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      I could use some help with an issue I have with my ability to transpose quickly and accurately.
      Here is the problem.
      My band will call out a key for 2 different songs but in the same key, (supposedly)
      I will chose Alto or Tenor and transpose to the proper key
      Problem is the same scale I would use for one song would not work for the other. I then get caught noodling around to find what fits.
      Sometimes the adjustment is not anything I would have expected.
      Example: Get it while you can (Janis Joplin) in C and Hey Bartender (Floyd Dixon) in C
      play both on my tenor and in D which does not work. What am I missing on the communications with the other players/
      Example: #2 Seeing Things (Black Crowes) in A, on my tenor I would expect B, but I end up with something like a G#m as in
      Eb F# G# B.
      What am I missing and what is the fix. PS my music theory is at a 5th grade level.


        Well, Get it while you can is all over the place as far as what you can solo can’t get away with just playing your D scales/licks. That is the right key but the key center changes several time so you have to adjust for it to work.
        What are you doing or want to do in the song… play licks all over it or just take a so;o and if so, what section are you soloing over?

        Hey bartender is a simple 12 bar blues so you can get away with using the basic blues scale all over that one.
        Thing is, Dixon’s original version is in B flat. If your guys are playing it in that key then that is why your being in D does’t work.
        I didn’t understand the 3rd example so can’t comment!


          We play Get it while you can and Hey Bartender both in C. (Dm works for Hey Bartender). I have to guess that Get it while you can we play in Cmaj because I am using the D major scale….whew! I think it is a communication problem with the Key definition from my guitarist. Problem solved!

          I guess what I am looking for is a more general understanding of what to do when the relationship of a key is called out and what to do when your basic blues scale does not fit. It may be the way my band is calling out the key, I am not sure. but as a sax player I would figure you only have a few choices to fit into a scale. Basic blues, minor, major.
          Third example was we play Seeing Things in A so I expect that on my tenor I would play in the key of B. 2 steps up from A, this does not seem to work for the basic blues scale or Bm which is B,D,E,F#,A,B…This does not fit… but what does fit the song is the scale Eb, F#, G#, B. I can use these notes to solo. I thought that scale was a G#m scale. So How did I get from an A to a G#m on a tenor transposing wise it does not make sense if we typically move up 2 steps up to transpose for the Bb tenor from concert key. This is the one that has me the most stumped Hope that clears my question up! Thanks for your patients and guidance!


            The notes are ok: Eb, F# G#, B it’s just that you should be thinking of the scale starting on B.
            So now you have the same notes but in a different order:
            B Eb(D#) F# G# A B
            which is a B 7 chord
            this will work over A concert, which is the key they are playing the song in, make sense?

            Did you get my book Killer Blues? cause it has the other questions you have all sorted out as far as what scale to use when etc.


              Thanks, it makes sense,
              Then my next question is if the band calls out Key of A
              how do I know its a B7 cord or a basic blues scale in B or a Bm scale?

              guess I should read the book I bought !

              Maybe I only have a 4th grade music theory education not 5th.



                Well, that’s one of the main points of the book. It’s all centered around 3 scales that we can use to be successful at playing this type of music:
                basic blues scale
                pentatonic major scale
                pentatonic minor scale

                If the song is like Hey Bartender which is in Bb major then we play the basic blues scale and/or the pentatonic major.
                Since you have the book/course start practicing from the section called Basic Blues Exercises, it’s the first exercise section.
                The 3 examples each cover the 3 scales mentioned above. If you play the exercises over the backing tracks included you’ll be working towards being able to play real life situations just like the tunes your band is playing like Hey Bartender.

                There’s so many rock-blues-based music out there and that you guys are and will be playing but we can boil MOST of it down to these scales and so the exercises I’ve included with the accompanying tracks can really help get you there.

                So go back and learn the first exercise inside out. Fortunately You are playing Hey Bartender in the same key I think, Bb which is what all the exercises are in… Bb concert so tenor C

                If you work that out you’ll play it a lot better next time with the band I’m sure!

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