I need some help guys. What key is Hey Joe in and what key can I solo in ? all help is much appreciated
E minor, I believe.
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Well no, you can't "solo in A major" because technically it doesn't exist in that contect.

If your song is in the key of E major then any scales you use will have their root defined by that key - eg they'll all be E "something", so the notes E A D G B will always be E minor pentatonic regardless of where you play them or what you do with them.
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The tune is technically in E, with a few chords borrowed from the parallel minor. The main progression is, to my knowledge: C, G, D, A, E (followed by signature riff implying a minor 3rd or a dominant 7#9). It moves in (a somewhat counter-intuitive) cycle 5 motion.

The key is your starting point. The chords are your guide. You can probably get away with just playing E minor pent/blues over the whole thing, although the changes actually give you more interesting options than that. My intuition has been to take a chord tone approach to this tune, with some blues and pentatonic licks mixed in, as well as various chromatic manuevers.

For example, during the C chord, the note C is not part of E minor pent, but it's an obviously fundamental chord tone (the root). During the D, an F# (the 3rd) is an option, which isn't in E minor pent either. During the A, a C# (the 3rd) is an option (likewise, not Em pent). My main point here is to point out all the *non-pent* notes you could be hitting, just by looking at the chords.

So maybe it would be useful to break out of pents and try more explicitly following the chords.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Apr 2, 2012,
the solo as written by Hendrix is in the E minor pentatonic scale starting on the 12th fret. if you keep within this scale, it's easy to make up your own fun stuff