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Guitarists and Bb

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by seanm, Feb 16, 2008.


  1. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    What is it about guitarists and the key of B flat? Almost every genre has lots of songs in Bb, yet I have *never* played a song in Bb at any gig or at any jam. Most times they won't even admit the original is in Bb :rollno:

    I don't play guitar, is Bb a particularly hard key? :confused:
     
  2. oldrocker

    oldrocker

    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    We play some Chuck Berry tunes in Bb and some songs that are really in B but tuned down a half step are also played in Bb.

    In these cases the guitar player call the key A# :p
     
  3. TeeMartin

    TeeMartin

    Jul 18, 2006
    E & A = spam open chords and Zeppelin licks
     
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    That's just it, these guys aren't limited to just E & A. We play a lot in C, D, G, and even sometimes F. The one band really likes B.

    They just won't play in flat keys, or sharp keys in oldrocker's case ;)
     
  5. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    play with horn players
     
  6. Wootsticks

    Wootsticks

    Jul 26, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I love the key of Bb, maybe because I started music as a euphonium player. (Brass instrument.)
     
  7. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    In general, string players like sharp keys, horn players like flat keys.

    Guitarists like keys that allow them to use open strings, especially if they play acoustic guitar.

    Good guitarists don't care what key they play in, as long as the song (and singer) sound good in that range.
     
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I sometimes get to play with a sax player... we make him play in E :eyebrow:

    In a previous life I played sax. I would love to play in a band with horns.
     
  9. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Awesome!

    My main axe was trumpet! I played with this one group and we played in more guitar keys than horn keys... it made me a lot better! I used to love to play in E. ;)
     
  10. AlphaMale

    AlphaMale

    Oct 30, 2006
    Ventura County
    Most bands play in Bb cause it's the easiest to play in for brass instruments
     
  11. Bb's no problem - the only one I find slightly awkward is Eb - but I use different inversions to get round that.
     
  12. well if the majority of manufactured horns were made in something other than Bb or Eb, we probably would like something else......BRING BACK THE C MELODY SAXOPHONES!!
     
  13. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I'm not really crazy about Eb. No low Eb on a 4 string!
     
  14. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX


    I'm sure someone still makes them, but I've never seen one used on a gig.

    Now that I think a bit I've only seen old ones (sorry 'vintage') in music stores. Maybe I'm wrong and nobody makes them anymore.
     
  15. bigthemat

    bigthemat

    Jan 25, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    I was playing trumpet in a funk band, and a lot of tunes were in concert E, trumpet F#.

    surprisingly, I was able to get some hip solos in F#, which is prob. my least favorite key.
     
  16. Our guitarists will always tune up any song to minimum D. So any song originally playing in a key lower ends up being changed. Good job our singer is half decent! We cover Find the Real by Alter Bridge which is originally in c# (apparently.. it's standard tuning on a 5 string bass.. ) and they won't tune down... preferring to play it in drop D.... meaning that muggins here has to take 2 basses to practice with my 4 string tuned down to fit in as there's no way I'm tuning my 5 string up! Awkward.....
     
  17. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Aquila makes one.... but the reviews are very mixed. Seems the quality control is bad.

    http://www.aquilasax.com/C-melody_Tenor.html
     
  18. bigthemat

    bigthemat

    Jan 25, 2008
    Salt Lake City
  19. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Half of everything I play at sessions is in Bb.
     
  20. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    This seems apropos:

    ft080217.
     

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