The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143253   Message #3916442
Posted By: GUEST
10-Apr-18 - 04:00 PM
Thread Name: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
Subject: RE: How out of tune was Don McLean's guitar?
I can't remember what song it was (it wasn't American Pie) but some weeks ago, Don McLean appeared on TV (it may have been "The One Show" which is on BBC1 in early evening, or else Breakfast Television) and was having trouble hitting the high notes. I didn't know whether it was his voice which had gone with age (a la Pete Seeger) or whether he had just chosen the wrong key to sing in alongside the guitar (he didn't tune the guitar as it must have already been tuned). However he sounded OK on the second song. I often wonder how good many folk and other singers are - as a very amateur performer I generally need to make sure the song is in a particular key (though if the vocal range is not too large, I may be able to sing it in 1 or 2 other keys which are only a key note or two different, e.g. C and D or G and A, etc). Of course if you are lucky to be like Mariah Carey who I understand has a vocal range of 5 octaves (mine is probably an octave and a half, or two at best) then singing in any of the 12 keys would be no problem. I would be interested to know if any other performers on Mudcat find they need to stick to a limited range of keys. I presume if you have a large vocal range but also play the guitar or other stringed instruments, you can get off with having to learn fewer chords.