akuma12


    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    I'm with seanm. When playing a treble clef instrument, I prefer sharps. With a bass clef instrument, I prefer flats. Dunno why that is, just what I'm used to I guess :)
  15. Depends...if I am ascending a scale or tuning up or raising anything : sharp

    But,if I tune to like Db(C#) or in a walking bassline,I am descending gotta go with the flat,baby.

    I base it off of the last note played before it. Example: If I play G to G#/Ab ima definately call it a G#,its just a natural thing.
  16. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA

    +1. I read an article in a magazine I have about different players' preference. The vast majority of sax players chose sharp, while the vast majority of string players chose flat. I'm sure there's some interesting psychology in there somewhere.
  17. akuma12


    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    It's probably due to classical string players having very flat personalities, and sax players just being sharp cats in general *winks* I'm just joking to any oversensitive classical players out there *grins*
  18. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Are you sure about this? I'm a public school music teacher and I know that band kids freak out when they see sharps. String kids play in sharp key signatures for a couple of years before playing flats. I guess it has to do with "leading tone" to an open string. D major (C# leading tone), A major (G# leading tone), G major (F# leading tone). Band students usually get started on "Concert Bb". That's my experience with sharps and flats.

  19. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I believe it is because we tend to play in sharp keys and get very comfortable with them. You just get a bit more nervous when a new piece has more than one flat in the key signature.

    With bass, I don't care so much since the patterns are the same.
  20. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    I'm playing with some guys who are trying to get a band together, and they're kind enough to let newbie me (only been in the bassment since February) fill in at their practices until they find their actual bassist. It's great for me -- much more valuable to learn locking in with a live drummer than playing against a CD track -- and it helps them out because at least they have some kind of bottom end as they work out their set lists, medleys, etc.

    Anyway, I learn this one song in C like it was originally recorded, I get it down pretty solid, and we work on it at a couple of practices. Then at the next practice the singer's schedule gets better and he shows up for the first time since we started working on that song... and declares that it stretches his range and we need to play it in B. Cr*p.

    There's some back-and-forth about whether he can manage it in C or if we really need to play it in B, and I don't get a clear read on what key it's gonna be in. So, just as we're about to launch into it, I say, "Okay, we're playing this in C-flat, right?"

    There's this second or two of dead silence while the guitarists just sort of stare at each other blankly, then everybody* bursts out laughing. Sez the rhythm guitarist, "Hey, if it makes you more comfortable, go for it!" :D

    I actually did pretty well with it, except that the nut** kept getting in the way. ;)


    *Everybody except the drummer. I guess they don't worry too much about key signature...

    **No, not the drummer. I mean the nut on the bass. No, not me, geez guys... :p

    P.S. No ragging on the drummer intended, he's actually a nice guy, very sharp, and keeps tight time. I'm very fortunate to have him to practice against.

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