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Join date: Mar 2009
1,154 IQ
First of all, sorry if this is posted in the wrong section, but it is related to tabs of original songs..

I'm extremely new at writing any music and I'm trying to write something with a mysterious type feeling.

I seem to have gotten something to work, but since I'm also pretty new to music theory, I'm kinda of stuck on which scale to use.

I have the chords Am, D, F, G.

For the first part of the progression, I have a guitar that is playing notes C, D, E, F#, G, A, B. This makes the G major scale, but for the second half when the chords are F and G, the F# isn't used, but an F is, which gives me the C major scale.

If I include both F and F#, I get C Japanese (Ichikosucho) which is too weird for me as I'm a theory beginner.

So which scale would I use? Should I just use the G major scale but not use the F note? or the C major and not use the F# note? I'm stuck and confused.

Please listen to the tab and let me know what I should do.
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Join date: Apr 2010
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I say, gut feeling, that this sounds more in the key of G, mainly because when you hear the G note played it gives a happier sound, rather than the C. The root note of the scale almost always will carry an upbeat and happy sound.

Even so, let me tell you one thing about songwriting in my opinion. Don't let music theory dominate it completely, do what sounds right. Actually, screw that, do what sounds like what you want it to sound like.

For a first work, especially with an intended sound, you did well. You have an out of key note being used often and it doesn't sound dissonant, it DOES have a mysterious feel, and the little lead is nice. ;o
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Join date: Aug 2004
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Easiest way to figure it out is to look at what chord you're resolving to. In your case you're resolving to the Am, so chances are that's the key you're in.

Another quick and dirty way to figure it out is to play your pentatonic scales over the progression. A G maj pentatonic sounds very wrong, but Am fits over all the chords.

Also, Am has all the chords in your progression in it. The only difference is you've substituted a Dm for a Dmaj. The key of G does not have an F chord in it.

So you'll play the Am scale. Just make sure when that D chord rolls around you play an F# instead of an F (or just avoid the 3rd)