Praise Whistlers Abroad

A Question of keys.
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Author:  rodfish [ Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:58 pm ]
Post subject:  A Question of keys.

For those of you who regularly play during corporate worship; what keys do you find you use most?
I've been approached about playing my whistle during our worship but I only have a couple and the one I play the most is a D. I've not played very long and don't know a lot about music, but if you play with other musicians (like a worship band) don't you need several whistles in several different keys? And if so; which ones? (This is probably very basic stuff.) :?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Author:  Adrian [ Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:16 am ]
Post subject: 

The more whistles you have at your disposal the happier you will be.

The keys used in a worship group are often influenced by whether it is keyboard led or guitar led. Guitarists love keys like D, G, E, A but if they use capos then anything goes. Keyboard players often like the flat keys.

Remember that one whistle goes a long way. For example, a D whistle is good for: D, G, A, E Bm, Em, Am, Dm

I think C is most peoples second whistle and will be very helpful. If your group plays in the key of E then a B whistle is very useful as a high E can be too piercing for some churches. An A is good for a number of keys but is a very good and more mellow alternative for playing in the key of D and also good for tunes in A, D, E, Bm. A low G will be useful for G, C, Am, Em.

It is best to ask your group what keys they play in and then choose your whistles accordingly. If you then tell us what keys they use other whistlers here can tell you what whistle they would choose for that key.

Author:  rodfish [ Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:00 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks Adrian, that helps.
Our worship service is usually guitar led although they are accompanied by piano. I'll have to ask them what keys they like the best, but if I recall correctly, they do use capos fairly often.
But you have certainly given me a good place to start.

Sounds like I need a B whistle and an A as well. Ooo, just the thought of new whistles.... :D

Thanks again!

Author:  mutepointe [ Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

our group has an electronic keyboard (that transposes) and a guitar (with capo) and we transpose quite a bit. a d & a c whistle get me through most songs. i also have c, d, g, and Bb harmonicas. i would like to add though that not all our songs sound good on whistles played by me and there are some songs in the key of d that i would prefer to play on an a whistle.

also, if you're going to start transposing, that'll increase the degree of difficulty in musicians communicating with each other. some folks don't know theory, some folks only understand their own instruments. some folks have too much theory and some folks have a natural talent for transposing. some folks can sight transpose and some folks can't. spme folks have a fear of transposing.

i so don't mean to brag on this but one of the gifts God gave me was transposing. for all the folks in our groups who have had vasts amounts of formal musical education, i am the person who has no formal music education that can communicate with each individual musician on what they need to do to transpose.

Author:  rodfish [ Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, I'm certainly not accomplished, so I don't figure I'll be transposing anytime soon. Our pianist however; she is really good. Used to be a concert pianist in Korea and has perfect pitch and can transpose on the fly.

I'll just try to keep up with a couple of whistles and enjoy the fellowship and worship. After all, I don't have to play along with every song; I can always sing. (Although that might sound even worse.) :lol:

Author:  markbell [ Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

With learning just two accidentals, you can go from playing in two keys on a whistle, to six. For example, a D whistle also plays naturally in B minor with no sharps or flats.

Learn the C-natural, and now you can play in G and E minor. Learn the G#, and now A and F# minor become available.

The keys you use most often will depend on the music selection by your own worship leader, and whether as previously mentioned, the guitarist is picking the key or the piano player.

I most often use a D whistle (low or high), followed up by C, A and B flat. I can hit almost any common key from those whistles, with just one sharp or flat added to the whistle.

I usually set out a low D, low E, mezzo A, B flat, C, soprano D, and high E flat. I'd probably add an F whistle if we did much in that key, but I usually use a C whistle on the odd song where we play in F.


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