#1
I was wondering how this works in songs. A song starts in one key and the chorus or solo will be in a completely different key.

For example the song Suck My Kiss by RHCP is in B Flat Major but the Chorus is in A.

There is another song on the album that is in D but the solo is in A.


I'm just trying to figure out why this works.
#2
Well, an easy way to do a key change is to go to the relative minor when you are on a chord both keys have in common. Like Emi to G, Or Am to C.

I'm not 100%, my music theory isn't great. But that's what I think they're doing.
#3
Key changes are memorable. They make everything sem triumphant for some reason.

Its like with zombies. You're shooting at it, Picking away at whatevers left of said zombie, Then for some reason, you decide to move your gun just a little bit higher and then BOOM This zombie has no head you have no zombie to worry about Everyone wants your dick cause you just proved your a bad ass despite the fact all you did was move everything a little bit.

Thats how key changes work.
#4
Quote by Thejoker92
Key changes are memorable. They make everything sem triumphant for some reason.

Its like with zombies. You're shooting at it, Picking away at whatevers left of said zombie, Then for some reason, you decide to move your gun just a little bit higher and then BOOM This zombie has no head you have no zombie to worry about Everyone wants your dick cause you just proved your a bad ass despite the fact all you did was move everything a little bit.

Thats how key changes work.


Best. Explanation. Ever.
#5
Key changes usually give the song a unique feel. Which, like the guy above me said, makes the song memorable. It's just a way for an artist to express themselves more. However they're kind of hard to right.
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#6
Quote by Thejoker92
Key changes are memorable. They make everything sem triumphant for some reason.

Its like with zombies. You're shooting at it, Picking away at whatevers left of said zombie, Then for some reason, you decide to move your gun just a little bit higher and then BOOM This zombie has no head you have no zombie to worry about Everyone wants your dick cause you just proved your a bad ass despite the fact all you did was move everything a little bit.

Thats how key changes work.



your my sig now

edit:
nvm too long v,v
Music is not the Olympics. It's not a sport; it's a form of expression. There is no such thing as bad music. There may be music that you personally don't like, but if you don't like it, don't listen to it.." Eddie Van Halen
Last edited by Solarstar101 at Jul 11, 2010,
#7
Quote by Epicbizzjizz
Well, an easy way to do a key change is to go to the relative minor when you are on a chord both keys have in common. Like Emi to G, Or Am to C.

I'm not 100%, my music theory isn't great. But that's what I think they're doing.



Bs... the Am scale and the C are exactly the same notes.

Try looking at the circle of fifths, that would help, or maybe the chords of a scpecific scale

There's

NEVER

enough

GAIN


#8
Okay so then it's perfectly fine to switch keys during songs... but would you have to end the song on the original key or at some point acknowledge it again?

Okay well thanks for the help so far.
#9
Quote by Damaged Roses
Bs... the Am scale and the C are exactly the same notes.

Try looking at the circle of fifths, that would help, or maybe the chords of a scpecific scale


not BS. A minor and C major may have the same notes, but they're different scales -- and completely different keys. try reading up on resolution.

TS, it "works" because the harmony is structured so that the tonal center can be manipulated and changed.

EDIT:

Quote by Funk Monk
Okay so then it's perfectly fine to switch keys during songs... but would you have to end the song on the original key or at some point acknowledge it again?

Okay well thanks for the help so far.


there's no rule that says you have to do anything. you can switch keys as you see fit.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Last edited by AeolianWolf at Jul 11, 2010,
#10
Quote by Funk Monk
Okay so then it's perfectly fine to switch keys during songs... but would you have to end the song on the original key or at some point acknowledge it again?



you can do whatever you think sounds good.

whos gonna stop you?

The Theory police??
#11
Quote by Coagulation
you can do whatever you think sounds good.

whos gonna stop you?

The Theory police??


Read the quote in the bottom of my sig

If you're playing a song, and you want to change keys, and you do, you don't have to go back to the original. If you want to, you can. Like this guy said, You can do whatever sounds good to you; it's your song.
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#12
As others have already said, when changing keys in a song there isn't really a right or wrong way. You can change keys however you want, whether it be a gradual change or an instant shift in tonality, but experimenting too much may cause the listener to lose interest.

I find that modulating (changing keys) by a half step is a quite cool thing to do. For example, let's say your tonic is C major. You could, at some point in the song, instantly change to C# major. Some examples of this are "Livin' On A Prayer" by Bon Jovi and "My Generation" by the Who, in which the second key change is by a half step.
#13
Quote by Funk Monk
I was wondering how this works in songs. A song starts in one key and the chorus or solo will be in a completely different key.

For example the song Suck My Kiss by RHCP is in B Flat Major but the Chorus is in A.

There is another song on the album that is in D but the solo is in A.


I'm just trying to figure out why this works.



Modulation and Cadences.

Sean
#14
Quote by CarltonBoy
As others have already said, when changing keys in a song there isn't really a right or wrong way. You can change keys however you want, whether it be a gradual change or an instant shift in tonality, but experimenting too much may cause the listener to lose interest.

I find that modulating (changing keys) by a half step is a quite cool thing to do. For example, let's say your tonic is C major. You could, at some point in the song, instantly change to C# major. Some examples of this are "Livin' On A Prayer" by Bon Jovi and "My Generation" by the Who, in which the second key change is by a half step.


you mean shift modulation? how strange, i actually just finished reading an article all about how shift modulation has become the mark of an amateur composer over the last 40-50 years. although from what i notice, modulation up a whole step is more common than modulation up a half step.

to use or not to use something solely based on a trend is ridiculous; so it's not to say you shouldn't use it, but i'd use it sparingly. overuse of ANYTHING gets boring very quickly.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#15
Quote by AeolianWolf
you mean shift modulation? how strange, i actually just finished reading an article all about how shift modulation has become the mark of an amateur composer over the last 40-50 years. although from what i notice, modulation up a whole step is more common than modulation up a half step.

to use or not to use something solely based on a trend is ridiculous; so it's not to say you shouldn't use it, but i'd use it sparingly. overuse of ANYTHING gets boring very quickly.

Link to the article?

The half-step key change has been used so often that it's got it's own name: The Truck Driver's Gear Change
#16
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Link to the article?

The half-step key change has been used so often that it's got it's own name: The Truck Driver's Gear Change


http://www.howmusicreallyworks.com/pages_chapter_6/6_12.html

6.12.5. i have to say, i kind of agree with him -- shift modulation HAS been done to death.

but there are a few cases where it's done absolutely excellently. the two johnny cash songs he gives are excellent examples.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#18
Quote by AeolianWolf
although from what i notice, modulation up a whole step is more common than modulation up a half step.
I come across a lot more half-step shift modulations.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#19
It's actually done quite a lot in songs. It helps to contrast parts like chorus and verse with each other, and keeps stuff interesting.
#20
Quote by AeolianWolf
http://www.howmusicreallyworks.com/pages_chapter_6/6_12.html

6.12.5. i have to say, i kind of agree with him -- shift modulation HAS been done to death.

but there are a few cases where it's done absolutely excellently. the two johnny cash songs he gives are excellent examples.


I like the one in David Bowie's Soul Love. Whole step shift modulation...in the 2nd verse. When the song is barely halfway done I always thought that was funny
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#21
lmao at the site opposed to half-step modulations, simply because it's been used frequently. The I- IV - V chord progression is used often, does that mean we shun the artist who use it? Most of the songs on that site are memorable and use the transition well. I'm sure they were all well aware what they were doing and learn so by listening to artist that influenced them do so. I can't believe anyone that teaches theory would be so stupid as the speak out against this, just because it's used often. Isn't that the point of teaching theory? So we can help aspiring musicians learn techniques that can be applied and repeated into the future? Wow.
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#23
Quote by Thejoker92
Key changes are memorable. They make everything sem triumphant for some reason.

Its like with zombies. You're shooting at it, Picking away at whatevers left of said zombie, Then for some reason, you decide to move your gun just a little bit higher and then BOOM This zombie has no head you have no zombie to worry about Everyone wants your dick cause you just proved your a bad ass despite the fact all you did was move everything a little bit.

Thats how key changes work.



yes this was awesome...though the dick part doesn't apply to me.
#24
Also in Californication (the song) the song is in Amin, and the solo is in F#min.
How is this done? Or is it just like a sudden modulation to a different key?
There doesn't seem to be anything related, F#min isn't a chord in Amin.
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#25
Quote by AntiG3
Also in Californication (the song) the song is in Amin, and the solo is in F#min.
How is this done? Or is it just like a sudden modulation to a different key?
There doesn't seem to be anything related, F#min isn't a chord in Amin.


Are you sure the song isn't in A major? If so, it is simply a modulation to the relative minor (F# minor).
#26
Quote by AeolianWolf
http://www.howmusicreallyworks.com/pages_chapter_6/6_12.html

6.12.5. i have to say, i kind of agree with him -- shift modulation HAS been done to death.

but there are a few cases where it's done absolutely excellently. the two johnny cash songs he gives are excellent examples.
I really don't understand why anybody would say "Don't use *songwriting technique*. If this website condemns the half step modulation then they should condemn almost all pop music as the chord progressions are simplistic and not at all original.

In fact, almost everything that can be done with twelve semitones has been done. And most techniques/progressions that sound good have been done to death - first in classical music, then in pop music. Following the reasoning of that website you should never write a song that is fully diatonic (after all it's been out of fashion since the baroque period) but we all know examples of great songs that are.

If shift modulation has been done to death since when it was "novel up to the 1950s and 1960s" then our system of 12 semitones has definitely been done to death in the centuries it's been used. Does that mean we should abandon it or tell aspiring song writers not to use it?
#27
Quote by AntiG3
Also in Californication (the song) the song is in Amin, and the solo is in F#min.
How is this done? Or is it just like a sudden modulation to a different key?
There doesn't seem to be anything related, F#min isn't a chord in Amin.


I don't have a guitar on me now, but recall that the solo is actually in A major, not F#min. Although the scales do share the same notes, they are different as to where they resolve. Anyway, for the chords underneath the solo you could explain it by saying it modulates to A major from A minor. The rest of the song is in A minor though.
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#28
Quote by AlanHB
I don't have a guitar on me now, but recall that the solo is actually in A major, not F#min. Although the scales do share the same notes, they are different as to where they resolve. Anyway, for the chords underneath the solo you could explain it by saying it modulates to A major from A minor. The rest of the song is in A minor though.


+1 I was about to say that...I think that's right at least.
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LR Baggs A1 pickup
#29
Quote by Sóknardalr
Are you sure the song isn't in A major? If so, it is simply a modulation to the relative minor (F# minor).
No, Amin -> F, it's definately in Amin.

Quote by AlanHB
I don't have a guitar on me now, but recall that the solo is actually in A major, not F#min. Although the scales do share the same notes, they are different as to where they resolve. Anyway, for the chords underneath the solo you could explain it by saying it modulates to A major from A minor. The rest of the song is in A minor though.
Ookay yeah, I checked it, the first two notes of the solo is A C# so that makes sense I suppose.

I have a ponytail fetish.
..And a labcoat fetish. SCIENCE!
#30
Quote by AlanHB
I don't have a guitar on me now, but recall that the solo is actually in A major, not F#min. Although the scales do share the same notes, they are different as to where they resolve. Anyway, for the chords underneath the solo you could explain it by saying it modulates to A major from A minor. The rest of the song is in A minor though.
Yep, goes from A minor to A major. Simple parallel key modulation.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#33
Quote by 12345abcd3
I really don't understand why anybody would say "Don't use *songwriting technique*. If this website condemns the half step modulation then they should condemn almost all pop music as the chord progressions are simplistic and not at all original.

In fact, almost everything that can be done with twelve semitones has been done. And most techniques/progressions that sound good have been done to death - first in classical music, then in pop music. Following the reasoning of that website you should never write a song that is fully diatonic (after all it's been out of fashion since the baroque period) but we all know examples of great songs that are.

If shift modulation has been done to death since when it was "novel up to the 1950s and 1960s" then our system of 12 semitones has definitely been done to death in the centuries it's been used. Does that mean we should abandon it or tell aspiring song writers not to use it?


just because i agree that shift modulation is (i.e. can be) the mark of a rank amateur, that doesn't mean i think it shouldn't be done.

besides, i don't care for the author of this article much. somewhere in that article he tried to convince me that a Cº wants to resolve to C#maj rather than Dbmaj. i question all of the theory he knows.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Last edited by AeolianWolf at Jul 13, 2010,
#34
Quote by 12345abcd3
I really don't understand why anybody would say "Don't use *songwriting technique*. If this website condemns the half step modulation then they should condemn almost all pop music as the chord progressions are simplistic and not at all original.

In fact, almost everything that can be done with twelve semitones has been done. And most techniques/progressions that sound good have been done to death - first in classical music, then in pop music. Following the reasoning of that website you should never write a song that is fully diatonic (after all it's been out of fashion since the baroque period) but we all know examples of great songs that are.

If shift modulation has been done to death since when it was "novel up to the 1950s and 1960s" then our system of 12 semitones has definitely been done to death in the centuries it's been used. Does that mean we should abandon it or tell aspiring song writers not to use it?

I think the point of the article was to say "Don't use Shift Modulation for the sake of it; use it for a reason". And it's condemning the former because THAT is the reason it's been done to death.
#35
Quote by AeolianWolf
just because i agree that shift modulation is (i.e. can be) the mark of a rank amateur, that doesn't mean i think it shouldn't be done.



It's kinda implied though.

"Do it = your a noob". is how I take a statement like that.

and who wants to be known as a noob.


Quote by DiminishedFifth
I think the point of the article was to say "Don't use Shift Modulation for the sake of it; use it for a reason". And it's condemning the former because THAT is the reason it's been done to death.


Good point. applicable to everything.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 13, 2010,