#1
Hey guys, i've got my head in a mess from spending ages learning theory, and now it feels like everything has just been jumbled up


Basically i'm trying to work out how and why famous musicians choose to use the notes they do when writing songs. I understand about writing in key etc.

I'll give an example as to why i'm confused, the song Mellowship Slinky by the red hot chili peppers, in the intro riff the first few notes go in this order: C# C B D D# E

Is it likely that (in this case) John Frusciante has just played what sounds good to him?


What key contains these notes?? THat's what confuses me, obviously not just with this song, alot of songs make me question the use of notes.

And how can you just write a song with any notes and any chords and have it sound good if it's not in a specific key?What about the rest of the band members? What key do they follow if there's no specific key, and how does the vocalist know what key to sing in?



Gahh sorry if this makes no sense, i'm sure some of you know what it's like to get your head in a mess lol
There's riddles in the shadows
They're thrown the way that i'd expect
And people never seem to know
What they least suspect is coming next
#3
When you're writing a song you don't have to stick to the scale for every note - normally the strong beats will all be notes from the scale, but you can throw chromatic notes in there as passing notes - you'd normally use them to lead into a strong scale tone. It doesn't mean the song isn't in key.

If you break the song down you'll probably find that all the strong beats are scale tones, and the out of key notes are just filling in the gaps.

You can change keys mid song too - theory isn't rules, its conventions and a knowledge base.
#4
Quote by zhilla
When you're writing a song you don't have to stick to the scale for every note - normally the strong beats will all be notes from the scale, but you can throw chromatic notes in there as passing notes - you'd normally use them to lead into a strong scale tone. It doesn't mean the song isn't in key.

If you break the song down you'll probably find that all the strong beats are scale tones, and the out of key notes are just filling in the gaps.

You can change keys mid song too - theory isn't rules, its conventions and a knowledge base.



Man, just one paragraph has cleared my head completely. Thank you

In a way i love theory, but then i hate it, i need to learn to train my head to think in terms of, like you said, theory not as rules.


I've got another question then so as not to waste the thread, i was watching an interview with kings of leon, and the vocalist stated he doesnt have a clue about singing in key, he just sings over whatever the others write in terms of the music.

Do alot of singers do this? I'm guessing they just use their ears to determine what sounds good or not.
There's riddles in the shadows
They're thrown the way that i'd expect
And people never seem to know
What they least suspect is coming next
#5
Probably. If I'm singing along to a song I don't think about what key its in - I use my ears to recognise where the root note is. I don't have perfect pitch so I can't tell what the root note is, just where it is in my singing range. I guess if you have decent relative pitch you can sing without worrying about keys provided you have an instrument to follow.

Its different on an instrument - most people have to think a bit about what notes to play. I guess if you'd been playing the instrument as much and for as long as you'd been using your voice, then playing the right notes would be as natural on the instrument as they are when you're singing.
#6
Quote by zhilla
Probably. If I'm singing along to a song I don't think about what key its in - I use my ears to recognise where the root note is. I don't have perfect pitch so I can't tell what the root note is, just where it is in my singing range. I guess if you have decent relative pitch you can sing without worrying about keys provided you have an instrument to follow.

Its different on an instrument - most people have to think a bit about what notes to play. I guess if you'd been playing the instrument as much and for as long as you'd been using your voice, then playing the right notes would be as natural on the instrument as they are when you're singing.



Just wanna say thanks alot for everything you've written it's honestly really helped me out

As a young musician i hope one day to play guitar and sing in a band, and just using my relative pitch to sing to music would be ideal, without having to worry about what notes i'm singing etc, basically, like you said, just singing using my ears to find what sounds good.
There's riddles in the shadows
They're thrown the way that i'd expect
And people never seem to know
What they least suspect is coming next