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New Keys- Very scary!

Posted by Andah1andah2 on Sunday, September 30, 2012

I thought it was time to add a few new keys to my repertoire.  I started out learning G, D, A and C major scales and have slowly gained experience in tunes of these keys.  This weekend I decided if I was ever going to venture into the unknown world of bluegrass fiddling, I was going to have to learn some new keys.  In particular, from reading several threads, I knew I had to start out learning B, B flat and E.  

Well, to make things start out a bit easier I decided to first work on B and B flat using my mandolin.  I have a instructional DVD for learning mando and one of the first chapters was learning 2 octave scales in these keys.  So with trusty pick in hand, I had at it.  After about a hour I was committing those 2 scales to memory and was eventually able to pick out both scales slow but reasonably well.  I found B to be kind of fun with sliding the index finger from high to low position and such.

Well,  I thought, now that I've made quick work of these scales on the ol' mando, all I have to do now is transfer that over to Mr. Fiddle.  So I go get Mr. Fiddle and ........agghhhh!   Ok then...  Sort of the Doppler effect on a southbound moose.  Let's try that againnnnnn,  ahhh!  My dogs ears are now bleeding...sorry Fido.  I think I need my electronic tuner by my side.

So then, I decide, OK I'll come back to this another day.  So I go back to practicing my old scales and tunes.  But wait, now my ear is all messed up and nothing is sounding right.  My intonation has gone screwy after having these new keys in my head.  Time to just walk away for now....

6 comments on “New Keys- Very scary!”

mudbug Says:
Monday, October 1, 2012 @3:49:02 AM

I find B and E tough. I found Bb and Eb easier, but I'd start with F to get used to the flat keys. One flat, then progress through the flat keys.

martynspeck Says:
Monday, October 1, 2012 @5:50:54 AM

E, I can play in to some degree. Working on A&E Waltz right now.

When I get to the flats, I think I'm going to start learning the higher positions and play it without open strings.

That way, I think there's only like 4 patterns in the fingers to learn.

Of course, I also expect this to be about as sonorous as when I first started learning in G,D & A.

And I WILL have Intonia running on my laptop.

Swing Says:
Monday, October 1, 2012 @6:59:41 AM

If it is any help, the great Johnny Gimble said that " the is nothing natural about the key of E natural".
Start by learning to play in F and Bb, then the others will come along.

Play Happy

Andah1andah2 Says:
Monday, October 1, 2012 @11:27:24 AM

I guess I don't understand what makes flat notes more difficult to learn. Aren't they just a location on the fingerboard like all other notes? excuse my ingnorance. I learn everything by ear and have minimal knowledge in theory.

martynspeck Says:
Monday, October 1, 2012 @12:49:13 PM

Well, yes, they are just locations on the fingerboard.

But think about where Aflat and Eflat are. It's the high third finger on the D and A strings respectively. That's not a note we hit alot when we're playing in our comfort zones in G,D & A. Then the next note in the scale is a low first finger on the either the A or E string. Also not a note we're accustomed to playing.

Further, There's no open string to resonate and provide feedback or drone against when we're playing in a flat key.

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Monday, October 1, 2012 @8:31:24 PM

Some of it is in our minds methinks (or at least my alleged one). For instance, I love E and have never had a problem, but Bb irks, vexes, nettles, and overall just doesn't treat me right. I enjoy Gm--the same fingering--but I've got this mental block with Bb and B too actually. I'm now playing in Bb a bit, but it's not as carefree as the otherr keys.

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