Theory questions! Hope I make sense to somebody.

Take a 1-4-5 progression like A-D-E. If the first chord is the A, then the song would be considered in the key of A, right? Would it matter if the first chord was the IV (D)? Would the key change to D and the new D-E-A progression would now be considered 1-2-and whatever A is, maybe the 5?

And a follow up. What if you just have a bunch of not thought out chords? Would the key be whatever the first chord is and you're just using 3bs and 6#s or whatever, OR would you find the key that gave you the most natural intervals even if you're then starting the progression on some crazy interval like a 6th?

Damn tough trying to explain myself. Thanks guys!
If A D E is I-IV-V then D E A will be IV-V-I still in the key

If you wanted to play D E A in the key of D it should be D Em A and that would I-II-V
Quote by deluxity
If A D E is I-IV-V then D E A will be IV-V-I still in the key

If you wanted to play D E A in the key of D it should be D Em A and that would I-II-V

Not true. D E A can be in the key of D too, using a secondary dominant, ie I-V/V-V. But in most cases it won't sound like that.

It depends on the sound. Sometimes D-E-A sounds like I-V/V-V, sometimes it sounds like IV-V-I. You need to listen to the song where the progression is. Analyzing chord progressions without a context is useless.

The first chord isn't necessarily the tonic. But in many cases the first chord of the song is the tonic because the first chord of the progression is a really strong chord.

But to find the key you just have to listen to the song. Which of the chords sounds the most resolved? That's your tonic. Sometimes you'll be using non diatonic chords. For example many AC/DC songs use a bVII-IV-I progression (even though it could also be a IV-I-V progression - but it isn't because it doesn't sound like IV-I-V). It's all about how it sounds like and what feels like the key center. That's your key.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Quote by MaggaraMarine
But to find the key you just have to listen to the song. Which of the chords sounds the most resolved? That's your tonic. Sometimes you'll be using non diatonic chords.

Thanks. I guess there's no way around it being so subjective. Wish my brain woked like that.
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Not true. D E A can be in the key of D too, using a secondary dominant, ie I-V/V-V. But in most cases it won't sound like that.

well yeah, i was just talking about strictly having a D major scale. With a secondary dominant of the V you will have a G# which has nothing to do (strictly talking) with D major
^ Yeah, but you can still be in the key of D major and use accidentals. You aren't limited to just seven notes. And a lot of songs use non-diatonic chords. But yeah, in most cases D-E-A will sound like IV-V-I, especially if the A chord lasts longer than the other chords. But there are some songs with that progression that are in D major where it functions as I-V/V-V. And that's why analyzing chord progressions out of context is pretty useless. It has a lot to do with what's played before and after the chord progression and also the rhythm. If you emphasize the D chord, for example play it for a lot longer than the other chords, it may start sounding like the key center. Or if the progression continues with something else. We need a context to really be able to analyze a chord progression. Again, using non-diatonic chords is really usual (though D-E-A progression isn't the best example and I agree that in most cases it sounds like IV-V-I).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Quote by MaggaraMarine
But there are some songs with that progression that are in D major where it functions as I-V/V-V.

I get the I and the V but what's the V/V?
V/V is a secondary dominant, meaning it is the dominant chord of the dominant chord of your key.
I'm an
Engeneer
Enginear
Enginere

I'm Good at Math