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Thread: Singing in mostly flat keys, and struggling at times. HELP!!!

  1. #1
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    Singing in mostly flat keys, and struggling at times. HELP!!!

    Hey all,

    I am currently in a rock band and the majority of the songs are the guitar players. He almost never plays with the standard guitar tuning of EADGBE, he drops them all a half step. This makes most of his songs in flat keys, and with his capo usage they range too. Not all songs, but some are strenuous to sing. I have found that instead of singing at full potential, these songs limit me. And because many are dropped to that E-flat, it forces me to sing in weird parts of my range. So, what I am wondering is a few things. Is it more natural to sing in standard keys, and more strenuous to constantly be in flats? What can I do to make things easier on my voice? Should I try convincing him to change keys in the songs? Any info or opinions on this topic would be appreciated.

    On top of this, he and the keyboard player like to sing backup and try to harmonize. They have VERY limited experience and zero training with singing. The guitar player is bad like Bob Dylan, should probably sing alone. The keyboard player is better but sings a little flat, even on the flat notes. ha. It can be distracting to hear them so out of key. So, I also wonder if these flat keys are especially difficult for them being untrained, little-skilled vocalists.

    Thanks everybody,


    Matthew

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbish980 View Post
    Hey all,

    I am currently in a rock band and the majority of the songs are the guitar players. He almost never plays with the standard guitar tuning of EADGBE, he drops them all a half step. This makes most of his songs in flat keys, and with his capo usage they range too. Not all songs, but some are strenuous to sing. I have found that instead of singing at full potential, these songs limit me. And because many are dropped to that E-flat, it forces me to sing in weird parts of my range. So, what I am wondering is a few things. Is it more natural to sing in standard keys, and more strenuous to constantly be in flats? What can I do to make things easier on my voice? Should I try convincing him to change keys in the songs? Any info or opinions on this topic would be appreciated.

    On top of this, he and the keyboard player like to sing backup and try to harmonize. They have VERY limited experience and zero training with singing. The guitar player is bad like Bob Dylan, should probably sing alone. The keyboard player is better but sings a little flat, even on the flat notes. ha. It can be distracting to hear them so out of key. So, I also wonder if these flat keys are especially difficult for them being untrained, little-skilled vocalists.

    Thanks everybody, Matthew
    Sounds like your friends are winging it. I only run into the flat keys when there are horns, sax, etc you will see a lot of flat keys in jazz. With rock, pop, country, gospel and praise, I run into very few, if any, flat key songs. I understand some bands like the dropped D, because it is supposed to make it easier on the vocalist as most vocalist do sing a little flat. Another reason for dropped D is power chords are easier to form. Why your band NEEDS a special tunning, I am not going to get into. Check out your church hymnial, lot of songs in F because congregations sing flat.

    But, back to your question - the vocalist sets the key. Normally guys sing in G and D, gals sing in G or A. Can they sing in other keys? Sure, but like you mentioned they may have problems catching all the high's as well as all the low's in some of the keys. I sing in D and can handle G's but A and C are uncomfortable.

    If you are singing backup, adapt. If it is your solo then ask for the key you like.

    A thought -- most guys with no training do not know how to harmonize, most guys sing lead, sounds like you've got two guys both singing lead and calling it harmonizing.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 04-18-2013 at 07:22 PM.

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