#1
Hello

kinda need some help here because its driving me mad atm

what key is this song in?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18EAqHx2lMk


I have worked out that the 3 chords in the verse are made of:

1. C#, F, G#
2. F#, A#', C
3. G#, C, D#


I think they are right but Im just at a mind block here


please help me!
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#4
Quote by mrbabo91
C major ?

When there are rampant C#s...? really?

I thought it was in C last time I played it, years ago. But what you have puts it in C#. Almost anyway. You've spelled your second chord as an F# diminished, that should be a C#. You should start spelling in thirds though, even if it looks weird it's better for determining keys. For example, C# E# and G# instead of C# F G#. The key of C# has an E# instead of an F. Same with your G# chord. G# B# D#. INstead of the C.

So what you have, in C# major is I IV V. Most common progression in all of rock and roll.
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Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Nov 21, 2011,
#5
everybody else is saying its in C actually... not sure if thats because they have looked up the tabs and are going by that but to me that recording of the song sounds like its those chords...

and looking at what I have I thought it put me in Db Major
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#6
Db Major. This will be far more manageable. Not sure if you're familiar with the Circle Of Fifths/Fourths?

Also, for a more stylistic approach to this song, play triads on the top four strings.

-9--6-8
-9--7-9
-10-6-8
-11-8-10
-
-

Edit: ^ There you go.
Last edited by mdc at Nov 21, 2011,
#7
yeah, thats where I found the Db Major.

it was confusing me because its clearly in a major key but the C#'s in some chords and C naturals in others were throwing me off

thanks for the help everybody!
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#8
I quickly looked up the chords and it had the chords of C major but im now guessing they got it wrong.
#9
Quote by Dave Frenzy
everybody else is saying its in C actually... not sure if thats because they have looked up the tabs and are going by that but to me that recording of the song sounds like its those chords...

and looking at what I have I thought it put me in Db Major



Well, what YOU have puts you in C# major. But as someone else has said, it's much more manageable in Db major. I highly recommend you spell things in thirds all the time, unless you start dealing with augmented 6th chords. That will make determining a key much easier since you won't get repeated letters. Also try enharmonic spellings, since you saw that you had a C# F (E#) and G#, think about if that could be spelled better. Db F Ab. Much better, especially with the rest of the chords.

At the same time however, it also depends on how you want to think about it. It's easier for me to think C# major than Db major. My head just immediately goes to sharps. You may work better from sharps or flats.
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Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Nov 21, 2011,
#10
Quote by Artemis Entreri
Well, what YOU have puts you in C# major. But as someone else has said, it's much more manageable in Db major. I highly recommend you spell things in thirds all the time, unless you start dealing with augmented 6th chords. That will make determining a key much easier since you won't get repeated letters. Also try enharmonic spellings, since you saw that you had a C# F (E#) and G#, think about if that could be spelled better. Db F Ab. Much better, especially with the rest of the chords.

At the same time however, it also depends on how you want to think about it. It's easier for me to think C# major than Db major. My head just immediately goes to sharps. You may work better from sharps or flats.



yeah, thats what made me think about it the other way (b's instead of #'s) I still think of Major keys having Sharps and Minor keys having flats. Keep forgetting to think about it the other way around.
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#11
Quote by Dave Frenzy
yeah, thats what made me think about it the other way (b's instead of #'s) I still think of Major keys having Sharps and Minor keys having flats. Keep forgetting to think about it the other way around.


What? The number of sharps or flats in a key has no bearing on whether or not it's minor or major.
#12
Quote by Dave Frenzy
yeah, thats what made me think about it the other way (b's instead of #'s) I still think of Major keys having Sharps and Minor keys having flats. Keep forgetting to think about it the other way around.


More to the point, though, the fact that you were struggling so much with such a simple progression suggests that you're just thinking too much.

I mean, for example, I don't care notation I use, if somebody shows you the notes C#, G#, and F, you should really quickly realize that's a C major chord. If you can't figure that instantly then you should play them and listen to it.

The same with G#, C, and D#. This is not hard. Is those notes don't scream "triad" at you, then you need to take a big step back.

But heck, that's not the only way to approach this problem which makes it crazy simple:

You might notice, for example, that the roots of your chords are C#, F#, and G#. That's really obviously one-four-five, right? Just those roots alone should SCREAM at you that this is in C#, and then it's just a question of figuring out major or minor (which, again, should be obvious just by listening to the notes).

The whole "flats are minor, sharps are major" in addition to just being wrong, is simply a bizzare place to go with your analysis here. LISTEN to the chords. Notice how they relate to each other.
#13
Remember: Flats go BEADGCF. Sharps go backwards, so FCGDAEB.

My old music teacher, years ago said "the word bead, then greatest common factor". It's a weird thing to remember, but it's stuck with me forever and it works for me. For sharps I just think backwards, and over time it just became an automatic thought and there's no time in processing it. If you have F natural and another note sharp, there's either an accidental or you're probably not playing a sharp key signature. If you have an Eb and a B natural, same thing.

Another thing to remember: Sharp key signatures, the key is a semi-tone up from the last sharp (so if D# is the last sharp, it's E major). For flats, it's the second to last flattened note (so if Ab is the last flat, the key is Eb). It's a bit easier to visualize on sheet music, but the thought process is essentially the same.
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#14
That will make determining a key much easier since you won't get repeated letters. Also try enharmonic spellings, since you saw that you had a C# F (E#) and G#, think about if that could be spelled better. Db F Ab. Much better, especially with the rest of the chords.
#15
Quote by donaldjack
That will make determining a key much easier since you won't get repeated letters. Also try enharmonic spellings, since you saw that you had a C# F (E#) and G#, think about if that could be spelled better. Db F Ab. Much better, especially with the rest of the chords.


Why didn't you just copy and paste my post, would have saved you some time and you would have gotten the same information across ...
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#16
Quote by Dave Frenzy
Hello

kinda need some help here because its driving me mad atm

what key is this song in?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18EAqHx2lMk


I have worked out that the 3 chords in the verse are made of:

1. C#, F, G#
2. F#, A#', C
3. G#, C, D#


I think they are right but Im just at a mind block here


please help me!
Because of the key this progression most likely in, (C# Major) you have those naturals named incorrectly. Believe it or not, the "C" is actually a "B#", and the "F", is actually an "E#".

This is why the key of "C# Major" is mostly considered to be "Db Major, ( they are the same notes). C# Major sharps every note, hence the B# & E#, while Db Major only has 6 flats, instead of 7 sharps.

Also, your #2. chord has a flatted 5th. Were it F# Major, it would be F#, A#, C#


Anyway, call it Db or C sharp major, this is the best key candidate for a capo on the first fret. In fact, I personally wouldn't deal with it without one. You just play in C Major, and the open strings are then keyed correctly. If you make a mistake in this key without a capo, the open strings are all dissonant.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 22, 2011,
#17
Quote by Captaincranky

This is why the key of "C# Major" is mostly considered to be "Db Major, ( they are the same notes).


They are NEVER the same notes... they are enharmonic notes... much like B# and C and E# and F
#18
Quote by mrkeka
They are NEVER the same notes... they are enharmonic notes... much like B# and C and E# and F
No, they are the same notes named differently. They are the same pitch, or if you'd rather the same frequency in "Hertz".
#19
Quote by Captaincranky
No, they are the same notes named differently. They are the same pitch, or if you'd rather the same frequency in "Hertz".


I would definitely agree that they are the same frequency but I wouldn't say they were the same notes. They have different meanings.
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#20
Quote by mrkeka
They are NEVER the same notes... they are enharmonic notes... much like B# and C and E# and F

Quote by Artemis Entreri
I would definitely agree that they are the same frequency but I wouldn't say they were the same notes. They have different meanings.


I've understood the very basic theory of forming major scales for in excess of 40 years.

But, I'll repeat some of it here, so that you'll know I know, and hopefully "mrkeka" won't feel the need to lecture me on it in the future.

When you count off a scale pattern, say 2-2-1-2-2-2-1, if you go past a natural note, the key signature has the note marked as sharped >>(#). If you stop counting before a
natural note you name the note a "flat" >>>(b). In a major key sharps and flats are never mixed in the key signature. Oh, yes and there's only 1 sharp or flat per tone, pitch, or frequency. See how cleverly I've called the same note 3 different things?

When playing in the key of "C#", or for that matter "Db", In lieu of arguing about the semantics of "enharmonics" with some juvenile delinquent, who just learned about them the day before yesterday, I just slap a capo on the first fret, and play in "C".

The end result is this; many will run their mouths about that "lazy approach", or offer up the wisdom about how, "good guitarists don't need capos"

In the meantime, all my open strings will be pitched to the notes in these "enharmonic reached scales", I will be able to use all of the open chord voicings, and not worry about dissonance, should hit an uncapoed open string.

I understand you can't capo a bassoon, so those players actually do have to take a music book into the bathroom with them, and learn "enharmonically" reached scales, by rote.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 22, 2011,
#21
Quote by Captaincranky
I've understood the very basic theory of forming major scales for in excess of 40 years.

But, I'll repeat some of it here, so that you'll know I know, and hopefully "mrkeka" won't feel the need to lecture me on it in the future.

When you count off a scale pattern, say 2-2-1-2-2-2-1, if you go past a natural note, the key signature has the note marked as sharped >>(#). If you stop counting before a
natural note you name the note a "flat" >>>(b). In a major key sharps and flats are never mixed in the key signature. Oh, yes and there's only 1 sharp or flat per tone, pitch, or frequency. See how cleverly I've called the same note 3 different things?

When playing in the key of "C#", or for that matter "Db", In lieu of arguing about the semantics of "enharmonics" with some juvenile delinquent, who just learned about them the day before yesterday, I just slap a capo on the first fret, and play in "C".

The end result is this; many will run their mouths about that "lazy approach", or offer up the wisdom about how, "good guitarists don't need capos"

In the meantime, all my open strings will be pitched to the notes in these "enharmonic reached scales", I will be able to use all of the open chord voicings, and nott worry about dissonance, should hit an uncapoed open string.

I understand you can't capo a bassoon, so those players actually do have to take a music book into the bathroom with them, and learn "enharmonically" reached scales, by rote.


You've got the basic down for sure. For playing chords and strumming along, capos are great. I use them all the time because I like that open sound more than a barred sound. SOme may call it slacking but it's a tool.


Take a fully diminished 7th though. Four different ways to spell it, four different meanings. From that one chord you can be in four different keys, depending on how the notes are spelled enharmonically. Same four pitches in Hz however.
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#22
^ this

I wasn't trying to lecture anyone, just trying to help someone not make a very basic and limiting mistake... but hey, do it you way... I also use capos so I can keep open chord voicings... that doesn't change the fact that C# and Db are not the same thing
#23
Quote by mrkeka
^ this

I wasn't trying to lecture anyone, just trying to help someone not make a very basic and limiting mistake... but hey, do it you way... I also use capos so I can keep open chord voicings... that doesn't change the fact that C# and Db are not the same thing
OK, if you look at the chromatic scale, you'll notice that B, C, E, & F, only have one name each. Accordingly, "enharmonic" and "semantic" can both possess similar meaning. When a newcomer is confronted with the concept of a C# scale, I think it helps to dispel some initial confusion to explain that yes, "E#" really is "F", and "B#" is really, "C". This, IMHO, is a preferable approach to swamping a person with "enharmonically reached" this, that or the other thing.

In any beginning music text, you start off learning songs in the "easy keys"of, C, G, & F, not Ab, Db, or F#, which BTW, can be "enharmonically reached", through the key of Gb.

Quote by Artemis Entreri
Take a fully diminished 7th though. Four different ways to spell it, four different meanings. From that one chord you can be in four different keys, depending on how the notes are spelled enharmonically. Same four pitches in Hz however.
I do understand, and have for quite a while, that C6, and Am7 are the same chord, and it's by context that the name is chosen. So, enharmonic, context, and semantics are different ways of attempting the explain the seeming discrepancies that pop up in music time and again.

By way prolonging the discussion, I'd suggest that music is written by the heart, played to death, and then autopsied by the "science" of musical theory.....
Quote by Artemis Entreri
Take a fully diminished 7th though. Four different ways to spell it, four different meanings. From that one chord you can be in four different keys, depending on how the notes are spelled enharmonically. Same four pitches in Hz however.
OK, but be honest and riddle me this, "how long can you bang on that piece of shit before people start walking out on you"...?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 22, 2011,
#24
The melody seems to revolve around C#, but i'm pretty sure the song starts with F notes..
#25
Quote by guitarage
The melody seems to revolve around C#, but i'm pretty sure the song starts with F notes..
Well, basically this thread centers around the concept that the note "F" is really an "E sharp", in the key of C# Major. E sharp is the 3rd of C# Major. So, the chord of the 6th scale degree would be A# minor, and "E sharp" would occur again as the 5th of the A# minor chord.

If all the "enharmonically reached" bullshit has temporarily caused a bit of confusion, put a capo on the first fret of the guitar and play in C Major. Problem solved.

You have to know how to form a major scale and the conventions of naming its notes to understand enharmonic keys, and how the peculiar names of their notes are derived. The key of C#major, is also named Db.

Since C major is all natural notes, then it follows logically that C Sharp major would have every note sharped, since you've gone up the chromatic scale only one half tone, or one fret, if you prefer to think of it that way.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 22, 2011,
#26
Quote by Captaincranky
So, the chord of the 3rd scale degree would be A#minor, and "E sharp" would occur again as the 5th of the A#minor chord.

Really?
#27
Fixed
Quote by mdc
Really?
Sorry, A# minor would be the chord of the sixth scale degree. The third scale degree should be E# minor.

E# is still the 5th of A# minor, is it not?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 22, 2011,
#28
Quote by Captaincranky

By way prolonging the discussion, I'd suggest that music is written by the heart, played to death, and then autopsied by the "science" of musical theory.....
OK, but be honest and riddle me this, "how long can you bang on that piece of shit before people start walking out on you"...?



I'd completely agree with that, I never let theory dictate my writing, just use it to explain it. Thank god there isn't a musical police force.

And truth, it's cool the first two times then it gets old. Oh cool, german 6th, oh cool vii dim/V okay move on.
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#29
Looks like C# Major to me, it has it's tonic chord and dominant triad, not sure about the second chord though
#30
Listen here young man, do you know how much less trouble it is to write 6 flats on every line of music, rather that 7 sharps, especially when you're transcribing a symphony...!
Quote by Hypomixolydian
Looks like C# Major to me, it has it's tonic chord and dominant triad, not sure about the second chord though
The "Roman Numeral Scale Degree Chord Naming Enharmonic Legion", may punish you for that heresy, by branding "Db Major" into your forehead, just before they crucify you. Calling it "C#" makes altogether much more sense to me as well. That said, "I am Spartacus"! I hope somebody here is old enough to get that joke.


1. C#, F, G#
2. F#, A#', C
3. G#, C, D#


Our OP's chord #1 is C# Major, but obviously notated incorrectly. ("F" should be "E#").

Chord #3 is G# Major. Although again, notated incorrectly, the "C" should be "B#".

Chord #2 seems to be aspiring towards wanting to be "F# Major".

There are 2 lines of reasoning that could be applied, actually more, but lets go with only 2.

The OP forgot to put the sharp sign on the "C" when it was posted. Or two, it's some kind of crappy sounding flat 5th F sharp chord.

I'm going to sharp the "C" in my mind, and enjoy the sonic tranquillity that brings me.

All of this is probably just semantic review anyway. Nobody really plays in C# major without a capo on the first fret, do they? Or for that matter, A# minor".....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 25, 2011,
#31
Quote by Captaincranky
do you know how much less trouble it is to write 6 flats on every line of music

Learn to count.
Quote by Captaincranky
The "Roman Numeral Scale Degree Chord Naming Enharmonic Legion", may punish you for that heresy, by branding "Db Major" into your forehead, just before they crucify you. Calling it "C#" makes altogether much more sense to me as well. That said, "I am Spartacus"

Loyalty to an unjust cause is a perversion of honour... so be it!
Last edited by mdc at Nov 25, 2011,
#32
Quote by mdc
Learn to count.
Oops, I can count. But, I'm a rather poor guesser. Shall we go with 5 flats, or the capo? Perhaps 5 flats and the capo anyway?

Db, Eb,F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C, Db........ Hey wait, there's six there..... ...
#33
Quote by Captaincranky
Oops, I can count. But, I'm a rather poor guesser. Shall we go with 5 flats, or the capo? Perhaps 5 flats and the capo anyway?

Db, Eb,F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C, Db........ Hey wait, there's six there..... ...

You say you've been studying major scales for the past 40 years. How about the Circle of Fifths?
#34
Quote by mdc
You say you've been studying major scales for the past 40 years. How about the Circle of Fifths?
Now I suppose you're going to tell me the second Db doesn't count.....

If I didn't type before I thought, what fun would I be to make sport of.....?

I'm going to stand pat on..Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C..being a Db major scale. The circle of fifths, much like Stonehenge, doesn't really have to mean anything..... It's one of those things that's just there........
#35
Did you ever figure out what "key" White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane was in? I'm still awaiting your answer. You may do yourself justice on this board answering that.
Last edited by mdc at Nov 25, 2011,
#36
I find myself strangely compelled to say, "D Major", but I'm sure you'll make me pay dearly for that......

If you'll permit me a second guess, I'd go with "A" (Major).

The F# major it starts on, I'm pretty sure is borrowed to replace F# minor.

Actually, a decent guess would be "D Major" for the song, and "A Major" for the coda....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 25, 2011,
#37
That'll do mate. For the coda you have it.

For the song the guitarist is picking out a b2 and major 3rd every now and then which complements the harmony underneath, hinting at F# Phrygian Dominant mode.

It's a great example of a song that switches between a mode and key which can both share the same signature.
#38
I... want... to... shout.... about... enharmonic notes.... but.... no... time... tired from.... blitz last night.... and have to go back.... to... work.... today... no... sleep.... I'll do it in the morning....
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