Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

141
Banjo Lovers Online


Apr 23, 2024 - 11:45:33 AM

sethb

USA

722 posts since 2/16/2005

I headed over here from the Four-String section, in hopes that someone can help me solve a "key change" question that's eluding me.

I need to play the same song in two different keys -- Eb (for the vocalist) and F (for a melody chord solo).  I think I've figured out how to go from Eb to F: finish the song on the Eb chord, then just slide up two frets to F in four beats, play a C7 chord for the pickup, and go on from there.  It's not elegant, but I think it would work.  If anyone has a prettier or better way of getting there, please let me know.  

However, getting from F to Eb has stumped me.  I guess I could do the same thing in reverse (dropping two frets in four beats), but that's not too original!  So I'm wondering if there's a nice chord progression that might get me there instead.  I was playing around with F to F+, to Bb to Bb7, to Eb, but that seems like "the long way around the Maypole," as they say. 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!  SETH  

Edited by - sethb on 04/23/2024 11:56:46

Apr 23, 2024 - 2:53:05 PM
likes this

15228 posts since 6/2/2008

Assuming your solo resolves back the F chord, perhaps on the count of one in its measure, I'd do a simple sep-down to E-flat: First half measure F, second half measure E, start of new verse, E-flat.

I'm writing this without an instrument in hand.

For the key change TO F, I wonder if it would work to go from the end of the E-flat verse to a B-flat (the five chord of the key) then to a C7 (the II chord to B-flat), then to F.  What this does is create a II-VI-I progression, Sort of.

Again, I'm doing this without an instrument in hand and without knowing the actual song. So I'm not sure this works other than in my head, in writing, and in theory.

Tell us the song and maybe we can suggest better solutions.

Apr 23, 2024 - 3:46:09 PM

650 posts since 4/14/2014

Have you tried F - Edim7 - Eb or F - Edim7 - Bb7 - Eb?

Apr 23, 2024 - 5:50:55 PM

sethb

USA

722 posts since 2/16/2005

Thanks for the interesting suggestions, which I'll try in the morning.  I hadn't thought about using a diminished chord, which is a lovely possibility! 

BTW, the song is EARTH ANGEL, which I'm playing on a tenor guitar tuned to CGBD, the same tuning as my plectrum banjo.  I had hoped to avoid all this rigamarole by getting the vocalist to sing the tune in F, but she's an alto and is already at the top of her range in Eb on this number.  SETH

Edited by - sethb on 04/23/2024 17:55:59

Apr 23, 2024 - 10:37:32 PM

3501 posts since 4/19/2008

Your vocalist will need to sing a G note to start back in Eb so I would do this progression which signals a change on the diminished chord and has G's i,n the last two chords:

F Abdim B7#5 Bb13

Apr 24, 2024 - 5:19:06 AM

sethb

USA

722 posts since 2/16/2005

Rick --- Thanks for your suggestion, and I have one question.  Since I'm only working with four strings,  most chords beyond a seventh require that I drop a note in order to add the additional tone.  Additionally, as I always tell people, "I only know just enough music theory to be dangerous!" 

So I'm not sure how to get to the B7#5 or the Bb13 that you suggested.  While I can handle sixes and ninths, whenever I hit a thirteenth I just play the major chord and hope for the best.  Ditto on that B7#5, which seems to me to be some sort of augmented chord, but I've never tried to figure out a fingering for it; however, a straight B7 obviously isn't going to do the trick.  

Can you shed some light on these chords for me?  Thanks!  SETH

Apr 24, 2024 - 6:36:06 AM

4833 posts since 3/28/2008

The V of the new key usually works. So I'd go F-F7-Bb-Bb7-Eb. Maybe you could use walkups to make those transitions seem inevitable.

Edited by - Ira Gitlin on 04/24/2024 06:36:57

Apr 24, 2024 - 7:32:59 AM

3501 posts since 4/19/2008

Here it is on the lowest frets possible.


Apr 24, 2024 - 8:06:04 AM
likes this

2169 posts since 2/10/2003

It seems like the simplest, most logical way to modulate from F to Eb would be a ii-V-I progression in the target key. In this case Fm-Bb-Eb

Apr 24, 2024 - 9:20:28 AM
likes this

RB3

USA

2017 posts since 4/12/2004

When you get the end of the vocal in Eb, just stop, and then play the instrumental solo in F. In the link below, Allen Shelton demonstrates how to do it at the 0:45 second mark of the recording.

Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane

Apr 24, 2024 - 10:02:59 AM
likes this

sethb

USA

722 posts since 2/16/2005

Thanks to everyone for their ideas and sound samples!  After wandering around the fretboard for a while, I've decided to go with the diminished chord suggestion -- a great idea that I had overlooked somehow. 

Here's the key change from F to Eb:  Final F chord (at the nut), then to Cdim (starting at the 4th fret), and then to a Bb7 (at the 6th fret) and a Bb+ (also at the 6th fret), then to Eb (at the third fret) and into the song in Eb, with a Bb6 (at the second fret) for the pickup note.  

For the key change from Eb to F:  I'm going with a simple slide down the neck from Eb (at the third fret) to E and then to the first inversion of F at the fifth fret, and hitting the C6 at the fifth fret for the pickup note in the key of F. 

Give me a day or two and I'll post an MP3 of the solo and the key changes.  Thanks again to all for their time and expertise!  SETH 

Edited by - sethb on 04/24/2024 10:05:34

Apr 24, 2024 - 10:43:21 AM

15228 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

What this does is create a II-VI-I progression, Sort of.


YIKES!!

What bad typing. Or thinking. Or both.

I meant:   II -  V - I of course.  Two-five-one.

Not six.

Oy.

Apr 24, 2024 - 10:49:21 AM

15228 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by sethb

BTW, the song is EARTH ANGEL, which I'm playing on a tenor guitar tuned to CGBD, the same tuning as my plectrum banjo.  I had hoped to avoid all this rigamarole by getting the vocalist to sing the tune in F, but she's an alto and is already at the top of her range in Eb on this number. 


Any reason not to do it in D?

Serious question. I don't know that tuning and have no idea or understanding why F would be any better for a tenor guitar solo than D. Happy to be educated.

Apr 24, 2024 - 11:08:59 AM
likes this

31 posts since 6/22/2016

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by sethb

BTW, the song is EARTH ANGEL, which I'm playing on a tenor guitar tuned to CGBD, the same tuning as my plectrum banjo.  I had hoped to avoid all this rigamarole by getting the vocalist to sing the tune in F, but she's an alto and is already at the top of her range in Eb on this number. 


Any reason not to do it in D?

Serious question. I don't know that tuning and have no idea or understanding why F would be any better for a tenor guitar solo than D. Happy to be educated.


Congratulations, Seth B for having the good sense to work with a singer with a lower range.  My guess is that the reason Eb was chosen was because that is where the singer's voice sounds best.  Those of us who accompany singers are constantly faced with this issue ("Could we do this song a half-step lower?").  Ultimately, getting comfortable playing in several different keys builds character.

Apr 24, 2024 - 11:32:40 AM

31 posts since 6/22/2016

quote:
Originally posted by sethb

I headed over here from the Four-String section, in hopes that someone can help me solve a "key change" question that's eluding me.

I need to play the same song in two different keys -- Eb (for the vocalist) and F (for a melody chord solo).  I think I've figured out how to go from Eb to F: finish the song on the Eb chord, then just slide up two frets to F in four beats, play a C7 chord for the pickup, and go on from there.  It's not elegant, but I think it would work.  If anyone has a prettier or better way of getting there, please let me know.  

However, getting from F to Eb has stumped me.  I guess I could do the same thing in reverse (dropping two frets in four beats), but that's not too original!  So I'm wondering if there's a nice chord progression that might get me there instead.  I was playing around with F to F+, to Bb to Bb7, to Eb, but that seems like "the long way around the Maypole," as they say. 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!  SETH  


I scanned the other responses and I don't think this simple solution was mentioned: Move from Eb directly to C7 and then to F.  This is effectively a well worn circle-of-fifths solution.  The C7 serves an ambiguous function as V of ii, but also acts as a modified vi chord for Eb (actually c-minor), then sets up as the V chord of F.

Apr 24, 2024 - 1:23:08 PM

15228 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Eulalie
Congratulations, Seth B for having the good sense to work with a singer with a lower range.  My guess is that the reason Eb was chosen was because that is where the singer's voice sounds best. 

Seth told us otherwise when he said the singer "is already at the top of her range in E-flat," which to me means she sings more comfortably and sounds best in a lower key.

So the point of my question remains: why push the singer to the top of her range when there might be an easy-to-play key such as D where she can sing more comfortably? Or for that matter, C (seeing as three half steps higher is the top of her range).

What is there about playing the solo in F that makes a modulation so worth the effort?

Edited . . . I'm going to gnaw on this bone some more. Since the tenor guitar's low string is C, why not play the song in C and have the instrument's lowest note available as the root?

Obviously I'm missing something about the attraction of playing the solo in F where the singer can't sing.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 04/24/2024 13:32:58

Apr 24, 2024 - 4:16:56 PM
likes this

sethb

USA

722 posts since 2/16/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory
quote:
Originally posted by Eulalie
Congratulations, Seth B for having the good sense to work with a singer with a lower range.  My guess is that the reason Eb was chosen was because that is where the singer's voice sounds best. 

So the point of my question remains: why push the singer to the top of her range when there might be an easy-to-play key such as D where she can sing more comfortably? Or for that matter, C (seeing as three half steps higher is the top of her range).

What is there about playing the solo in F that makes a modulation so worth the effort?

Edited . . . I'm going to gnaw on this bone some more. Since the tenor guitar's low string is C, why not play the song in C and have the instrument's lowest note available as the root?

Obviously I'm missing something about the attraction of playing the solo in F where the singer can't sing.


Sorry if there was any confusion in my explanation of the situation; I'll try to be clearer.  The reason I preferred the key of F for a solo is because when I play melody chords, I'm pretty much limited to placing the melody notes on the D string (I don't have the skill or control to play melody notes on inside strings just yet.)  So I always try to use a key that places the bulk of the melody on that D string.

For EARTH ANGEL, F was the best key that "fits" most of the melody to that D string, so that's what I used.  As for the vocalist, it's not so much a case of using a "higher or lower" key, but rather, finding a key that places the musical range of the song in the same range as the singer's voice.  The original published key for EARTH ANGEL was Eb; a few run-thoughts indicated that Ab was the singer's most comfortable key, so that's what we settled on.  (It's been our experience that as an alto, her singing key usually needs to be about a fifth below the published key.) 

Which brings me to the last issue.  Although it was great "brain food" to have worked out the chord progressions for key changes from F to Eb, it turns out it was a fool's errand!  I was looking at the original lead sheet, which was of course in Eb.  But when I went to add the chord changes to my music, I realized we had transposed down to Ab -- so I needed to work out the key chord changes all over again.  However, if I ever do need to go from F to Eb for another tune, now I'll be all set! 

In the meantime, I've worked out a chord progression to get me from Ab to F -- just go from Ab on the third fret to a C+ on the fourth fret, and then on to F.  Similarly, to get from F to Ab, I'll just slide down from F at the nut to F#, then G and a G+ (which is also an Eb+), and onto an Ab on the third fret, so I'm home free.  It may not be the cleanest or most technical way to do it, but I think it works.  And if anyone has further thoughts on these key change progressions, I'd be interested to hear them.  SETH

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.





Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.234375