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Old 11-15-2012, 10:57 PM   #1
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song key help!

Hey guys, been playing along to 'Hands against his own' by the black keys and need a little help with how the guitar works.

I've figured that the song is in D Maj, with the main riff just repeating the V chord (AM) and IV chord (GM).

These chords are being played in the mixolydian POSITION, but the tonal center seems to be the A note.

Now during the bridge, when the I chord (DMaj) is played, they play it with a b7.
Am i correct to call this note a b7?
OR, because the tonal center seems to be the A, would i refer to the Mixolydian position and call it a b3?!

I hope this makes sense to someone!!

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Old 11-15-2012, 11:14 PM   #2
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or is my problem that im thinking of the song key in D Maj, instead of A Mixolydian?
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:20 PM   #3
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If the key center is a then its a major with a bVII. It's not modal

You should toss modes and not think of them until you actually have a firm grasp on the foundations of theory, besides most modern pop type tunes don't use them in any way.
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Last edited by z4twenny : 11-15-2012 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:21 PM   #4
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First of all, nice song! I always felt like this one was an under-appreciated gem of their early stuff. Good to hear someone else still listening to their earlier work, considering how much they've blown up.

As you correctly stated, the tonal center is A! I don't know where you got the key of D from, but you should have trusted your gut instinct on that one. Remember, if you don't feel like the harmony is resolved on a chord, it's almost definitely not in that key!

The tune, although not a blues form, is "in" A blues. All the chords are (implied) dominant 7 chords except the G, which is kind of an approach type thing to the A. The D7 (you correctly heard the b7 on that chord) is just the IV chord. The melodic content and embellishment is all taken from the a blues scale. Basically, I would approach playing over this like playing over a blues with a different form and no V chord, which is exactly what Dan Auerbach does.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "Mixolydian position", and honestly I believe you're thinking too much into the theory of this tune. It's not really a major/minor key environment, and it's definitely not modal. It's just the blues.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:34 PM   #5
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Cheers guys!

mattrusso it must have been that G Maj that got me confused, and i have no idea why i didnt notice the D7 as the IV chord!

Thanks for the help, saved me from wearing out my favorite vinyl even quicker!
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