Changing keys in a song


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stratkat
11-28-2007, 10:57 AM
I was just wondering if you can change keys during a song, like the chorus and the verses have different keys so you'd have to switch the scale to the key. Also if you can do that if there's a way to do it smoothly, like keys that would be easy to change to, or should i just experiment with that? If not is it wise to switch modes? I know i can cuz there's no rules with music but i'm just asking if it would sound good or not. Really I'd like to be able to do both cuz I get bored using the same scale through a whole song. Maybe this is an obvious question, but i've had to teach myself music theory:/
Thanks in advance:]

blakejones917
11-28-2007, 11:05 AM
you can switch keys during songs, it just depends on how you transition. If your transition isn't good you will end up with a very bumpy sounding song

STEALmyDOG
11-28-2007, 11:06 AM
yeah you can do anything you want really, but if your switching between verses and stuff that USUALLY uses modes like if youre playing in A major, you can go to D lydian or F# minor etc coz they fit the same scale...(i'm rubbish at explaining) sometimes people (like me) change from like A major to A minor for example (using different modes with the same route note) or you can do permanent changes like on the last chorus or solo alot of people move the scale up a whole tone or something to lift the song at the end...(this is why i havent done any lessons lol)

hope it helps

Chex
11-28-2007, 11:11 AM
Bon Jovi - Born to be my Baby

I noticed the other day that it totally changes key. Verse is 2nd Fret on Low E (embarassing but I don't know what key that is :S) but the Chorus/Solo is in A Minor.

Just experiment.

Stash Jam
11-28-2007, 11:48 AM
I was just wondering if you can change keys during a song, like the chorus and the verses have different keys so you'd have to switch the scale to the key. Also if you can do that if there's a way to do it smoothly, like keys that would be easy to change to, or should i just experiment with that? If not is it wise to switch modes? I know i can cuz there's no rules with music but i'm just asking if it would sound good or not. Really I'd like to be able to do both cuz I get bored using the same scale through a whole song. Maybe this is an obvious question, but i've had to teach myself music theory:/
Thanks in advance:]

Yea it's definitely common to change keys within a song, which helps for variety & movement.

A common way is to use a pivot chord, which is a chord that can be found in both the key you're in as well as the key you're moving to. So a real basic example of going from the key of C to G, you could use Am as a pivot, i.e. C - F - Am - D - G

You can make pretty smooth transitions especially when moving to closely related keys

Another common approach is to simply move up a whole step, like if you have a basic A - D - E chorus, you can move it up to B - E - F# for a stronger sense of motion

Basically experiment, maybe analyze some songs to see how key changes are used in songs that you like. Also a google search on modulation or pivot chord should give you plenty of info to help you get started

HolyJack
11-28-2007, 01:22 PM
Bon Jovi - Born to be my Baby

I noticed the other day that it totally changes key. Verse is 2nd Fret on Low E (embarassing but I don't know what key that is :S) but the Chorus/Solo is in A Minor.

Just experiment.

2nd fret on E would be an F sharp.

Changing keys is cool, especially if you want to keep the song interesting. It's always nice with a breakdown or chorus that sounds completely different from the rest of the song.

blacktoothgrins
11-28-2007, 02:41 PM
Using a pivot chord, like stated above, is good.

What I also like to do is use the V chord of the key you are switching to (I think it is called dominant resolution). This sounds good using the regular major chord or the domininant seventh chord.

Here's one I use:

Verse: A - C - G - D (key of A with borrowed chords Am)

G (this is the transition chord into the key of C, play for two measures)

Chorus: C - Am (key of C)

E7 (transition chord back into the verse, strum once and pause
before starting verse again)


I think this is a really good song writing technique and it is easy to use let me know if that makes sense and what you think of that example.

stratkat
11-28-2007, 03:33 PM
Thank you everyone^^ I'm gonna try the pivot chord thing first, it seems to be the easiest to me:]

natedapunk
11-28-2007, 03:58 PM
altho the suggestions above are actually probly yr best bet if u want perhaps a more draumatic feel to it try some sort of fill effect or even have the bass fill in say switching to a D from a G try going B C C# with an emphasis on the last note.. anyways thats my suggestion above actually sound better lol:P

blacktoothgrins
11-28-2007, 04:41 PM
The way I stated that above may have been confusing.

The key is the switch from the V chord to the I chord. If you want to switch to the key of A just play E or E7 first then go into whatever progression in the key of A you want.

Neekx0h
08-17-2010, 04:36 PM
how would i change for c minor to d minor smoothly ?

rockingamer2
08-17-2010, 04:56 PM
Modes have nothing to do with the point of this thread. This is about modulation.

Zinnie
08-17-2010, 05:14 PM
how would i change for c minor to d minor smoothly ?
Diatonically, C minor and D minor share a pivot chord of Gminor. But if you'd like, you could just use the Whole Step modulation, very common in pop music, you do your progression in C minor, then move every chord up a whole step. So say you were doing Cminor Fminor Gmaj, then go to Dminor Gminor Amajor.

Or, try throwing an A7 in your Cminor progression, this A7 is the dominant of Dminor, and will pull your ear to the key of Dminor. Give those a shot

nileflows
08-18-2010, 08:36 AM
There is a lesson somewhere in this site exactly wht u were looking for. its called chord modulation or sth done by ZEGuitarist i believe.
this is sth i did as my homework. you can take help. :)

E maj- E F#m G#m A B C#m Ddim
B maj- B C#m D#m E F# G#m A#dim

Common chords- E G#min B C#min

E / C#m / A / B / / F# / C#m / A / E / B
E maj- I vii IV V vii iv I V
B maj- I V ii

----------------------------------------------------

F maj - F Gm Am A# C Dm Edim
C maj - C Dm Em F G Am Bdim

common chords - F C Amin Dmin

F / A# / C / / Dm / G / F / Em / C
F maj - I IV V vii
C maj - ii V IV iii I

Msword7
08-18-2010, 09:50 AM
You can do whatever you want in a song. And modes are only even relevant if the song is modal.

Listen to Desecration Smile by RHCP that song switches keys

Sean0913
08-18-2010, 11:24 AM
If you are going from one key to the next a ii V approach works well, and sometimes transitions smoother than a straight V I.

Best,

Sean

Tominator_1991
08-18-2010, 11:52 PM
yeah you can do anything you want really, but if your switching between verses and stuff that USUALLY uses modes like if youre playing in A major, you can go to D lydian or F# minor etc coz they fit the same scale...(i'm rubbish at explaining) sometimes people (like me) change from like A major to A minor for example (using different modes with the same route note) or you can do permanent changes like on the last chorus or solo alot of people move the scale up a whole tone or something to lift the song at the end...(this is why i havent done any lessons lol)

hope it helps


*sigh*

no

MousseMoose
08-19-2010, 01:09 AM
Or you could easily do the chorus again in a different key to make it seems more "uplifting" as many inspiring-style songs do.