what minor keys on jazz gig?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, May 19, 2009.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    I asked this before but see the need to ask it in a different way. I know it's adviseable to be prepared to play in all the minor keys. But what minor keys do you find come up most often on a jazz gig.

  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Good question. When learning scales and jazz patterns, I try to practice in all 12 keys, but I emphasize what I think are the 8 more common keys. For minor scales and patterns, I emphasize C-, D-, E-, F-, F#-, G-, A-, and B- more than Db-, Eb-, Ab-, and Bb-.

    Maybe "emphasize" is the wrong word. But I do practice the 4 less common keys differently. Partly because I don't use them as much. And partly because I don't know them as well and thus practice different exercises in those keys.

    I play gigs out of a book with about 100 tunes in it. I just took a quick look at it. The minor keys I play in are C-, D-, E-, F-, F#-, G-, A-, Bb-, B-. The only unusual song is Jeannine, which is in Bb-. (These are trumpet keys, not concert keys.)

    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  3. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    For some reason I ALWAYS end up with a Bb- minor thing, then there's Eb Blues, and don't get me started with the Goodwin charts.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Crow, it depends who you are playing with. If there are strings, be prepared for sharps - lots of sharps. If it is other wind players, flats are where it is at.
  5. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I will say the same response but in a different way, since you asked in a different way:
    Learn all the keys and you won't worry about which ones might occur.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    If you want to spare all the theory stuff, the ii, the vi, and the iv in rhythm changes--meaning in C major the "ii" is d minor, the "vi" is a minor, and the "iv" f minor. In other keys the minor scales would be played on the 2nd step of the scale (almost always), the 6th step (quite often), and the 4th step (sometimes).


    Me too!

    The chord changes tell us scale fits each chord, but if you get tossed a Be-bop tune that goes real fast to "read" on a gig it is scary. Hats off to all good improvisors!

    The cheapo Vulgano Trick is to add a sharp to the key signature while keeping the same tonic. In other words, CDEF#GAB would be the notes I play (throwing in some chromatics) and try to be interesting rhythmically. When I play wrong notes I slip off as quick as I can, or repeat them so it sounds like it was planned.

    I've never been offered a jazz chair, but haven't had stuff thrown at me, either!

    Good luck!
  7. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    thanks to all...........now look for a new Thread with a different way of getting what I'm looking for.

  8. Bill Martin

    Bill Martin Pianissimo User

    Apr 1, 2009
    Id (summer) CA (winter)
    "Repeat them so they sound like it was planned!" I just 'gotta remember that!
    Bill Martin

Share This Page