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  #16  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:58 AM
bsman bsman is offline
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I do it all the time. With age, I've found my falsetto ability and range (particularly at the high end) has declined, so I have modified a fair number of songs - either by transposing or using a capo. Sometimes it takes a little work to find out what key works for me, but I have NEVER, EVER heard anybody say: "Hey - you're singing that in the wrong key!"
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  #17  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:59 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Don't worry about losing some guitar licks by capoing. People would rather hear good vocals with steady guitar than pitchy vocals with more ornate guitar work.

I hate capos and hardly ever use them, so I transpose a lot of stuff. Works fine for me.
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  #18  
Old 10-31-2019, 10:51 AM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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There's no getting around the fact that it sucks to be a baritone.

It's a false dichotomy whether to transpose or use a capo. I sometimes do both.
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  #19  
Old 10-31-2019, 10:55 AM
skycyclepilot skycyclepilot is offline
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It was great when I sang bass in a quartet decades ago. Now, not so much...


Quote:
Originally Posted by bufflehead View Post
There's no getting around the fact that it sucks to be a baritone.

It's a false dichotomy whether to transpose or use a capo. I sometimes do both.
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  #20  
Old 10-31-2019, 11:12 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is online now
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Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
…So, is changing the key of a song considered a cardinal sin?
Hi scp

Not in my book.



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  #21  
Old 10-31-2019, 03:01 PM
RickRS RickRS is offline
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...
Personally I don't think would apply to a John Denver song, but there are some Neil Young songs where a big part of the appeal is that plaintive cracked tenor he sings them in. He sounds lonesome up there, more than you will in that bass cellar you're occupying.

I mean, you can be lonesome in a cellar too... so in that case, that would be the vibe to go far. Think about the emotional appeal that Cohen, Cash and Waits each have - each different in their own way. Make them (and similar singers) your lodestar. Cohen and Waits wrote their own material of course, but Johnny Cash covered lots of other people's songs, making them his own.
Bass/baritone? Same here. Limiting, as tenors are the norm for so much pop music.

But then, I can rock the Johnny Cash version of "Hurt" like you won't believe! Makes them tenors jealous!

Key change all you want. And like JonPR suggest, make them your own. I'm an old guy, and for some reason I'm trying '60 girl group stuff. Of course I don't sing them as originals, I have fun with them at my vocal own range. And, yeah, "These Boots Are Made For Walking" takes on a different feel when I sing it.
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  #22  
Old 10-31-2019, 04:07 PM
Keith_C Keith_C is offline
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Most definitely change the key. And if you are using ultimate guitar .com, it is super easy to find a capo/key combination that will work for a given song.
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  #23  
Old 10-31-2019, 04:50 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
My vocal range is decidedly bass/baritone. Singing any note above middle "C" is a real stretch, and sounds even worse than notes sung within my normal range! (On the upside - if you could consider it that - I can hit the "C" two octaves below middle "C".)

Anyway, since the general public seems to find high voices more pleasing to the ear, it seems most popular vocalists sing in a range well above mine. As a performer, this leaves me with two options - sing only songs by artists with my same range, or change the key of most songs I want to sing. I usually have to drop a song anywhere from a second to a fifth.

So, is changing the key of a song considered a cardinal sin? It seems to me, that some songs just don't sound quite right in other keys. For example, "Rocky Mountain High" is in "E" - played in "D" with a capo on the second fret. For my voice, the key of "G" or "A" works best, but, I can't play the same licks Denver does, once I change the key, and the song just doesn't sound the same.

So, what do you folks do about this???
Hi, I've been struggling with this for over two years now. I was treated for tongue/throat cancer in early 2017, and effectively lost my voice for some time and really had to fight to get "a voice" back.

A lot has has changed about my singing, and there is always pain, but the most irritating thing is that I have gone down at least two tones.

I used to sing most of my Jimmie Rodgers songs in E with a capo on IV - but now they have to be in D or C.

I have never worried about original keys; that is really unimportant . It is far more important to sing in the key that suits your voice - nothing worse than listening to a strained voice (apart from an out of tune/time voice maybe!)

There are plenty of famous lower voices that are loved, and voices naturally lower as one ages anyway.
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  #24  
Old 10-31-2019, 04:58 PM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roylor4 View Post
Don't worry about losing some guitar licks by capoing. People would rather hear good vocals with steady guitar than pitchy vocals with more ornate guitar work.

I hate capos and hardly ever use them, so I transpose a lot of stuff. Works fine for me.
That is the gospel.
Nobody has ever complimented our duet on our guitar licks...
We have received many compliments on our vocals.
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  #25  
Old 11-01-2019, 11:28 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bufflehead View Post
There's no getting around the fact that it sucks to be a baritone.
That depends on the music one is singing, and how one sings it, doesn't it?
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  #26  
Old 11-01-2019, 11:49 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I'd argue singing in a key you can't sing in is the cardinal sin.

Yeah, some tunes with identifiable guitar parts...you might lost some signature licks. This is where downtuning or capoing up and singing lower can help you keep the chord shapes and their built in "licks" intact.
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  #27  
Old 11-01-2019, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
I'd argue singing in a key you can't sing in is the cardinal sin.

Yeah, some tunes with identifiable guitar parts...you might lost some signature licks. This is where downtuning or capoing up and singing lower can help you keep the chord shapes and their built in "licks" intact.
Hi Jeff

I agree with you.

Transposing is fine unless a song has a signature 'lick', solo passage, or chord position/progression associated with it which is burned into the brains of the public. Then capos or tuning can save the day.
  • Dust In The Wind…Intro
  • Sounds of Silence…Intro
  • G-L-O-R-I-A…chord progression the original
  • California Dreamin'…intro
  • A ton of others…





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  #28  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:52 PM
Stratcat77 Stratcat77 is offline
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I often change keys to fit my voice. The only chance someone ever notices is another musician. And this is a big pet peeve of mine - some musicians seem to think you must play in the original key and to do otherwise somehow makes you less of a musician. I actually think the opposite. Trying to always play in the original key, unless every song fits your range perfectly, is foolish and less "professional" because you aren't delivering the best performance you could. Glad to see so many on here standing up for playing in the key that best fits your voice.

All that said, I do duo gigs with a good buddy who has perfect pitch (and an amazing range). He insists we do the songs he sings lead on in the original key, but he can do it well. It's funny though, if I start a song in the wrong key (because I should be capo 3 and am at capo 2, for example), he immediately knows it and stops me!!! I'm jealous of his ear.
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  #29  
Old 11-01-2019, 04:23 PM
leew3 leew3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
That is the gospel.
Nobody has ever complimented our duet on our guitar licks...
We have received many compliments on our vocals.
Our audiences are just stunned by our guitar wizardry, that's all
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  #30  
Old 11-02-2019, 06:10 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leew3 View Post
Our audiences are just stunned by our guitar wizardry, that's all
Mine too! It explains why half of them sit there open mouthed in disbelief, and the other half are unconscious. Some of the ones still awake have their hands over their ears because it's all just too good to bear!
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