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

Joseph Leone 3n037@xxxxx
Sat Nov 5 13:42:37 EDT 2016

I love this subject. 
Look here’s the deal. Tunes may be written in one key but are sometimes, or even generally, played in another. A lot depends on the lead instrument. If a guitar player
it may be one key, if a horn another, and if a keyboard another. Oh, and if a singer another.

I am just a side man or a ‘sitter inner’. Most pro and semi pro musicians are playing with other musicians that are not first time situations. They usually know what they’re
going to play, and usually know the key that they are going to use. An ‘occasional’ additional player does not. So..to keep from having the proverbial train wreck, they need
that key. 

I once had an occasion where I was going to play on a tune. I asked the leader: “What key”? He answered: “Natural key”. to wit I asked: “Which IS”? To which he said: “The
key it was written in”. Ok, here’s the problem. I can’t be expected to remember ALL the keys to ALL songs. I usually do, but if it’s something I haven’t played a lot, I don’t 
remember. So, it would be nice if that leader would come down off’n his high horse and give me the freaking key. 

So, I have, on occasion, melted back out of the lights, and slipped off the stage. I don’t have time to play games. Either give me the key, of take a freaking hike. lolol. Because
I went on there with good vibes and wound up with negative waves. 

I once had an occasion where I was going to solo on a tune in Eb. The keyboard player couldn’t do it in Eb BUT had a chart in Ab. So I did it in Ab. Sometimes you have to adjust.
But it’s a lot easier if you get cooperation. 


> On Nov 5, 2016, at 9:24 AM, Michael Rubin <michaelrubinharmonica at xxxxx> wrote:
> Joe says, "And, oh, BTW, anyone who would give you the ‘woodjie eye’ for
> asking for OR calling OUT a key, really needs to put on their big boy
> pants. And get real."
> I say to my students in a very early lesson, "if anybody makes you feel
> like a jerk for asking the key,  they're the jerk.  It's common courtesy."
> Michael Rubin
> michaelrubinharmonica.com
> On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 9:39 AM, Ken H in Ohio <airmojoken at xxxxx> wrote:
>> So you would have to use two hands for the key of F# with a total of 6
>> fingers up or down ?
>> Ken H in OH
>> On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 9:57 AM,  <jrumbaug at xxxxx> wrote:
>>> To add to Robert Hale's fine post about "hand signals" for key of tune
>>> E = 4 fingers up

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