#1
First of all, what is a key? I have no clue. Everything I search on google makes no sense. Can someone explain it really simply?

And, I am currently learning the minor pentatonic scale.

---------------------------------5--8----
--------------------------5--8-----------
-------------------5--7------------------
-------------5--7------------------------
------5--7-------------------------------
-5-8-------------------------------------


^If the formay didnt screw up, this is how im playing it. But, i saw a punch of other tabs for it, and they are very different, and sites keep telling me they are like "puzzle pieces" that "fit together" and this is where im lost. Can someone explain what this mean or point me to a good site, keeping in mind that I have no musical thpery experience.
#2
a key is a tonal center.

an easy way to explain it is, if the song is in the "key of C major", it means a C note would sound good over all the chords.
all the chords are supposed to resolve to C. (that means when you play a chord in the key of C, it feels like you should play a C chord right after that chord.)

and the technical part is, if its in the key of C, the song uses the C major scale.
C D E F G A B C
that means all the chords are built off those notes.

i think thats a decent way of explaining it. =]
if you need any more help you can message me

EDIT: the minor pentatonic scale you posted is A minor pentatonic, which is in the key of C.
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Last edited by musicTHEORYnerd at Mar 2, 2009,
#3
The Key tells you what the harmonic centre of the piece of music is, but that probably doesn't help much....

It tells you how many sharps/flats to play, what notes would work together (what scales you could use) and what chords would work together.

If you are starting at the 5th fret of you E string you're playing the A minor pentatonic atm (so you are in the key of A minor which has the same notes as C major). If you started on the 6th fret and used the same pattern, you'd be starting on Bb, which would make it the Bb minor pentatonic, and you'd be playing in the key of Bb minor...

There are 5 positions of the pentatonic scale, and you are currently learning the first one - once you have that down you'll be able to learn the others, and then start linking them up, which will enable you to play it all over the neck.

The different positions of the pentatonic scale link up - to look at it very simply the 2nd position starts on the second note of the first position, so you'd start at the 8th fret of the E string for the 2nd posn of A minor pentatonic...

---------------------------------8--10---
--------------------------8--10----------
-------------------7--9------------------
-------------7--10-----------------------
------7--10------------------------------
-8-10------------------------------------

the first note on each string is the 2nd note from that string from the 1st position...so the "fit together" like "puzzle pieces"

Have a look at some of the theory lessons on this site...