I have practiced all the tunes in the guitar books I bought thirteen years ago - the ones I can play, anyway. (Why does BNL write in the key that has five sharps? (Still don’t know the key names. Clearly I did not get very far in my music theory book.)) I needed new music.
Then, I found Gary’s trumpet sheet music books. Fascinating. There are three staffs - one for each valve, I guess - and there are no words, so it’s really exercising my ear.
He came in and complimented my playing, and I said I was using his trumpet books.
”Sure you can do that, but you’re playing in the wrong key. The trumpet is B flat and the guitar is C. It’s okay, you’re just half a tone off.”
After I collected the brain matter that was flung about the room by the explosion, I said, “So, if you play the C note on your trumpet ... are you telling me it doesn’t sound like the C on my guitar?”
He wouldn’t get out his trumpet and prove it to me. But my mind was blown, and I spent the evening asking him questions like:
”When a symphony orchestra tunes up and the piano hits a C, does everyone play a C, or do they go up or down and play the note on their instrument that is closest to a C, like do the trumpets play the B flat?” (He says - hesitantly - they play B flat, and that musicians can do that easily.)
”So if I want my guitar to play the same notes as a trumpet, can I just put the capo on the first fret?” (No, that makes it higher, not lower.) “Are there capos for trumpets to make them half a note higher?” (He says no, if you want that you have to buy an entire trumpet that is made in C. I don’t know if I believe this. It seems there could be something you could jam in somewhere to make it narrower to change the frequency.)
”If a guitar is C, and a trumpet is B flat, what key are people?” (He said C, but I think that was just to get me to shut up. Later on we decided that when singers ask the pianist to play a song in D, that’s because that’s the key their vocal chords are in.)
The best part was I remembered I had a capo, and if you put a capo on the first fret it is much easier to play all the BNL songs in the key of five sharps.