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#53611 - 01/02/10 12:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB
rlefebvr Offline
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Registered: 03/08/09
Posts: 31
I have a fake book in C called "The Standard real book"

If i take for instance "Ain't no sunshine" and I play the notes on the sax, how do I enter my chords in BIAB.

Do have have to transpose them from one key to another or do I just transpose them down by one tone.

or will it sound bad no matter what because I am playing the notes in the wrong key.



and if I get a fake book in Bb, do I still have to transpose the chords for my backing tracks or do I enter them as is.



Sorry for my ignorance , but I find this a little confusing.

I play the piano and the guitar, but the sax is new to me and I want to be able to create backing tracks for when I play.


Ron

Thks for all the help

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#53612 - 01/02/10 12:54 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: rlefebvr]
Matt Finley Online   content
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You can do it any of several ways. As of version 2010, you can enter the chords directly using Bb changes if you have the Bb fakebook.

Or you can enter the chords in C from the C Realbook and then use the transpose functions to change what you see to play along with a Bb instrument, without changing the pitch.

I play tenor. You probably know this, but just in case, a Bb tenor sax is a transposing instrument, and sounds a ninth lower than written. That's an octave plus a full step. So, if you want a concert C to sound, you play a D on the tenor sax. The horn is pitched a full step "low" so you play a full step "higher" to compensate.

Whatever you want to do with transposition and fakebooks, I'm sure the program can do it, and we can help you with specific questions.
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#53613 - 01/02/10 07:05 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Matt Finley]
John Conley Offline
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There are 2 ways to do this the easiest is through the Practice button where you are given transposition buttons.

Search on the Internet for "Alannah Band in a Box" and download some Band in a Box songs from there, not midi songs.

Then pick one of those songs and use the practice button to transpose.

If you don't like how low or high the notes in the Melody are you can use CTL ALT 1 OR CTL ALT 2, which when held down together over the notes cause them to go up or down an octave.
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#53614 - 01/02/10 09:17 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Matt Finley]
Sandra Sherman Offline
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Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 770
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Hi MAtt,
Now I know I`m making myself a complete idiot.
Even as a studied jazz guitarist I never understood the transposing stuff (and never dared to ask my fellow musicians .
Of course I know how the instruments are transposed and in my compositions I have no problem transposing for the horns.

But, the hell, WHY are some instruments transposed???
I mean: You guys learn from the beginning that if you put your fingers this or that way its a "D", but in real life (concert pitch) it`s a C. So why not learn it as what it is.

Please enlighten an idiotic guitarist like me

Sandra
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#53615 - 01/02/10 09:27 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Sandra Sherman]
MusicStudent Offline
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Loc: Chicago
A great question. So come on horn players enlighten us all!

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#53616 - 01/02/10 09:36 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Sandra Sherman]
Mac Offline
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Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Quote:



But, the hell, WHY are some instruments transposed???
I mean: You guys learn from the beginning that if you put your fingers this or that way its a "D", but in real life (concert pitch) it`s a C. So why not learn it as what it is.

Please enlighten an idiotic guitarist like me

Sandra




It is because of the physics involved in the tubing lengths and where the fundamental notes in the column of air fall.

A guitarist can change string tension and thus change the open string notes rather easily by comparison.

The wind instrument player is at the mercy of the length of tubing in the horn.

It is not as simple as changing tubing length, either, as the Timbre of the instrument changes at the same time.

For example, the French Horn is in F typically. Trying to change the tubing length of a French Horn to make it into a C instrument also changes the sound of the French Horn so drastically that it doesn't sound like the French Horn anymore.

This is because of the overtone series. When a Wind Instrument player plays notes other than the fundamental, we rely on a system of changing the tubing length via valves that add or subract tubing, or holes in the instrument that make the tube appear shorter when open and longer when covered, or, in the case of the slide instruments like Trombone, the physical length is changed in a continuous fashion.

On top of changing the tubing length to play those other notes, we also find that we may have to apply different amounts of air pressure, critical embouchure changes (Embouchure describes the positioning of the mouth, lips, teeth, muscles, etc.) and a few other things besides.

So if you tried to turn, say, an Eb Alto Saxophone into a C instrument, it would be not only much smaller in size, it would sound different. And it does. There used to be a very popular instrument called the "C Melody Sax" -- very popular because the owners could read along with Piano Sheet Musics without transposition -- but the only problem with it was that it did not have the wonderful sound of the Eb Alto Sax at all.


--Mac
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#53617 - 01/02/10 09:48 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Mac]
John Conley Offline
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Posts: 8333
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I learned the Bflat baritone horns (both marching bugle and bflat Baritone at 52. Only because of band in a box and that wonderful transpose button. Then I set the keyboard to adjust the pitch by 2 semitones and play both, meaning a verse on one then the other. I can do that all day. I still can't count well, hate it when I have 17 bars of nothing to do but count, but that's in the brass band.

I asked all the same stuff from Dr. Hank Meredith who only has 5000 horns in his house, and got the same stuff Mac just posted, only we had 2 beers and it took an hour.

45 people in the band and he walks over and takes my horn and moves the slide a 1/8 inch and says, give me a concert b flat now. Jeez.
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#53618 - 01/02/10 10:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: John Conley]
Matt Finley Online   content
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Following up on Mac's explanation, consider someone like me who plays a number of different horns. The fingering of the sax family is (almost) the same for each sax, so if I see a note E on the music, I finger it the same way for each sax, whether it is a bari or alto in Eb or a tenor or soprano in Bb. The sound that comes out will be a different pitch, so the person writing the music has to compensate by providing a transposed part. But I don't have to worry about how to finger it.

My trumpets are pitched in Bb (typical trumpet or flugelhorn), C (orchestral uses) and A (piccolo). Again, I don't have to relearn a different fingering system depending on which horn I'm playing (with only a few exceptions for funky notes, such as most trumpets have). I do need to get the music transposed to the correct key (or do the transposition in my head, but that's easier than relearning the fingering I've been using for 50 years).
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#53619 - 01/02/10 11:24 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Matt Finley]
rlefebvr Offline
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Registered: 03/08/09
Posts: 31
Quote:

Following up on Mac's explanation, consider someone like me who plays a number of different horns. The fingering of the sax family is (almost) the same for each sax, so if I see a note E on the music, I finger it the same way for each sax, whether it is a bari or alto in Eb or a tenor or soprano in Bb. The sound that comes out will be a different pitch, so the person writing the music has to compensate by providing a transposed part. But I don't have to worry about how to finger it.





That part I understand and that is just it. I already have the notes down and I don't want to spend all my time transposing the notes and printing new sheets, but if I can get BIAB to transpose just the chords for my backup music while I play my sax, that would be awesome. I am just afraid, it will sound a little off since I will be changing the tone to match my sax and not the other way around.


Ron

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#53620 - 01/02/10 11:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: rlefebvr]
Matt Finley Online   content
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You have your choice in BIAB.

You can change the pitch of the song so it looks correct for a Bb instrument.

Or, you can continue to play the song in the original pitch and just change the way the notes appear, so you can play along.
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#53621 - 01/02/10 11:43 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: rlefebvr]
Mac Offline
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Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Quote:

I am just afraid, it will sound a little off since I will be changing the tone to match my sax and not the other way around.


Ron




Don't be afraid of that one. If the song is within your range on your instrument, the key signature is of little consequence.

The only thing the performer must watch out for is that the audience will soon tire of hearing everything in the same key. They will not know why it bothers them for the most part. They will just know that they don't like that. So make sure that you don't pull that one. All songs, all night, in Eb or any other one key is a drag.

Also -- Make it a part of your Practice Regimen to go through songs you know well in other keys. Work your way around the circle of fifths using one key per day on all the songs you already know. BiaB can really help with that one, providing accompaniment, but don't make it a crutch for too long to simply read the transcription, work on getting it without looking at the notes going by, too. Pretty soon your muscle memory for other keys will kick in and you will find that you can play melodies that you know in your head but have never played before on your instrument, easily and without mistakes.


--Mac
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#53622 - 01/02/10 04:45 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Matt Finley]
Sandra Sherman Offline
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Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 770
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Hi guys,
Now those were brilliant answers. I finally understand it
These two answers made it all clear for me:
Quote:

For example, the French Horn is in F typically. Trying to change the tubing length of a French Horn to make it into a C instrument also changes the sound of the French Horn so drastically that it doesn't sound like the French Horn anymore.



Thanks Mac
Quote:

The fingering of the sax family is (almost) the same for each sax, so if I see a note E on the music, I finger it the same way for each sax, whether it is a bari or alto in Eb or a tenor or soprano in Bb. The sound that comes out will be a different pitch, so the person writing the music has to compensate by providing a transposed part. But I don't have to worry about how to finger it.



Thanks Matt

You horn players are great transposers anyway! I play a lot of sessions. And when the nightmare of any "real instrumentalist"
, namely the vocalists come on stage it starts to get weird. They come up with notes in C, but because they slept bad last night, they have to sing (sometimes their own songs) 2 or 3 semitones lower.
Now thats no problem for me, but the poor horn players have to transpose to their horn pitch plus the singers wanted key. Everything on the fly, of course.
And if that werent enough those very special singers ALWAYS have to scat right after the head. No matter if there are 5 solists on stage waiting for their solo and no matter if they can`t scat at all. UUUUARRGH. That`s why I never go to the vocal sessions.

Sandra
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#53623 - 01/02/10 08:07 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Mac]
Danny C. Offline
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The only thing the performer must watch out for is that the audience will soon tire of hearing everything in the same key. They will not know why it bothers them for the most part. They will just know that they don't like that. So make sure that you don't pull that one. All songs, all night, in Eb or any other one key is a drag.

--Mac




Great advice and/or reminder for all performing musicians. I was given this advice (almost verbatim) from an old piano man when I was a mere youngster many years ago. I still do not understand the "audience why part" I only know it's true.

Just last week I was trying to explain this to a veteran reed man as I am helping him put together a one hour show. He loves to play in the key F (love) and while a one hour show might not be long enough for this "audience affect" to take place I sure don’t chance it.

Thanks for the reminder Mac!
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#53624 - 01/02/10 09:57 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: rlefebvr]
Shastastan Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
I'm a rookie so I'll just tell you what a rookie does. I have to deal mostly in "concert" keys because my wife plays the flute which is in C. Here's an easy way for the OP, aside from learning the circle of 5ths, etc. and transposing on the fly--not that I think you shouldn't attempt to learn those things.

Let's say that I use a C fakebook and input the chords and melody in C. This is fine for my wife, but I play Bb trumpet. All I do is save the song and print out the notation for my wife. Then I transpose to Bb and print out the notation for me. Very simple. You always add 2 sharps or deduct 2 flats from the concert key and play all the notes up 2 intervals (1 note)---IF you want to manually transpose the score for yourself. If it's concert Eb, you play in F and one note up. No, I cannot transpose Flight of The Bumble Bee on the fly.----

As Mac and Matt say, the problem with the brass instruments is the length's of the tubing. Even on the very best Bb trumpets you still have to "kick out" the 3rd valve slide to play low D and C# in tune. This is relative to the particular horn also. You may also have to "kick out" the 1st valve slide for A above the staff. These gyrations are unique to Bb trumpets, but other brass instruments (and trumpets, too) may have to "lip' certain notes up or down to play the pitch in tune with the rest of the group. I'm sure that woodwinds may have similar gyrations to address.

If you have a notation program, such as Sibelius, Finale, etc.. transposing is very easy. Just enter the notes in a concert key, add an instrument such as a Bb sax, copy and paste the notes you entered on the sax staff lines, click on sax in the drop down list of instruments, and you will see the sax part by itself transposed. Pretty slick!

You can accomplish transposing very simply (works for me) or do it the way the pros do (wish I was there, but I'm an old guy now). I'm glad I had a simple choice or I would never have gotten this far. Good luck!

Stan


Edited by Shastastan (01/02/10 10:04 PM)
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#53625 - 01/03/10 03:26 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Shastastan]
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6480
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Alright, now I'm really going to step in it, I'm sure.
A followup to Sandra's question, forget the physics lessons and all that, if a horn player plays a note on his horn and it's a A concert, why can't it simply be called a A for everyone? An A is an A is an A, right? If all the different players on all the different instruments were simply taught as kids that that note is an A, where's the problem? The point I'm trying to make here is pitch is absolute. The A below middle C is 440 and that's it regardless if it's on a piano, tuba, sax, violin or whatever. Think in terms of pitch not length of tubing on a Souzaphone. 440 is 440 so why isn't that tone called an A regardless of the instrument? Someone with perfect pitch hears 440 coming from an electrical hum to a foghorn in the harbor and says "that's an A". He won't say that's a Db for a tri tube glockenspruchen that sits in the fourth row in the Berlin Philharmonic.
Is this simply one of those legacy things like that much more efficient typing keyboard someone invented 30 years ago that was proven to be twice as fast as our querty keyboard but nobody cared since we all know the qwerty system and nobody was willing to learn a new one? To me this sounds like what this is all about. 300 years of classical music training and it is what it is now.

Bob
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#53626 - 01/03/10 04:03 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: jazzmammal]
Mac Offline
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Because of the fundamental, which is derived by the "open" note of the wind instrument, and, of course, the fingering issues, Bob.

Everyone new to this problem thinks they can solve it better.

After more investigation they will figure out that the solution is already there and that the old guys who workedit out did so empirically over time and came to the best possible conclusion.


--Mac
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#53627 - 01/03/10 04:20 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: jazzmammal]
Shastastan Offline
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The problem is, Bob, if I play an "A" on my trumpet (reading from my music that would be the 2nd space up in the staff), you will hear a "G". For you to hear A = 440, I will have to play a B. That's the note I use to tune with for orchestra or playing with C instruments. For band, I play a third space "C", but the C instruments have to play Bb to play the same note.

Sorry, but the tubing does make a difference for brass instruments because that's the way they are made. Yes, they do make trumpets in the key of C, but Bb's are more popular. As Mac sez, they do sound different. If you play a "C" instrument, such as piano, etc., you don't have to be concerned unless you are trying to arrange for what some are referring to as non-concert instruments. I call them non-C instruments because that's what they are. C instruments determine what the concert key is. If the key signature for the C instruments is D (2 sharps), the key signature for the Bb instruments is E (4 sharps). Yes the pitch, for a given note, is absolute---for the C instruments. The OP is just learning the tenor sax (Bb) so he has to be in the correct key to play in tune with the non Bb instruments.

Stan
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#53628 - 01/03/10 05:16 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Shastastan]
Mac Offline
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I used to try my C Trumpet, purchased for orchestra work, in Jazz settings.

It just don't sound right.


--Mac
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#53629 - 01/03/10 05:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Mac]
Matt Finley Online   content
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Agreed, I don't like the sound of my C for 'straight-ahead' jazz. But I do use it for Latin jazz a lot of the time.
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#53630 - 01/03/10 11:09 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Transpose for Tenor Sax using Fake book and BIAB [Re: Matt Finley]
Shastastan Offline
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Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
I thought a C trumpet would be great to play at church since I would just play from the hymnal. The choir director changed and the new one didn't want a trumpet anymore. I thought I would still like it to play with my wife on flute. She likes the tone of the flugel and cornet better so I sold the C trumpet. I don't miss it; I guess I just got too used to the Bb's.
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