#1
Okay well, I'm well known for my returning "What key is this in" posts.

The reason why is, is because there is nothing/nobody telling me how to do it. I came to a handfull of youtube videos telling me I should find one note that I can hum/play all along the progression.

I understand this will work with simple songs like Beatles songs, rock music etc. Sure, I can find the key of a beatles song, any AC/DC song etc. But if it gets more complex I just lose all track.

For instance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx2FQf37Mk0
This Kiss song is in G all the way through and modulates to F during the chorus. That was easy.

However if one were to isolate the intro of Great gig in the sky intro:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVBCE3gaNxc
Than all I hear is just a bunch of chords flowing into each other of which about all sound as resolved as the other. Singing one note? No note possible that will sound good all the way.

Does anybody have some kind of link to help me out with this problem I have had for quite a long time now?
#2
The issue with Great Gig in The Sky is that it immediately modulates. Twice.

Here's the progression with RNA (key areas in bold):

Bm - F(*) - Bb - F
Bm: I - bVII (*) AND F:I - F:IV - I

Gm7 - C9 - Gm7 - C9
IIm7 - V9 - IIm7 - V9

Fmaj7 - Bbmaj7 - Ebmaj7 - Cm7
Imaj7 - IVmaj7 - bVIImaj7 AND Bb: IVmaj7 - Bb: IIm7


F9 - Bbmaj7 -Bbmaj7 - Bbmaj7
V9 - Imaj7

Then the vocals come in and the band begins vamping in G Dorian. Yes, Dorian.

So we modulate from Bm, immediately to F, and then Bb. We then modulate again to Gm after the intro, and a lot of different places afterward.

Thats why there isn't one root pitch, we go through three different keys. The best way to figure out keys is to train your ears to find the pitch that sounds like tonic, the one the other pitches revolve around. Learn to hear modulations as they happen.

On the second chord (*):

This chord is a pivot chord to get us from Bm to F.

The notes being played are F (in the bass), B (which moves to C and D) and a high A.

The reason we don't call it F (b5) or F (#11) is because the B note is not a chord tone, but an ******ation (a suspension that resolves up, can't get the technical term past the censor ) left over from the Bm triad.

This causes the F major chord to at first, for a brief moment, sound like Asus/F, giving it a semblance of function in both keys, and frankly, a brilliant move on Rick Wright's part to smooth out the modulation.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#3
That clears a lot up. Thank you. But, there is no way I could've heard that one. I thought it was in the key of F somehow, but then as I said, it all sounded a bit resolved. At some point I just thought the complete intro is a non resolved bit that leads up to the G dorian thing. The question was HOW do you hear it?

How do you hear all those modulations? How do you hear that it is a modulation?
#4
Quote by Jet Penguin
******ation (a suspension that resolves up, can't get the technical term past the censor )

Retardation?

Some of the censors on this site are stupid, but you can get around em.
#5
Yes, that term. Ugh.

You want to try to be able to quickly identify a key center, and listen for when the key center changes. You could hear that the Kiss song was in G, so all you have to do is refine that skill and listen for when the tonic pitch changes.

I realize that's vague advice, but you can try to hear how the chords behave ("oh, this sounds like a II chord") and use that to help you out.

It's a tough skill to train, but if you keep doing it it'll become second nature.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#6
Try finding ii-V-I progressions. If you can find them, you have found the key.

Gm-C-F

That's a ii-V-I in F major.

Cm-F-Bb

That's a ii-V-I in Bb major.

Also, the progression ends with a Bb major chord and at least to me sounds resolved.

I know not all songs have ii-V-I progressions. And you also need to trust your ear. Sometimes the ii-V-I is just a brief visit to another key and then coming back to the original key. So it doesn't really tell everything. Figuring out the chord names can help.
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 4, 2014,
#7
Quote by Jet Penguin
Yes, that term. Ugh.

You want to try to be able to quickly identify a key center, and listen for when the key center changes. You could hear that the Kiss song was in G, so all you have to do is refine that skill and listen for when the tonic pitch changes.

I realize that's vague advice, but you can try to hear how the chords behave ("oh, this sounds like a II chord") and use that to help you out.

It's a tough skill to train, but if you keep doing it it'll become second nature.


So I just need to like progress at it? Moving from simple AC/DC and kiss stuff to pink floyd and jazz or something? Because I heard that with jazz those simple tricks do not work, never.
#8
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Try finding ii-V-I progressions. If you can find them, you have found the key.

Gm-C-F

That's a ii-V-I in F major.

Cm-F-Bb

That's a ii-V-I in Bb major.

Also, the progression ends with a Bb major chord and at least to me sounds resolved.

I know not all songs have ii-V-I progressions. And you also need to trust your ear. Sometimes the ii-V-I is just a brief visit to another key and then coming back to the original key. So it doesn't really tell everything. Figuring out the chord names can help.

So a ii-V-I is like the strongest possible progression? Is there a reason behind that? I know that V leads to I. But why would a ii-V-I progression be the strongest of them all? And how does it work for minor keys?
#9
^ It is strong because it sounds strong. It's a sub-dominant - dominant - tonic progression. It is what it is just because. You can't explain why. That's the way it sounds and that's why it's strong.

The ii chord leads nicely to the V chord which leads nicely to the I chord. That's how it goes.

For minor keys you use the harmonic minor scale to build the chords. So let's say we are in A minor. The ii chord is Bm7b5. The V chord is E7 (not Em7 because you use harmonic minor scale - it makes the progression sound much stronger). The i chord is of course A minor. You can also use a regular m7 chord as the ii chord in a minor key. So in A minor it's either Bm7b5-E7-Am or Bm7-E7-Am.

Oh, and you could of course also use a secondary dominant or tritone substitution.
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 4, 2014,
#10
liampje,

If you have a (section of a) song mainly in one key, and there are fleeting key changes within it (a bar, a couple of bars), you can ignore these, if you want (especially at fast tempos), and play based on the main key. The result may be a bit clashy, but will still work because the overall expectations for the listener have been established by the way the main key is being used overall.

You'll also often find cases where there's a shortish chord progression sets up a new key, and at its start is possibly ambiguous in key (is it the old or new one coming up, where they share same chords) and players may solo as though the new key is already in place starting from the top, or they may drag out the old key then change late.

Of course, you can chase the chords, but you don't have to, and the effects can sound pretty cool (hopefully!)

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 5, 2014,
#11
I understand that Jerry,

I'm not trying to play over chords. I really, really, really would like to be able to identify key centers (quickly). Do I need to learn how cadenca's sound? Do I need to learn how to ''feel'' the resolving stuff?

The only kind of songs where I recognize that the key note is not the one on which it started is this song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyZAUAHQi1Y
Because of the cadenca V-I.

If there is someone who I can contact in PM about these kinds of questions I'd really appreciate it.
#14
Songs like Great Gig in the Sky may also feel hard because they are not your usual style. I can see you are into hard rock. They use a bit different kind of progression and sounds. If it feels hard, it may just be because you are not used to the sound of the genre. Listen to more prog songs and maybe it will make it easier to hear the key. Because you clearly can recognize it in hard rock songs which I guess is your main style.
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
#15
Hmmmmm, Could be. I've been listening to Pink Floyd for quite a while now, though. Also to other prog bands like Dream Theater and projects by a Dutch guy called Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon).

EDIT: Also Rush.