What key to change an A#m song to?
Regina Carter has a song on her "Something for Grace" cd called "Listen Here", which is originally an old Eddie Harris song done on horn, sax I think. Listen Here with Regina Carter
I love the song and want to attempt it, but I did not know what key it was in, and some software I have says it's in A#m/Bbm, which I think might be the original key on horn.
I'm looking to make it easier to attempt, I don't know if changing to another key would cause unforeseen hurdles also. Can anyone recommend a key change for this? I'm not highly adept, and I also don't think I'll be doing any of her vamping anytime soon, but the basic melody is very catchy.
Try backing it down a half step, so you start on A instead of Bb. That way you'll include all the open strings.
Thanks Mark. Hey, you got any Louisiana roots? New some Bouquet's/Buquet's back there.
If you are playing it on a string instrument, go A min, or B min.
What joel says.
A possible reason for choosing a key such as B-flat minor (as in the Barber Adagio) is to minimize intrusive unwanted resonances from open strings, which you would get from Amin or Bmin.
Another reason for choosing Bbm, as our op surmised, is that the piece was created to play easily on Saxophones and trumpets, etc. And it's not a "typographical thing," because there's no typography. In this case the op only has the audio track, and he determined the key from that. His inexperience led him to postulate A#m, instead of the more plausible Bbm.
I just listened to the tune and believe the tune is in Bb major not minor.
Whether major or minor, transposing down a half step to A will likely be easier.
I disagree, if you are trying to play what she is playing. Her solo was born in Bb and would have a different characteristic in the key of A. I'm sure she would have played it differently in A.
My best guess is that it appears that it might be in Dorian mode, which you could think of as basically Ab major, if that helps at all. At any rate, try playing an Ab major scale around over the music and see if you agree that this seems to fit well.
I'm sorry folks but it's in Bb. It rocks between Bb and Eb.
Sorry, you can use an Eb, but I don't think that's what is really happening. That takes something kind of exotic sounding and turns it into a simple rock tune. I'm not hearing that.
I disagree, but let's agree to disagree.
Mark, "typographical thing" in my response to Joel Quivey was a general comment that flat keys are often easier on the eye than sharp keys. "Typographical" because the sign conventionally chosen to indicate a sharp sign is a largish blob which in some printed editions can sometimes be confusingly similar to a note, especially when sight-reading at speed.
I got the A#m designation from from DJ software I have. Only after listening to the original recording by the original artist, did I get that it was likely Bbm. My ear is not good enough to tell whether this is Bb or Bbm.
I think it is basically B Flat minor and sometimes E Flat major.
continued-- Agree with; ___ For band instruments, Saxophones, clarinet, trumpets, etc., Bb is a lot better than A. Key of A on Bb instruments is notated as B nat., 5 sharps.
As a side issue: when I was a kid some 75 years ago I spent 35 cents (US) of my hard earned allowance (7 weeks worth) to buy a wooden music transposition slide rule so I could experiment with different keys. I notice the item is no longer sold (at least on line) - but their are similar items that one can easily make or purchase (just not wooden):
It's just a typical jazz/blues vamp, where a guitarist/pianist would vamp on a Bb7 (one measure) then Eb7 (one measure) chords. No jazz/blues player would accompany the melody with straight major or minor chords, even though part of the melody contains a straight-up Eb major triad (2nd inversion). The apparent confusion is that the melody contains a major and minor third (welcome to jazz/blues). I played it in A and B, and honestly don't have a preference as both provide several open string opportunities. The key of A might be better since beginners are usually quite adept at the 2nd inversion of the D major triad on the A and E strings.
If you ever expect to play this song with a blues / jazz person on piano, guitar, sax, jazz violin, etc. they will play it in B flat and E flat chords. B flat and E flat are not hard to play on the violin. They are just unusual for folks with only classical repertoire.
Its the Bb Dorian scale over Bb7 and Eb7, and it's quit possible the fiddle is tuned down a semi-tone.
@Henry, She is tuned to standard tuning. She really is just improvising over the two chord, Bb flat and Eb flat, chord progressions.
Jeff, maybe you are correct, but usually violin improvisers when playing in Bb and Eb take advantage of the open strings as chromatic passing notes for effect, which I don't hear anywhere in her improvisation.
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