Registered User
Join date: Sep 2009
10 IQ
Would this be - I V II in the key of D or IV I V in the key of A?

Intro: D A E (4x)

Tonight we ride, right or wrong
Tonight we sail, on a radio song
Rescue me, should I go down
If I stay too long in trouble town

Oh, yeah,
you wreck me, baby You break me in two
But you move me, honey Yes, you do
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
I'd call it bVII IV I in E.

Listen to the chorus - the G sounds characteristically like bIII
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
30 IQ
It's a Tom Petty song. That's more or less puts it in the Key of, "whatever major chords you can play on a 12 string open". A man after my own heart actually.

I haven't heard this song. But, he does insist on playing the E major (V in A), more often than G, (IV in D, but a bIIV in A).

I'd consider the 2nd part of the verse in D, (G, D, A), but unresolved. That'll get everybody goin',,,!

Looks like A major though. What chord does he end on?

Couldn't you sneak off to the music shop and grab a quick peek at the sheet music and see what that says? Which would save about 3 pages of rancor here...

Quote by cdgraves
I'd call it bVII IV I in E.

Listen to the chorus - the G sounds characteristically like bIII
I just checked the sheet music on "Sympathy for the Devil", and lo and behold, that's stated in E. I might have guessed A on that as well. Because of all the E, D, A in that one, when he finally goes to B (V), it almost sounds out of place....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 29, 2013,
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
1,213 IQ
Yeah, it's in E: bVII-IV-I. And I listened to the song.

Again, you don't need any V chords in your song to be in a certain key. This is another good example of that. In rock it's pretty usual to use bIII and bVII chords. And bVII-IV-I and bIII-IV-I are very usual progressions in rock music.

The thing is not to look at it on paper. You need to listen to the song. Same chords can function differently in a different context.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.


Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
Without a clear V-I, or with some other ambiguity, rhythm is the easiest way to determine key.

In this example, the A is rhythmically weak, landing in the middle of the 2nd beat and lasting only one quarter note. The E, while landing on a weak-ish "3 and" is held out for an entire measure afterward, and provides the harmonic foundation for the melody.

As Maggamarine said, the bIII-IV sequence is another giveaway because it's such a common figure in classic rock music. The 70s rock genre really throws the whole diatonic chord/scale thing out the window, and emphasizes bluesy sounds by using or implying major harmonies, but using minor melodies.
Registered User
Join date: May 2007
3,641 IQ
Quote by sweepinblues
Would this be - I V II in the key of D or IV I V in the key of A?

The entire score (vocals + guitars + bass) of Tom Petty's "You Wreck Me" is not in a single key.

It uses the usual "I-IV-V" major chords transposed to "4" DIATONIC KEYS.

*The 5 main progressions can be summarized as:
|: Db-Ab-Db-Ab--:|
|: Eb-Bb-Eb|-Bb-F-- :|

No accidentals will occur anywhere in the score (except in the guitar solo which uses the F minor/major pentatonic scale over Eb-Bb-F chords) if it is notated as follows:

ave tempo = 164
(0 : 00.94) BARS 1-16 = Key Signature bb
(0 : 24.22) BARS 17-20 = Key Signature bbb
(0 : 30.09) BARS 21-24 = Key Signature bb
(0 : 35.96) BARS 25-28 = Key Signature bbb
(0 : 41.88) BARS 29-44 = Key Signature bb
(1 : 05.33) BARS 45-48 = Key Signature bbb
(1 : 11.21) BARS 49-52 = Key Signature bb
(1 : 17.05) BARS 53-56 = Key Signature bbb
(1 : 22.89) BARS 57-64 = Key Signature bb
(1 : 34.73) BARS 65-68 = Key Signature bbbb
(1 : 40.61) BARS 69-72 = Key Signature
(1 : 46.41) BARS 73-88 = Key Signature bb [guitar solo F minor penta / F major penta]
(2 : 08.30) BARS 88-96 = Key Signature bb
(2 : 21.42) BARS 97-100 = Key Signature bbb
(2 : 27.30) BARS 101-104 = Key Signature bb
(2 : 33.14) BARS 105-108 = Key Signature bbb
(2 : 38.96) BARS 109-132 = Key Signature bb

*"actual pitches" of the youtube video http : // www .youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=B8m5p6V_NPQ
Last edited by ha_asgag at May 1, 2013,