#1
So i just started playing highway to hell by ac/dc. The song is in the key of a major but the solo is in a minor. Why does it fit with the song?
I know its a lame question but seriously i am confused.
#2
Well, I don't think it's in A major. Just looking at the chords, it looks like D major.
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#3
The solo is still in the major key, it just uses notes outside it to get a certain sound. You can actually use any note you want in keys. Notes that are not diatonic to the key are called accidentals.
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#4
i'm not sure it's in A major (though don't quote me on that). it uses the G chord (unless I'm misremembering) which'd be the minor 7th of A (assuming A is the root/I chord). It may well be in D as BladeSlinger says.

however (like most classic rock) it's kinda bluesy (at least, the solo is), and as such, a minor scale over the same major chord normally "works". the whole thing with blues is messing with the whole major/minor thing (among other things).
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 7, 2013,
#5
TS is right -the song is in A. The G functions as a bVII, borrowed from the parallel minor.

In keys you can also use any chord you want.
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#6
Quote by AlanHB
TS is right -the song is in A. The G functions as a bVII, borrowed from the parallel minor.

In keys you can also use any chord you want.

Could have borrowed it from D major since the D follows the G.
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#7
It's in A mixolydian, same notes as D major but A is the root. The G major is a flattened 7th of Amaj. Having said that, i doubt Angus and co. were thinking that when they wrote it. It's a standard blues trick, flirt between major/minor and make it sound cool. Ditto with the solo, a minor pent over a major ish chords is common in blues music.
#8
rowan1234 is right. That happens all the time in Ac Dc's music, a whole bunch of the older stuff uses sharp minor pentatonics and notes from the flatten no matter what the major key in wich the song is written.
an example could be Gone Shootin' the solo is a misc of F# minor pentatonic and F#major.

Have fun.

And Yes I'm from Uruguay and Marihuana isn't legalized here YET.
#9
Quote by rowan1234
It's in A mixolydian, same notes as D major but A is the root.


Modes do not work that way. It's in the key of A major. If it were in A mixo it would resolve to an A7 chord. This song does not.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#10
The basic AC/DC chord progression is bVII-IV-I (or the same chords in some other order). They use it in almost every song. Highway to Hell is definitely in A major. Before the chorus they even play an E major chord that is the dominant chord of A major. The key is only defined by the resolution. If everything resolves to A, it's in A. Even though the chords would "fit" D major better. It's still in A because it resolves to A.

I also have to say that in rock and pop music it's more common to use a IV-I than a V-I. See the basic four chord progression: I-V-vi-IV or the basic rock progression: I-IV-V-IV or the AC/DC progression: bVII-IV-I or bIII-IV-I. V-I in rock music isn't that common. I mean, It's used but not that much. Moving in fourths instead of fifths is really common in rock (see bVII-IV-I - there's a fourth between bVII and IV and a fourth between IV and I).

Oh, and I forgot to say, the solo uses a minor third and it's pretty common in rock music. Minor pentatonic over a major progression is common. It just works and gives the song a more bluesy feeling. Listen to the singing melody. It also uses the minor third. But that doesn't change the key of the solo to minor. It's still in major, using b3 and b7 accidentals - again, really common in rock and blues music.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 7, 2013,
#11
Quote by AlanHB
Modes do not work that way. It's in the key of A major. If it were in A mixo it would resolve to an A7 chord. This song does not.


touché

yeah i guess it's just A with the flattened VII chord then.

that's what i get for assuming AC/DC was being fancy EDIT: and also for straying out of the gear forums
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#12
^^^ Don't worry mate, it's a very common mistake.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Of course it's in A major, A mixolydian isn't a key. It's a scale. An A major scale with a flattened 7th degree is a mixolydian scale.

I only said about D major because someone else suggested it was in D major.

At the end of the day it doesnt matter, it's just giving a name to a musical trick. Ultimately if it sounds cool, carry on.
#15
^^^ Actually you can say a song is in the mode of A mixolydian if it resolves to an A7. Modes are a form of tonality predating keys. However it is not common that a song is actually in a mode.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#16
Sorry , im only new to music theory , and im sure the answer will be way beyond me , but maybe if i remember it , it will make sense later =)

What do u mean when u say resolved? i assume is the right word , resolves to something? ive learnt a little about turnarounds and their formation ( 1 and 2 ) and about notes in a certain scale , but all i read pertained to looking at the symbols on sheet music and then figuring out from the sequence if it was in its harmonic or umm en? harmonic form , and to use the modes as a way to match notes within the circle etc (ie three notes down can be scaled to three modes up or somesuch)
#17
^ "resolve" just means "going back to home base" [when you're talking about resolving to the I chord], for want of a better phrase. where it feels "rested", and without any dissonance etc.

EDIT: wikipedia to the rescue

"Resolution in western tonal music theory is the move of a note or chord from dissonance (an unstable sound) to a consonance (a more final or stable sounding one)."
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 9, 2013,
#18
Ok cool , that actually makes more sense to me than i thought it would=)
#19


based on my previous form in this thread, though, probably wait for one of the other regulars to confirm that what i said was right. LOL.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
Yeah, it's pretty hard to explain what it means. You need to hear it. You kind of feel pull back to that chord. Try playing C-F-G chord progression. Try staying on the G chord. You should start feeling a pull back to the C chord. Now play the C chord and it sounds complete. But resolving somewhere is all about hearing it, not seeing it - music is all about sound and doesn't work that well on paper. It depends on the context where something resolves to. For example you can make a chord progression with C, F and G chords resolve to C, F or G.

For example C-F-G-C is in C, G-F-C-G is most likely in G (the basic AC/DC progression) and F-G-C-F could be in F (the G chord functions as secondary dominant). But the same chord progressions could be in other keys too. It has to do with what's played before and after those chords. It also has to do with the rhythm you play them and what other instruments play at the same time.
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
#21
Im sorta assuming thats why they make me finish on single strums in the practise turnarounds of G em c d7 , finish on a single strum of g , and c am dm and g7 finish on a single strum of c