[Harp-L] What key is the band in?

Hellerman, Steven L. shellerman@xxxxx
Thu Nov 3 20:41:59 EDT 2016

Couple of tips on this:

Indeed, a good bass player is the one to always ask first (although they sometimes will not mention the key being in a minor....).

Also: Always insist that they tell you the key that THEY are playing in. "Helpful" guitarists who tell you what key they think you should be playing in are often not really helpful at all. Know your crosses and you'll be fine.

If you are playing w/ the same people on a regular basis, you can keep track of the keys by simply writing it down as you go, and then compiling lists to bring with you. I accompany a lot of singer-songwriters and have list of songs w/ the keys for several. One friend often has to ask me for the proper key for her own song. I do this for the bands I play with, too. Usually in columns: Key of song, and key that I play (1st-2nd-3rd and/or 4th position).

Oh, and thanks, Howard, I'm going to use this one:

From: Howard Young via Harp-L
Sent: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 5:04 PM
To: Arthur Jennings
Cc: harp-l at xxxxx ; B. Scott Nelson
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] What key is the band in?

A guitar player and a harmonica player fall off a cliff at the same time.
Which one hits the ground first?

The guitar player.
The harmonica player had to stop and ask what key they're in.


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