Tutorials

Beginner Playing "Half a Step Down"

Dave1966

New Member
Messages
6
This is my first post.

Playing Tenor with a blues band that tunes 1/2 step down. This usually puts me in B Flat Minor which at my level isnt the easiest and typically sounds flat. Working on developing some riffs in this key.

Has anyone experience with 1/2 step down? Is it typically in this key?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Tuning half a step down puts most instruments out of tune with themselves, which probably explains why you sound a bit flat in places.

Welcome, by the way, why not ring the doorbell and introduce yourself properly.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
This is my first post.

Playing Tenor with a blues band that tunes 1/2 step down. This usually puts me in B Flat Minor which at my level isnt the easiest and typically sounds flat. Working on developing some riffs in this key.

Has anyone experience with 1/2 step down? Is it typically in this key?

Not easy, I had an experience the outher week, where the usual leed guitar/singer was sick. The stand in tuned down to suit his voice, and I had to work real hard!
I had recorded the gig, so the next week I turned up well prepared, only to find the original guy was back!!! All that hard work for nothing ;}

John.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,966
Typical guitarist. You get used to playing in B and F# (concert A and E - guitarists' favourite keys) and then they spring this on you. Bb and F are not my favourite keys for blues but, if I had to, I guess I would just get used to it. Shouldn't sound flat though. Are sure everyone is tuning correctly?
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Invest in a Jim Schmidt sax and all your troubles will soon be over as it negates the fret player's advantage.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
What I do as part of my practice routine is work on the blues scale and blues licks in all keys (aebersold minor and major blues in all keys playalongs are good) and make sure I work more on the ones I'm not so good in (Bb,G,F, Eb, C) so they're all under my fingers in case they're thrown at me! :shocked: hope that helps :thumb:
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,966
Good idea - I'm sure I ought to do something similar. However, when you spend 3 nights a week playing blues in A, B, F# and C# (mostly) they sort of get stuck. I don't recall ever having to play a blues in Bb. But then I don't play in a band that tunes down a semitone, thank goodness.

By the way, I really don't like that particular Aebersold volume - the style is just nowhere near the sort of blues I play. I tend to use guitar playalongs.
 

Dave1966

New Member
Messages
6
Well I played with the band last Friday. Worked on some non sax songs such as Santana "Black magic Woman" "Oye Como Va" Tom Petty "Breakdown" ...few other tunes.

I practiced all week (mostly in B flat minor) and felt really good playing some added riffs I worked out. Band loved it. Playing again later this week learning some new songs such as Stevie Wonder "Superstition", "Lie to me" "Gimme Some Lovin".

Still learning to really play in this key and working to better "ad lib" in this key. Ad lib is sometimes my struggle. Less is more....

I guess the moral here is playing in this key is making me a better player and just need to play as much as I can. When we switch to a Gm its like wow this is easy...
 
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