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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After jamming with my band on the 1919, rather than the 1920 Conn, I decided to take it to a gig earlier tonight. We played a good set, but the subtle leaks that still exist on it betrayed me a few times... Following the show... I was invited to play some 5 Bar blues with the next band. The first song in G was fine, I played quiet supporting lines until their singer prompted "take it Danny!" The second song was in E Major.... A key I had not idea how to play. It was bad. I kept playing an E. I felt like stepping out at this point, but the next song was in C! ...... This song went really well for me... for some reason :whistle:

After that set, I was invited to jam with two other bands in two upcoming gigs. Ones Sunday and one is Monday. The first is a jazz set and on Monday its blues again. This is so weird!!!! I started musicianship as a metal guitarist!!!!
 

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A guitarist who does not know how to play in E...hard to believe.
E & A are the guitarists' default keys......open strings.
May I ask how long you have been playing.
Is your band perhaps a High School band?
Your self confidence is admirable....perhaps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First off I was playing my personally overhauled C Melody, not guitar. I have played guitar for 11 years and keys are no boundary.

Close but not quite, E and A Minor are a guitarists "default" keys, so you might say the key of G and C. Db minor is relative to E and is quite a yucky key to jam on on the C Melody, at least for me.

And yes, we are a bunch of "high school" kids who play late night bar gigs and get free beers.... Give me a break Bb.

... no we all are quite enjoying our prime years of 21-25 (youngest and oldest member)

I'm just trying to say its not bad for a guitar player to pick up a sax, and be invited for two sax playing gigs when only been playing the sax for less than 6 months. Its definitely not my home base
 

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I wish I had the talent and chutzpah to pull off what you've described Danny! I've been playing a while longer and the stage, as you describe it, would intimidate me greatly (even though I have no problem speaking in front of an audience).
 

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Danny - it's an acceptable sax players 'fudge' to think minor'ish when confronted with key signatures with rafts of sharps, just to save the fingers and brain.

As you know, that fits into blues jamming very well anyway - e.g when a blues in Em comes along, I've been known to use G major as a base, slip in plenty of 'E' notes (which is a sixth to G anyway, nice bit of conflict) to persuade listeners that I was in the right key, and it gives a slightly more jazzy/edgy feel to a solo. I found it then an easier transition to sharpen things a little and venture into true E.

It was something I learnt playing alto in a blues band, where the guitar key of E would put alto (me !) into the key of C#, handle-able, but definitely not nice...:| Thinking of it as in Db was even worse !
 

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First off I was playing my personally overhauled C Melody, not guitar. I have played guitar for 11 years and keys are no boundary.

Close but not quite, E and A Minor are a guitarists default keys, so you might say the key of G and C. Db minor is relative to E and is quite a yucky key to jam on on the C Melody, at least for me.

And yes, we are a bunch of "high school" kids who play late night bar gigs and get free beers.... Give me a break Bb.

... no we all are quite enjoying our prime years of 21-25 (youngest and oldest member)

I'm just trying to say its not bad for a guitar player to pick up a sax, and be invited for two sax playing gigs when only been playing the sax for less than 6 months. Its definitely not my home base
Fine...now we know. You made no previous mention of being a "High School Kid".
We had, of course always suspected this to be the case but, talk of "playing in my band" gave a different impression: perhaps.
When jamming, it is always good to have all the keys under your fingers otherwise it is not "chutzpah" but foolishness which gets you on stage.
By the way, with reference to default keys, C#, with all the same notes, is the relative minor of E, not A.
Confidence is to be admired, but not when misplaced....prep, research, competence & practice are far more important....talking is easy.
Give us a break!
How can you be so sure that 21-25 are your "prime years"? Have you tried all the others? Frankly, I look back at that period in my life & cringe at my naive brashness.
 

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Danny - it's an acceptable sax players 'fudge' to think minor'ish when confronted with key signatures with rafts of sharps, just to save the fingers and brain.

As you know, that fits into blues jamming very well anyway - e.g when a blues in Em comes along, I've been known to use G major as a base, slip in plenty of 'E' notes (which is a sixth to G anyway, nice bit of conflict) to persuade listeners that I was in the right key, and it gives a slightly more jazzy/edgy feel to a solo. I found it then an easier transition to sharpen things a little and venture into true E.

It was something I learnt playing alto in a blues band, where the guitar key of E would put alto (me !) into the key of C#, handle-able, but definitely not nice...:| Thinking of it as in Db was even worse !
Danny....May I suggest another, easier, way?
Just learn your scales.
That way you will not appear a total dork on stage.
Who would have guessed that the guitarist would choose to play in E major(or A major)? The guitarists' default keys, neither key difficult on a C saxophone. [rolleyes]
Like you, cmelodysax I cannot think of Db as a note...it always throws me when sight reading....Db?? What the *^%$...oh yes, C#.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I never said C# was the relative minor of A did I? I must be going crazy here, I thought I said Db is the relative minor of E. Db meaning C#.... blahh I was taught to think of it both ways. G# is also Ab to me....
And I am working on my scales through the circle of fifths, I have only done about half of it though, and E unfortunately falls on the bottom half I haven't reached yet. Really I have only covered Bb C F and G.... If I had a guitar in my hands on that E major jam that band did I would have been fine. Since I hadn't covered it though, I was reduced to rythmically honking out an E here or there, then I would step back from the mic and experiment with some other notes. I found that it used C#, and F. Not a lot to improvise off of. No muscle memory for the key yet...

I too like you C Melody sax always keep the relative keys in mind while jamming. In the G jams I would do E Minor licks that sounded nice... and vice versa. When playing an A minor tune... some C based licks can sound nice... Especially since when coming from the minor side... the relative major is a third up and harmonizes well. (I.E. have one guitarist play an A minor scale and the other play up the C scale. Every note will be a third!)

And Captain Bb you must play with some strange guitarists. No guitarist has C# Minor or F# Minor as their default keys.... guitarists usually think in minor and the "default" keys are G and C, those use the most open strings and most convenient fretboard positions... ie lots of notes on the 3,5,7,9, and 12th frets. Not everywhere of course....
 

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I have played guitar for 11 years and keys are no boundary.
You just ignore them?

I'm just trying to say its not bad for a guitar player to pick up a sax, and be invited for two sax playing gigs when only been playing the sax for less than 6 months.
Keep your expectations low enough and you'll never be disappointed.

Sheeesh...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You just ignore them?
Sort of... If one gets to relying on them too much their playing can sound bland and purely technical... especially on guitar. I like to play notes that are often times a half step down but bend them in, or slide them in. Really controlling the guitar exactly how I want to... and not just playing scales. Or sometimes just playing notes that are fully out of key... you ever listen to any Thelonious Monk?

Although I would tend to dissagree, I have been described by many as a "really good guitarist." I'm getting there... but I am not "really" good.
 

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And Captain Bb you must play with some strange guitarists. No guitarist has C# Minor or F# Minor as their default keys.... guitarists always think in minor and the "default" keys are G and C, those use the most open strings and most convenient fretboard positions... ie lots of notes on the 3,5,7,9, and 12th frets. Not everywhere of course....
No, forget the relative minors for a moment....I said that guitarists play mainly in E & A major.. Nearly all blues are in major keys.
It is sad to think that all those guitarists I have played with in Blues/Rock bands over the years & all the old Blues Masters must have been wrong.....Hey Ho...Live & learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
No, forget the relative minors for a moment....I said that guitarists play mainly in E & A major.. Nearly all blues are in major keys.
It is sad to think that all those guitarists I have played with in Blues/Rock bands over the years & all the old Blues Masters must have been wrong.....Hey Ho...Live & learn.
Oh my mistake... it seems that this: http://www.12bar.de/soloscal.php 12 bar blues website starts off by teaching the E then the A scales... wait a second..... E and A pentatonic! In other words.... Minor. Blues aside, those are the easiest keys to jam on a guitar... Period.
 

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I have to pop up here and say that I started 'jamming' with 'rock/R&B' guitarists from about 1963 on, and I can literally count on the fingers of one hand the number of times they've launched into E-minor - as opposed to the almost universal E-major 12 bar blues so beloved by the noisy buggers.

Now jazz(y) guitarists playing the blues are another thing, a gentler, more relaxed (and E-minor) orientated breed altogether... Hope we can now amicably agree to differ ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have to pop up here and say that I started 'jamming' with 'rock/R&B' guitarists from about 1963 on, and I can literally count on the fingers of one hand the number of times they've launched into E-minor - as opposed to the almost universal E-major 12 bar blues so beloved by the noisy buggers.

Now jazz(y) guitarists playing the blues are another thing, a gentler, more relaxed (and E-minor) orientated breed altogether... Hope we can now amicably agree to differ ?
Yes, we may agree to differ. I don't think we are entirely differing... Ill agree that in the world of blues E major is the most common key, due to the chord structuring and location of the IV's and V's.... but the world of guitar playing is a little wider than blues.

In the broad spectrum you see far more tunes using E Minor and A Minor because those keys are the easiest to jam on a guitar, especially for beginners. A good guitarist can play nearly equally in any key, but the keys of Em and Am offer some special tricks and feel much more at home when fingers are flying around on the fretboard.

My beef is that Bb claims that E and A are the guitarists default keys... this is not true. Quite a broad generalization for a saxophonist to make of guitarists. I understand that E Major is prevalent in 12 Bar blues....

And I tend to lie on the side of jazzy guitarists as of lately, I have studied jazz guitar for the past 5 years. I still suck at it... at least I'll keep that attitude to keep me motivated to get better....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I will also add that the guitar is a classical instrument with a history and roots going back 4000 years. The modern classical guitar as we know it is most often attributed to the spanish of the early 1800s, and the VAST majority of classical spanish guitar playing is in the key of Am!

Relative to C, this is the key I and most of my fellow guitar historians and players would argue to be the "default" key, followed closely by the key of G. Blues is an important chapter in guitar history... but its just a shmeckle of what the versatile instrument offers... only outranged by its static friend the piano. (although the fluid piano has now been invented) Of course the guitar really is equally capable of jamming in any key so the idea of a "default" guitar key seems ridiculous and unfounded to me...
 

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Although I would tend to dissagree, I have been described by many as a "really good guitarist." I'm getting there... but I am not "really" good.
As a "really good guitarist" you are surely aware that they play mainly in sharp keys....the very reason why people find it easier to use a C tenor in the typical guitar Blues & Rock idiom....the idiom which many sax players operate. Most bass players, not able to use a cheat bar, (sometimes called a capo) actually detune a semitone for flat keys, making their familiar E sound Eb.
My son is a also a modest guitarist....albeit a professional This is his recording of Vinnie Moore's "In control [URL="http://www.zshare.net/audio/929805792e9b5840/[/URL]
He is playing all four guitars overlaid on the recording. He says that "it needs work". One assumes that you are of a similar standing.
 

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Apologies....that sound clip did not work. Strange, as I sent it to Alan a few months ago with no problems....one of the many things I fail to understand.....Hey Ho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Apologies....that sound clip did not work. Strange, as I sent it to Alan a few months ago with no problems....one of the many things I fail to understand.....Hey Ho.
None needed... it worked for me on the second try.

Props to your son... a very nice piece with crisp arpeggio work. I did not hear any mistakes or parts that "need work" outstandingly.
It does need a drummer and bassist though, your son should try to form a band to frame his talent with, if he hasn't already.

As far as my own playing I will simply say that with a few days of practice I could also play this piece... I am on par with this playing. Your son is a really good guitarist :)

How long has he been playing?
 
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