#1
Ok, so if my guitarist plays a chord progression, lets say G-E-D-A, what key is he playing in? And if I wrote a bass line for that song, how do I know I'm in the same key or not?

One guy told me that the key your playing in is just what ever note/chord you play most, so if he plays the G chord the most out of the others in that progression, he's in the key of G. Doesn't really sound right, but then again i have no clue.

Thanks for the help!!!
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#2
If you're in standard the 3rd fret on the top string is G. E would be open on the top string. D would be either the 5th fret on the A-string, or open on the D string whichever you prefer. And A would either be open on the A-string, or the 5th fret on the top (E) string whichever you like on that one too.
#3
for G-E-D-A, I would guess key of A? E major and G major are never in the same diatonic key. because E major has a G#. The other three (E-D-A) are V-IV-I in A though.
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#4
well, if he's in the key of G then E and A should be Em and Am. if he's using power chords then its ok jsut to say A and E cuz now they're genderless chords but power chords are effected by every thing that goes on around them. so now he's only picking the key, not whether it's a major or minor key. That's up to you and you're lead players (if there are any).

and to tell which key a song is in you'll need to learn scales, or the intrevols between the notes/chord in a progression...

here, this guide really helpped me when i first started playing, well worth the read.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_ultimate_guide_to_guitar_chapter_i__1_introduction_-_the_guitar.html
#5
are they all major chords? it would make sense if the chords were G-Em-D-Am, then It could be G major. I personally thing it's D major though, with G-Em-D-A
#6
Thanks alot guys, it makes alot more sense now.

And thanks D.I.R.T for the link, I'll read it.
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#8
a piece of music doesnt have to start or end on tonic so it does exactly have to be G. i would say if its major C or G or if its minor a or e. those are the only ones that fit being that G has no sharp or flat, feel free to correct me if im wrong
#10
Quote by Casketcreep
D minor- D, E, F, G, A, B♭, C.

your right i thought that B flat was in the progression for a sec but then it could be F major as well
#11
Everything is 100% speculation unless we find out which chords are major and which are minor or even diminished. Without that it's impossible to tell. If all of them are major chords then there is no real obvious key.

When you're trying to find out what key someone is playing in there is a lot to take into account. The chord they play most is sometimes a good tool as a piece will usually resolve to it's key centre quite a few times, but more important than frequency is where it happens frequently. If the beginning chord and final chord are the same then that is often the key, or if at the end of phrases the piece always resolves to a certain chord, again, another clue.
The other thing you can look at is the progression itself. If there is an obvious cadence (ii-V-I or iii-iv-ii-V-I even just a V-I) then there's a good hint towards what key it is.
Looking at which chords are major and which are minor is key as well because that, along with the knowledge of I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viidim, is the best clue into what key it is.

Ultimately, to figure out keys effectively you need to know some basic theory, nothing fancy, but just some major scale harmony and stuff that helps you get along.
#12
The rule for piano is the first note played tells your key, but the progression could start with G and the first note could actually be E (Eminor key).
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#14
You play in whatever damn key you want to!

If you let people boss you around, you'll never be happy. Here, you're not even letting a person boss you around! You're letting a psychological idea of "correct" boss you around!

Don't be a little girl. Play anything, and if someone says it's bad, give them the finger!

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#15
Casketcreep, I'm not saying it works for bass, but if you know the starting note of the lead instrument, unless the song does not follow normal rules, you have the key. In a solo piano piece. Most of the stuff I play starts with the same chord as the key of the song.
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#16
Quote by samskii
The rule for piano is the first note played tells your key, but the progression could start with G and the first note could actually be E (Eminor key).

No you could have an anacrusis etc.

On a side note: I just passed grade 7 piano

TS, there are many keys that can fit into G-E-D-A, We need to know which chords are minor or major etc.

I'm going to assume they're all major. The key could be G major and that's what i'd play, you could play D minor which is the relative scale to G major because they share a key signature, although that would probably change the mood of the song.

Good way of generally figuring out relative scales is: Major scale (let's say C) go three tone's down (So now your at A) And that's your relative minor scale.