#1
I have no clue how to figure out the key when the chords are like this?

I Have 2 chords what is the key of my song?

F#Minor And AMajor7
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#3
Look at all the notes in the chords, and count the sharps or flats. That's the easiest way to figure it out.
#4
It's actually "of monsters and men - mountain sound". In the song it uses a capo on the 4th fret. It calls the chords D minor and fmaj7 but the "real" chords are F#Minor And AMajor7. (What I could figure out.)
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#5
Listened to some of it and you have a lot to work with. Figure out the notes in the melody and where everything feels like "home" to you.
#6
And If I get all the chords written out, how do I figure out the key from there?

And If I have the key can I determine the chord progression? ie. (I-VI-V-III)
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#7
Where does the music feel most resolved? That's the key. If keys were actually determined by counting up all the notes in the chords and that's it, then most music wouldn't have a key.

Never just tally the notes and fit them into a scale. That's blind, dumb, and ignores the fact that pretty much all music contains accidentals.

Find the chord that releases all the tension. That's the key. This way, you don't have to be thrown off when one or two of the chords in a song aren't what you'd expect them to be.
"I agree with Matthew about everything" - Everyone
#8
I think my question is a bit misleading.

What I'm really trying to find out is how to determine keys if given weird chords like AMaj7 and F#min.

I know when you have diatonic chords it goes maj,min,min,maj,maj,min,dim.

So my scale could be 'a major' and just add a seventh to every chord? And my 'I' would be Amaj7? maj7,min7,min7,maj7,maj7,min7,dim7.

Then what about F#minor? That doesn't have a seventh?
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Last edited by theravenhop at Jul 23, 2013,
#9
Someone back me on this ( I am learning too )

If it could be A major then spell out A major:
A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#


Imaj7 - Amaj7
iim7 - Bm7
iiim7 - C#m7
IVmaj7 - Dmaj7
V7 - E7
vim7- F#min7
VIIm7b5 - Gm7b5

Some observations:
1. Close!! except the dominant and the leading tone have the incorrect chord qualities in your analysis.

2. dim7 should actually be dim7b5 --> and that only happens once in a key?

3. The dominant 7th --> only happens once in a key?

4. F# minor doesn't need to have a seventh, but it can.

Most likely it looks like A major but I am not sure... If it is difficult at first to hear what note is resolved to, maybe there are exercises?
#10
So I listened to the song, the intro sounds like A major. Hear the first chord as the one it resolves to: I, vi, V

Not sure if it modulates to F# minor in the verse or not.
#11
Quote by theravenhop
I think my question is a bit misleading.

What I'm really trying to find out is how to determine keys if given weird chords like AMaj7 and F#min.

I know when you have diatonic chords it goes maj,min,min,maj,maj,min,dim.

So my scale could be 'a major' and just add a seventh to every chord? And my 'I' would be Amaj7? maj7,min7,min7,maj7,maj7,min7,dim7.

Then what about F#minor? That doesn't have a seventh?

You can figure out the chords in the key by yourself. You don't need to guess the formula. Just look at the notes in the scale and build chords. First you have to know what maj7, dom7 (the "regular" 7 chord) and m7 means and the intervals. Maj7 is a major chord with a major 7th. For example Amaj7: A C# E G#. Dom7 is a major chord with a minor 7th. For example A7: A C# E G. Minor 7th chord is a minor chord with a minor 7th. For example Am7: A C E G. There are also mMaj7 (minor chord, major 7th - A C E G#), m7b5 (diminished chord, minor 7th - A C Eb G) and dim7 (diminished chord and 7th - A C Eb Gb) chords.

So here is how to build the 7th chords:
maj7: 1 3 5 7
(dom)7: 1 3 5 b7
m7: 1 b3 5 b7
mMaj7: 1 b3 5 7
m7b5: 1 b3 b5 b7
dim7: 1 b3 b5 bb7

Now if you know all the intervals, just look at the scale and see what kind of chords you can build with it. You already know the major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished thing. (But remember that you can figure it out by yourself by harmonizing the scale - you might only have memorized the thing but haven't really understood where it comes from... Or maybe you have?) Now you just need to add the 7th note.

So to built the chords, start the A major scale with the root, third, fifth and seventh. Then look at the intervals between the notes. For example the first chord: A C# E G# - between A and C# there's a major third, between A and E there's a perfect fifth and between A and G# there's a major 7th. What we got is an Amaj7 chord. Here are all chords in A major:

     R  3  5  7
I:   A  C# E  G# - Amaj7
ii:  B  D  F# A  - Bm7
iii: C# E  G# B  - C#m7
IV:  D  F# A  C# - Dmaj7
V:   E  G# B  D  - E7
vi:  F# A  C# E  - F#m7
vii: G# B  D  F# - G#m7b5


It's also good to learn how different 7th chords sound like.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 24, 2013,
#12
Quote by theravenhop
I think my question is a bit misleading.

What I'm really trying to find out is how to determine keys if given weird chords like AMaj7 and F#min.


Why do you think those chords are weird? These chords are about as straightforward as you get.

This is the problem I'm having. F#m is the relative minor of A major. This is either a Imaj7-vi or a i-bIIImaj7, depending on which one is the tonic. Usually when a some is ambiguous between a major and its relative minor, our ear defaults to the major sounding more "home" but in this case the 7th might change things a little. I find this one to be a little ambiguous - at the very least it depends on how you play it.

Here's the thing you need to know about finding the key:

The key IS what the key SOUNDS LIKE.

You need to learn to hear a resolution (which the functional ear trainer will help with) and then just just listen. What's the tonic note? Is the tonic chord major or minor? That's your key.
Last edited by HotspurJr at Jul 25, 2013,
#13
Thanks guys 4 the help

R 3 5 7
I: A C# E G# - Amaj7
ii: B D F# A - Bm7
iii: C# E G# B - C#m7
IV: D F# A C# - Dmaj7
V: E G# B D - E7
vi: F# A C# E - F#m7
vii: G# B D F# - G#m7b5

So since F#min isn't found in those 7 chords that means it's not in the same key as A major?

They must modulate the chords during the verse?
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#14
Quote by theravenhop
Thanks guys 4 the help

R 3 5 7
I: A C# E G# - Amaj7
ii: B D F# A - Bm7
iii: C# E G# B - C#m7
IV: D F# A C# - Dmaj7
V: E G# B D - E7
vi: F# A C# E - F#m7
vii: G# B D F# - G#m7b5

So since F#min isn't found in those 7 chords that means it's not in the same key as A major?

They must modulate the chords during the verse?


What's that? No F#m? There it is.

The second bolded part is your second mistake. The diatonic chords are only a guideline. This was already said to you more than once so please listen this time: Don't just look at the notes and see which scale they fit. LISTEN! Where's the resolution? You can have as many non-diatonic chords as you want and still be in a key. As long as the music resolves. No modulation is necessary. Please use your ears.

Music theory isn't a purely academic, dry exercise in definitions. It's real, and it's powerful. You have to hear it, or else it's useless.
"I agree with Matthew about everything" - Everyone
#15
Quote by theravenhop
Thanks guys 4 the help

R 3 5 7
I: A C# E G# - Amaj7
ii: B D F# A - Bm7
iii: C# E G# B - C#m7
IV: D F# A C# - Dmaj7
V: E G# B D - E7
vi: F# A C# E - F#m7
vii: G# B D F# - G#m7b5

So since F#min isn't found in those 7 chords that means it's not in the same key as A major?

They must modulate the chords during the verse?

F# minor isn't a 7 chord, it's a triad and that's why you can't find it in 7 chords. F#m7 is the same as F#m but it also has the 7 note. Read my earlier post.

Oh, and do you now understand where the major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished thing comes from?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jul 25, 2013,
#16
Yeah I understand that but only to a certain degree. I'm using justin guitars practical music theory book.

But it only goes so far. It doesn't explain modulation or a couple of the things you guys talked about.

What book do you recommend I buy?
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#17
Quote by theravenhop


What book do you recommend I buy?


Start with ear training. Theory is not meaningful unless you can hear it.

I found that the functional ear trainer is what made my ears take a huge leap in their development. But it's also about transcribing. practice, practice, practice.

Then I like two books on theory:

Harmony and Theory by Shroeder and Wyatt, which is a good basic textbook.

and

Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles which is a great PRACTICAL guide.

But seriously - theory training that isn't backed up by ear training (which is harder, and slower) is not useful.
#18
Quote by HotspurJr
Start with ear training. Theory is not meaningful unless you can hear it.

But seriously - theory training that isn't backed up by ear training (which is harder, and slower) is not useful.

This is so true. We had mandatory theory classes when I started playing the trumpet and we pretty much focused on doing things on paper. Yes, there was some ear training but IMO there should have been more of it. We learned the intervals on paper and chord functions on paper. We sometimes sang something and listened to some chords (minor/major/diminished) and some intervals but I felt like I didn't really learn anything useful. It felt really easy but I didn't learn anything. But one year (it was about voice leading) we used piano and I learned a lot more than I had learned ever before (it was the last year we had theory classes). We played everything on piano and it really helped me understand things. Music is all about sound, it doesn't really work on paper.

Now I also understand why so many people hate theory classes. They could be really useful but I think theory is just taught the wrong way, at least in Finland. It should be more practical.

/rant
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#19
I got em morieized no but coz up with some thing.. In dorions pathic little miserbable aryein life
#20
Yeah, I totally hear you on why people hate theory classes. Too much theory is taught disconnected from music.

I like to think of a theory as a tool who's purpose is to help you learn musical concepts. I mean, imagine how hard it would be for you to understand that all the different V-Is you hear are the same musical idea, without any theoretical background (note names, chord construction, the concept of a key center and scale degrees, etc)? If you can't hear a V-I, it's pointless, but they're a hell of a lot easier to hear once you've been told to listen for them.
#21
Cool thanks guys for the useful info.

One more question.

Is melody, such as singing, be something that can be analyzed to the core? Or are there aspects of it that are intuitive such as rhythm?
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Last edited by theravenhop at Jul 27, 2013,