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#1
This thread just started out wrong lol. What I was meaning to ask is this: When jamming with other musicians when is it time to change key in a session?

I ask cos I was playing Rocksmith 2014 and went to Session Mode and every now and then the drummer would hit a quick fill and BOOM smooth transition into a new key. I was confused as to how this would work in an actual setting so some help would be appreciated

[expected answer: you just feel it when the music hits you man. Science shows that when two musicians play together their brains sync.)
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#6
If you're just jamming I wouldn't worry about key changes. Unless you have a specific spot and can give everyone a cue. It just defeats the purpose of jamming for me. I like to just play and have fun and see where it goes. If I'm constantly having to make sure I'm ready for key changes and stuff then I don't feel like I'm really "jamming"

Writing with a band is completely different though. Don't get me wrong, I like planning things out. I like key changes. A few of my band's songs have key changes, tempo changes, and time signature changes. We just plan it out. "Oh it'd be cool if we changed keys as a transition from this section to this section" "what if we sped up right here to make this part a little more intense" "everyone ring out a chord here and we'll try and go into that other idea we had that's in a different time signature" etc
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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#7
Eric, what do you think a key change is?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
Quote by AlanHB
Eric, what do you think a key change is?


Wen oe is playing in one key...and switches to another? Don't know what's expected here haha.

Well so far I'm satisfied with the answers. I mean if you can take the time to either plan before a jam or if you can make the extra effort to shout out the next key for the band it would be a simple fix. I was just wondering how is all.
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#10
Eric, a key change is when you go from:

G-Maj C-Maj D-Maj

TO

A-Maj D-Maj E-Maj

This is where the key changes up a whole-tone. Is that what you meaning?
#11
Quote by eric_wearing

[expected answer: you just feel it when the music hits you man. Science shows that when two musicians play together their brains sync.)


Yes, sometimes that happens, particularly if they're very good musicians who have played together a lot.

Sometimes they'll talk to each other. I have an old Sting bootleg of an acoustic session where, at one point, you can hear him say, "Go to C# after four." (This is a guy with an incredible deep understanding of music, with a whole bunch of great musicians with jazz/improv backgrounds playing with him. And he just told them what he wanted. Certainly you or I or other less great musicians can do the same thing).

Sometimes you'll set certain cues in advance. THey can be musical (the guitarists does X, or the drummer does Y). They can be physical (I know one jam band has a bunch of hand signals - a guy can pat the top of his head, or angle the neck of his guitar down, and everybody knows what that means).

Sometimes it's about listening to each other and knowing each other. eg, maybe one thing I do a lot of change keys is to turn a diatonic chord into a dom7, and then use that as a V-I. So if my band hears me go Dm-D7, then know that we're going to the key of G on the chord change. Of course, this relies on musicians who are really listening to each other, which is a skill you have to develop: too many musicians only listen to themselves.
#12
If you are playing a song, you play the song, and if it modulates then you had better be modulating too.

If you are improvising with people on a "jam" that isn't a defined song structure that everyone knows, you are probably wise to let them know if you are changing key ("hey dude, changing key in two bars!").

But maybe you're modulating with a cadence that is a tipoff to the key change -- then the other guys (hopefully) know where you're going from what's implied by the music.

Or maybe you just go sink-or-swim and brazenly shift to a new key (at the end of an eight- or sixteen-bar passage), see who can recover on the fly.

I hope that's responsive.
#13
Honestly, random key change s at a jam sessions are so rare it's not even worth worrying about. If you're at a level where you're jamming with people who can change keys on a whim coherently, you aren't going to be worrying about knowing when that happens - it will be obvious!
#14
You change key when there's a dominant leading to a new tonic. You can make it as complicated as you want or you can accept that.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#15
Demonstrates a nice key change near the end of the vid. He is classically trained.

http://youtu.be/JBY8EYgTTqY
Last edited by mdc at Sep 16, 2014,
#16
well... don't know if this will help you, but I guess if you are playin for example in the key of C, and you see a Key change coming, it's probably that it will change to the key of G, since G is the fifth of C, the dominant I guess it's called...

I'have seen this for example in Bleak by Opeth, the beggining starts in the key of E, phrygyan dominant, but right before the clean verse it changes to B minor and if we count... E-F-G#-A-B, B is the fifth on the key of E...

Have you seen the Circle of Fifths? I was afraid of it at first, but trust me, it helps a lot...

Hopes this helped you... English is not my native language so I really hope I didn't fckd up...

Cheer bro!
#17
Quote by carpercen
well... don't know if this will help you, but I guess if you are playin for example in the key of C, and you see a Key change coming, it's probably that it will change to the key of G, since G is the fifth of C, the dominant I guess it's called...

The key change isn't always towards the V. And the V isn't the only functional dominant.
#18
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
The key change isn't always towards the V. And the V isn't the only functional dominant.


I'm not an expert bro, just sharing the little things I know, it may not be the best example but it's a start...

As far as I know, the tendency is because from C to G there's only one different note:

C Major Key: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C
G Major Key: G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G

And I gues another good option could be the fourth: FMaj

F major Key: F-G-A-Bb-C-D-E-F

or the sixth but in minor key

A minor: A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A

and maybe the second and third also in minor:

D minor: D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C-D

E minor: E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E

that's what I know so far about chord changes...

As I said, I'm not an expert yet... so, what do you think? I'd like to read your opinion, it's good to learn something new
#19
So here's my question...

Assuming you don't know how to change key....

How are the people that you're playing with going to know/understand when to change key? Unless you are jamming with pro's, it's generally seen as poor form to just flip the script in a cooperative jam. I have been known to do it with my students on stage, kind of like, "Follow the Leader" but they know its in fun, and they also know to anticipate it, and how to find the new key change quickly.

So, assuming you don't know how, how are you going to make this not fail badly by springing key changes upon people, that I assume are close to your musical level?

Best,

Sean
#20
As a frequent user of Rocksmith 2014's session mode, I just want to add that I don't think you understand what's happening, because in my experience you don't change keys in session mode without backing out to the menu. I certainly don't recall seeing it happen while playing, but I could be wrong.

What's probably happening is you're changing the scale position, which is not the same as changing the key. Since a scale is made up of a collection of notes centered on the root, and that root can appear in multiple places on the neck, you can play in any position where the root appears. This is why you can play the A major pentatonic starting at the second, fifth, seventh, etc. frets.
#21
Quote by eric_wearing
Wen oe is playing in one key...and switches to another? Don't know what's expected here haha.


Yep good. Can you provide an example of a key change?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#22
It's not that uncommon to change your key in a jam. Usually in jams you have one riff and then you may have another riff that could be in another key. Many jam riffs are just basically one chord. Of course it depends on a jam.

But yeah, it's all about listening and communicating (that's what jamming is all about). You can just mark the modulation. It could be anything - a drum fill, a nod or you could just say "let's modulate to the key of X". Sometimes you can hear it from the other guys' playing (for example a certain kind of scale run or something like that which leads to the next key). Also, usually before the key change there is an even amount of bars, for example 16 bars in one key, then a key change and 8 bars in the new key.
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#23
Quote by CarsonStevens
As a frequent user of Rocksmith 2014's session mode, I just want to add that I don't think you understand what's happening, because in my experience you don't change keys in session mode without backing out to the menu. I certainly don't recall seeing it happen while playing, but I could be wrong.

What's probably happening is you're changing the scale position, which is not the same as changing the key. Since a scale is made up of a collection of notes centered on the root, and that root can appear in multiple places on the neck, you can play in any position where the root appears. This is why you can play the A major pentatonic starting at the second, fifth, seventh, etc. frets.


Well there's an option in the menu that allows you to change complexity. The lowest is "Jam" which keeps the whole session in the selected key. I can't remember the algorithm but every level of complexity above jam goes through key changes.
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#24
Quote by AlanHB
Yep good. Can you provide an example of a key change?


Not exactly. I just experienced it in that game and I got curious. So far my only knowledge is what's been posted here. Apparently the V is a good one to fall back on. I would assume you change to another key that's in your scale.
Like C goes to Dm. From there Dm to Bb(m)? (IKDK minor key notes yet).
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#25
Quote by eric_wearing
Not exactly. I just experienced it in that game and I got curious. So far my only knowledge is what's been posted here. Apparently the V is a good one to fall back on. I would assume you change to another key that's in your scale.
Like C goes to Dm. From there Dm to Bb(m)? (IKDK minor key notes yet).


Is not that hard bro 0//

At first I started playing just for fun and I've been studying from videos and internet some musical theory and trust me, is the best I could have done! you should try it too!
I've been reading on my free time after work, like 1 o 2 hours per day but the things I've learned oh man! you won't regret it!


there are lots of pages out there from where to start, but if you like I could recommend you one or two!

I really hope you dig into it cause it's the best you can do! Once you start understanding music a whole new world of possibilities opens for you!
#26
Honestly, this is all of my training in these posts here. A great start of course but not sure where to go from there. I was just gonna find a teacher who teaches guitar, theory, and/or composition
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#27
Quote by eric_wearing
Honestly, this is all of my training in these posts here. A great start of course but not sure where to go from there. I was just gonna find a teacher who teaches guitar, theory, and/or composition


Learn from different sources. Look up the same concepts in different places. You'll achieve a better understanding of everything if you view it in different contexts.
#29
Quote by eric_wearing
Not exactly. I just experienced it in that game and I got curious. So far my only knowledge is what's been posted here. Apparently the V is a good one to fall back on. I would assume you change to another key that's in your scale.
Like C goes to Dm. From there Dm to Bb(m)? (IKDK minor key notes yet).


See, I don't think you are really talking about key changes. It's a shift of the tonic. Key changes to the V are uncommon. Key changes one step up and changing to a minor key (C to Dm) are even more uncommon.

Are you really just talking about playing on a different part of the guitar neck?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#31
I think alot of gospel songs do this. They play the whole song and then they go up either 1 key or half step and play the song all over again.
sounds like it gives the song a new energy.
#32
Well I don't really know Key changes then. In the Session Mode there are key changes that I obviously don't get yet. I was just making an inference as to what a key change is based off a post in here earlier.
I mean it's clear that it is a key change since there was a point while I was playing where the screen had a big C Major on it (I like starting off simple) and there was a drum fill then the screen changed the whole deal to Fm.
Really wish I could grab a quality vid for you guys
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
#33
Quote by ken styles
I think alot of gospel songs do this. They play the whole song and then they go up either 1 key or half step and play the song all over again.
sounds like it gives the song a new energy.


Sounds like a hack move to me
#34
Quote by eric_wearing
Well I don't really know Key changes then. In the Session Mode there are key changes that I obviously don't get yet. I was just making an inference as to what a key change is based off a post in here earlier.
I mean it's clear that it is a key change since there was a point while I was playing where the screen had a big C Major on it (I like starting off simple) and there was a drum fill then the screen changed the whole deal to Fm.
Really wish I could grab a quality vid for you guys


The point here is that random key changes like that never actually happen in real life jam sessions, so its really not something you should worry about. If it helps you build your chops then great, but in real life you'll never be surprised by a key change when jamming with people. The only genre where complex stuff like that really happens in a jamming scenario is jazz, where the tunes can be more complex. That being said, you shouldn't be jamming jazz tunes in public that you don't already know - that's a recipe for embarrassment!
#35
Quote by reverb66
The only genre where complex stuff like that really happens in a jamming scenario is jazz, where the tunes can be more complex. That being said, you shouldn't be jamming jazz tunes in public that you don't already know - that's a recipe for embarrassment!


Yeah. This is why most Jazz musicians have a huge mental library of standards. "Oh, we're playing Autumn Leaves. I know how that goes."
#36
Quote by carpercen
As I said, I'm not an expert yet... so, what do you think? I'd like to read your opinion, it's good to learn something new

I think I'm talking about functional harmony, not what you were talking about.
http://www.franksinger.com/Amusic/functional_harm.htm

If you can't read music, go to http://www.musictheory.net/lessons and go through the section titled "The Basics" for about a week straight.

Edit:
Btw, this topic doesn't apply directly to key changes; I'm just pointing out that functional harmony comes into play sometimes; usually, more so as a transition to a new key. As some may know, we frequently use a "bridge chord" (a chord in both keys) to make a smooth transition from one key to another. Then, we dance off happily into our new key with abandon!
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Sep 19, 2014,
#38
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I think I'm talking about functional harmony, not what you were talking about.
http://www.franksinger.com/Amusic/functional_harm.htm

If you can't read music, go to http://www.musictheory.net/lessons and go through the section titled "The Basics" for about a week straight.

Edit:
Btw, this topic doesn't apply directly to key changes; I'm just pointing out that functional harmony comes into play sometimes; usually, more so as a transition to a new key. As some may know, we frequently use a "bridge chord" (a chord in both keys) to make a smooth transition from one key to another. Then, we dance off happily into our new key with abandon!


Thanks bro! I've never heard about functional harmony before...

And btw, musicaltheory.net is a great page, I was going to recommend it to TC

Thanks bro, I'll be reading that!
#39
A few weeks ago I started to learn this at college and what I have to say to you for what I know so far.

a) You can change key whenever you want
b) A change of key (modulation) is when the root chord (degree, tonic, etc) basically changes, for doing this, you can just, change chords directly,
change the rhythm part where the root chords is located, doing several cadences to make it obvious, etc.
c) And that sometimes, not everything is a modulation, sometimes you're just extending one particular chord and it sounds like a change
of key,but it ain't.


If you're jamming....well, I think that you'll might to know the people you're playing, have very good players that understand this or
give them a sign. Otherwise, they'll be playing in the key that you we're playing before.
#40
I'll find a YouTube clip for you guys

Couldn't find a good clip but here is a pretty cleat guide on using the session mode to it's fullest potential. Before I paste I think you guys were right about not being key changes but instead root changes. I musta gotten confused when I switched from c Major to b Major which shouldn't work...whatever heh

"Below the instruments are the controls for the root, scale, and complexity of the tune you will be playing with your band. The root setting lets you choose any main root note or key, from C through B. The scale setting includes the following: Pentatonic Minor, Pentatonic Major, Ionian (aka the major scale), Dorian (a minor mode starting on the second note of a major scale), Phrygian (another minor mode), Lydian (a major-type mode that sounds like an augmented or whole-tone scale), Mixolydian (a very common major-type mode, also called a "flat 7" scale), Aeolian ("natural" minor, another common mode), Harmonic minor (Aeolian with a raised 7th note), Phrygian dominant (an altered Phrygian scale, think "Hava Nagila"), and the Blues scale. If this is gibberish, that's perfectly normal. All these scale modes come from ancient Greece and their far-out lyre playing. There's actually a seventh mode (Locrian, which starts on the seventh note of a major scale) that Rocksmith doesn't include. I guess it was too weird. Anyway, I recommend wikipedia or an intro to music theory. Or screw it and just focus on the pentatonics, Ionian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and the Blues.

The next setting is for Complexity, and as you might expect starts at simple and goes to complicated. The settings are Jam, Radio Friendly, 12 Bar, Progressive, Changes. In Jam mode, the band will not change from your root and scale sound, no matter how sick you get of it. In Radio Friendly and the other settings, the band has what the game calls "section changes" that are announced by drum fills -- if you hear the drummer getting busy all of a sudden, that means your band is about to change to another chord. The changes in Radio Friendly appear to be to chords that are closely related to the root note you choose -- for example, the related major chord (if you are playing a minor scale) and the dominant or "V" chord. The timing of the changes appears to be a bit random. 12 Bar gives you a typical blues progression. Progressive changes the root notes and scale types, but they are all related scales to the original root/scale selection. Changes shifts the root (but not the scale, I think) pretty dramatically, but there is a pattern to it that I will point out in a later post."
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

Quote by DBKGUITAR
To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
Last edited by eric_wearing at Sep 29, 2014,
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