#1
I searched a little and couldn't really find an answer, or at least in the context that made sense to me.

But I have a chord progression and all the notes are contained in the C Major scale and so are the chords. But how do I know that its C and not Am, D Dorian, E Phrygian,... and so on?

The only thing I can think of is the order that the chords are played... would that matter?
I'm Tyler
#3
What exactly do you mean the context of the progression?
I'm Tyler
#5
So kind of like the feel I get from it in a sense? Or what notes are used the most or are most prominent?
I'm Tyler
#6
Quote by Octtwe88
I searched a little and couldn't really find an answer, or at least in the context that made sense to me.

But I have a chord progression and all the notes are contained in the C Major scale and so are the chords. But how do I know that its C and not Am, D Dorian, E Phrygian,... and so on?

The only thing I can think of is the order that the chords are played... would that matter?


here's the truth:

for practical purposes, there is no such key at E phrygian, or D dorian, or whatever. You're either in C major or A minor. it just depends what the "main" chord is. If you play a C major as your first chord, and/or as the climax of your progression, you are in C major. If Am is your main chord, then you're in A minor

if your chords are in the key of C major, the only scale you will be playing is C major. The other scales you have listed are modes of C major, but when played over C major progressions, they will all sound like C major. If you're in A minor, you can really only play A minor over that. As for applying modes, you should be adding the modal notes to the scale you're already in.

Modes must be considered as unique scales that are totally separate from the scale they were derived from. You should use modes by deriving them from they key they are in. for example, if you were in C major, you would need to play a C Lydian scale in order to use the lydian mode, or a C Mixolydian in order to use that mode. Just look at the value of the third to know if a mode is generally major or minor. Phrygian, Dorian, Locrian and Aeolian all have flat (or minor) thirds, and are considered minor modes. Lydian, Mixolydian, and Ionian all have major thirds, and therefore are considered major.
Last edited by frigginjerk at Feb 9, 2009,
#7
Quote by Octtwe88
So kind of like the feel I get from it in a sense? Or what notes are used the most or are most prominent?



What exactly is your progression ?
#8
Quote by frigginjerk
here's the truth:

for practical purposes, there is no such key at E phrygian, or D dorian, or whatever. You're either in C major or A minor. it just depends what the "main" chord is. If you play a C major as your first chord, and/or as the climax of your progression, you are in C major. If Am is your main chord, then you're in A minor

if your chords are in the key of C major, the only scale you will be playing is C major. The other scales you have listed are modes of C major, but when played over C major progressions, they will all sound like C major. If you're in A minor, you can really only play A minor over that. As for applying modes, you should be adding the modal notes to the scale you're already in.

Modes must be considered as unique scales that are totally separate from the scale they were derived from. You should use modes by deriving them from they key they are in. for example, if you were in C major, you would need to play a C Lydian scale in order to use the lydian mode, or a C Mixolydian in order to use that mode. Just look at the value of the third to know if a mode is generally major or minor. Phrygian, Dorian, Locrian and Aeolian all have flat (or minor) thirds, and are considered minor modes. Lydian, Mixolydian, and Ionian all have major thirds, and therefore are considered major.


I understand what you're saying, but I'm kinda at ground zero. All those notes fit into all those scales or modes... Do I just go with the Major?
I'm Tyler
#9
Quote by Octtwe88
I understand what you're saying, but I'm kinda at ground zero. All those notes fit into all those scales or modes... Do I just go with the Major?


it depends on your tonal center, your tonal center is usually determined by the first note
you are what you is
#10
Quote by Octtwe88
I understand what you're saying, but I'm kinda at ground zero. All those notes fit into all those scales or modes... Do I just go with the Major?


Nobody can answer you if you don't give us your specific progression.
#11
Quote by mergapoot
it depends on your tonal center, your tonal center is usually determined by the first note



Although not necessarily.

The question that I get most is " what Key am I in and how do I work it out" actually requires quite a bit of understanding of Harmony.
#12
Quote by GuitarMunky
What exactly is your progression ?

The chords in order...

D-A-F Dm

D-A-E Dsus2/Asus4

C-G-E C

C-G-D Csus2/Gsus4
or
C-G-C C5

This is played in drop C tuning on the lowest strings.

I cheated to find the names on all-guitar-chords.com

EDIT:
Quote by GuitarMunky
Nobody can answer you if you don't give us your specific progression.


Sorry I was workin on it :P
I'm Tyler
Last edited by Octtwe88 at Feb 9, 2009,
#14
^Why D Dorian and not D minor? The only difference is the B is natural in D Dorian and it's flat in D minor. But there's no B in the notes given so it could just be Dm.

Just a thought. I can't seem to get this to work but it could be based on I-ii in C or a i-bVII in Dm. Depends how you play it.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Feb 9, 2009,
#16
^ he was spelling the chords out.
It's just

Dm - Dsus2 - C - Csus2 - C5 or something.
Si
#18
Quote by 20Tigers
^Why D Dorian and not D minor? The only difference is the B is natural in D Dorian and it's flat in D minor. But there's no B in the notes given so it could just be Dm.

Just a thought. I can't seem to get this to work but it could be based on I-ii in C or a i-bVII in Dm. Depends how you play it.

Yeah I noticed that I don't have a B listed and wondered about that.

But I'm still somewhat experimenting with the order of the chords so could that affect what I'm working in?
I'm Tyler
#20
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I don't see you getting an elaborate Dm C progression to resolve anywhere but Dm without some dissonant extensions.

Well I just mean the order of the chords I already have... unless that's what you're saying... or maybe I don't know what you're saying...
I'm Tyler
#21
alright... your progression is basically Dm to C. there are other chords in there, but it seems to be that D minor is your key. This is because Dm is the first chord you play, and therefore the listener will expect it to resolve in Dm. There's not much more to it than that. You could play a D minor scale over this, and if you want to get modal, you could try D dorian or D phrygian.
#22
Quote by frigginjerk
alright... your progression is basically Dm to C. there are other chords in there, but it seems to be that D minor is your key. This is because Dm is the first chord you play, and therefore the listener will expect it to resolve in Dm. There's not much more to it than that. You could play a D minor scale over this, and if you want to get modal, you could try D dorian or D phrygian.

Hmm... alright well thanks a lot I guess hah. And thanks to everyone else who gave their insight, you guys are helpful in this forum.
I'm Tyler
#23
yeah sorry its D minor i didn't notice there was no B at first
you are what you is
#24
Quote by mergapoot
it depends on your tonal center, your tonal center is usually determined by the first note


It's never "determined" by the first note. The composer may make a decision to place the tonic chord first in a progression, but he might not. The first note doesn't determine the key.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#25
Quote by Archeo Avis
It's never "determined" by the first note. The composer may make a decision to place the tonic chord first in a progression, but he might not. The first note doesn't determine the key.


though it's not determined by the first note/chord, it very often IS the first note, or the last note. But you are correct sir, it's all about which chord actually sounds like the tonic, and it's very possible to start on a non-tonic chord.