Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 42

Thread: Keys and singing question

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    SE Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    907

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BBegall View Post
    I just got some tabs for "That Lucky Old Sun" in C. When i play it on my tenor ukulele and try to sing, some notes seem too high and I'm stretching for them.

    So I got out my baritone and played it with the same ukulele C shapes which I believe puts me in the key of G on the baritone. Played this way I could sing the lyrics without difficulty. This got me wondering how someone determines their best singing key or keys?
    I often transpose songs into several different keys to find the best compromise between voice and ease of playing the chords. It’s a good skill to have and it’s a good way to practice, too.
    I invented my “tune tin” a little gadget to make transposing a cinch.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    310

    Default

    What John and ProfChris and Rillink said! Lots of good points on this thread. Selecting the right key is not always easy but it's important. With experience you'll get a better idea of what keys usually work for you on certain types of songs. Still, the only way to know for sure is to experiment. Take the song for a test drive in several keys. Doesn't hurt to get feedback from a friend who can tell the truth.

    It's often a compromise between the key that's best for uke versus what's best for the singer. When push comes to shove, an audience is probably paying more attention to the vocals. If necessary you can re-tune the uke or use a capo to play an otherwise inconvenient key. Sometimes I wish I had a capo for my voice... but that would probably be painful!

    Uncle Rod, I'm totally with you on the difficulties of arranging for a group. I have made the mistake of arranging a song I will be leading in a key that I cannot sing! With trial and error, I'm learning what works for the usual gang at uke club. I sing soprano so I arrange most songs toward the bottom of my range. But no key will work for everybody. That's one reason why our group encourages everyone to bring in song arrangements, so everybody gets at least a few songs in a good key for them.

    One consideration we haven't covered yet is picking the right vocal range for the mood of a song. Our group plays "King of the Road" in a key that I can only sing high like Joan Baez -- which is just weird. Lately I've been singing it breathy Marilyn Monroe style, which is also weird but kinda fits the song better. If you're straining to hit the high notes on "Sixteen Tons" you are in the wrong key!

    OTOH "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" is perfect sung Joan Baez style Pick your key and don't be afraid to be different -- just do it on purpose.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Kyoto Japan
    Posts
    254

    Default

    Hi, Jarmo!

    Bb and E are difficult chord in general. And they made ukulele (and guitar) tuning. If we take only perfect 4th intervals (see the all 4th tuning in the figures below), we can not play Bb and E. Hence we have major 3rd between C (3rd) and E (2nd). But they are still difficult.



  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Kyoto Japan
    Posts
    254

    Default

    Hi, Jarmo! Sorry I did not see what you mean. Now I understand your idea and it is great. Your Bb on ukulele links to guitar's F directly. I really like your idea. And ukulele has two flat keys (F and Bb) and three sharp keys (G, D and A). It is still asymmetric.


  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    627

    Default

    Yes a little asymmetric maybe yahalele. I though I don't find Eb/Cm that difficult and hard for left hand. So to me it is is quite symmetric regarding friendliest ukelele keys, 3 flats or 3 sharps in keys.

    Friendliest of course if only few accidentals.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    564

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by acmespaceship View Post
    . If you're straining to hit the high notes on "Sixteen Tons" you are in the wrong key!
    Uh, I've been singing this song for years and I never found a high note in it. Time to listen to the original ....

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    13

    Default

    In my experience as an extremely amateur singer, it seems that too low is worse than too high. Too low and all projection is lost. I can usually eke out the notes if they're a bit too high.

    Also, singing it at home is only an indication of how it's going to work at the jam. I often find that a key I thought sounded good at home needs to be adjusted. Usually higher (see above).

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    564

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
    Also, singing it at home is only an indication of how it's going to work at the jam. I often find that a key I thought sounded good at home needs to be adjusted. Usually higher (see above).
    Indeed. I play at acoustic jams that have a lot of fiddlers, mandolin, and banjo and sometimes I bring an uke and sometimes a guitar. Just as the higher instruments such as fiddle or soprano/concert uke tend to "cut through" the same goes for singing. So I always try to sing in as high a key as possible. Of course, this is totally constrained by the other people you play with. Like fiddle and mandolin players prefer their tunes in A, D, or G, whereas in our uke circle there is a preference to have songs in C as everybody knows the chords, but for singing that key is better for females ... (so I sometimes try to sing harmony in G)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    564

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    This gives the song more gravitas, more "weight" (like the sixteen tons)—and who can think of this song without Tennessee Ernie Ford's rich basso treatment? Even if you're not straining for the high notes (because the melodic range isn't that wide, really), if you're singing "owe" (my soul to the company store) near the top of your range, you should probably drop the key a bit, till the lowest note is about the lowest you can push out with fullness and reliability.
    The "owe" is nowhere near the top of my range. I am a tenor.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    310

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    I give up. Some people refuse to read with attention; easier just to argue.
    True that :-)

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •