#1
Ok so it's a simple question, but I keep getting confused whenever I read an article on it.

But key signatures, I keep reading about the circle of fifths but I just get confused and it's pissing me off, because I can't figure out how to apply it.

So I figure maybe one of you guys would be kind enough to help me out:

So I was messing around with chord progressions today, and G, Cadd9, Am, D sounded really good. So how do I figure out what key this progression is in? It resolves to the D, but sounds fairly bright and shimmery overall like a G. I'm lost

Please don't just tell me, I want to learn how to sort it out for myself.

Thanks in advance
My Gear:

Guitar #1: 1997 Fender MIM Strat
Guitar #2: 2007 Epi SG (G-310)

Effects: Roland DS-1 Distortion (for switching in distortion quickly, NOT cause I want a "l33t brootalz tonz!")
Amp: Roland Microcube
#2
Well, when all else fails you can always dissect the chords and look at the notes. In this case, the notes you have are A B C D E F# G (simply in alphabetical order).

Using the circle of fifths, which key does this key signature (1 sharp) match up with?

Quote by BMGfan
Please don't just tell me, I want to learn how to sort it out for myself.
Good! If you need me to come up with more examples, I can.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at May 16, 2010,
#3
In this case, since you have three major chords (G, Cadd9 and D) you should be able to figure out which one of them is your I chord, your IV chord and your V chord.

EDIT: Also if you're having trouble finding which chord the progression resolves to, play the progression a couple of times and end it on a different chord each time. For example, play that progression a couple of times and end it on a D. Does it sound resolved? Now play it a few times again, but end it on a G, and see if it sounds resolved then.
Last edited by KillahSquirrel at May 16, 2010,
#4
You need to understand the notes in a key and how chords are formed, since the answer is obvious.
I'm a musician/composer before I'm a guitar player.

foREVer


R.I.P Jimmy "The Reverend Tholomew Plague" Sullivan.
#5
Quote by KillahSquirrel
In this case, since you have three major chords (G, Cadd9 and D) you should be able to figure out which one of them is your I chord, your IV chord and your V chord.
That works in this case, but not always. For example, you could have C F and Bb and you could be in the key of C. Furthermore, Ab would be another major chord you could have. Ab Bb C would be a nice bVI bVII I progression using chords borrowed from C minor.

Quote by KillahSquirrel
EDIT: Also if you're having trouble finding which chord the progression resolves to, play the progression a couple of times and end it on a different chord each time. For example, play that progression a couple of times and end it on a D. Does it sound resolved? Now play it a few times again, but end it on a G, and see if it sounds resolved then.
Great advice.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#6
Quote by food1010
Well, when all else fails you can always dissect the chords and look at the notes. In this case, the notes you have are A B C D E F# G (simply in alphabetical order).

Using the circle of fifths, which key does this key signature (1 sharp) match up with?


So as I currently understand the circle, 1# would make it the key of G? And thus if I wanted to solo over this progression I would choose a scale and then make G my root note? So solo over in a G pentatonic or major depending on the style of music? Am I applying the theory correctly?


Quote by KillahSquirrel
In this case, since you have three major chords (G, Cadd9 and D) you should be able to figure out which one of them is your I chord, your IV chord and your V chord.


Thanks again for the assistance guys I appreciate it muchly! :
My Gear:

Guitar #1: 1997 Fender MIM Strat
Guitar #2: 2007 Epi SG (G-310)

Effects: Roland DS-1 Distortion (for switching in distortion quickly, NOT cause I want a "l33t brootalz tonz!")
Amp: Roland Microcube
#7
Quote by BMGfan
So as I currently understand the circle, 1# would make it the key of G? And thus if I wanted to solo over this progression I would choose a scale and then make G my root note? So solo over in a G pentatonic or major depending on the style of music? Am I applying the theory correctly?
Yes, that is correct.

Generally with a diatonic progression, you pick the scale that fits the key signature and has the correct root. In this case it would be the G major scale (obviously, since that is the key signature) or the G major pentatonic (because it's just the G major scale minus two notes).
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea