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  1. #1

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    What are tunes you can play freely in all keys? I use the bluez obviously, plus Mack the Knife, and I'm feeling Solar as a minor tune. I can get through those and play relatively freely in all keys.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    in all the keys...?


  4. #3
    Cool video. I just work as if there are 24 keys. I don't need to work the enharmonics such as Gb and F# as if they are separate keys. However, if you can play well in a major key it doesn't necessarily follow that you can play well in the relative or parallel minor.

  5. #4

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    I saw an interesting situation with John Abercrombie years ago ... during his guitar workshop he asked: who wants to play All The Things You Are with me...?I play it in every key.A young guitarist came forward and said that he could play in E. Young guitarist played very well and after a while John paused and said let's play in the normal key / Ab /.

  6. #5

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    Tunes I learned early on I find harder to transpose because I learned them badly lol (from the real book as ‘grips’)

    These days I tend to learn from recordings etc so keys can be variable as it is, and learn the chords as degrees etc, so transposition not so difficult then.

    Also I know more tunes so I can abstract generally how progressions work in standards etc, often getting the chords is a lot faster for me than learning the melody. (Transposing Wayne tunes maybe a little more problematic lol, but I’ve yet to be asked to do that on a gig.)

    probably for this reason Ritchie Hart suggests it’s more important to learn a lot of tunes than to transpose the ones you know; both get you there but in the former case you’ll know more tunes.

    OTOH Bruce Forman advises you transpose everything down a fourth because those keys are good for female singers OTW

  7. #6

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    The other thing is many of the tunes we learn early on - All the Things, Stella even Body and Soul etc are actually quite complicated in GASB terms. Those songs became popular with jazzers because they were unusually complicated. They build on common progressions but have unusual forms and modulations etc.

    if you’ve never seen a biiio7 or a backdoor before, ATTYA does seem like a confusing set of random chords. Did not constitute ‘comprehensible input’ to me as a teenage budding jazz player, so I had to learn it mechanically

  8. #7

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    I like Victor Wooten both as a bass player and as a guy, think he's cool.

    I have to say, though, that the math tricks he performs here are rather counterproductive. In my opinion, the goal is to really understand the inner workings of the circle of fifths, not to trick out which key has how many accidentals.

    For example, the tritone relationship in the circle of fifths is created by the opposing keys on the circle. Or that you can represent third relationship with a triangle and diminished with a square (and rotate arbitrarily if you want).

    IMHO all that is lost when you use such tricks.

    just my 2 c.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    in all the keys...?

    I'm surprised that Victor Wooten is equating music theory with reading music here. The fact that there are 30 (written) keys and there are simple mathematical relationships between the key signatures is useful for reading music, but says nothing about the harmony, composition, arrangement and improvisation aspects of theory.

    I'm surprised because I associate his music more with the harmony, composition, arrangement and improvisation than reading written music.

  10. #9
    @ Don and Tal, True.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    The other thing is many of the tunes we learn early on - All the Things, Stella even Body and Soul etc are actually quite complicated in GASB terms. Those songs became popular with jazzers because they were unusually complicated. They build on common progressions but have unusual forms and modulations etc.

    if you’ve never seen a biiio7 or a backdoor before, ATTYA does seem like a confusing set of random chords. Did not constitute ‘comprehensible input’ to me as a teenage budding jazz player, so I had to learn it mechanically
    I agree. I ain't trying to take a relatively complicated tune like Body and Soul and be able to run it in any key. I do want to be able to learn a tune like that in a different key and have good command with it over time. I'm doing that in the standards thread. Gonna transpose each of those tunes into a hard key for keyboard so I work it for a whole month. My other goal is to be able to run simple tunes like Blue Monk or Mack the Knife in any key and have the same or almost the same command between keys.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 08-21-2021 at 11:01 PM.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    I saw an interesting situation with John Abercrombie years ago ... during his guitar workshop he asked: who wants to play All The Things You Are with me...?I play it in every key.A young guitarist came forward and said that he could play in E. Young guitarist played very well and after a while John paused and said let's play in the normal key / Ab /.
    He got hosed lol. I don't want to be like that, I want to be able to play freely in any key if I know the tune in that key.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    @ Don and Tal, True.



    I agree. I ain't trying to take a relatively complicated tune like Body and Soul and be able to run it in any key. I do want to be able to learn a tune like that in a different key and have good command with it over time. I'm doing that in the standards thread. Gonna transpose each of those tunes into a hard key for keyboard so I work it for a whole month. My other goal is to be able to run simples tunes like Blue Monk or Mack the Knife in any key and have the same or almost the same command between keys.
    Do Rhythm Changes as well maybe

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Tunes I learned early on I find harder to transpose because I learned them badly lol (from the real book as ‘grips’)

    These days I tend to learn from recordings etc so keys can be variable as it is, and learn the chords as degrees etc, so transposition not so difficult then.

    Also I know more tunes so I can abstract generally how progressions work in standards etc, often getting the chords is a lot faster for me than learning the melody. (Transposing Wayne tunes maybe a little more problematic lol, but I’ve yet to be asked to do that on a gig.)

    probably for this reason Ritchie Hart suggests it’s more important to learn a lot of tunes than to transpose the ones you know; both get you there but in the former case you’ll know more tunes.

    OTOH Bruce Forman advises you transpose everything down a fourth because those keys are good for female singers OTW
    I've always visualized whatever tune I'm playing as a continuous set of generic scales & changes (i.e.1-3b-6b-2b) that can be played in any key. And I add modulations (e.g. into weird bridge keys like On The Street Where You Live and The Song is You) as intervals rather than specific chords. This sets boundaries for me, so I screw up relatively few melody lines. It's worked well for me since I started playing as a teenager, and goes on in my brain pretty much every time I play anything.

    The most serious need for transposing on the fly comes up for those of us who back multiple vocalists. This happens often at the club where my trio does a Thursday night jazz show, after which we invite guest performers in the audience to the mic. Most weeks, we get at least a few good local vocalists ranging from talented amateurs to pros coming in to relax and enjoy. It's also important when you play a lot of weddings, parties etc at which someone (a parent or sibling of the bride or groom, company president's SO etc) fancies himself or herself a singer or musician. If you or your band hosts audience members as performers, you quickly learn that "original key" is a concept missing from many minds. Half the time, we have to quietly confirm the key they call or figure out in what key they want to do a tune. It's always amazing to me that even some pros insist on a key and immediately start in another after confusing the first note in a tune with the key signature, failing to understand the relative minor, etc.

    There's no better way to assure that you'll never be hired again than to be perceived as having embarrassed the person paying you or someone important to him or her. And the audience will have no idea that their host sounded lousy because he or she insisted on an "unfavorable" key - it was their friend or relative up there, so it had to be your fault. When possible, I've always followed Buddy Rich's admonition not to sit in with a band you don't know well or let anyone whose playing you didn't know well sit in with yours. He said that the audience has no idea what's wrong - when something's not right, every member of the band sounds as bad as the worst one. If you're in the house band at a jam, you roll the dice and pray. But being able to play whatever tune the artist calls in whatever key will minimize trouble in any circumstance.

    There are other good reasons to stray from the original key. If you're playing solo, you can use open strings to your harmonic and technical advantage by moving many tunes to a different key. You can add serious bass to solo tunes with your E6, and you can drop it to D or even C for added advantage. I'm fortunate in being able to play most tunes from memory in any key, but I see many fine players who transpose in their iPad fakebooks. And far more keyboard players than I ever dreamed would do so shift the tuning of their keyboards so they play everything in the same key (or a limited few in which they're most comfortable).

  14. #13

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    I sort of believe that the goal is that your hand moves to the next chord on its own.

    You probably can do that with a I IV V progression.

    The goal is to develop your ear and your facility on the instrument so that it just happens.

    You remember the sound of the song the same way a non-musician does and then your hands play it.

    I find that I can do that with some chord changes, but not all. Some sounds stick better than others.

  15. #14
    I agree. One of my earliest music teachers told me to think of the next bar while I'm already in the middle of the first bar. It's more than that tho. On keys you have to be familiar with the shapes of every key because the fingerings are different for every key. Therefore you have to spend significant time playing in every key or you won't get it.

  16. #15

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    A basic test.

    Can you pick a random finger, fret and string and play Happy Birthday starting there -- without error? Also, without much thought?
    Can you then raise and/or lower it an octave and do it again?

    If you can, then you're clearly making the connection between the sound in your head and your fingers.

    Can you do it with chords too? The wedding musicians of my NYC youth could do it without changing the bored expression on their faces.

  17. #16
    Been goin hog wild in the sharps and they're getting as comfortable as the real book keys. Bluez, I like In a Mellow Tone a lot, I can play that pretty well in any key. Solar is my go to minor. The minors are gonna be the last ones that I have to clean up. I play mostly in major I guess. I went to play in G# minor and was like errrr.

  18. #17

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    I 've worked quite a bit on that subject. It gets a lot easier after a while. Instead of learning tunes by the names of the chords, you start to learn them by the movements. 2-5-1s, or 1-4, etc, then some modulations step up, 3rd up, 4th up. You start to learn the melodies as degrees over the underlying chords. I have found it great practice. It was a Peter Bernstein workshop that initially made me start doing that, after seeing how effortlesly he could do it on any tune..!

  19. #18
    Yes, it is fun realizing that you get better at transposing. I wasn't expecting that for some reason.

  20. #19

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    Practicing tunes in various keys is definitely rewarding. Good practice, I guess, is to learn the harmony in degrees and functions first and then try to randomly play it in different keys.
    It's also good for connecting your ears with your brain. If you have learned a tune in one key, it's usually quite easy for the ear to transpose it to other keys as soon as you give it a start note. So you quickly get a vivid idea how it's supposed to sound and your mind/fingers have to catch up with that. Strong exercise!

    This video with Victor Wooden is fun to watch, but doesn't really apply to learning tunes imho. There is no need to practice a tune in all major and minor keys, since it is either major or minor.

  21. #20
    I think I did notice a little improvement with ear and fluidity after a while of my all keys practice.

    I've put major tunes in minor before with some success such as Here's that rainy day and Blue monk. I can more or less play Blue monk in all 24 keys.