Re: [Harp-L] flat keys
On Sep 6, 2014, at 9:02 PM, Lloyd Short <lloyd.arthur.short@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> what's the real motivation for getting a flat key harp. Assuming no other
> instruments existed in the world, and acoustic harp only remained, why
> should I choose Bb over A or Eb over D? is there a tone difference ? I know
> I just gave examples of a key sharp, not flat, but you should get the point
> of what I'm asking.
This is far simpler than you might imagine. One key is not better than another. All choice relate to the key of the song you are playing. Mostly this is a function of some combination of the song writer's preferences, the kinds of instruments in the rhythm section, and the range of the vocalists. E.g., if you play with Jazz cats blowing saxes, you're more likely to find yourself playing in the flat keys. If you are playing blues with guitar players, you're more likely to find yourself playing in E, A, D, or G which are a bit easier to play on the guitar.
Much depends on whether you are calling the tunes or or backing up someone else. The thing you want to avoid is not having the right harp for key of the song. The right key is the subject of a whole 'nother discussion which involves your personal facility and artistic preferences. There are guys out who can play all 12 keys with one harp. There are many who say so what and think that doing so is an inferior artistic choice. Do yourself a favor and get all 12 keys and have fun. :-)
Writer, Internet Consultant, Teacher
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