#1
Hi there,

I'm in the process of learning keys, and I'm practicing using songs I already know. Though, I'm getting confused with the Portugal. The Man song "Evil Friends".

[url="http://www.e-chords.com/chords/portugal-the-man/evil-friends
"]http://www.e-chords.com/chords/portugal-the-man/evil-friends

This link says it's in Gminor and has the chords of D, D#, C, A#, etc.

[url="http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/chords-key-g-minor.html
"]http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/chords-key-g-minor.html

and this link contains the notes/chords Gminor has, which doesn't include those other used notes/chords.

What I'm asking is: even though the chord sequence doesn't include something like a D# chord, does including that still keep it in key? And if a scale has the note of C, is it fine to use a C# or C minor, or something instead.

If I'm way off in this please correct me. Any help is great help.
#2
Seems like the guy who figured out the chords doesn't know theory (and doesn't really have a good ear either). G minor has flats in it, so D# should be Eb and A# should be Bb. I know it looks confusing and that's why using the correct chord symbol is important - it tells you about the sound. If I see sharps in G minor, it tells me something about modulation or secondary dominants or something. I expect something more strange to happen. But when you listen to it, it sounds like basic G minor stuff.

D major in the key of G minor is just the dominant chord. The V chord is usually a major chord because it has a strong pull back to the tonic, unlike the v minor chord (Dm). G harmonic minor has a raised 7th note and that's where the D major chord comes from.

The intro is clearly in a minor key, but the more punky sounding part mixes G major and minor. You can borrow chords from the parallel minor/major (if the song is in G minor, you can borrow from G major and if the song is in G major, you can borrow from G minor), and that's what's happening here.

The chords for the chorus are just wrong. They should be Eb-Bb-F-Gm (VI-III-VII-i) - a pretty basic four chord progression. The chords behind "That I could ever be your friend" are correct - Eb D Gm. In the second chorus the chords are Eb-Bb-F-Gm Eb-Bb-D.

Don't trust 100% on chord sites like this. They are most of the time wrong, at least in some way. Most people that post chords just guess most of them and don't even know about proper chord naming. Maybe that's because people who know about this stuff just don't bother posting chords to random songs, I don't know.
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
#3
Thanks a lot. I completely forgot about how A# is Bb, etc.

This site helps out for that kind of thing on guitar especially. Your comment completely changed the way I look at tab sites and scales/keys now. What you said about borrowing from parallel keys is great too. Really helped out.

http://chordfind.com/

It's just confusing when the tab uses an A# chord, when the song is clearly in the key of G minor, but again, you helped out.

Also I just checked out what you said about the song on this video and you were 100% right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjCRK-MBW0w#t=791

So, in the key of C, would it'd be okay to use a D major chord, even though II is D minor? Just for example.

Thanks again.
Last edited by aarny at Feb 27, 2015,
#4
^ Yes. In the key of C major, it is actually quite common to use a D major chord. The D major chord in the key of C is not a borrowed chord, though. It is not borrowed from the parallel minor (C minor). It's a secondary dominant (it's a dominant chord of another key, in this case G major). You could see secondary dominant as a brief key change. Secondary dominants are most of the time followed by the tonic of the new key. For example if we are in C major, D7-G7-C is a pretty common progression. The D7 is the dominant of G major. And G major is the dominant of C major. So it is actually the dominant chord of the dominant chord of C major.

You could really use pretty much any chord in any key, as long as the tonic chord stays the same (if we are in C major, as long as the C major chord sounds like the tonic, you could say we are in C major). And how do you know the tonic chord stays the same? You need to listen to the sound. What sounds like the home chord? That's your tonic.


But yeah, secondary dominants are a bit more complex thing. I would first suggest learning about chord functions (the Roman numerals). It helps a lot with understanding chord progressions. After you understand diatonic harmony (chords that fit the key scale), start learning about borrowed chords and secondary dominants.


And about that A# vs Bb thing... I also get confused if I see an A# chord in a Gm song. That just doesn't look right. As I said, I expect a modulation or something chromatic to happen if I see A# in G minor.

And yeah, don't trust tabs/chord sheets 100%. It's always good to use your ears. If something doesn't sound right, it's most likely not right.
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