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#62894 - 06/11/03 11:54 AM TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
Joan Offline
Member

Registered: 01/30/03
Posts: 550
Loc: Hampshire U.K.
I have done a search for back issues on the forum to see if anyone had raised anything about using the 'transpose' feature and could not find anything . Looking at some of the downloads that various people have sent in I have noticed that this feature is used quite a lot to good effect.

As an amateur keyboarder who is rapidly realising that I am more amateur than even I thought I was, I wonder if any of you can give me your reasons for using this feature and indeed those of you that do perhaps you can tell me whether:-

Do you use it always?

Do you use it because you think generally that music sounds better in a specific key?

Because you think certain types/groups of instruments sound better?

I would appreciate your comments

Joan

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#62895 - 06/11/03 12:38 PM Re: TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
tony mads usa Online   cool2
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 13262
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Joan .... This is a good question. ... I've often wondered why someone would use the transposer on an instrumental... I don't use the transposer all the time at all, but will use it primarily if I have a song written in one key and I'm going to sing it in another ... I realize the 'proper' thing to do would be to learn it in my key, but sometimes it's too involved or I'm not going to use it that often ...
I also like the way most ballads (especially the standards) sound in the key of Eb ... and blues tunes in the key of Bb ... for whatever reasons ....
t.
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#62896 - 06/11/03 01:03 PM Re: TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
cees Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/02
Posts: 533
Loc: The Netherlands
Hi Joan,
I think it's an personal choice of the player, it's his/her freedom of action. It's to the listener to judge if he/she likes it or not. More a matter of taste.
For me I sometimes think that it sounds nice. Sometimes it's a lack of technique, skills, the keyboardfeatures makes this easy for me to use the transpose function, why not using it?
For instance: I made the song 'Wheels'. It starts with F-chord. 'Normally' after some measures it changes in G-chord. In that case I have to change left and right hand playing. As an amateur I am glad that I can use the transpose function, so that I can play again the same left and right hand. An ode to the keyboard-designers for making it a little bit easier for me .
Pherhaps the more skilled players among us detest this way of working/playing, but it makes it much easier for the less skilled.
Best greetings,
Cees
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Webmaster of Technics KN7000 Keso-songs, Keso-Café and Keso-Jukebox. You're welcome to visit http://www.keso.nl

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#62897 - 06/11/03 01:12 PM Re: TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
The Leans Offline
Member

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 88
Loc: Birmingham, England
Joan - In general terms, any musician whether arranger, orchestrator, or performer, will in the main, change key for no other reason than to make the piece more interesting and vital.

It is quite amazing the effect an upward key change can have on any arrangement of a song. It some instances of course, a key change is thrown in as part of an original score. Whilst it's true to say that in the overall music scene, key changes may very well have to be made, to accommodate the key of a singer, the main consequence of most key changes, is to enhance the music.

The transpose button is also used to enable players to enhance their arrangement of a number, if they are unable to actually effect the change of key by playing it. - Colin

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#62898 - 06/11/03 02:03 PM Re: TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
Lloyd Erickson Offline
Member

Registered: 07/28/02
Posts: 82
Loc: Port Richey, Fl.
I use transpose because I play by ear and have learned to play well in one key. The secret to playing well is to know your chords and make chord changes without having to even think about them.
Nothing wrong with using the transposer but some musicians frown on it as a cheating way to play in other keys.
If you have been formally trained, then you don't have to use the transpose but for most people, it gives us a chance to play in keys we don't have the skills to use.
Music is about having fun-Playing in other keys can have a nice effect by sounding more mellow or if one is singing along it gives the person a chance to sing in their "natural" key.
Try playing songs in other keys than written in, you'll be surprised at the results. Have fun and transpose anytime you feel like it. That's what it's for !
Regards, Lloyd

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#62899 - 06/11/03 02:27 PM Re: TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4174
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Hi Joan, You sound so humble. Nice.
Why use the transposer?
1-To play in the range (lowest to highest note) that best fits the singer or the instrument playing the solo.
2-Many times the pros change keys in the song to make it more interesting. A good example is Mack the Knief. I think it changes keys four or five times during the song.
3-It's sometimes easyier than relearning the song in a different key.
Have a greta day, John C.

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#62900 - 06/11/03 03:15 PM Re: TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
Uncle Dave Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 11580
Loc: Philadelphia Pa, USA
The best reason to use it is to facilitate easier fingering choices. Some blues licks are impossible to play in all keys because of slide off's that need to have a certain physical spacing on a keyboard. Many pro guitarists use capos to allow fingerpicking in open chord formations. This is in the same catagory for me ..... use it to help, but learning in many keys will definatly come in handy at some point. Your ear can be your best tool .... the keys are secondary if you practice them all.
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Every instrument, every voice, every sound in nature ... these are are all my private tutors ... 24/7 for free, and all I have to do is listen.

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#62901 - 06/11/03 03:22 PM Re: TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4174
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Joan, I had another thought.

A song should not have the same emotion throughout. The same song can be gentle, and the middle of that same song it may get stronger, and the ending go back to where it started.
You can bring that emotion out with volume, number of instruments, and raising the key.

A singer might start in a key that is low for him/her. As the song is transposed higher, his voice begins getting more comfortable. By the end of the song the volume is up, everybody is playing, and the singer is in his best key sounding stronger than ever.

One more thought---try to transpose the song to a key that's slightly higher or lower that the one you start in--unless you have a special reason.

The bad part of using the transposer button is that you lose the oppertunity to play in the other keys. I have a friend that after learning a song in the original key, he then learns to play the same song in all the possible keys. What a command of the instrument he has.
I hope this helps. John C.

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#62902 - 06/12/03 12:27 AM Re: TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
Joan Offline
Member

Registered: 01/30/03
Posts: 550
Loc: Hampshire U.K.
Thank you all very much for your prompt and informative answers which I read with some relief.

I recently attended a Technics demonstration hosted by a local music store at which Tony Pegler was demonstrating the KN7 and he mentioned using the transpose feature. I was with two other friends who also own keyboards and we each said to each other that we had never thought to use that feature other than the obvious one to accompany/sing to.

I play strictly by reading the music and if the music changes key then I follow it so if I used the transpose feature it would be to purely, as suggested, to 'lift or enhance it.

I can now happily go off and have a go, happy in the knowledge that I have not missed some other vital point in my music education. Thank you again. Joan

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#62903 - 06/12/03 06:52 AM Re: TO TRANSPOSE OR NOT TO TRANSPOSE - that is the question?
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 4790
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
Hi Joan

Another major reason to change keys is when using techni-chord in block mode makes it too muddy. Raising the pitch eliminates that
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