#1
So I've been working on my ear and I've been getting better at transcribing leads and I was just curious, is there any other way to tell the key of a song by ear other than hearing which chords are being played? And anyone have any good tips on how to get better at hearing chords? Thanks.
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#2
Well to be able to tell the chords of a song right away you'd have to have perfect pitch, which is generally something one is born with. If you can tell what degree's of a scale chords are relative to each other, that's really useful, from my own experiences. I don't know if you're born with that or attain it, but I have it and it's really useful. You can always try and find the key by just briefly improvising in several keys until you find the correct one.
#3
You can generally hear which chord is the tonic as it feels resolved.

It's difficult to explain, just listen to a string of chords in several songs and try to figure out which one is the tonic in each song. It's easier with simple strumming songs as there's less implied harmonies and colored notes to cloud up your judgement--start with these types of songs.

EDIT:
Quote by Dio10101
Well to be able to tell the chords of a song right away you'd have to have perfect pitch, which is generally something one is born with.


I'm not sure if you can be born with it, but I know it can be trained from a young age. The older you get, the less chance you have of learning it. It's like a foreign language: if you learn it when you're 3-5 years old, it comes quite easily.

Quote by Dio10101
If you can tell what degree's of a scale chords are relative to each other, that's really useful, from my own experiences. I don't know if you're born with that or attain it, but I have it and it's really useful.


Called "relative pitch," this is what most musicians need to have, since gaining perfect pitch is a crapshoot if you weren't specifically being trained as a young child. Relative pitch may be learned and developed at any point in life.
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Last edited by soviet_ska at Aug 30, 2011,
#4
A tried and true method of finding the key is listening to where the progression resolves i.e. where the tension feels relieved. Then you might want to find the corresponding pitch with your guitar and figure out the key.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#6
Quote by Slapp62
So I've been working on my ear and I've been getting better at transcribing leads and I was just curious, is there any other way to tell the key of a song by ear other than hearing which chords are being played? And anyone have any good tips on how to get better at hearing chords? Thanks.



Where does the song seem to want to end or finalize, and feel "complete"?

Best,

Sean
#7
in music at school we practice it alot, listening to pieces and telling if its in major or minor. major is generally got a happier/more up beat sound to it. minor is more or less as if its missing something i find.
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#8
Quote by leigh596
in music at school we practice it alot, listening to pieces and telling if its in major or minor. major is generally got a happier/more up beat sound to it. minor is more or less as if its missing something i find.


Emotion, like chords, are completely based upon context. Generally, that's a good rule of thumb when first starting out, but there are very desolate pieces in major keys and uplifting songs in minor ones. Scales don't necessarily determine emotion - if that was the case, each individual tonal center would have a specific feel to it (for people without perfect pitch, of course).
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