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Question for Band Leaders



 
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 1:17 am    Post subject: Question for Band Leaders Reply with quote

My band plays mostly out of the Real Dixieland book and we need a female vocalist. From your experience can most sing tunes out of the C book without a lot of key changing?

Thanks for any advice!
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GeorgeB
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Jim, I am guessing that she probably could, providing the arrangement isn't beyond her range.

George
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, George. That’s what I’m hoping. I sent the singer I’m hoping to hire a list of 25 tunes - all from the RDB - and invited her to pick the ones she would like to sing.

I’m just hope she doesn’t want some in E or Z or any key we would struggle with.
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TrumpetMD
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 2 female singers who perform with my band. One is an alto, the other more of a contralto. Neither of them sing songs in their common keys. The challenge is that even if a song is in their range, the songs sound better when they sing in their preferred range. So almost every song they sing is transposed to their preferred keys.

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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yikes! I may have to wear a dress and do the vocals myself. I can sing badly in any key.
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two bands now. One of them has two female singers. Both like singing in keys in F or Eb concert. Even with that, I have to tell them to stop singing in their upper range. Seems female singers have a problem with singing in their normal speaking range. I don't ever understand singers and ranges. Too high? Sing it down an octave.

Good luck. Please let them know you are not a vocal band and they are there to add a little something, not to take over.
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 7:20 am    Post subject: Re: Question for Band Leaders Reply with quote

jhatpro wrote:
My band plays mostly out of the Real Dixieland book and we need a female vocalist. From your experience can most sing tunes out of the C book without a lot of key changing?

Thanks for any advice!


The C book just means the music isn't transposed for Bb trumpet, Eb alto, etc. The keys of the works will be what they are...
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found that male vocalists can usually do quite well with the keys instrumentalists prefer, but that female singers usually need the key adjusted...often by a fourth in one direction or the other.
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area51recording
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know about that particular book, but it seems most "Standards" (ie, Great American Songbook stuff) appears to be written for male tenor voice. Most female singers I've worked with over the years like a different key, usually a 4th or a 5th away, as the songs are likely to be too low in one octave and too high an octave up. For example, Misty is usually done in Eb as a standard key. Just about every female singer I've performed it with does it in Bb...learning things in different keys never hurt anyone anyway....
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ve offered the vocalist her choice of tunes. What worries me is not everyone in our group can transpose and I’d like to keep to our familiar Real Dixieland book approach and not have to do or find custom arrangements.
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhatpro wrote:
I’ve offered the vocalist her choice of tunes. What worries me is not everyone in our group can transpose and I’d like to keep to our familiar Real Dixieland book approach and not have to do or find custom arrangements.


I've scanned a few tunes into Sibelius. Once done, it is just a moment to move it to any key I want. But rarely is key an issue. Singers don't realize they have octaves or don't know to adjust on the fly. We don't have to play as written, and they don't have to sing as written.

But you can source songs from so many sources that are free, be it Firehouse, Creole Jazz Band (Simply Early Jazz), Not2Cool or Django fakebook. Tons more and many other fakebooks.
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jhatpro
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Richard!

P.S. I stand in awe of you having two female singers. That’s too close to having two wives for me.
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's usually the vocalist responsibility to know what key they sing tunes in, and if they are singing a tune in a different than the commonly accepted key they need to communicate that to the group ahead of time.

I think the band should do their best to accommodate the singer's choice of keys.
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jhatpro wrote:
Thanks, Richard!

P.S. I stand in awe of you having two female singers. That’s too close to having two wives for me.


And they can harmonize on the fly. Fun day today.
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