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Keeping me honest...


Mike H.

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Well, last night a friend and former band-mate and I went out to the local acoustic jam session for one last "hooraw" before he moves away (Air Force pilot). He tunes to Eb and uses a capo on other songs. Much to my chagrin, the songs we used to play standard instantly got new key signatures and I was relearning/playing songs on the fly to a degree. All in all, it went well, and helped prove to myself that I hadn't lost my fretboard knowledge.
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Chet Atkins once said "When you announce to a country band that the next song is in Ab, you can hear capos sliding for miles." :D

 

Kirk

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
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I played in a three piece band where the guitarist would constantly put the capo on the wrong fret. Most of the time I would just transpose, but there was this one original we did where I played some quick runs that required using some open strings. So whenever he put the capo on the wrong fret at a gig for this one song, I either had to stop him or play a much simpler bass line. It began to get a little frustrating, but it did force me to be a more alert and know my fretboard a little better.
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Oh, and I also gig with this acoustic guitarist/singer/song writer guy who gives me hand written charts. At the top of the chart he'll make a notation of what fret his capo is on, then has the chord voicings he's playing instead of the actual chords. So you'll see Dm7, but then you have to remember that his capo is on the third fret making the actual chord an Fm7. Fortunately, we do a couple rehearsals before hand so I usually mesmorize the song before gig day.

 

Man, the things we bass players have to go through to make these guitarist sound good! :D

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Originally posted by kad:

Chet Atkins once said "When you announce to a country band that the next song is in Ab, you can hear capos sliding for miles." :D

 

Kirk

The other day in practice we were jamming and the keyboard player was playing some pretty arpeggios and the guitar player slung up his 12-string acoustic and said, "What are the chords?"

 

"Ab, Eb, four times, then C and D 8 times."

 

What ensued was pretty funny to watch from my point of view, though it didn't last long before he cramped up from all those barre chords. He refuses to use capos. I've only seen him use one once (he had to borrow it from me) to play "Scarborough Fair" exactly as per Simon and Garfunkel's version.

 

I guess it usually makes my job easier, but he's also not afraid to play stuff in Db, F, Eb, or whatever else strikes our fancy.

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Originally posted by groover:

Most of the time I would just transpose, but there was this one original we did where I played some quick runs that required using some open strings.

That happened too, where there was a song with some open string runs (I've discovered I'm TOO dependent upon my 5-string) where I can just drop to the B string for an Eb etc. Or walking in an open position. I should go woodshedding with four strings for a bit.... :idea:
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I play with a piano player in church, and sometimes he'll change the key on the fly for the singer. Sometimes we are going up due to a guitarist doing the capo thing. In either case, I'm reading chord charts and have to react on the fly. I do OK.

 

Often I'm not thinking through in actual notes (I know...), so all I have to know is where we are starting. That works for songs I know really well, or simple stuff.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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