gui**** doesn't play in sharp or flat keys!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by wagstaff, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. I answerd an add about a band looking for a bassist, they set me three songs to learn by next tuesday. Simple enough. Just as i'm learning the songs i notice they have a video on myspace so i have a gander and play along and notice that they play in a different key but they had linked it to make a medoly of songs so i think, this is just to make it fit with the others. the song that i noticed was different was the boys are back in town btw. i noticed that instead of playing it in the standard of G# they are playing it in A.

    Half an hour later i notice that the singer/gui**** of the band is on msn and dicide to question him about this. his reply was that he doesn't play in Sharp or Flat keys:crying::confused::ninja:! which he didn't mention at first sayign that i have to spend the time transposing, i know its only a semi-tone but it means i have to get used to it in a different key and have no means of practising itbecause there false version is incomplete as its was played as part of a medoly they did. he's a good guitarist and an ok singer which is further then what i got with my other bands:bassist: but i'm unsure about this, is this common in the coocoo land of a gui**** head that they don't play in what he calls 'unnatural' keys?:help:

  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    If he can't be bothered to learn his instrument then you'll be plauged with having to work around him all the time. Personally, I would find another group to work with.
  3. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    he's totally right on. anything with a sharp or flat- it's just...unnatural. don't even get me started about quarter tones.

  4. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Learn it as-recorded, then once memorized just move it up and play it there from memory.
  5. fretlessman71

    fretlessman71 Still beats havin' a job Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    FoCo, NoCo
    Yeah, they do this a lot. There are often some real reasons for this. Oftentimes the original song is recorded with the singer's range in mind, so they'll change THEIR key before they record the song. And sometimes the guitarists, who have to play chords and prefer when they can get open sounding chords and natural shapes, will retune to reflect this.

    I play with a female pianist/vocalist who many times will choose a key that suits her better than the original song (most often sung by a man). She calls the new key the "girl key".

    You'll get used to dealing with different people who play different songs in different keys. The 3 bands I play in have songs that overlap, and rarely do we do them all in the same key. As a matter of fact, all three bands have played "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder, and each band does it in a particular key. It's a good thing I have a 5 string bass. ;)
  6. Just J

    Just J Guest

    Jul 27, 2007
    Get used to it. There are a number of songs my bands play where they transpose the key to suit the singer. Example, we play Folsom Prison Blues in G when it's actually in F.

    There are programs that can alter the tuning of an MP3, WMA, WAV, etc so you can play along. I use Transcribe! myself.
  7. BillyRay


    Jan 20, 2008
    Hmmm, does he know that the chord shapes are the same regardless of key ? This guys doesn't sound like a very good guitarist. It's one thing transposing for vocalist's range, it's another to do so to cover a player's shortcomings.
  8. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    i wouldn't have a problem with transposing to fit someone's range per se, but it sounds the the gui**** in question refuses to play in any other key other than C/Am ?
    if that is indeed the case that's really lame. all your sets would sounds strangely monotonous.
    on the plus side you could retune your bass so that all your lines could be played on open strings, and just drink beer with your left hand all night!
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I've been in rehearsals where we try a new number in two or three keys before settling on one that works for us. Just learn the parts and don't worry about it.
  10. Just J

    Just J Guest

    Jul 27, 2007
    ? A G# major shape isn't the same as an A major.
  11. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    You should work on getting comfortable playing songs in any key, but a gui**** refusing to play in flats and sharps is a gui**** not worth trying to work with IMHO.
  12. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    ? I guess I don't understand. Elaborate, please.
  13. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    There are other reasons why a guitarist would want to play in an open key, other than because they can't.

    Open keys have a different sound to them compared barre chords and allow for different fingerings and voicings. There's some phenomenal guitar players out there who use alternate tunings just so they can have open notes. I don't think that Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Phil Keaggy, etc have any problem with playing in other keys in standard tuning, although they use open keys with alternate tuning. It's a matter of taste and creativity.
  14. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    I had a guitarist who was quoted as saying,"That has to be the right key because it's on the fretmarkers".Idiot! Sounds to me like he has the same attitude. Ask him how many sharps or flats are in a C maj scale.If it takes more that a few seconds for an answer,or he can't answer at all,tell him "no thanks".
  15. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound

    Nope that is incorrect.

    A C chord played open has the intervals of I,III,V,I,III
    A C chord played as a barre chord with the E as the bassline has the intervals of I,V,I,III,V,I
    A C chord played as a barre chord with the A string playing the root has I,V,I,III,V
  16. Ha, that's easy.

  17. Blake Bass

    Blake Bass

    Jan 10, 2006
    Houston, Texas
    The key of A has 3 sharps, so the guitar player is playing in a key with sharps. If he only played in a key with no sharps or flats everything would be played in C major or A minor.
  18. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Would it make a difference if he used a capo?

    Open keys allow for different fingerings, and are much easier to add embillishments to than a barre chord. For example, an open C chord will let you hammer-on a II to a III in the chord voicing, while it would be almost impossible to do as a barre chord. With an open C, I can alter the bass note to be a C, B, A or anything below those. I can't do that with a barre chord. An open E only requires 3 fingers to play fully, so it leaves my pinky free to add a a number of additional notes. While a F barre chords will take up all 4 fingers, leaving less fingers for me to use to add embellishments. And there are many more examples.
  19. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I prefer D minor, as it is the saddest of all keys.
  20. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    I personally have no problem at all with capos. But assuming we're talking about a gui**** who DOESN'T use a capo (or at least that's what I got out of it) then I wouldn't care too much to work with that gui****.