#1
Hi I could use some help in trying to figure out which key my chord progression is in.

The chords are:

A#, Adim, Gm and F#dim

I know the basics about major and minor keys, and the chords doesn't fit anything I know. So I'm really confused.
#2
Bb major or G minor,

Bb(A#) = Bb, D, F
Adim = A, C, Eb
Gm = G, Bb, D
F#dim = F#, A, C

Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A = Bb major or G minor scale.

When you play a F#dim the scale changes to Bb, C, D, Eb, F#, G, A, which is G harmonic minor
Last edited by AmIEvil? at Jan 21, 2014,
#3
I'll have a tentative go. I'd say Bb major (same as A# I've just labelled it differently).

First of all, Gm is the vi chord in Bb major and it's pretty common to have both the tonic and the vi chord (also known as relative minor) in a chord sequence.

Now those pesky diminished chords. Look at the notes you're playing in an Adim7 chord (A C Eb Gb) and then an F#dim7 chord (F# A C Eb). Notice that the notes are exactly the same or at least enharmonic (all this means is that F# = Gb which I'm sure you already knew.)

This means you can basically treat them as the same chord just in an inversion. The secret to Dim7 chords is that if you move the whole thing up a minor third (3 frets) it's still the same notes just in a different order from low to high! In your example, from F# to A but you could carry on to C and then Eb and then you're back at Gb/F#!

So if we take Bb to be the tonic, why does an Admin chord appear there despite not being in key? (the vii chord 'should' be a min7b5) Without getting into jazz theory, I'll just say a vii(dim) chord is often used to 'lead on' to the tonic (Bb in this case) because there's a very nice and strong resolution.

Hope this makes some sense, and I'm sure someone will be along soon to correct me!
#4
Quote by Meikle Treikle
I'll have a tentative go. I'd say Bb major (same as A# I've just labelled it differently).


There's no such thing as A# major key. It's Bb.

A# - C - D - D#
Already the key doesn't work.
#5
Thanks for the replies guys! Meikle, I appreciate you're effort but AmIEvil's explenation made more sense. There is a problem with the way you explained it, if it's going to work then i have to play Dim7 chords instead of regular Dim. So it wont sound the same when you play it fingerpicked. But thanks again for taking you're time!
#6
Remember that key isn't determined by figuring out what scale the chords fit.

It's determined by listening to the resolution. Where does this progression sound resolved?

If this is all there is, and it's in this order, the strong descending nature of this progression really wants to put the resolution on F#.
#7
Quote by HotspurJr
Remember that key isn't determined by figuring out what scale the chords fit.

It's determined by listening to the resolution. Where does this progression sound resolved?

If this is all there is, and it's in this order, the strong descending nature of this progression really wants to put the resolution on F#.


It goes Bb, Adim, Gmin, Gbdim and back to Gmin. Sorry for not posting the whole progression, I was more concerned about what key it was.
#8
Quote by The Swede Dude
It goes Bb, Adim, Gmin, Gbdim and back to Gmin. Sorry for not posting the whole progression, I was more concerned about what key it was.


Right. The point is that you can't separate those two things.

The first thing you need to do when determining the key is to listen. Listen to how different this sounds with that final Gm.

I hear it as Gm now, but I could imagine melodic choices really pushing it towards Bb, too.
#9
What HotSpurJr is saying, I think, is that you can have a chord progression that ends on a certain chord, but simply does not feel resolved.

The main progression in Dock of the Bay is something like G|B7|C|A.

It ends on A, but it is not in the key of A, and part of the energy of the song comes from the fact that it does not feel resolved when you play the final chord in that progression, so that pushes the song to move forward to the next phrase seeking resolution.

The next progression is G|E|G|E|G|A|G|E

This time it ends on E, but that is not the key either, though it feels a bit more resolved I think because there has been a prior A and B, and E (albeit Em) is relative minor of G, so all the G's also have an E in them. That's a lot of E's but still does not feel fully resolved to E.

Then you get the third progression: G|D|C|G|D|C|G|D|C|F|D

Now this is basically four triads of chords, which are strongly in key of G, except none of the triads end on G. The final D is the relative minor of F, but played as major, which is the same intervallic movement as at the end of the prior two progressions (C to A, or G to E), so there's a symmetry, a feel of building/kicking it up a notch.

Ultimately, the song most strongly feels like key of G, and most would agree with that, but it never ENDS on G, and so the end of each phrase leaves you wanting more, and then the start of the next phrase, with G, seems to satisfy this, but that G is always the start of a new phrase, so the song does not sit still, and it ultimately ends on the E which again feels SOMEWHAT resolved, but not fully.

So, you can tell us all day long that a progression ends on Gm, but that won't mean it feels resolved, Part of that depends not just on the chords chosen, or the sequence, but what's the strum pattern, how many beats is each chord played, and I suppose also the melody played over it.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#10
Quote by macashmack
There's no such thing as A# major key. It's Bb.

A# - C - D - D#
Already the key doesn't work.


there is such a thing as A# major. A# - B# - Cx - D#. i'm not contesting that it's a complete and utter bitch to have to read or think in, because it is. but the fact of the matter is that it does exist.

the progression is hardcore G minor. III - iiº - i - viiº - i. it could still be Bb major, in which case the chord functions would be I - viiº - vi - viiº/vi - vi, where G minor is simply tonicized. without context no clear definition can be given. assuming that this progression is repeated ad nauseum in the modern style, G minor would be a safer bet than Bb major.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#11
Quote by macashmack
There's no such thing as A# major key. It's Bb.

A# - C - D - D#
Already the key doesn't work.


Wrong my friend but nice try. There most certainly is a Key of A#, but because of the double sharps, most of the time it's re-purposed to Bb.

A# B# Cx D# E# Fx Gx A#

@TS What do the chords seem to want to resolve to?

I'd suggest that it sounds like G minor.

Best,

Sean