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#159941 - 05/19/07 04:55 AM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
Craig_UK Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 914
Loc: UK
I play in any key the music is written in, or if I want to learn a song I simply download the MP3, listen to it and then I can play it back straight away in any key I want to.

When I used to go out with my band we already had our songs set out in the key set for the singers own range, but nowdays I mainly play for the odd sing a long nights which makes more money to be honest. The singers just walk up to you and give me their own music, so I don't want what key it is going to be in advance which makes it a good challenge and keeps you on your toes.
I sight read extremely well and can also tranpose in my head without having to use the keyboards own tranpose button, which quite frankly makes people lazy.

I've heard people and especially organists play in the same key all night. To my ears it gets to sound rather dull and repetitive after a while and the feeling/ambience can be lost on certain songs where they are simply meant to be played in their original set key, but if it gets you work playing in the key of C all night then good for you - go out, earn some money and pay off the bills, that's all what matters and if you and your crowd enjoy it as well, you must be doing something right

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#159942 - 05/19/07 05:01 AM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6059
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
And another thing....in my experience, of all the instrumentalist, keyboard players seem to be the least competent at on-the-fly transposing. I wonder why?

chas
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"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#159943 - 05/19/07 05:42 AM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
Taike Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 2674
Loc: Taiwan-Laos-China
Quote:
Originally posted by cgiles:
And another thing....in my experience, of all the instrumentalist, keyboard players seem to be the least competent at on-the-fly transposing. I wonder why?

chas


Too many sound-like-a-pro-no-matter-you-can-play-or-not gimmicks made many a keyboard player a dull musician.
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We STILL live in a time where 90% of people decide what the truth is according to their feelings. Those are the ones who don't bother with the inconvenience of having personal supported explanations for their claims.

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#159944 - 05/19/07 08:10 AM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10597
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
All the technique in the world ain't worth a hoot if the player has no feeling.

Some of the nicest players I have heard didn't have a massive amount of technique or a huge quantity of musical knowledge, but they were able to "move" the listener with the way they performed.

I remember a saying I heard somewhere..."don't let your technique get in the way of your playing".

Ian

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Common misconception...size and weight equal quality and performance. Don't be fooled.
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#159945 - 05/19/07 12:45 PM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6059
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Quote:
Originally posted by ianmcnll:
All the technique in the world ain't worth a hoot if the player has no feeling.




True, but so is the reverse. All the feeling in the world ain't worth a hoot if the player doesn't have the technique to put it on display.

However, technique can be taught, feeling (soul?) can't.

chas
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"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#159946 - 05/19/07 02:57 PM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3353
Loc: The World
chas, its easy on a guitar to transpose chords, just play a bar chord, and all you have to do is slide up or down the correct number of frets(each fret= 1 semitone) with the chord shape remaining the same...although to be fair, transposing open chords and melodies probably has the same degree of difficulty as the keyboard..
dennis..
PS on the subject of technique/feeling i remember an academy awards night many years ago and the entertainment came and went, big production numbers, performers with flashing lights and the whole nine yards, and then sammy davis jnr came on with just a pianist and himself and a single spotlight, i forget the tune now, might have been something from sweet charity or similar,BUT he absolutely brought the house down with that simple, but heartfelt performance...standing ovation that lasted about 5 minutes...to me that was a pure example of "feeling" a song as against "playing" a song....dunno if that story is relevant, but i thought id put it out there anyway..
cya
dennis

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#159947 - 05/19/07 08:56 PM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Quote:
Originally posted by Taike:
Too many sound-like-a-pro-no-matter-you-can-play-or-not gimmicks made many a keyboard player a dull musician.


Careful, Taike, you'll wake up the lurkers....

I have to confess, SZ is one of the strangest music forums I read. There is SUCH a mix of top flight professionals, talented amateurs, and one-finger wannabes and newbies just trying to get some information, and unfortunately a few utter 'fakers', and it is VERY hard to tell sometimes who is who....

It's a shame that more people aren't up-front about their ability (or lack!) because there is such a pool of knowledge and experience here, so much could be learned and taught. But ego and pride often make some post as if they are experts, and when they finally slip up and post some absurd remark, or worse, post their tunes ( ) it is hard to take them seriously any more...

There's no shame in only playing in 'C'.... as long as you admit it, and try to get help to rectify it. Or at least, when you post a tune, admit to using the transpose button! I hate trying to figure out how someone fingered a tricky passage in an awkward key, only to find out they transposed...!

[This message has been edited by Diki (edited 05-19-2007).]

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#159948 - 05/23/07 07:08 AM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
keysvocalssax Offline
Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 845
Loc: Miami FL nov-may/Lakeville CT ...
music is not an athletic event.
music is not a merit system for technical prowess.
the idea is to be able to play what's in your head and heart-not easy, but you need only enough technique for that-unless you aspire to be a studio musician or have
to be an excellent reader on band gigs.

I can read music but play sax by ear. I can play in any
key without thinking for one second about transposition.
I can play single notes in the right hand on kb in any
key without thinking for one second about transposition.
since i am trained as a single-note player, I cannot play the chord voicings without thinking about transposition.

I can understand some advantages re hand position
choices that those with traditional piano training using all
keys enjoy. To me, at this point, I do not have the time or
the discipline to accomplish that without sacrificing the
here and now of performance. My goal was to get to the
same level of unconscious flow with 2 hands on kb as i
have on sax and single-notes in rh on kb. To that end,
I decided that since i was not a pianist and did not have
the inclination or chops for fully weighted keys, I would
concentrate on getting as good as I could in C, and use
the transpose button. I don't have a big problem with the
occasional chord and key anomolies within tunes, and
it seems Berlin didn't have that either. He just knew
being a concert or studio pianist was not his goal, and he
chose to use F#, where he was already most fluent.

He didn't seem to miss the creativity of having different
hand positions that lead to different ideas. I think it was
because he was of my philosophy..you should try to be
able to play what's in your head, not have your hand
position or your technique decide what you should play.
What i can offer myself as a singer and other singers is
a consistency of performance from key to key..something
only the very best pianists can do, because they do not
use a transposer. It is not boring if what is in your head
is not boring. And every singer has a "best" key for every
tune..even if they have a wonderfully flexible vocal range.
Sometimes that key is B, or F#, or E, a key outside the
realm of what 99% of pianists can play fluently as another.

So i'm not knocking the traditional wisdom, I'm just not
buying into it lock, stock, and barrel as some others.
There were no transpose buttons back in the day. The
rules keep changing. It's what comes out that counts.
I couldn't care less if somebody "fools" me playing a
difficult passage by transposing to an easier-fingering
key. Music is not a merit system for technical prowess.


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Miami Mo
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#159949 - 05/23/07 07:34 AM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
mikeathome1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1208
Loc: Syracuse NY
I agree with Mo some of the trained guys that scream the loudest about technique are the same guys that can't play Kansas City without the chart in front of them.
Some of these super educated guys that I've run into can't play an original thought or sing a song and not make it sound mechanical. But they feel superior because of their technique and are resentful that the less educated but more talented guys get the jobs.

Mozart heard the music in his head and expressed it, he didn't read it off a paper somebody else wrote. I don't mean to imply he didn't have technique just that he had the talent to back it up.
IMHO
Technique without talent ?
or
talent without technique ? I don't know ... A little of both I guess



[This message has been edited by mikeathome1 (edited 05-23-2007).]
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#159950 - 05/23/07 08:40 AM Re: Who Plays Everything in the Key of "C" ?
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Actually, Mozart's training was as rigorous, or more, than anyone's nowadays. Mozart received extensive training form some of Europe's top 'educators' of the time, and he had a harsh, disciplinarian father who made sure he played his exercises!

The genius of someone like Mozart comes from retaining ones imagination and creativity AT THE SAME TIME as developing prodigious technical skills.

Some of us here I'm sure, have problems playing music he wrote before he was 10!

And yes, while there may be some trained players here that can't 'feel' their way out of a paper bag, there are probably many more untrained players that have exactly the same problem. They simply have an 'excuse'! It's no good hearing it your head if you lack the skills to do it on the keyboard, and losing the fear of taking a tune into a different key or mode is one of the ways to be a better 'instinctive' player. If your heart wants to perform a tune's bridge in F#, but your finger's can't do it, you end up following your fingers, NOT your heart.

Technique in the service of creativity and originality.... now THERE'S a thought.

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