Just did a gig with a bass player and a singer last night, and I haven’t done that for a while. It reminded me that when you take away things it exposes aspects of your playing. There’s more responsibility to play in time, to find a good volume balance, to blend with the others, to play with a sense of clarity, strength, groove, and so on. I say all this because I didn’t feel I did it particularly well, but that’s a good thing. Good that I’ve been reminded that I need to work more on those things; or just do more of that kind of thing. Maybe even play solo. I hate playing solo. Maybe I’ll just subtract myself for those gigs…

Comments on Subtract

  1. allary says:

    Hi Kim
    I do play in the keys our singster wants……I do learn from that
    But indeed she sometimes has musicians that simply refuse to change to the suggested keys………

  2. Kim says:

    Hmm Erik, I don’t know of a logical reason why female singers would be pickier than males about the best key for their vocal range on a particular song.

    But education for all singers about instrumentalists’ preferences could help everyone reach a sensible compromise. Often just shifting a semitone from a singer’s first-choice key can make life much easier for the other musicians, and the whole ensemble will be happier.

    Years ago I unknowingly presented “When Sunny Gets Blue” in the key of concert D to an alto sax player, who responded “I’ll just take a coffee break then”…

  3. Mike Outram says:

    Ha ha! We aim to please, Erik :)

    Re transposition, one of the best things you can do is work on your major scales. So the scale connections exercise in the site, even though it’s really hard, will lay the foundation for diatonic harmony and being able to think in other keys.

    Hope that helps!


  4. allary says:

    Aha………very interestinging.
    Female or male singer. Females seem to sing more in tonalities where transposing the score is neccesary.

    Apart from that a lot depends on the bassplayer…as how the guitarplayer will fill in his/her part……on the chords you know very well so one can react quickly………guidetones needed? etc etc
    Of course Mike will make a few lessons on the subject, isn’t he a good boy!

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