This song seems to be using the D minor pentatonic scale, but would that be considered to be in D minor or D because I've heard that minor pentatonic is used in major keys sometimes. How do you know when? As for solo, I'm guessing the key changed to something based in E minor, but i can see D minor pentatonic/blues being used. What's going on here?

Many thanks to anyone who helps.
Last edited by Handym4n at Dec 10, 2008,
I'm not going to account for the Eb tuning used in the song.

Despite sounding quite far removed from blues, GNR is very much blues-based. In the blues, there is all kinds of mixing of scales that don't really go together based on any standard theory, but they just work. This is due to the fact that the blues is based on the dominant chord which is causes a lot of tension. That tension allows for even more tension to sound good and you get that tension by playing "wrong" notes. This is the beginning of altered dominant theory, but don't worry about that quite yet. In fact, don't worry about that until you can explain, without peaking, everything in the theory link in my sig.

With that in mind, the chords just work. There isn't any real rationale behind it; it just sounds good. I don't know how to play the song, but that "Dm Pentatonic" kind of outlines the G Mixolydian scale which contains that dominant G7 chord. However, I urge you to listen to and analyze the song more closely; I think I would have heard any kind of significant chromaticism, what you're describing, and I've heard the song scores of times.

I've never thought there is a key change, but the main parts are definately in G major. You wouldn't refer to it as Em since G is the root.
Handym4n, you're kinda looking at this the wrong way. I seriously doubt they were setting around deciding what key to play in, and what type of scales they would use, or how many chords could be derived from a certain key. They just found something that sounded good, and worked with that. These guys wrote their music by picking up their instruments and playing by heart, not by being huge theory nuts.
Quote by Matt420740
These guys wrote their music by picking up their instruments and playing by heart, not by being huge theory nuts.
That doesn't matter at all. Just because GNR didn't "use" theory (and the very idea of that is inane) doesn't mean that it cannot be analyzed. I doubt you know much about the physiological process it took to type your post, but that doesn't mean there aren't underlying physiological and chemical mechanisms allowing that to happen, and there are people who can describe those mechanisms in great detail (not me...Sue=Undergrad) such as neuroscientists.
yeah its' in G - the A chord is a secondary dominant leading to the D chord (V/V). That's where the 4th major chord comes from, this kind of thing is used pretty often. The solo is in G as well from what I remember of it.