From: Casey Penn
I hope you don’t mind a question. In a live situation, I get by all right playing in the key of Ab, though I kind of have to adjust here and there to stay on pitch. I’m going to be recording two songs in this key. Would you suggest staying in Ab, or tuning up/down to play it in an open key instead?
Thanks! I want to do what I can to nail it. It’s not an overly complicated part.
I know lots of country songs have been recorded in Ab with the fiddle tuned down a half step so that the A string is Ab. If you are substantially more comfortable in A than Ab, it might be worth trying to track your parts with your fiddle tuned down and then in normal tuning and see what turns out sounding better to you.
If you have 2 fiddles, it is even easier because you can get one good and in tune in Ab in advance before you go into the studio and you can practice the parts both ways.
Ab is one of the trickier keys to play in, and I have only gotten comfortable with it in the last few years. And, I’m still more comfortable in G, D, and A than I am in Ab. J
There isn’t a right or wrong answer here, it’s only a matter of seeing what works better and going with that. There is nothing wrong with recording it tuned down a half step, and performing it live with standard tuning.