Page 1 of 2
#1
well I know I can play "what I want/what sounds good" but what are the rules around changing keys through a song?

are you allowed (in theory) only to change between the key you're in and it's relative minor/major?

or as many changes as you want provided you bridge it properly so I could go from the key of e minor to like c major?

thank you. sorry if I am not allowed more than one thread but people might not bother to read the other one I had because they might think it's resolved
#2
Depends. If you play pop songs you may absolutely not change key and you may use a maximum of 3 cords.
#4
You are not allowed to change keys yet. Not until you've paid your annual theory tax.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
#5
any kind of music, I dont care if it is pop or metal im just trying to figure this out but it's not an answer I can easily find
#6
You'll get arrested if you try to change the key of a song more than thrice in any given work, and don't get me started on time signatures.
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#9
You'll want to know before hand what key you are in, figure what key you want to change to, figure out what chords are in both keys, perhaps then play a chord that is in both keys, then you might want to go to the I chord of the new key or go V-I, just to stabilize it into that key, I haven't done this myself, this is simply what I have heard is one way you can do it.
Last edited by menotbug at Nov 23, 2011,
#10
well...im looking at a song (the stone roses-she bangs the drums) it switched between E mixolydian and A lonian for the chorus but those scales have the same notes in a different order (I found that out through a dedicated fan site)

so im thinking theres some sort of rules...I don't understand modes at all, if I studied modes would that provide the answers?
#11
Quote by Laharl
well...im looking at a song (the stone roses-she bangs the drums) it switched between E mixolydian and A lonian for the chorus but those scales have the same notes in a different order (I found that out through a dedicated fan site)

so im thinking theres some sort of rules...I don't understand modes at all, if I studied modes would that provide the answers?


please read the comment above yours,

you can switch between any key you want, in terms of theory it's simply recommended that there be atleast one chord the same, from what ive heard, that you perhaps make the previous key unstable before the change, and that you should probably do a V - I or simply I progression in the new key to strengthen it.
#12
Music theory doesn't give you any real restrictions...
But I wouldn't recommend switching keys from e.g. E Ionic to an Ab Aeolic...it'll sound crappy most of the time...

Also, changing keys just for the sake of changing keys sucks
BUT if you can manage to "dissolve" the last Chord of the first key and THEN "officially" change keys, it can sound great, but it isn't that easy

As for soloing....a wise man once said "When soloing...you can basically do whatever the f*** you want!"
#13
Common key changes are I-V (eg Cmaj-Gmaj), I-vi(Relative minor), I-IV(C-F), I-II (C-D), or I-I in a different mode (eg C Maj - C Lidian)
#14
lmaaaao
First comments here made me laugh my ass off!
OT, keychanges wont make you better, and you don't need to get into it at all when you ask if it's allowed
#15
I'd interpret theory as something to help identify or quantify musical ideas, not strict guidelines you absolutely must follow if you don't want to get AIDS. Theory is more about identifying patterns than telling you exactly how to make music; if everyone made music the same way it would be pretty boring, don't you think?

Also, lots of people will tell you stuff about how you shouldn't be learning modes or whatever but modes are just a simple pattern really and it's not all that difficult to see.

I posted this awhile back on the subject: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?p=28547188#post28547188

If you have any questions, I'm sure myself or one of the others on this site will be able to help you.
Quote by Jesus
Gaza Strip- home. At least it was before I fucked ereythang up...
#16
ok thank you to all the serious posters I know alot of the first people to post were just having some fun at my stupidity, but we were all new once...

although I have played guitar for around a year my techical skills not that bad but only started to understand theory in this past week or so and now i've got alot of stuff to think about
#18
you might want to stay with simply theory in that case, look up scales, major, minor, and pentatonic, then maybe chord construction. start with stuff like that before you start thinking about learning more complex stuff
#19
I already looked at all that stuff and yeah there is plenty to do there, like probably months and months for me to get all that down. mostly memorizing formulas, notes on the fretboards, scale patterns etc

but the reason I was asking about key changes is im trying to understand how the theory fits in music I listen to and it is obvious its not just in one key. but I have read the advice it's obviously abit of a grey area so I need to study up some more to understand it
#20
As already mentioned, I'd keep the whole Key Change thingy a bit in the back of my head, but most important for a "beginner" in musical theory are things like scales etc.

Also don't let yourself get too influenced by this stuff or you might up not being able to "break out of the box"...that's a problem that I've whitnessed with many guitarists who know maybe a little too much about theory
Everytime they're trying to improvise they fall back in patterns and end up playing scales because they just played them too often and somehow memorized them too good

Keep your fun and don't become too theoratically
#21
Quote by Laharl
well...im looking at a song (the stone roses-she bangs the drums) it switched between E mixolydian and A lonian for the chorus but those scales have the same notes in a different order (I found that out through a dedicated fan site)

so im thinking theres some sort of rules...I don't understand modes at all, if I studied modes would that provide the answers?


So then it stayed in A major. Think about it - if it has the same notes, it has the same key signature... so it's the same key. It doesn't switch anything at all.

Here's a rule: Why are you talking about modes when you don't understand what key signatures are yet.

Anyway, yes, you can change keys any time you like. The most obvious key changes to hear are what Cavalcade posted - Truck Driver's Gear Changes. Think about Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi.
Last edited by stratdax at Nov 23, 2011,
#22
Another piece of advice is to try and understand the concept of something rather than just memorizing specific scales. For example, it's easier to understand that there are no sharps/flats between E and F as well as B and C rather than memorizing the orders of all the individual notes. This way, you save yourself a lot of BS- especially with things like modes.

When you can understand and apply the idea of things like scale degrees, you'll be able to produce major or minor scales/chords without actually memorizing anything; it's as easy as counting really.
Quote by Jesus
Gaza Strip- home. At least it was before I fucked ereythang up...
#23
Quote by Laharl
well I know I can play "what I want/what sounds good" but what are the rules around changing keys through a song?

are you allowed (in theory) only to change between the key you're in and it's relative minor/major?

or as many changes as you want provided you bridge it properly so I could go from the key of e minor to like c major?

thank you. sorry if I am not allowed more than one thread but people might not bother to read the other one I had because they might think it's resolved



There are no rules per se, but there are ways to make it transition better. Learn about cadences and how chords want to pull to the I. You can use whatever you like. I can modulate anywhere.

The trick is making the song stay on the key you are modulating to. If you were in G and you tried to make it sound to Em, you'd want to know how to maintain that Em tonality using the chords that you use over that key. For example, because I understand theory, I'd most likely use a B7 in that progression in Em.

If I wanted to modulate to F or any other key, I can do that. I might make a Gm if I wanted to transition to my G

Theory really helps answer a lot of these things, and its a little hard to just wing things like modulations, and such, although it is possible.

Best,

Sean

PS almost every reply that's been made in this thread is wrong, ill informed or ignorant. There's just more of them than I'd like to refute, and it's not my responsibility to become everyone's teacher. I get paid to do that. As for refuting the ill advised and ignorant, usually there's one in a thread, but, I've been doing that for over 4 years, and the ignorance keeps pouring in.

After a while you've gotta let people be ignorant and let em go. There are options. People CAN learn. Ignorance these days is a choice, not an excuse.
Last edited by Sean0913 at Nov 23, 2011,
#24
Quote by Laharl
or as many changes as you want provided you bridge it properly so I could go from the key of e minor to like c major?

Yes, you have it. Modulating to adjacent keys on the Circle of Fourths/Fifths is good.
#25
The most common way to change keys is to use the V7 chord of the key you want to change into as a transition.

You can hear how this works by comparing the two following very simple progressions:

C F C F

Repeat that a few times.

When you play that, you'll probably notice how the C feels like home, and the F feels unresolved.

Compare that to:

C C7 F C

Now, you'll probably notice how the F feels more resolved, and when you come back to the C it no longer feels like home.

This is because using the C7 makes the C feel like the V of F, rather than the tonic. Voila - simple modulation.

There are lots of other ways to modulate, but this is probably the most common technique. One of the nice things about this technique is that, since a dominant 7th chord is both major and minor (major third, minor 7th) you can use it as a replacement for almost any chord that's in the diatonic key you're leaving.

eg, if I'm in C, and want to get to D, I'd realize that the V of D is A.

So I could do something like C Am A7 D.

(The Am is maybe not strictly neccesary, but I feel like switching from the diatonic version of the relevant chord to the dominant 7th heightens the sense of key transition. YMMV, so experiment for yourself).
#26
Quote by Laharl
well...im looking at a song (the stone roses-she bangs the drums) it switched between E mixolydian and A lonian for the chorus but those scales have the same notes in a different order (I found that out through a dedicated fan site)

so im thinking theres some sort of rules...I don't understand modes at all, if I studied modes would that provide the answers?

No it doesn't, that song is straight up A major all the way through and doesn't come anywhere close to involving modes.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#27
Quote by Laharl
well I know I can play "what I want/what sounds good" but what are the rules around changing keys through a song?

are you allowed (in theory) only to change between the key you're in and it's relative minor/major?

or as many changes as you want provided you bridge it properly so I could go from the key of e minor to like c major?

thank you. sorry if I am not allowed more than one thread but people might not bother to read the other one I had because they might think it's resolved


you never change key,
it's impossible has been since about the middle of the 20th century
look for yourself

***AlanHB edit***** Removed user youtube clip
#28
^ I would have preferred to be rick rolled thatn tricked into listening to any of that.

TS: there are a few nuggets of wisdom in this thread. there are a whole lot of people that think they are really funny with jokes that are tired and unimaginative, and whose posts are a waste of space.

Yes you can change keys as often as you like.

Some songs modulate between parallel keys. Keys that have the same tonal centre but different sonorities. This would involve switching between D major and D minor for example.

One very coommon modulation is to switch between relative major and minor tonalities. This would involve a switch between I and vi or i and bIII so for example going from A minor to C major or some similar change.

As has been mentioned already by one of the more helpful posters in this thread the circle of fifths/fourths (Co5) is a good "map". There is only one note difference between any key on the Co5 and the key directly next to it on either side. With only one note difference the keys are very similar and it is an easier change to make.

keys that are on the opposite side of the Co5 however have fewer notes in common. This makes it much harder to quickly and easily change between these two keys. That doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be done, it just means it's harder.

i read one theorist describe the Co5 as a map. Modulating to a key right next to the one you're in is like visiting your neighbours. Things are a little different than where you were before but they are still pretty close. Moving further along might be like travelling to a different town and things are still not completely foreign but there are more differences. moving to the other side of the Co5 is like moving to a different country where things are quite different indeed.

one way of modulating has already been pointed out by another useful poster in this thread. The V7 or even just the V of the chord you want to move to. you can use a chain of fifths to effectively change keys to any key in the Co5 no matter how distant.

Pivot chords are a good way to effectively modulate. A pivot chord is one that is common to both keys and ties the keys together making the transition a little easier.

Direct modulation is when there is no pivot chord used. You just jump straight from one key into the next.

the ideal places in typical song formats for key changes occurs between segments. so between the verses between verse and chorus, for the bridge, at the end or start of the guitar solo.

The truckers gear change is often criticized for being a cheap trick that takes no thought and imagination. i was one of those critics until my daughter (12 at the time) schooled me. i criticized Westlife who took Uptown Girl and added a key change at the end of the song. They repeated the chorus over and over then shifted the chorus up a semitone to give the song a lift.

i said it was cheating. she said it was effective. i said it took no imagination and creativity. she said it was clever -even genius - to recognize what works and use it to make music that people the world over love. I couldn't really argue with her. she had good points.

So I changed my mind. If it's overused it gets tired. But used well the truckers gear change can be a very powerful tool in the songwriters arsenal. There's no rewards for being snobby.
Si
#29
The answer is yes. But TS do you know what a key is? If I gave you a song, could you identify the key?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#30
Quote by Laharl
are you allowed (in theory) only to change between the key you're in and it's relative minor/major?

You can also try modulating to the dominant major or minor key. Think about voice leading.
Last edited by mdc at Nov 24, 2011,
#31
you can play any note you want as long as you play the right note next.
some note changes are common and some are not common.
if you use uncommon changes too often your audience will leave.
then i suppose you have reached the area of "not allowed"
but then again that is still a judgement call.
12 tone music of the early 1900's have mathematical rules to determine the next note.
these rules are "allowed" and in their context perfectly right.
the music it produces still sucks though

20 tigers is another wanabee professor
forget him
#33
Quote by 20Tigers
WTF??? If I wanted to be a professor I would be one.

Do you have a problem with something I said? If so address the point. Otherwise gfy


all of it, it was all crap

any musician who can't explain a concept in 4 or 5 sentences is a selling snake oil
Last edited by Strelnecov at Nov 24, 2011,
#34
Quote by Strelnecov
it's in C already


What's in C? The question was "can you change keys"....
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#35
Quote by 20Tigers
WTF??? If I wanted to be a professor I would be one.

Do you have a problem with something I said? If so address the point. Otherwise gfy

[EDIT] Nevermind. I just realized that was you in the link you posted before and you may have taken offense at what I said. I acknowledge what I said may have been a bit harsh but honestly if you're going to post youtube links of yourself playing that are completley unrelated to the thread then harden the f*ck up and take it on the chin. Posting such links, I'm pretty sure, are against the rules. Perhaps I should have just reported it. -Whatever.


you as well
#36
boy,
you are thick aren't you.
you think blathering out of context, makes you sound smart.
it just proves that you are a BS artist in the making.
The only justification for a concept or system of concepts is that they serve to represent the complex of our experiences beyond this they have legitimacy,

why don't you just make your report and STFU
#38
here's the explanation of a concept for you;
1st: guy thinks he's a theory Wiz but can't really prove it by deeds so needing an ego boost he picks out a person who has lately elucidated a musical idea,
the more uncomfortable this idea made him the better it suits his purpose of boosting his stature.
2nd: starts his silly intellectual boasting session with an insult , then proceeds to talk way to fast and way to much.
3rd: acts surprised that his victim, was alarmed and insulted
4th: calls friend to help, showing that safety is indeed in numbers and conformity is the safest way to achieve it.
5th: having re-secured his faulty world view he can carry on with the day.

human behavior, now that takes more than 4 or 5 sentences.

being a prick now there's musical concept for you
#39
Music theory is not restrictions
It's a set of guidelines and observations
Quote by kaptkegan
Don't think I've ever been sigged.


I pretty much never leave the drug thread anymore.
#40
20t, shut up you're being trolled.
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
Page 1 of 2