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Mottlefeeder

Here are the chords, but I'm on Capo 4...

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You should always play to the key that suits the singers voice so I don't think it's unfair for bassists or guitarists to have to adapt - I've done some songs in more than one band and we've flipped the key. But it's best to not do it at open mic after a few ales!

I've played with an Americana band for over 7 years and they *used* to be really bad for saying "this is G, capo 4" and I would forever be correcting them and saying "actually B". More recently they've raised their game and I'm being corrected with "...minor 7th actually!" :)

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[quote name='paul h' timestamp='1467975068' post='3087688'] Personally I think the best way is to think of the chord numbers as opposed to the names. So instead of think G, C, D, think of it as I, IV, V. Then once you have found the root for the first chord it should be easier to play the necessary intervals. [/quote]

Yes, that's the magic pill.

If doing it on the fly is tough, as it can be, and if you have the pad or chords written out in a specific key, then mark it up with intervals and you're home in any key.

LD

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It's all about practice, and being forced to learn things through necessity. It's like sight reading... there's no quick trick.


That's why I'm sh*te at both! 😂😂

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1467999299' post='3088003']
I play almost everything as fretted notes on a five string, if it gets moved 2 or 3 frets it's no biggie.
[/quote] Yup, that's another way to fly !

LD

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[quote name='paul h' timestamp='1467980847' post='3087769']
Actually...I'm guilty of this as well :D I call it a "guitarist's key". When I ask somebody what key a song is, I'm really asking what the first chord is :D

I'm a terrible, terrible musician :D
[/quote] ;) May all your songs start on an anacrusis on the dominant.... :)

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Lots of interesting comments, and just a little bit of negativity towards guitarists.

Just to recap, a guitarist turns up at an open mic night with the words and chords he/she needs, and an indication of where the capo goes to get the song in the right vocal range. A bass player introduces himself and asks if he can join in. There is no way that the guitarist's notes for his/her benefit are wrong just because they do not help the bass player.

Moving on, a couple of posts suggest mentally converting a song into Nashville notation, and then moving the playing pattern further up the neck. That's fine up to a point, but only if the chord progression makes it obvious what the key is.

For example, one of the songs that I play has the chord sequence

Verse: Dm /A7 /Dm /A7 /D7 /Gm /Dm /A7 /Dm /C7 /
Chorus: F /C7 /F /F7 /Bb /Gm /F /C7 /F /A7 /

If I was presented with that and I did not know the song at all, I would use
1 'If it starts and ends with the same chord, that is probably the 1 chord' (so check it out)
2 'If it has three major chords in it, they will probably be I, IV and V (so check it out)
3 'If it has minor chords they will probably be II, III and VI (so check it out)
4 Oh sh#t this is going to sound awful.

Firsty, 1, 2 and 3 do not work on that song, so what key is it in, and secondly, what rules do you use to determine which chords are foreign to the key, and what the I chord is?

David

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[quote name='luckydog' timestamp='1468001543' post='3088025']
Yup, that's another way to fly !

LD
[/quote]

I am actually just doing this now, been sent a homemade chart for a Fleetwood Mac number than was sounding off at practice, the record is in A maj, he says he uses a capo so he has sent it me in G? we do not do it in G, he must be playing off the capo as the nut, no problem now as I have read his chord chart without looking at the neck pretending my A is a G so we can do it in any key now.

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Sometimes chord sheets are a bit of a crutch - you've got the chords in front of you and get into the frantic read then move 4 frets game.... I've found if I look at the chords to work out the key and then don't look at the chords at all in the genres of music I'm familiar with I can just play by ear and memory.
If I had the chords there I would keep going back to them and keep getting lost.

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Also use an iPhone iPad app for church band called onSong

You have your music loaded up and can change key and or capo on the fly - what's really cool is that the set of music we are playing gets blue toothed over to me at the start and if the band leader decides to add a song mid set they can magically add it to my set list! While it's always better to just learn the song it's a useful bit of software

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[quote name='Mottlefeeder' timestamp='1468003467' post='3088043']
Lots of interesting comments, and just a little bit of negativity towards guitarists.

Just to recap, a guitarist turns up at an open mic night with the words and chords he/she needs, and an indication of where the capo goes to get the song in the right vocal range. A bass player introduces himself and asks if he can join in. There is no way that the guitarist's notes for his/her benefit are wrong just because they do not help the bass player.

Moving on, a couple of posts suggest mentally converting a song into Nashville notation, and then moving the playing pattern further up the neck. That's fine up to a point, but only if the chord progression makes it obvious what the key is.

For example, one of the songs that I play has the chord sequence

Verse: Dm /A7 /Dm /A7 /D7 /Gm /Dm /A7 /Dm /C7 /
Chorus: F /C7 /F /F7 /Bb /Gm /F /C7 /F /A7 /

If I was presented with that and I did not know the song at all, I would use
1 'If it starts and ends with the same chord, that is probably the 1 chord' (so check it out)
2 'If it has three major chords in it, they will probably be I, IV and V (so check it out)
3 'If it has minor chords they will probably be II, III and VI (so check it out)
4 Oh sh#t this is going to sound awful.

Firsty, 1, 2 and 3 do not work on that song, so what key is it in, and secondly, what rules do you use to determine which chords are foreign to the key, and what the I chord is?

David
[/quote]

I would just blag the chord chart on a gig if I had that cheat sheet to hand, roots are always there, fifths for flavour chuck the minors and 7s in on the fly, if all else fails take all the treble off and play with my thumb, sorted :)

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[quote name='Mottlefeeder' timestamp='1468003467' post='3088043']
Lots of interesting comments, and just a little bit of negativity towards guitarists.

Just to recap, a guitarist turns up at an open mic night with the words and chords he/she needs, and an indication of where the capo goes to get the song in the right vocal range. A bass player introduces himself and asks if he can join in. There is no way that the guitarist's notes for his/her benefit are wrong just because they do not help the bass player.

[/quote]

Absolutely this.

Bass players can be a right pain in the arse at acoustic singer/songwriter type open mic nights where more often than not the material being performed was never meant to have bass on it in the first place.

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[quote name='LukeFRC' timestamp='1468008124' post='3088084']
Also use an iPhone iPad app for church band called onSong

You have your music loaded up and can change key and or capo on the fly - what's really cool is that the set of music we are playing gets blue toothed over to me at the start and if the band leader decides to add a song mid set txhey can magically add it to my set list! While it's always better to just learn the song it's a useful bit of software
[/quote]

I do the same, OnSong is great as an aide memoir. And it's worth getting the Bluetooth foot pedal to move through The charts. Really useful. if I end up back in a covers band some time that's what I'll be using!

Edited by TrevorR

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[quote name='Mottlefeeder' timestamp='1468003467' post='3088043']
Lots of interesting comments, and just a little bit of negativity towards guitarists.

Just to recap, a guitarist turns up at an open mic night with the words and chords he/she needs, and an indication of where the capo goes to get the song in the right vocal range. A bass player introduces himself and asks if he can join in. There is no way that the guitarist's notes for his/her benefit are wrong just because they do not help the bass player.

[/quote]

He should know what pitch he has moved it to. And he could tell the band it is this position for them, regardless of what he capo'd.

If he has a capo, you aren't going to be following his hands for help...

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I'll be having some similar adventures when I go to my first ukulele jam night next week! So far my uke-ing has been noodling based on the fact that I can play top-four-strings-of-a-guitar shapes. But because it's tuned G-C-E-A, when I play "D" I'm hearing G, so if I want to hear D I need to play "A"... should be fun!

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1468057055' post='3088312']
...If he has a capo, you aren't going to be following his hands for help...
[/quote]

I'm not sure that I fully agree with that - if you play in a fretboard cage, then by moving the cage up by the same number of frets as the capo, your root notes will match his/her chords. Unfortunately I can't do that fast enough on a chord by chord basis, and if I lose my position, I struggle to find it again.

David

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[quote name='the boy' timestamp='1468160780' post='3088906']
You could buy a capo for your bass..... :D
[/quote]

Nothing wrong with that. If you can use frets then you can use a capo. :rolleyes:

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So, to summarise,

If you know the song, you can play by ear.
If you can work out the key, you can think of the chord progression as I, II, II etc, and move it around at will.
If you know your fretboard well enough, you can play each root based on its interval from the preceeding one, assuming that you start in the right place and do not lose your place.
No-one has volunteered a strategy for quickly working out the key of a song.

Any takers on the last point?

David

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[quote name='Mottlefeeder' timestamp='1468170741' post='3088985']...
No-one has volunteered a strategy for quickly working out the key of a song...
[/quote]

Far from universal, but much music, especially popular songs, resolves, and so the last note or chord are often the key. Not guaranteed, but useful if there's no other indication.
(Drummers often use this for finding the key... :rolleyes: )

Edited by Dad3353

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[quote name='Mottlefeeder' timestamp='1468170741' post='3088985']
No-one has volunteered a strategy for quickly working out the key of a song.

Any takers on the last point?

[/quote]

Pick a note then "play your fingers right" - Higher! Lower! - until you hit it? B)

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