#1
Okay, I am mainly playing:

G |-----0--0------0--0------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----|
D |----------------------------------------------------------|
A |--3-------------------------------------------------------|
E |--------------4----------6----------1--------3----------|


So here, I am playing F, G, Ab, Bb, and C. Am I playing in the key of A-flat major? I think I have enough root notes to determine what key I'm playing in, however, the droning on the open G throws me off a bit. I am also trying to determine what progression I'm playing.

Help would be appreciated. Its another situation of something sounding good, but I don't know why it sounds good.

Thanks.
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#2
Simple answer:

I played it and ended it on C and it felt resolved, which make it most likely the tonic. Also, all the notes fit in the C minor scale so I would say it is in C minor.
#3
It definitely has notes that fit in Ab major but it's all about how you resolve it, meaning that the tonic (central note) the lick pulls the ear toward will dictate the key. As far as the notes go, you could call it an F minor progression and be just as correct as it has the same notes as Ab major. When you play it, which note sounds final? That will tell you what key you're in. A more learned person on theory should prob. chime in here also. Thx.

Edit: see above and hopefully my post explains why that person played it to see where it felt finalized.
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Last edited by GeetarHeero at Apr 2, 2012,
#4
It's probably Cmi. I tried writing an explanation for why several times, but couldn't think of a non-controversial way to put it. The base notes imply a progression in Cmi.
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#5
Okay, thanks guys. Kaptkegan, I wouldn't mind seeing your explanation; I'm curious.
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#6
Cm Ab Bb Fm G
i VI VII iv V

These are the chords the baseline is implying. Play this progression and you'll find that it resolves to C minor. The iv V at the end of the progression really pulls the tonal center to C. Also the G works as a drone because it is the dominant (5th scale degree) in C, and it builds more tension until it is resolved to C.

I didn't explain that well at all, but hopefully you understand.
#7
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Cm Ab Bb Fm G
i VI VII iv V

These are the chords the baseline is implying. Play this progression and you'll find that it resolves to C minor. The iv V at the end of the progression really pulls the tonal center to C. Also the G works as a drone because it is the dominant (5th scale degree) in C, and it builds more tension until it is resolved to C.

I didn't explain that well at all, but hopefully you understand.


Basically this. Couldn't remember whether I'm supposed to be using Roman numerals or regular intervals to talk about base line.
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#8
Quote by AWACS
Okay, I am mainly playing:

G |-----0--0------0--0------0--0-----0--0-----0--0-----|
D |----------------------------------------------------------|
A |--3-------------------------------------------------------|
E |--------------4----------6----------1--------3----------|


So here, I am playing F, G, Ab, Bb, and C. Am I playing in the key of A-flat major? I think I have enough root notes to determine what key I'm playing in, however, the droning on the open G throws me off a bit. I am also trying to determine what progression I'm playing.
OK, the others have drawn the conclusion this is C minor. That being said C minor is relative to Eb major. You haven't mentioned the E note at all. Ab Major also flats the D. Point being, the notes you've written down aren't enough to positively identify a Major key, (or it's relative minor). At this point it could be either Eb or Ab, depends on what happens next.

If as claimed, it resolves to C, then it's Eb Major for the win in the key signature competition finals.....

Here's the Wiki page on key sigs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_signature (just stuck that in there as a refresher).
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
the notes you've written down aren't enough to positively identify a Major key, (or it's relative minor). At this point it could be either Eb or Ab, depends on what happens next.


You don't have to use all the notes of the scale to establish it's key. Yes it could be in anyone of those keys, but the notes would have to function differently if that were to happen.

Quote by Captaincranky
If as claimed, it resolves to C, then it's Eb Major for the win in the key signature competition finals.....


Play it. Listening to the music is half of analyzing it. You'll find it resolves to C.

Also Eb major and C minor have the same key signatures (3 flats) but you wouldn't say the key signature of Eb major, because it's in C minor. You should know your minor key signatures just as well as you major keys.
#10
Quote by d1sturbed4eva


Play it. Listening to the music is half of analyzing it. You'll find it resolves to C.

Also Eb major and C minor have the same key signatures (3 flats) but you wouldn't say the key signature of Eb major, because it's in C minor. You should know your minor key signatures just as well as you major keys.
So, I should call the same identical key signature two different things. I'm just go ahead and call the key signature "Eb Major", and acknowledge that it shares that signature with C minor, by your leave of course.

The OP is playing something you claim is in C minor, and calling it Ab. As you know, F minor shares the key signature of Ab major.

Point being, our TS needs more help than I do, spread yours around.
#11
For the record, I threw out Ab major as a key purely because it was the first key I saw that had a the notes I was using, in one key.


Thanks again guys for all the help.
Caution:
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

Current Rig:
2006 PRS CE-24
Mesa/Boogie Mark V
Voltage S212 w/ V30's
Strymon Timeline
CMATMods Signa Drive
TC Electronics Corona & Hall of Fame
#12
Quote by AWACS
For the record, I threw out Ab major as a key purely because it was the first key I saw that had a the notes I was using, in one key.


Thanks again guys for all the help.
Trying to figure out what key a song is in, could perhaps be compared to driving an old car with bald tires.

Ya just hafta wait for the next "flat" to come along, before you start calling it names...


Flat keys in order of number of flats: F (1), Bb (2), Eb (3), Ab (4), Db (5), Gb (6).

Flats in order of appearance: Bb, Eb, Ab,. So, the Ab only gets you as far as Eb Major.....AND IT'S RELATIVE MINOR Cm! Lest I get in trouble for not mentioning that.

The appearance of a "Db" would have implied Ab Major.... (You already know the drill on the relative minor)... That would be "F minor".

Quote by AWACS
For the record, I threw out Ab major as a key purely because it was the first key I saw that had a the notes I was using, in one key.


Thanks again guys for all the help.
OK, my only point in all this was very simple. First, forget all the "context, and "resolution" BS they're obviously very important, BUT.

In a simple "guess the key game" the notes you tabbed simply DON'T indicate Ab.

Flats, (and sharps also), are added in sequence, and they are cumulative. Strictly speaking, musical scales, notes, and their names, are all part of a simple mathematical matrix.

Flat keys: F (1 flat = Bb), Bb (2 flats= Bb + Eb), Eb (3 flats= Bb, Eb, Ab) Ab (4 flats = Bb, Eb, Ab, & >Db.!) and on.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 3, 2012,
#13
Quote by Captaincranky
Trying to figure out what key a song is in, could perhaps be compared to driving an old car with bald tires.
it
Ya just hafta wait for the next "flat" to come along, before you start calling it names...


Flat keys in order of number of flats: F (1), Bb (2), Eb (3), Ab (4), Db (5), Gb (6).

Flats in order of appearance: Bb, Eb, Ab,. So, the Ab only gets you as far as Eb Major.....AND IT'S RELATIVE MINOR Cm! Lest I get in trouble for not mentioning that.

The appearance of a "Db" would have implied Ab Major.... (You already know the drill on the relative minor)... That would be "F minor".


To a certain extent, you're right. If TS only gave us single notes (F, G, Ab, Bb, and C) it could be in Eb major, C minor, Ab Major, or F minor (assuming there wasn't any chromatics).

However, the example he tabbed out is definetly in C minor for the reasons I stated above.

I'm sorry if it seems that I'm being hard on you, it's just that you learn to not use terms loosely when you are taking theory in college
#14
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
To a certain extent, you're right. If TS only gave us single notes (F, G, Ab, Bb, and C) it could be in Eb major, C minor, Ab Major, or F minor (assuming there wasn't any chromatics).

However, the example he tabbed out is definetly in C minor for the reasons I stated above.

I'm sorry if it seems that I'm being hard on you, it's just that you learn to not use terms loosely when you are taking theory in college


Interestingly enough, C Phrygian should share the same key signature as Cm / Eb major. Not to mention the fact that there's a G drone.

I only bring this up, since what's the point of a good key thread, if you can't have a mode argument going on concurrently......?

At least that's what a wise person told me about. "White Rabbit", (Jefferson Airplane). This person said, the verse is in F# phrygian, and the chorus and outro are in A Major. Going on to concluding that, "this is a case where a mode and and a key can share the same key signature. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't F# Minor to A Major, what C minor is to Eb Major?

I'm also having a hard time drawing a conclusion as to whether you can't read, won't read, or simply can't follow my syntax. The latter of which is easily understandable.

I concluded long ago that there weren't enough notes in the example to possibly conclude Ab Major or F minor. The (note itself), "Ab" would only lead you as far as Eb Major / C minor).
Quote by AWACS
For the record, I threw out Ab major as a key purely because it was the first key I saw that had a the notes I was using, in one key.


Thanks again guys for all the help.
OK, my only point in all this was very simple. First, forget all the "context, and "resolution" BS they're obviously very important, BUT.

In a simple "guess what key this is in game" the notes you tabbed simply DON'T indicate Ab.

Flats, (and sharps also), are added in sequence, and they are cumulative. Strictly speaking, musical scales, notes, and their names, are all part of a simple mathematical matrix.

Flat keys: F (1 flat = Bb), Bb (2 flats= Bb + Eb), Eb (3 flats= Bb, Eb, Ab) Ab (4 flats = Bb, Eb, Ab, & >Db.!) and on. Your tab only included an Eb and G drone. G is in both keys, so is Eb Without the Db, you can't say Ab with certainty.

Although, (and this is important), The C minor chord is the iii chord of Ab!

Now if you and "disturbed" are done F***ing with me, I'm going to log out and download, "99 Essential Gregorian Chants" from Amazon.

These will all almost certainly be modal, and which mode or modes that is, I abundantly don't care.....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 3, 2012,
#15
I'm sorry Cranky, I always seem to misunderstand you. I don't know if I'm either stupid, read your posts when I'm too tired, or what.

At the risk of misunderstanding you again, just looking at notes without context, it could also be in Ab major or F minor. There is no Db but there is also no D natural to rule that possibility out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is possible for a piece to be in Ab major or F minor without using Db at all.

This is irrelevant however, because this example is in C minor.
#16
A piece can use all 12 note of the chromatic scale and be firmly in a key,

What TS posted is most likely going to be in C minor. It could be in C major though depending on the melody.

Also cranky, modal music shares the key signature of it's relative major, not parallel.
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Apr 3, 2012,
#17
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
At the risk of misunderstanding you again, just looking at notes without context, it could also be in Ab major or F minor. There is no Db but there is also no D natural to rule that possibility out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is possible for a piece to be in Ab major or F minor without using Db at all.
So, if if you have no way to rule it on or out, it (Ab/Fm), wouldn't be the first best guess in this situation. You do have an Ab, which doesn't occur in F or Bb major, so Eb/Cm is the best guess, strictly based on the information available.

Of course something Ab / Fm could go all the way through without using a Db.

As to Key signature, I call the physical key signature by it's major key name, until the chords of the song prove me wrong.

Quote by griffRG7321
Also cranky, modal music shares the key signature of it's relative major, not parallel.
I was informed by someone I consider much more knowledgeable than myself that F# Phrygian shares the Key signature of A major. This is incorrect?
#18
You can use whatever key signature you want (use Db major for F# phyrgian with a ton of accidentals if you want), but in modal periods and in common practice the relative key signature is used.
#19
Just so you guys are aware, I agree that is in C minor. I said that in the very first post and I'm the one that posted the analysis on why it is in C minor.

Cranky, I was just saying you can't rule out Ab major or F minor without context but just by what notes it consists of. Also, it seems like you're comparing a major key and its relative minor as it were the same thing. They are totally different besides that they have the same key signature. Not that it matters to you, but as a music major I would be marked wrong if I wrote that on a test. Well do whatever works for you.

Also, I was taught to use the parallel major/minor key signature depending on what mode. So if I was to write out C mixolydian, I would use the key signature of C major and flatten the B whenever it is used. Not to be confused with C major with a lowered 7th.

Just a different way of learning it I guess
Last edited by d1sturbed4eva at Apr 3, 2012,
#20
Quote by d1sturbed4eva
Just so you guys are aware, I agree that is in C minor. I said that in the very first post and I'm the one that posted the analysis on why it is in C minor.

Cranky, I was just saying you can't rule out Ab major or F minor without context but just by what notes it consists of. Also, it seems like you're comparing a major key and its relative minor as it were the same thing. They are totally different besides that they have the same key signature. Not that it matters to you, but as a music major I would be marked wrong if I wrote that on a test. Well do whatever works for you.
What part of "Ab /Fm" is not the first best guess", (EMPHASIS on "GUESS"), for the notes as presented, is it that are you not accessing? As it turns out I am totally right about that, since is isn't Ab or Fm. You said so yourself. Another salient point is, I wasn't directing that observation at you for the most part. I was simply curious as to why AWACS guessed that. He's already admitted, "it was the first thing that popped into my mind"!


Take your Adderall, and do what you have to to pass the requisite tests.

Bear in mind the more pop music is in major keys, than in minor. As far as to coming up with what key a song is, I just use simple movable forms of open chords, then slap a capo on the guitar when I catch the drift of it.

It's sort of like a cross between "Circle of 5ths", and "Wheel of Fortune"...

Or do you just want to keep this up all day about a solved issue?

Now I'm off to watch my new, guilty pleasure, "Taylor Swift, World Tour Live", DVD.

I'm not going to analyze it, I don't suspect that a great deal of it is modal, I don't care what key, or keys, the music is in. I'm just going to watch her in a shiny gold dress, pretend she can really play the bright red Les Paul she has strapped on in the cover photo.

I simply won't allow you to deny me this. Have a nice day.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 3, 2012,
#21
Quote by Captaincranky

Or do you just want to keep this up all day about a solved issue?


No we're good. I'm not sure what was my point on mentioning that it could be in Ab major or F minor just based off the notes. I was just making sure that we were on the same page but I guess we were. I don't know why but you're the only Uger that I consistantly misunderstand