The first thing you've got to do when you sit down with a record is finding out the key of the tune, because the other notes usually follow it. Harmonically speakin you'll have this chart with the notes that are used in one key. PS - The 6º note is the minor relative!!
key 2º 3º 4º 5º 6º 7º
C -- Dm -- Em -- F -- G -- Am -- Bº
D -- Em -- F#m - G -- A -- Bm -- C#º
E -- F#m - G#m - A -- B -- C#m - D#º
F -- Gm -- Am -- Bb - C -- Dm -- Eº
G -- Am -- Bm -- C -- D -- Em -- F#º
A -- Bm -- C#m - D -- E -- F#m - G#º
B -- C#m - D#m - E -- F# - G#m - A#º
There are some myths regarding this. No, it is not always the first note striked and a yes, a song can have more then one key(you can exally have 5 differents modulations in a song).
How the hell do I find out whats the main note?
If the music isn't instrumental a good tip is getting the first singed note. If it is not, you can try playing the major scale of it key, the onde that sounds better is the winner (these is also a good way of finding out if it's a major or a minor key too). If you can get one single chord of a song, you can, by exclusion, fin out it's key. For exemple, if you've got a F#m, the key of a tune can not be C. It will just not fit.
And now, what to do to get the solo or melody of a song?
Scales, scales, scales. If you are reading this, you should probably know a lot of them, if not, the paragraphs below should help you understand a litle bit of the 2 most famous kinds of scale.
- the pentatonic scale is formed by 5 notes; the key note, the 2º, the 3º, the 5º and the 6º(in minor pentatonics you should start playing from this last note). EX: in the key of C, the pentatonic is formed by C, D, E, G and A.
- the gregorian modes are most complex scales. They are derived from the major, and each shape will be played in one specific note of the harmonic scale. EX: The eaolian mode is the sixth shape, so, in the key of A, it should be played in F#m.
Perception is really important dor a musician. A good way to develop it is trying to get what's the note in everything 24.11.2003. Like, the sound you hear when picking up a phone is an Ab, a cup crashing is a C. This can help you a lot in your journey, and it can also be really fun! As time goes by, you will develop a certain intuition for playing by ear, and some things became automatic. Untill then, keep practicing and most importantilly, hear a lot of music, because your ear will get more intimed of the sounds.
If you've got any doubt in this or any guitar points, or if you just wanna chat, mail me email@example.com. Thanks for reading, I hope I've helped. Keep rocking!