In the song "Lay Your Ghosts To Rest" (link below), at a particular lead part around 2 minutes in, there seems to be multiple key changes. My questions are: "Are there actually key changes and what are they?" and "How would I go about recognizing key changes for later uses and deciphering the actual keys being used?"

Lay Your Ghosts To Rest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5a4fZTNal8 (The part is from 3:07-3:35)
Last edited by synanddaath at Jun 1, 2014,
TS do you think this song is in a key? And if so, what key do you think it is in?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Quote by synanddaath
My questions are: "Are there actually key changes and what are they?" and "How would I go about recognizing key changes for later uses and deciphering the actual keys being used?"

Probably not the answer you were looking for, but you can really drive yourself crazy trying to label everything BTBAM does. If you're looking for compositional advice, just take the part that sounds like a key change and think about the shift and why it sounds like a shift (intervals, tonal center, etc.). See if you can borrow that sound somehow (regardless of what it's grammatically correct name is).

If I were you, I would begin by trying to understand the arpeggios/scales that Paul plays individually by phrase. It sounds like most every phrase starts with a new chord (and this is probably the chord progression you are looking for). Try comparing the lead guitar phrases to the chords one at a time.

It's hard to tell because of the non-standard chords and the lack of repetition, but the entire part you're asking about looks like it might fit a C# minor chord progression.
We could answer this, but it sounds like the answer won't be terribly useful to you at this point. Whether there are genuine key changes can be a bit subjective at times, and even then, what are you going to do with that information?

I would start by learning how you define key/tonality in the first place.
I wouldn't start with something like BTBAM for investigating key changes. They change keys ALL THE TIME. lol And sometimes, it sounds sort of like a key change, but it's not. Not a great band to start off with. lol

Anyway, try something simple. For example, a lot of guitar-based pop songs use the same key for most of the song. But some of them will change keys during the chorus or bridge. Look into those kind of songs.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Jun 2, 2014,
Wow, I've heard people talk about them but never heard any of their music. That's pretty cool.

The part you're asking about is somehow (I didn't take the time to really analyze it) giving the illusion of slowly drifting through keys without really resolving before finally coming back to the end, but I'm pretty sure it's actually staying in C# minor the whole time. If you keep playing C# while listening to that section you can hear it more easily.

As others have said though, this is pretty advanced stuff and shouldn't be your focus if you aren't quite sure how to identify key changes yet. The first step is being able to identify keys. Listen to something like the more normal variants of blues, rock, pop country, folk, etc. and try to identify the note that sounds like home, the one note that the whole song or section resolves to. Once you can do this it will make it easier to tell when it changes, although some cases (like this one) can be more difficult than others.
after listening... this is definitely not music heavily rooted in concepts of key/tonality and harmonic motion. That middle section (without the cookie monster vocals) is straightforward chord changes in key, but everything else is mashing the fretboard to a heavy rhythm.

To play this stuff and understand it you definitely need to know the theory you're asking about, but it's not going to apply in a straightforward manner in this genre. Traditional modulations is VERY different from just moving around different keys.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jun 2, 2014,