LearnGospelMusic.com Community

Please login or register.
Pages: 1 [2]   Go Down

Author Topic: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?  (Read 7522 times)

Offline floaded27

  • LGM Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1821
  • Gender: Male
    • MySpace Profile

Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2011, 04:00:20 PM »
Thats not necessarily true.  Understand Ive played in almost every type of band you can think of from German fest, to rock, to symphonic, to gospel.  All of the literature alternates in different keys.  Only MAYBE jazz and gospel could possibly be an exception and lean more towards specific keys.  I mean Ive asked hundreds of ppl personally, different instrumentalists, including many that can play in all keys, which is partly why it trips me out.  Their preference matches what I stated earlier.  Its not my opinion, it was theirs.  I think it maybe a little more than coincidence.  Ive also done some on reading vs improv (and some band directors have agreed) but thats another subject. :)

I kinda meant Gospel styles vs other styles of music. But then on the same note i dont think other styles do modulations as much as Gospel. But then in some songs, modulation is a side thought, since most of the time it happens in a vamp and doesnt stay there long. But what i meant is, if you play gospel only and dont intentionally change the keys of songs, you'll be playing in C# or Ab 75% of the time. The rest of the time is F#, Eb and Bb. But if you think about traditional gospel music, just about every song was a 1-4-5 progression or the like. It was always about simplicity (for whatever reason).

But some people intentionally vary the music to be more well rounded. I've played with people that intentionally do medleys with all the songs in different keys. Its challenging, but it helps you grow. some are scared of that.


I frequent a number of bass forums, and this may be one of the strangest threads I've ever seen
But interesting nevertheless!  ;D

things like this come around on here from time to time. stuff that makes u think.
way, way more interesting than whats the best bass or who's the best bass player.

I was thinking if you play mosly black keys it really is more asian than jazzy:  Remember the  Bb Bb Bb Ab Ab Gb Gb Ab chinese song on the piano?!!  :P
now take that a half step down. all white keys. all of the chinese flavor. lol

But playing in a flat key, it definately is a black thing.  ;D

touche.
For my God... let "Golden Axe" prevail.

Offline berbie

  • LGM Royalty
  • LGM Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2062

Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2011, 06:59:36 AM »
I had considered this for a period of time and had determined in my mind that the flat keys, either because of environment(what you heard growing up) or because of some natural prevalent voice range, fit black voices or black musical preferences better. There's nothing wrong with that. To me, the black keys are more difficult to play, although I like to hear people sing in those keys.

Offline elio

  • LGM Royalty
  • LGM Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
  • Gender: Male

Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2011, 04:06:14 PM »
Also, keep in mind that many CCM songs are composed on acoustic guitar, hence the keys of E, A, D, G, ....

Offline 6stringapprentice

  • LGM Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 714
  • Gender: Male
    • facebook

Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2011, 04:18:08 PM »
My guess would be it probably has to do with the layout of the piano. Maybe through the years pianist found that it was easier to play the chords and progressions that are prevalent in gospel in non natural keys and became a trend.
Sounding Mathematics.

Offline Fingers!

  • LGM Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026

Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2011, 01:40:55 PM »
I bet ppl are going to start inquiring now LOLOL!

You're right about that.  Well, here's my thought:

I am somewhat aware that most horns and stuff of that nature are designed in flat keys.  Considering that jazz was predominant from the early 1900s to the 60s and 70s, the horn players, like Parker, Miles and Trane, and big band leaders, like Duke, Count Basie, Calloway, and McShann, were writing their music for who…their horn players. 

So you have players like Maceo, who grew up in that era, went straight from being a premier player/music writer for James Brown (a major foundation of funk music) to become a premier player/writer for somebody like George Clinton (P-Funk).  Just like Herbie Hancock (grew up in that same jazz era).  He play piano but he was hired by Miles, a horn player, and played to the fit the style of Miles. 

So, by the mid-80s, we got rid of the horn players but we did not get rid of their grid.  It is ingrained into us, we were born into it.  When we were born, this is what was happening around us in our environment.   

Just about all black music comes from this ‘jazz’ pot.  This is where our ear comes from, our flavor, our style – everything.  Everything that we are playing, writing, listening to, are based off the same platform as the horn players in the past – minus the horns. 

I’m sure somebody thinks this is stupid but it’s “Just my opinion…”

Offline kenlacam

  • LGM Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 84
  • Gender: Male

Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2011, 08:00:52 AM »
how could black keys create a jazzier feel? as a bass player i can play the same exact thing in any key and have it sound exactly the same. it has to do with the player and playing style, not the fact that there are black keys involved.

this is why the black keys "sound jazzier/funkier". also someone pointed out that for all the negro spirituals, the melody can be played using only the black keys. that might have some significance of WHY they picked those notes, but further observation would show that the black keys only form either of 2 scales,
F# major pentatonic
or Eb minor pentatonic
and we all know that the major and minor pentatonic scales are the most simple, fundamental and commonly used scales (simply a shell of the major and natural minor scales) in western music.

often time, any music thats guitar based is in (CCM often is) is in natural keys, because the nature of the instrument (chording and open strings) lends itself to being easier for people in those keys. Piano or organ (contemporary gospel) tends to be in flat keys because players tend to find these keys easier. Remember everything in Funk music was in the key of E back in the 70s for the simple fact that the bass player had to slap that low open string (his lowest note) which was an E on a 4 string bass tuned standard. I've come across a lot of orchestra songs that were in C, because Concert C is easiest to transpose for other instruments like Bb and Eb sax and a lot of the other woodwind instruments.

The problem with this is that if you stick to a particular style, you will most likely be stronger in certain keys. Many shun other styles simply because it challenges them in their weaker keys, but others welcome it to make them more well rounded. A side effect (well for me anyway) is that your style of play isnt universal in all keys since depending on the key, ur playing a different style of music.

Not a black/white thing. Just a big coincidence. who wouldve thought.
Well said! ;D
death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live

StooB

  • Guest
Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2011, 03:36:46 PM »
Floaded does tend to bring some soberiety to these forums...   :)

Offline phbrown

  • LGM Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12070
  • Google Fiber

Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2011, 09:59:22 PM »
Floaded does tend to bring some soberiety to these forums...   :)

*nods in agreement*

Offline floaded27

  • LGM Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1821
  • Gender: Male
    • MySpace Profile

Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2011, 11:49:02 AM »
thanks. i was always inspired by my music mentor, who could have an entire conversation with me about music, not mention keys or notes or how to play this or that particular song, and when i go back to practice, my playing has opened up so much. its the intricate knowledge and understanding about music, not just how to play particular songs, that make us better musicians. so i seek that, and what i know i share. but trust me, i've learned a WHOLE LOT from you guys here on LGM.

(although sometimes i wonder if people start to get annoyed or think im trying to be a know-it-all when i comment a lot)
For my God... let "Golden Axe" prevail.

StooB

  • Guest
Re: Why are so many gospel songs played in b's?
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2011, 03:06:02 PM »
(although sometimes i wonder if people start to get annoyed or think im trying to be a know-it-all when i comment a lot)

We've all got a lot to learn from each other. It's more blessed to give than recieve, so if we all give what we know, we'll all be getting better  :)
Pages: 1 [2]   Go Up