Okay.. I've set myself a sort of task, like a new years resolution, that I should learn some theory..

Im starting now, read about 10 lessons of music theory.net. really really helpful, but I dont understand a few things...

A solo is consisted of notes from a scale or a key that the song is in, is it not?

If so, could some one kindly tell me what a key is, and how to work out what key a song is in.

For example's sake, looks at the tab for this song (I'm working it out frm tab, I don't have Guitar Pro)
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/r/rembrandts/ill_be_there_for_you_ver2_tab.htm
How would I work out the key of this song, with the knowledge from what it sates; Standard tuning, and whatever else.

Last edited by SlayedInTheFace at Dec 23, 2008,
To explain what a key is, it's almost like you'd have to read a few pages of information on theory to understand, as apposed to looking it up and finding a one sentence answer.

What I can tell you though is that there are at least two names for every scale, but what differenciates the two is usually what determines what key they are in. For instance, A minor and C major are the same scale, a b c d e f g. But songs aren't both in c major and A minor,it's one or the other, and it would be which note makes the song sound complete, or finished that tell you the key it's in. A song in C major would tend to resolve it's self in C, while in A minor it would sound as though the song could end with an A chord.

Also the use of major and minor chords is important here too, but that may come secondary to hearing the songs pattern
Last edited by captain Trips at Dec 23, 2008,
Quote by captain Trips
To explain what a key is, it's almost like you'd have to read a few pages of information on theory to understand, as apposed to looking it up and finding a one sentence answer.

What I can tell you though is that there are two names for every scale, but what differenciates the two is usually what determines what key they are in. For instance, A minor and C major are the same scale, a b c d e f g. But songs aren't both in c major and A minor, it would be which note makes the song sound complete, or finished.

Can you send me links to sites with helpful info on keys?
Why do you need to learn theory?
a key is a progression of half and whole steps.

the major scale's progression of half/whole steps is WWhWWWh. you just apply it to any root.

in C major there are no sharps/flats: CDEFGABC
G major has one sharp: GABCDE F# G
D major has 2 sharps: DE F# GAB C# D
and so on.

make sense?
I used to think theory wasn't that important, but after I learned it I seriously got about twice as good in one year than I had in the 9 I had been playing previously before. And I didn't suck either
Quote by gnomieowns
a key is a progression of half and whole steps.

the major scale's progression of half/whole steps is WWhWWWh. you just apply it to any root.

in C major there are no sharps/flats: CDEFGABC
G major has one sharp: GABCDE F# G
D major has 2 sharps: DE F# GAB C# D
and so on.

make sense?

I believe a scale is the progression of intervals or steps, while the key is more of the mood of the song. A scale doesn't have to start at the root note, nor does a song in that key. Also if you take C majors intervals WWhWWWh, and start it at the h, that would be A minor.

So if you had a song with no accidentals, it would be very hard to apply your method because A minor and C major are identical, you have to listen to the progression and how it sounds. Just don't confuse a songs key with what scales are used, they're not really interchangable and some songs have more than one scale, but is only in one key.

If you read sheet music, you will see that it tells you how many accidentals are in the song. it may tell you it has four sharps, so there's two different scales that it could be. You need to find the cadences and root progession to determine what it is
Last edited by captain Trips at Dec 23, 2008,
Quote by gnomieowns
a key is a progression of half and whole steps.

the major scale's progression of half/whole steps is WWhWWWh. you just apply it to any root.

in C major there are no sharps/flats: CDEFGABC
G major has one sharp: GABCDE F# G
D major has 2 sharps: DE F# GAB C# D
and so on.

make sense?

I knew about scales already, but what is the significance of the sharps? I know what they do, but why did u bold them?
Quote by Jacksonshred333
Why do you need to learn theory?

Theory isn't vital to writing or playing music, but it sure as hell helps to know some, plus communicating to other musician's is alot easier when you know what your talking about.

And captain nailed it on the head
Quote by AbombO.S.
Theory isn't vital to writing or playing music, but it sure as hell helps to know some, plus communicating to other musician's is alot easier when you know what your talking about.

And captain nailed it on the head

Thanks man. I can't say for others, but learning theory really helped me write my own music, in fact that's mainly what theory is for. Theory is kind of more simple than people make it out to be, in fact it is very basic at some levels. That's just my opinion, but I'm not as good at just hearing a song in my head and writing it as some are, I kind of need to pick a scale and work my way through it into a song
Why do you need to learn theory?

+1. Who would want to expand their knowledge? Why want to know something else?! How silly.

TS, www.musictheory.net explains keys very well if I recall correctly. Make sure you don't read through the lessons very quickly but take it very slowly making sure you understand.

Check out freepower's sig. It's basic theory, for the guitars that knows none at all but wants to learn about it.
Quote by Wizards?
Confusius says, "No motherfucker!

Call me Kyrl, pronounced Curl

DOIN DAT FUNKY DANCE
The key is the tonal centre of a piece of music, it's a framework to toy with.

To say something is in the key of C Major means you will normally encounter notes of the C Major scale (C D E F G A B). This is not a rule set in stone, just a guideline. You will often find anomalous notes deliberately thrown into the music to get certain tones.
Practice. Play. Sleep. Repeat.

Quote by pearlJam_31490
i take it next your going to tell me that Cb is a note too!