WHAT TO DO TO MANAGE “WRONG KEY” CHOICES ON STAGE
By Clement Afreh
You musical presentation can be so enjoyable, but then again, it can also be so unbearable. There are many things that can cause this very big contrasts. Picking the “wrong key” is one very devastating one.
Today I want to share some tips on how to manage such situations and come out not being scarred for life.
Lets look at 6 invaluable saving tips.
- When the band gives you a key you said they should play for you, please try and sing it. Don’t go off and do your own thing. That is why it is important and profitable to do personal rehearsal to know your tessitura and what keys you can do any given song in, comfortably.
If you were called to sing impromptu, then give the band your most comfortable key.
But whenever it is possible, arrange with the pianist, if not the whole band, and agree and rehearse on keys and key changes, if any.
- If the singer sang a different key from what you played as intro, please calm down and look for the new key. If you have perfect pitch, praise God, just go to the key. If you don’t, please don’t play “sisisi, si nana ko” so loud on the keyboard. Turn it all the way down so only you can hear and when you get it, then you come up. Nothing embarrassing about that.
But If you ky33, y3 b3 twa fasting ama wo hahaha😂
- If the band is trying to find your key, please don’t jump to new keys, be confident and sing what you were singing so they can find you. If you keep moving, you will cause a lot of damage.
Band guys don’t like that. they will just choose their favorite key and stay there. 😕
Also if you realize the struggle, just signal the band to break for 2 bars to get their composure and join the flow.
- If you are BVing for someone please don’t choose your own key when it is your time to sing.
Do not sabotage the lead singer. Do your best and pick the key of the leader.
If the band is trying to find the leader, BVs don’t jumping in to cause confusion, make sure you all have the same key and then you can plan and agree on when to jump in and how to jump in to save the day.
These are the two ways to accomplish this;
a. Jump in at the verse with all parts singing the main melody
b. Jump in at the chorus in beautiful 3 part harmony.
- Sometimes during a live recording, the band is in the original key but the leader went off in another key. BVs listen to the key the entire band is playing in. That is the key to do your backgrounds in. The leader will be able to join you in that key soon enough. But if you follow the leader, it means y’all setting up yourselves to redo everything at the studio. Overdubs b3 su.
- In the event when the leader goes off the pre-agreed key during a live presentation, please “be in the spirit” and maintain your composure. Don’t get angry or laugh out loud. It will show to the audience that something went wrong. Though 80% of the time they already know.
Keep a warm smile or close your eyes lift up your right hand and just worship.
After the event you can tease each other and laugh as a family. But on set, maintain your composure. Else it will cone in the video.
I hope these few tips help y’all in your presentations.
Dont forget to Like, Comment, Share, Tag your fellow music directors, musicians and singers.
Photo credit: @PerfectpointGh