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#1
So I have played 10 years and am finally trying to get this down and stop being blind.

1. For guitar which are the most important keys to learn. Rememver I am a begginner so the easier and the stuff with more guitar music is what I am trying to look at first so I can become enthused I like punk rock, metal, rock etc...I am starting with C major at the moment and looking at D major.

2. If I am in D major and I go

F#min7
Emin7
C#m7b5

Am I still playing in key? I am playing the chords of the key but the order or progression is wrong can I do anything I want with the 7 chords or they must follow the romanl numerals 'common progressions' thing?

3. Do we not use say A flat major (in general not saying no one uses it) because the chords don't sound as aesthetic as a C,GA thing?: http://www.guitaristsource.com/lessons/chords/keys/key-Aflat-major.shtml

4. And the one thing that baffled me for so many years if the E chord is in the key of A and the key of E what's going on?

If I bang A and D relentlessly what key am I playing in? Key of A or Key of D?

5. I am not at this stage yet but so I have chords. I have a key. I now use a major/minor/pentatonic scale to create a harmony or 'solo' is that how it's done...Don't give me modes, appregios and all that stuff (goes right over my head) still trying for basics...

6. How do powerchords relate to keys as it seems like anything goes there?


http://guitarteacher.com/2009/02/17/major-scale-chords-guitar-keys-of-caged/
#2
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
So I have played 10 years and am finally trying to get this down and stop being blind.

1. For guitar which are the most important keys to learn. Rememver I am a begginner so the easier and the stuff with more guitar music is what I am trying to look at first so I can become enthused I like punk rock, metal, rock etc...I am starting with C major at the moment and looking at D major.

2. If I am in D major and I go

F#min7
Emin7
C#m7b5

Am I still playing in key? I am playing the chords of the key but the order or progression is wrong can I do anything I want with the 7 chords or they must follow the romanl numerals 'common progressions' thing?

3. Do we not use say A flat major (in general not saying no one uses it) because the chords don't sound as aesthetic as a C,GA thing?: http://www.guitaristsource.com/lessons/chords/keys/key-Aflat-major.shtml

4. And the one thing that baffled me for so many years if the E chord is in the key of A and the key of E what's going on?

If I bang A and D relentlessly what key am I playing in? Key of A or Key of D?

5. I am not at this stage yet but so I have chords. I have a key. I now use a major/minor/pentatonic scale to create a harmony or 'solo' is that how it's done...Don't give me modes, appregios and all that stuff (goes right over my head) still trying for basics...

6. How do powerchords relate to keys as it seems like anything goes there?


http://guitarteacher.com/2009/02/17/major-scale-chords-guitar-keys-of-caged/


Hey,

To be honest, you might be a good candidate for learning music theory. 10 years a player, might be time to move things to the next level knowledge wise!

So let's go over your questions, but understand I'm going to innoculate some of them, because they are just bad questions contextually, and you're mixing things up, without understanding that you are doing so. And sometimes, its better to untangle the spaghetti, rather than answer the questions, that tangled spaghetti has brought about.

1. I think the question is a bad one because it suggests that knowing keys is best only if you are limiting yourself to what keys you use When in fact, you cant use any keys without understanding the mechanism so, once you know that, theoretically it applies to all the keys whether you use them or not.

So a better question is "should I learn all the keys, or understand nothing at all about any of them"? That has a more accurate answer.

2. Yes, you are diatonic to the key of D there. Where F#m is the iii chord and Em is the ii chord.

It appears you understand the order of chords in the key of D, and even some Roman numerals. That's good. I am not going to answer the rest of this question and instead suggest that you'd get more mileage from studying Cadences.

3. I'm not sure that we don't use the Key of Ab to be honest. Many bands tune down to Eb because it's vocally more in reach for the singers high range. If you then play a "Blues in A", under that tuning, you are in Ab. A singer may have a lot to do with the keys chosen. Also other instrumentation, such as horns in Jazz.

4. Many chords share different keys. Compare the chords to C and G and see:

C Dm Em F G Am Bo C
G Am Bm C D Em F#o G

What matters isn't the chords, but heres the chief idea of a "Key"...where does the song seem to RESOLVE.

So take A and E....In A the E is a V chord. In E A is the IV chord. If the song is in E then the resolution is in E. If the song's in A, as in...

A - D - E A

A will be the key because of CADENCES. Remember I told you to go study that. I don't want you to ask me what cadences are, I want you to go search them out and learn.

If the song is E A B7 E, then it's in E and resolves to E, that's the Key.

So looking at your next question: Bang on A and D relentlessly, here's my question: Where does it resolve? You started the "banging"....where is it "Home" and final?

5. Sure. You have a Key, a backing track in A, let's say.

A C#m D and E...back to A, medium tempo.

As a beginner, solo in A Pentatonic Major or an A Major Scale, and use your ears and get a feel for the pitches against the chords. That's as fine a starting point as any.

6. Power chords are simply chords without the attending note that tells you for sure if its a major or minor chord. Its just an "anything goes" chord. You can use in place of a major or minor chord as that information isn't there. Where it relates to key, is, do you know what key is being suggested? If I play an A power chord followed by a C one, is that suggesting a Major or Minor Key?

Theory might help, yes? Lets look and compare scales.

A Minor - A B C D E F G A

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

So, which one is likely the key if you're playing A power chord to C power chord?

Have you ever considered learning music theory? Book? Online? getting a Teacher? You have lots of questions, but you can answer them all and understand them, if you embark on a study of theory.

Good luck!

Best,

Sean
#3
every key is theoretically the same. as such, on guitar, as well as on piano, keys are essentially transposable on a purely technical standpoint (meaning if you were to take a whole song and, say, move it up 2 frets, the key will adjust by a whole tone). this is not possible on most instruments, and as such, guitarists have a double edged sword in approaching keys: on one hand, it's easy to ignore them, as you know since you've went so long without the knowledge performers of most instruments would learn in the first few months; however, on the other hand, because it's easy to ignore, it's hard to break incorrect understandings you might've built up prior, or to utilize this knowledge usefully.

now, looking at sheet music, it's very easy to distinguish the major keys.

as far as learning your key signatures, remember: sharps go FCGDAEB, flats go BEADGCF.

the keys of sharps, however, are a semitone above the last sharp in the key signature. this means in the key of G, the only sharp is F#; in D, it's F# and C#; in A, it's F# C# G#, etc.

no sharps means key of C major

flats are named by the last flat in the key; no flats means C major, Bb only means F major. beyond that, if there is Bb and Eb in the key signature, the key is Bb, if it's Bb Eb Ab, the key is Eb major, etc

so the "easiest" key signatures would be C, F, Bb, Eb, G, D, and A, but really it'll just take a lot of time and practice with the circle of fifths (google it) which will help you exponentially.

your second question is a little more difficult, because you're talking about deviating from the bare basic fundamentals. essentially, a key is a key because of how it ultimately resolves. if the progression resolves to D major, then it's in D major, but if you don't play that chord at some point within the progression, that's not going to be the case.

this point might seem to invalidate the whole first chunk of my post, but you can play any of the 12 notes available to you within any key as long as it resolves. the circle of fifths and all that are mostly for the sake of suggestions, but at your skill level, i'd definitely invest in the time in learning them so you have a basis upon which to experiment.

for your 3rd question: i have no idea what you're talking about. all keys theoretically sound the same, aside from the actual pitch. none is "better" or "worse" than any others on a barebones standpoint. you'll see the key of Ab a lot more if you play, for example, a low brass instrument.

for the 4th: use your ear and instinct. it's all in context, and whatever sounds right to you, is right.

5: you can take that approach on a very basic level, but my advice would be to analyze melodies the same way you should be analyzing chord progressions once you get the "grasp" of how keys work. you should constantly be using your understanding to look at music you like and say "how did they do that, what went into that, how can i do that".

6: depends on the context

the problem with this subject is that keys are all about the context of the situation. when you leave the basics, anything goes, really, so focus on getting a strong basic understanding. if you don't even know how to build arpeggios and chords yet, you have a long way to go before i recommend going too heavily into figuring out how to solo and such.

it's not as cool to know your fundamentals as to be able to alley-oop, but trick shots don't win games. if you sit with basic music theory (preferably a textbook) and jam out your basics, you'll eventually gain a foundation to teach yourself. you'd be shocked how little information you really need to know before you can apply it to harmonic analysis.
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#4
1. The most important keys (for guitar, but it also depends on the genre you play) would be anything with open strings. The open strings are E, A, D, G, B and E, so anything with those notes will work best for guitar. E minor, G major, A minor, C major, D major, B minor. E major, A major and D minor are common too, same with F# minor, G minor and C minor. But if you are playing jazz, you'll see keys with flats pretty often. That's because jazz usually has horns in it, and horns like flat keys. So for example the key of Bb minor is not rare. It is best to know all keys, but for most rock stuff you'll be fine with the most common keys. Also, once you know one key, learning the other keys will be a lot easier, because all major scales are the same pattern (root, major 2nd, major 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, major 6th, major 7th).

2. If those are the only chords in your song, that doesn't sound very D majorish to me. Just because the chords fit the key signature, it doesn't mean you are in that key.

No, you don't need to follow anything. If you like the sound, it is good. Not every song needs to go I IV V I. That would be just boring. They are not rules, they are just common practices. Remember that there's no right or wrong in music. If it sounds good, it is good. Nothing is "against theory".

But how to determine the key? You need to listen to the progression and hear the tonic. That's the note/chord that feels like home. Let's take a very basic progression and you'll get the idea. Play D-G-A. Don't look at any key charts or anything like that. Just listen. Doesn't it feel a bit incomplete? You have created tension that "wants" to be released. Now play D major again. Now it should sound complete. D is your tonic.

Let's try another one. Gm-C7-F. Just listen. Which of the chords feels like home? That's your key.

3. Yes, Ab major is not a good "guitar key". But it is used a lot in music where guitar is not the main instrument. As I said, in jazz you see flat keys very often because horns like flat keys.

Well, the reason why it's not a good guitar key is not because of the way the chords sound. They sound exactly the same as in any other key. They are just not as easy to play. There are no open chords in that key. And if you look at the open strings, only one of them, G, belongs to Ab major.

4. Look at number 2. Key is about the tonic. You just need to listen to it.

Yes, the E major chord is in many different keys. But it has a way different function in different keys. I would suggest learning about the Roman numerals. In the key of E major, E major is the tonic, ie the I chord. In the key of A major, E major is the dominant, ie the V chord. The V chord in every key sounds the same. The V of C major and the V of A major sound exactly the same. (Well, not exactly because they are not the same pitch, but you can transpose a song to another key and it will still sound like the same song.)

G major chord in the key of C major will sound the same as E major chord in the key of A major. Try playing C-F-G-C and G-C-D-G. Both are I-IV-V-I progressions, but in different keys. Notice how the G major and C major chords sound pretty different in the two progressions. This is because their function changes. In the first progression C is the tonic (I), G is the dominant (V). In the second progression G is the tonic (I), C is the subdominant (IV).

If your progression is A and D major chords x infinity, it could be both A major or D major. It really depends on the context. It could be either I and V in D major or I and IV in A major. In this case you would need to use your ears. There are songs with a similar progression, and I have heard both versions, I and IV, and I and V.

It has to do with more than what the guitar plays. The melody (and the other instruments) may add more notes to it.

When analyzing music, don't just look at the guitar part. Listen to all parts. All instruments are part of the harmony. I would say bass is more important than guitar when it comes to harmony, even though bass usually plays just one note. But the bass note tells a lot about the function of the chord.

When I figure out the chord progression in a song, I usually listen to bass.

5. Soloing is about more than what scales you should use. Soloing is about playing melodies. Good improvisors know exactly what they are after. They know what sounds they are going to make before playing them. Of course you are not at this level (I'm not either), but keep this in mind when practicing improvisation. You need to have good ears to play good solos.

But yeah, note choice isn't everything. A good melody has phrases in it. This means, you need to use rests. Think of it as a singing melody. A singer can't just sing notes after notes. You need to breath somewhere. This way the solo also makes more sense. It doesn't sound like pointless wankage.

Also remember rhythm. You can do lots of things with rhythm. If you play an interesting rhythm, you don't need to play that many different notes to make the solo sound interesting. It is easier to understand if we are talking about a bass solo. A bass solo needs to have a good rhythm. Otherwise it will sound really boring. I would say a bass solo is more about the groove than the melody. On guitar you can get by by shredding a 16th note solo. But I think it's good to also learn from other instruments.

Just listen to solos and learn to play them. That way you will learn what other people do in their solos and it will give you ideas for your own solos.

But yeah, what scale to use? Well, if you are in the key of C major, use the C major scale. If you are in the key of C minor, use the C minor scale. C major pentatonic will also work over C major, and C minor pentatonic will work over C minor. It's also good to listen to the progression you are playing over. Certain notes in the scale don't sound that good over certain chords (or actually, any of the 12 notes can sound good over any chord, but it has to do with the way you use them). Try emphasizing the chord tones.

6. Power chords can substitute both minor and major chords because they don't have a third in it. They only have root and fifth in them. A major is A C# E, A minor is A C E, A5 is A E. This doesn't mean the quality of a power chord is always ambiguous. Usually you'll hear whether a power chord is functioning as a minor or a major chord.

For example play E5-C5-D5-E5. This is the same as playing E minor-C major-D major-E major. Why? Well, if we just play E5, we don't know if it's major or minor. But C5 has C and G in it. This tells us that the E5 is most likely a minor chord, because the C5 chord has a G in it (E minor is E G B). Also, we hear the C5 as C major because of the E in the E5 chord (C major is C E G). The D5 could be both minor or major, but if we listen to the progression, it is in E minor. It is just more likely that the D5 is a major chord.

This is what we hear if we just play the chords alone. But as I said earlier, when you analyze music, guitar is not the only instrument to listen to. You need to listen to all instruments (and the singer too). Melody usually has chord tones in it. You could change the E5-C5-D5-E5 to anything if the other instruments played something different. Guitar is not the only instrument to listen to. It's not the only instrument responsible of harmony. It's not even the most important instrument when it comes to harmony. I would first listen to what the bass plays.


Oh, and power chords are not always functional. For example listen to Aces High by Iron Maiden. In the verse the guitars follow the singing melody with power chords. But the chord progression of the song is not E5-F#5-G5-A5-G5-F#5-E5-G5-F#5-D5-F#5-D5. It is simply just E minor-D major. Why? Listen to the bass. It plays E and D (yeah, it also plays the F#, but that's just the third of the D major chord - it's just playing chord tones). The guitars are just harmonizing the melody in fifths.

https://youtu.be/ZO6giM9UAv0?t=40s
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#5
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
So I have played 10 years and am finally trying to get this down and stop being blind.

1. For guitar which are the most important keys to learn. Rememver I am a begginner so the easier and the stuff with more guitar music is what I am trying to look at first so I can become enthused I like punk rock, metal, rock etc...I am starting with C major at the moment and looking at D major.
Most guitar music is written in (surprise surprise) the easiest keys for guitarists to play!

These are (not necessarily in this order):
G, D, A, E, C.

And some of their relative minor keys: Am, Em in particular. (Those use much the same notes and chords of the major keys of C and G.)
The key of D minor is also quite common. (Relative major key F is less common.)
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

2. If I am in D major and I go

F#min7
Emin7
C#m7b5

Am I still playing in key?
Yes - in the sense you are using chords harmonized from the D major scale.
Being "in key" has a slightly different meaning, however. A "key" means an aural tonal centre, a note and chord that "sounds like home".

There is no D chord in your sequence, so for it to really be "in the key of D", you'd need to add a D chord, and feel that it sounded "finished" on D. IOW, D would be the most natural chord to end the song on.

A second possibility would be the relative minor key of B minor. If you added a Bm chord and felt that was the best final chord, then you'd say you were "in B minor" (not D major).

As it is, it's quite likely none of those 3 chords is going to sound "final". They sound like they belong together (because of their shared scale), but that's not (quite) the same thing as "key".
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

I am playing the chords of the key but the order or progression is wrong can I do anything I want with the 7 chords or they must follow the romanl numerals 'common progressions' thing?
You can do anything you want! Your ear is the final judge, always. If it sounds good, it's good. A chord from outside the key might sound good. If it does, use it.

There's a different issue with what sounds familiar, or common. IOW, if you decide you want a traditional, familiar sounding chord sequence, then you would choose something like a circle progression, roots going up 4 (scale notes) or down 5.
Eg, (in D major) F#m7 - Bm7 - Em7 - A7 - D.
If you play that, you'll hear how predictable it is, how the arrival of the D feels inevitable. You don't have to like that sound! You just have to know it.

There's no "right" and "wrong" here, in terms of the sounds themselves. But there are "common practices" to help you achieve certain recognisable sounds, if that's what you want. IOW, rules within certain styles (to help you "sound right") but far fewer rules about music in general.
You might want to combine different styles, or deliberately break the rules of one style. But if you find something that "sounds good", you needn't worry about breaking rules. You aren't. You're just following some other rule you haven't read about yet, but your ear knows perfectly well.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

3. Do we not use say A flat major (in general not saying no one uses it) because the chords don't sound as aesthetic as a C,GA thing?:
No. It's mainly because it's difficult on guitar. It requires barre chords. We don't like barre chords!

Of course, there is a different sound on guitar when using barre chords. That's why, to a guitarist, the key of Ab seems to sound very different from the key of (say) G or A.
In fact, the sound is not what it's about. The feel is what dictates your impression of it, and prejudices what you think you are hearing.
If you put a capo on fret 1 and play a G shape, you're now playing Ab. What's the difference now? (You need to play a barre E shape on fret 3 now to get a G chord.)

However, there are real differences in sound with some keys on guitar, due to the voicings of the main chords ("voicing" = the way the notes in the chord are arranged, bottom to top). E.g., C and E are both major chords - the exact same chord type, with the same meaning or mood. But the way the common shapes are voiced gives them a different sound. The open E shape is 1-5-1-3-5-1 - very strong on roots and 5ths. The open C shape is x-1-3-5-1-3: stronger on 3rds, only one 5th.
That difference in sound colours the guitarist's whole attitude to those two keys (and to others).

IOW, there are no inherent differences between different keys, in themselves. But there may well be perceived differences depending on the instrument you play. (For guitarists A major is an easy key. Not for an alto sax player, because it would be F# for them.)
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

4. And the one thing that baffled me for so many years if the E chord is in the key of A and the key of E what's going on?
Theory lessons required!

This site is one of the best: http://www.musictheory.net/products/lessons

Put simply, the A major and E major scales will both produce those two chords, because both scales contain the requisite 3 notes in each case: A, C# and E for an A chord, and E, G# and B for an E chord.
Every major and minor triad is found in 3 different keys.
(The A chord is found in the key of D, as well as A and E.)
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

If I bang A and D relentlessly what key am I playing in? Key of A or Key of D?
Which one sounds "like home"? That's your answer.
Which chord is the one you want to end on?
Normally with a couple of chords like that, it's the first one. So (IMO) that's most likely to sound like a I-IV in key of A.
Play them the other way round (and end on D too), and it may well sound more like a I-V in D.

If you're still not sure (and if you care!) try adding a 3rd chord for confirmation. So, to confirm key of A, add an E chord somewhere. (Still ending on A)
To confirm key of D, add a G. (Still ending on D)

However, just to complicate things, it's still possible for the 3 chords in question to give the feel of a different key centre. Try playing this:
|E - - - |E - D A|E..... (etc, 2 bar loop)
You might say those 3 chords are technically "in the key of A", in the sense they all come from the A major scale. But does A sound like the key chord? Nope. E does. So it's more correct to say that sequence is "in the key of E" - it just happens to have a bVII chord (D).
Us amateur theorists might call it "E mixolydian mode" (which is the same thing as "A major scale with E keynote", or "E major key with b7"). Extremely common in rock music, as you'll probably recognise .
Again, not because rock musicians have read theory books and decided mixolydian mode would be cool. Just because they put those chords together and it sounds good.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

5. I am not at this stage yet but so I have chords. I have a key. I now use a major/minor/pentatonic scale to create a harmony or 'solo' is that how it's done...
Not really. Or rather, sometimes. (Pentatonics are one choice among many.)
If you want to improvise on a set of chords, start with the notes in the chords.
You don't have to know their names, just look at where your fingers are. The chord shapes are all subsets of the scale they come from, which is the best scale to use to improvise with. Play the notes in one chord, adding notes from the other chords as passing notes.

Obviously there's MUCH more to be said on this topic (whole threads, whole boards, whole books...). But it's good to keep that thought in mind: improvisation is playing around with the material you're given.
A chord sequence can be enough on its own (lots of notes in there). Naturally, if you have riffs or a vocal melody too, then you also have those notes (although most - if not all - of them will be in the chords already).

The rest is just strategies for achieving certain popular effects (such as minor pent for a blues sound).
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

Don't give me modes, appregios and all that stuff (goes right over my head) still trying for basics...
Good! Sorry about the reference to "mixolydian" back there . Hopefully you can ignore that and understand the other phrases. Understanding "key" is more important than understanding "mode", and will help you when (if) you do want to approach modes,
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

6. How do powerchords relate to keys as it seems like anything goes there?
Power chords are the root and 5th of a major or minor chord. As such, you can get 6 power chords in any major (ie from a 7-note scale). (The last chord, the vii, has a diminished 5th, so can't make a power chord.)

It's also common to play power chords on the notes of a minor pentatonic scale.

But you're also right that "anything goes" (as long as it sound right, of course).

Again, it comes down to things that are common (because everyone agrees they sound good), things that are less common (popular with fewer people), and things that are extremely rare (because most people think they sound crap).

"Sounding good", therefore, is somewhat subjective, but it tends to follow popular choice. What YOU think sounds good is probably stuff you've heard before somewhere, so it's relatively common. Unless you're one of those rare people who gravitates towards the avant garde, or extreme dissonance.
Last edited by jongtr at Jul 27, 2015,
#6
Just to add:

The best way to learn theory (of popular music anyhow) is really to just examine as many songs as you can. Remember that every song is "correct" in the way it uses chords (if it wasn't, you wouldn't be hearing it - it would not have survived the composition process).
You'll hear some things that sound predictable and generic, and other things that sound surprising or dramatic. The former are the "common practices", the latter are things writers do - sometimes instinctively - to make their songs distinctive or powerful.
Generally, theory texts will tell you all about those "common practices". You may need to dig some way into the book (or even get another book) to tell you about those weirder things. But if you can understand them from how they're used in songs (and steal them for your own songs), why do you need a book?
#7
Each key has a set of notes commonly associated with it.

For D:
D E F# G A B C# D

Chords that are made with these notes are by definition diatonic.

F#m7: F#-A-C#-E
Em7: E-G-B-D
C#ø7: C#-E-G-B

These all use notes that are exclusively in the D major scale, thus they are diatonic.

Ab major... well in standard tuning, none of the open strings are members of that key. Open strings give a special resonance. Maybe that's what they're talking about. *shrug*

The key depends on not just the chords, but what notes the melody gravitates toward.

Power chords have been discussed in the past three days. They are just the root and fifth and can fit in both major and minor contexts. (The other instruments are what imply major/minor.)
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
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you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#8
Start by learning your basic scales and triads in Circle of 5ths order. Once you get to know the fretboard as entire sets of notes, rather than random chords and patterns, you'll start to see the relationship between scales, chords, and keys.

It's really very straightforward, but you have to actually do it on your instrument before it makes any sense.
#9
I can't answer everything individually but I've read everything. It's a total bummer that A can literally mean anything tbh, would be so much easier if it was just clear cut A means this Key now I have to feel it?

If I am playing the chords of the key I am in the key? What does Diatonic to it mean? Not register ting?

IS the first chord often the 'Key' if we are talking about 'returning' home?

I am looking at the key chart and some songs and trying to work out the key can anyone check these?

Millencolin - Mr Clean
Chords: B5, G5, A5 F sharp 5 the D5 also appears and sounds right.
Reasons:
-So we can't tell what key it is because of it's using 5th chords or powerchords.
-The A5 chord sounds most like 'home' and sounds like the chord you end the song on.
-Looking at my chart in the Key of A I see B,G,A and F sharp. It has all the chords of this song and the A5 feels important in the song.
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/m/millencolin/mr_clean_tab.htm
I now guess this song is in the Key of A?
There is a E major in the key of A not used in this song I could add a E5 if I wanted to. There is also a D this is used in the chorus giving me once again a strong feeling it's Key A?


Jack Johnson Flake:
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/j/jack_johnson/flake_ver4_crd.htm
Chords: D minor, F, A sharp minor
-The song feels like it should end on F
-Now I look at my chart and I see B flat, D minor and the F chord are all in the key of F major.
-I guess F major? LOL I am not doing it right am I?


Hi-Standard - stay gold

http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/h/hi-standard/stay_gold_tab.htm
Once again how are the power chords functioning to find the key? I don't know. There a bunch of power chords here and they could fit into any number of keys and I it's hard to figure out where they go?

Chords:
D5
G5
F sharp 5
E 5 or E minor? 022xxx

-5ths, could belong to Key of G, Key of D, Key of A
-I have NFI what key they belong to. They don't follow that 145 thing so no guesses there and I simply go with key G because the songs ends on that.


Feel free to suggest better ways I can find out the key of a song...


The person who made the chart I am following changes the 7th diminished chord to another major says it's good for rock and pop but how is this even impossible? So for the key of D the 7th chord is changed to C which is far more workable but I don't understand how he just dumped a diminished chord and through a C in there


I've had one guitar lesson he showed me the major chords which I know and then we moved my finger down from the root of each chord to make a major chord a minor chord but the roof was different everytime so I didn't learn much.
Last edited by MyOceanToSwim at Jul 28, 2015,
#10
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
I can't answer everything individually but I've read everything. It's a total bummer that A can literally mean anything tbh,
Er, not really. It has 3 possible meanings:
1. the note "A" - admittedly, that could be an A in any octave or position on the fretboard;
2. the chord A major - consisting of the notes A C# and E in various arrangements);
3. the key of A major - consisting of the A major scale, all the chords that can be harmonised from that scale, but most importantly the sense that A is "home", the "do" of the do re mi fa so la ti do.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

If I am playing the chords of the key I am in the key?
Probably, yes.
The exception would be if you playing chords harmonised from a particular major scale, but where the usualy keynote of that scale didn't sound like the home note.
Say you were jamming on an E major chord, and occasionally threw in chords A and D. The only major scale those 3 chords come from is A major. But E is going to sound like the keynote.
IOW, when we use the word "key", we don't just mean a scale. We might not mean a scale at all. We mean a tonal centre, a note that sounds like home. That's usually something very easy to hear in a piece of music. Normally it will imply a scale too, but not always the same scale, or not always without any alterations.
(I know, bummer ain't it? )
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

What does Diatonic to it mean?
It means coming from (belonging to) the same key or scale (same meaning in this sense).
The opposite is "chromatic".
In the key of A major, the chords D and E (and others) are "diatonic". The chords C and F (and others) are "chromatic". (Doesn't mean you can't use them; only that they contain notes outside the A major scale.)
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

IS the first chord often the 'Key' if we are talking about 'returning' home?
Yes - in a sense.
In rock music, the first chord of a song is almost always the key chord - but not because it's the first chord! Not all journeys start from home...

Listen to the Beatles "All My Loving". It starts on an F#m chord, but the key is E major. You can tell the key by how the melody comes to rest on "send all my loving to you." The word "you" is on an E note and E chord. It sounds final. That's the key. The other chords all work their way around to that.

Another 60s example is the Kink's "Waterloo Sunset". It begins with a B7 chord, and a descending bass line. That's not the key. The key happens when it hits that first riff, on the E chord. (That song, unusually, doesn't even end on the key chord, because it fades out on the B7 chord again.... Songs don't have to end on the key chord, if you don't want them to sound finished.)

Starting on a non-key chord is quite common in jazz, but very rare in rock.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

I am looking at the key chart and some songs and trying to work out the key can anyone check these?
Firstly, looking at a chord chart will only hint at what the key might be - it might be obvious, but other times less so. There could be a few options. You won't know until you listen to the track.

But to answer your specifics:
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

Millencolin - Mr Clean
Chords: B5, G5, A5 F sharp 5 the D5 also appears and sounds right.
Reasons:
-So we can't tell what key it is because of it's using 5th chords or powerchords.
Well yes - we can't tell what key by looking at the chords, although we can guess.
All those chords (as power chords) could come from the key of D major. (If the D chord is only occasional, that makes it unlikely as the key.)
B minor would be another likely scenario - or even B major, with the G A and D borrowed from B minor
But A might also be a tonal centre.
G and F# are the least likely keynotes.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

-The A5 chord sounds most like 'home' and sounds like the chord you end the song on.
If that's so, then A is the key. But when I listen I don't hear that. I get a strong sense of B minor. The track actually finishes on B too.
However, the song as a whole doesn't have a strong sense of key, it jumps around too much. Not every song has a clear overall key, and not every song needs one!
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

-Looking at my chart in the Key of A I see B,G,A and F sharp. It has all the chords of this song and the A5 feels important in the song.
The key of A major. contains G#, not G. But G does occur in the key of A minor, and also in the modes of A mixolydian and A dorian (common scenarios in rock). That means you can still have a sense of A sounding like the key, even with a G note instead of G#.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

I now guess this song is in the Key of A?
Your ears seem to be telling you that, and 99% of the time you can trust your ears. But have another listen. Try thinking B this time. (You don't have to agree. Key is a subjective perception, not an objective fact. )
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

There is a E major in the key of A not used in this song I could add a E5 if I wanted to. There is also a D this is used in the chorus giving me once again a strong feeling it's Key A?
Yes in both cases.
(Of course, the song is written without an E chord, so there'd be no reason to add one, and no place to do so. But if you were writing your own song, you could use all these chords. D and E are the most common chords in key of A, after A.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

Jack Johnson Flake:
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/j/jack_johnson/flake_ver4_crd.htm
Chords: D minor, F, A sharp minor
Call that Bb minor. The keys of F and D minor have a Bb note, not an A# (because there is already an A in the scale).
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
-The song feels like it should end on F
-Now I look at my chart and I see B flat, D minor and the F chord are all in the key of F major.
-I guess F major? LOL I am not doing it right am I?
You are doing it right! Especially if you're getting the feel of ending on F (using sound), as well as looking at the chords (using theory).
Those 3 chords also occur in the keys of Bb major and D minor. Bb is unlikely, but the latter would be worth checking for (by listening).

Check that tab again - there are also C and A major chords. C supports F major, but the presence of A major in this company strongly suggests D minor might be the key - although it's common for songs to flip between a major and its relative minor.

Having listened myself - - however, I'd confirm the key is F. The A is only a quick passing chord, and doesn't lead to Dm anyway. You should hear that A as a "strange" chord in this key ("chromatic"), but not totally strange because it's commonly linked with Dm, and follows Dm in this sequence.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

Hi-Standard - stay gold

http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/h/hi-standard/stay_gold_tab.htm
Once again how are the power chords functioning to find the key? I don't know. There a bunch of power chords here and they could fit into any number of keys and I it's hard to figure out where they go?

Chords:
D5
G5
F sharp 5
E 5 or E minor? 022xxx

-5ths, could belong to Key of G, Key of D, Key of A
-I have NFI what key they belong to. They don't follow that 145 thing so no guesses there and I simply go with key G because the songs ends on that.
This is another tricky one. IMO, the key is D - it has a similar F#-Bm thing to Mr Clean going on in the middle, but D wins out.
However, they change key somewhere in the middle - shifting up a half-step - because the song actually ends on Eb. I'm going by this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scqDV8X5-Xk
As with Millencolin, the chords jump around all over, as if trying to prevent you hearing a key centre! That's partly what makes it so energetic and exciting - it doesn't settle anywhere, even for a second.
Compare with the Jack Johnson, which is relaxed and comfortable. The key is damn obvious there.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

The person who made the chart I am following changes the 7th diminished chord to another major says it's good for rock and pop but how is this even impossible? So for the key of D the 7th chord is changed to C which is far more workable but I don't understand how he just dumped a diminished chord and through a C in there
Well, he did it because that's what the music does, most often.
Listen to any number of rock songs in key of D major. Count up how many times you see a C#dim chord. Then count how many times you see a C chord.
Trust me, it's no contest.
The point is that theory should always follow convention, common practice. (Sometimes new theories can point in new directions, but beware of theory that only points backwards, or in other directions, unless you want to play in vintage styles, or different styles.)

So, "rock theory" - if properly defined - states that a bVII major chord in a major key is "correct". (It doesn't say a dim chord is "wrong", it just doesn't particularly care. A dim vii chord would be "weird", a bit "jazzy", but only wrong if you think weird or jazzy is wrong.)

I.e., if you want to sound "right" when playing rock music, you don't use diminished chords as vii chords. You'd use a bVII major chord instead.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

I've had one guitar lesson he showed me the major chords which I know and then we moved my finger down from the root of each chord to make a major chord a minor chord but the roof was different everytime so I didn't learn much.
Hmm, it seems not. You don't make a minor chord by moving the root down! You make a minor chord (with the same root) by moving the 3rd down.
#11
Music is ultimately an art of the ears and not the eyes. You have to listen to the music instead of just guessing based on a tab.

The Millencoin is in B minor without a doubt.

The Jack Johnson, I'm not sure where you're getting "A sharp minor" chords. Reset any transposition things. The verse is in D minor, choruses in F.

The Hi-Standard is in D (Eb after key change), but the intro starts away from the tonic. It actually ends on an Eb broken chord (that's what an arpeggio is. You have a chord, but you play the notes one by one.).

The person who made the chart I am following changes the 7th diminished chord to another major says it's good for rock and pop but how is this even impossible? So for the key of D the 7th chord is changed to C which is far more workable but I don't understand how he just dumped a diminished chord and through a C in there

Not sure what's going on here

If you're talking about bVII going to I (or even i), that's a common rock idiom. And the relative minor version, v to i, is also common.

bVII to I:


bVII to i (among others):


v to i (even better, bVII-v-i in the beginning):


Wait a few more guitar lessons, and that should help put things together more.

And digest easier songs.
Last edited by NeoMvsEu at Aug 11, 2015,
#12
Yeah, the first song is clearly in B. Listen to the chord progression: Bm-G-A-F# (BTW, same chord progression as in Motorbreath by Metallica - i-(b)VI-(b)VII-V). That F# chord has a strong pull towards the Bm. It's the V chord.

Yeah, they are all power chords, but listen to the melody. It has the other chord tones. Don't just analyze the guitar part, listen to all parts.


The second one, as said above, is in D minor (verse) and F major (chorus). Though the verse is not that clear. You could hear it as F major too, but I would say it's in Dm. But yeah, chorus is clearly in F major.

Notice how the verse ends with a C major chord. That's the V chord of F major, and it is also followed by an F major chord. What we have here is V-I, dominant-tonic. The chords in the chorus are F-C-Dm-A-Bb-C-F-C. The chorus also ends with the dominant of F major. But on the second repeat the bass plays C-C# in the end of the chorus which leads back to D minor. C# is the leading tone of D minor. It leads to Dm.

The ending of the song is pretty bluesy, and it's not clearly in major or minor. But it is in F.


The third one is in D. It uses some secondary dominants. The harmonies are actually pretty "logical". Dominants followed by tonics, nothing really strange. It just modulates a half step up in the end.

The intro starts with a G major chord. But this is not our tonic. It may feel a bit like the tonic in the beginning, but when the verse starts, it starts to sound like D pretty clearly. The progression is G-F#-Bm-D7-G-A-D. Actually the very beginning kind of suggests Bm if you look at the chords. G-F#-Bm. That would be (b)VI-V-i in Bm. D7 is a secondary dominant for G major. This is what may also make it sound like G major. But the G major is followed by A-D which creates a IV-V-I in D major.

Then the verse. D-G-F#m-Em-A-(G)-F#-Bm-(A)-G-A. The chords I have in brackets are kind of non-functioning. They are kind of passing tones, or passing chords. The chord progression is pretty basic. Though it would be more common if the F#m was replaced with a D/F#. Maybe that's what they were actually after, but maybe they don't really know anything about music theory (like punk musicians usually) and the F#5 sounded close enough. I-IV-iii-ii-V-V/vi-vi-IV-V. I think the sense of tonic is pretty clear here.

The progression kind of reminds me of "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5, especially the half tempo part after the first chorus that uses the same chords.

The first chorus is similar to the intro. It just lacks the D7 chord which is replaced by Bm/A that also leads nicely to the G major chord.

The repeat is similar, but ends with B major instead of D major. Not that rare either. It "should" be a B minor chord, but it's replaced by a major chord. This is called a "Picardy third". Very common in the end of a minor song.

The last chorus has a modulation to Eb. It's the same chords, but everything a half step higher. This is very common in pop songs (well, I haven't heard it a lot in the most recent pop songs, maybe because it's such a cliche).

The song ends in (kind of) a cliche - bVI-bVII-I. The bVI and bVII chords are borrowed from the parallel minor (Eb minor in this case). It's kind of the same thing as the "Picardy third".
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
#13
"Flake" has a lot of leading tone action in the verses:


Dm | F | Bb | F     C C#o :||
              1 2 3 4
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#14
This is an illuminating instance of the subjectivity of how we hear key! I clearly hear the F chord in the verse as the "home" chord.
The C# leading tone NeoMysEu identifies just sounds like a secondary move to me. Obviously it tonicises the Dm, but it sounds temporary to me. The fact the sequence keeps coming back to F is what nails it for me.

I don't think this is a case of right or wrong. Our ears can be drawn this way or that according to how we listen. The fact is, it can be heard either way, and that's fine.
#15
^ Yeah. In this case it's a bit ambiguous. The time spent on F major chord is also longer (I mean, the progression has two bars of F major, only one bar of D minor and one bar of Bb major). But to me it still sounds a bit more D minorish. At least after the F major chord I'm expecting to hear a Dm. The chord you start sounds pretty strong. I think if it started with an F major chord, it would sound more F majorish.
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
#16
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ Yeah. In this case it's a bit ambiguous. The time spent on F major chord is also longer (I mean, the progression has two bars of F major, only one bar of D minor and one bar of Bb major). But to me it still sounds a bit more D minorish. At least after the F major chord I'm expecting to hear a Dm.
I'd say that's because (a) you half expect a repeat at that point, and (b) there's that little C-C# bass move leading you to D.
I wouldn't say expecting to hear a Dm means that's the key chord. I mean, I expect it too (for those reasons), but I still don't hear it as the key (not as much as F anyway).
Quote by MaggaraMarine

The chord you start sounds pretty strong. I think if it started with an F major chord, it would sound more F majorish.
Sure. Especially in rock, the starting chord always has some authority, simply through habit - that's how rock songs tend to establish their key, by starting on I, even vamping on it for a while. I get that, but then I get a strong sense of "settling" as it hits F.
As I say - YMMV, which is what's interesting!
#17
Ok I been dreading coming back here because it's kind of hard. The whole what chord is more prevalent in the song and what chord starts the song and what chord 'feels like home' has helped me alot though. In at least getting the slightest clue.

1. My guitar teacher 4 lessons in has rehashed major and minor chords with me...just there positions and and to try and remember the root note.

I then learnt the pentatonic scale in the first A minor position, focusing on jamming over a few chords and ending on the roo note or A.

We then cut the A off the pentatonic scale in the first position beginning the scale on the C on the E string. This made it minor but I didn't really understand why we were doing that?

I learnt the A-Minor pentatonic in the second position? The starting notes are C,D,E it's called the A-Minor pentatonic in the second position but it starts on a C? We ran out of time before he explained that.

Is my guitar teacher teaching me the right way?


2. Is first chord almost always the key? In guitar rock kinda music? It feels like is I am not sure who did that quote about the journey starting from home but it has helped me tremendously.


3. I relooked at the Millencolin song and see it started on a B5 chord. The B5 is also really prevalent through the song so I am comfortable that's in

4. I don't get major and minor at all in the slightest (anymore easy tricks for me here). I see the names of notes look at their progression and try to see what is dominant and a key that contains all chords.

These are all 5ths or powerchords so how would you even begin the processing of figuring out minor and major in song with just really power chords. Why is the Millencolin song in B minor and not B when it's all powerchords what makes it minor?
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/m/millencolin/mr_clean_tab.htm

I am currently using this as a guide. Should I use something else it doesn't have major or minor: http://guitarteacher.com/2009/02/17/major-scale-chords-guitar-keys-of-caged/

5. I am changing Jack John to Flake


6. When looking at the chords to figure out the. The order or progression in which they are played in is important? This could help end my confusion about seeing the A chord in a few different keys and having no idea what it all means.

So I give you a progression of: C-F-G this particular progression is always going to be in the key of C due to the order of the chords. It follows the I IV V progression.

Now I give you D-A-C This "song" once again features a C chord but due to the order it's in it can really only belong to one key. Which is the Key of D and the progression is I-V-VII Now the VII is meant to be a 7th or a diminished...but it's been changed to a C chord because that's what a lot of popular music does I don't really understand it but.


7.
Song: Psycho Killer
Tab: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/t/talking_heads/psycho_killer_tab.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGNOfRzDysw

One guitarist looks to be playing an A5 the song according. We start with an A chord. The bass actually starts the song but I don't know what note it's playing. I am also 30% deaf in one ear so I am at a further disadvantage here.

We use the chords A major and G major alot in the intro and this fits perfectly into a the key of A The first chord in the progression being A major and the 7th chord can be changed or swapped to G major.

THEN we hit the chorus and a F, G and a brief A minor appear. Consulting with our chart we realise there is no F major or C major. This confuses us immensely.

We then have a look at A-minor keeping in mind the song actually starts and it's dominant chord is an A. Now the A-minor has the F maj and the G maj which are apart of this song. It also has the C major which is used fleetingly

A minor seems to fit, but the dominant chord is actually a major???


Towards the end of the song there is

[Bm] Ce que j'ai fait, ce soir [G] la (What I did that night)

We have no idea what B minor? Is doing there. It's not in any key nor does it belong but it sounds ok can someone explain that to me?


8. In reference to the Hi-standard song I think this is out of my league tbh. I can't pick the key let alone pick when it changes to e sharp/flat which I've never even looked at in my life..Maybe that's the kinda of stuff that is too advanced for me at the moment. (trying to go with the most common stuff first)

Is the tonic the root note so the hi-standard song is starting away from the root note? So when they do that how did everyone figure out what key the hi-standard song is in?

Is hi-standard sitting down in band practice talking about this or they just jamming power chords? It's hard to know? If anyone wants to explain how they spotted the key change I'm all ears.


9.
Tame Impala: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHe8kKO8uds

So no guitars...I cannot tell what notes he is singing my ear is not trained? Where would you event start in a song like this? No chords, weird instruments...all the things that are meant to help you find key are not there...I know I've got to hear his voice but I just can't even make out the notes let alone which one's are dominant.

I started playing a pentatonic in positions over the tame impala song lol but still nothing my teacher had me do that and try to listen to all the notes and what goes and what doesn't and though I can pick the stuff that's obviously doesn't belong everyone can when half it fits and half is kinda off I get lost.

Is it in the voice? Do I have improve till I find a dominant chord or theme or note or how is it done?


10. Is there any good apps for this? Any that could say listen to a song through the misc and tell you the key? Is this worth $15 http://www.hooktheory.com/blog/i-analyzed-the-chords-of-1300-popular-songs-for-patterns-this-is-what-i-found/
Last edited by MyOceanToSwim at Aug 11, 2015,
#18

We then cut the A off the pentatonic scale in the first position beginning the scale on the C on the E string. This made it minor but I didn't really understand why we were doing that?

I learnt the A-Minor pentatonic in the second position? The starting notes are C,D,E it's called the A-Minor pentatonic in the second position but it starts on a C? We ran out of time before he explained that.

Is my guitar teacher teaching me the right way?

Yes. It is the Am pentatonic in the second position. The note you start with doesn't matter. What matters is what you are playing over. The position you use doesn't matter. It has exactly the same notes as the first position so it's the same scale, just played using a different part of the fretboard. So if you are playing it over an Am backing track, you are playing the Am pentatonic scale. The notes get their functions depending on what you are playing over. Play them over a progression like Am-F-G-Am and you are definitely playing in Am. You can't change the key by playing different stuff over the same chords. If the backing track is in Am, you are always playing in Am, no matter what notes you use.

But the same set of notes can have different names, depending on what you are playing over. C major and A minor scales have the same notes. But they sound way different. That's because in A minor our tonic is A and C is the minor third. In the key of C, A is our major sixth and C is our tonic.

The key is defined by harmony.


2. Is first chord almost always the key? In guitar rock kinda music? It feels like is I am not sure who did that quote about the journey starting from home but it has helped me tremendously.

Yes, the first chord is usually the key in rock music, but this is not a rule. You just need to listen. Which of the chords feels like home? Play Dm-G-C, and Dm will most likely not feel like the key, even though it's the first chord. We have a ii-V-I in C major which is quite a strong progression. But that's not always how it goes. It's all about context. In this song Gm is the tonic, even though it starts with Gm-C-F which is a ii-V-I in F major. It's about the way the song continues. The F actually almost feels like the key when the chorus ends, but then the feel comes back to Gm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAHA4Jh5jkw


4. I don't get major and minor at all in the slightest (anymore easy tricks for me here). I see the names of notes look at their progression and try to see what is dominant and a key that contains all chords.

These are all 5ths or powerchords so how would you even begin the processing of figuring out minor and major in song with just really power chords. Why is the Millencolin song in B minor and not B when it's all powerchords what makes it minor?
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/m/millencolin/mr_clean_tab.htm

I already explained that. First of all, guitar is not the only instrument that affects the harmony. You need to listen to all parts, not just guitar. So if guitar is playing power chords, it doesn't mean they are actually power chords. Add the notes in the singing melody to it and the quality of the chords becomes a lot clearer. Also, you can pretty much guess the quality of the chords without even looking at the singing melody. B5-G5-A5-F#5... B5 has B and F# in it, G5 has G and D in it. Just based on these two chords you could tell the key is B minor, not B major, because B feels like the tonic, and B minor scale has G and D in it, B major doesn't. But let's continue, it could also use borrowed chords. But this alone suggests B minor pretty strongly.

A5 has A and E in it. A is in the B minor scale, not B major scale. F#5 has F# and C# in it. Well, those fit both B major and minor scales. But yeah, if you look at the notes, all of them fit the B minor scale, and you said B feels like the tonic. Well, that means the key is B minor.

The song also has a D5 chord in it, and that's also part of B minor, not B major.

I am currently using this as a guide. Should I use something else it doesn't have major or minor: http://guitarteacher.com/2009/02/17/major-scale-chords-guitar-keys-of-caged/

I see nothing wrong with that. Just note the bVII chord that is a "borrowed" chord. But as said, it's a very common borrowed chord, and diminished chords are rare in rock music.


6. When looking at the chords to figure out the. The order or progression in which they are played in is important? This could help end my confusion about seeing the A chord in a few different keys and having no idea what it all means.

So I give you a progression of: C-F-G this particular progression is always going to be in the key of C due to the order of the chords. It follows the I IV V progression.

Now I give you D-A-C This "song" once again features a C chord but due to the order it's in it can really only belong to one key. Which is the Key of D and the progression is I-V-VII Now the VII is meant to be a 7th or a diminished...but it's been changed to a C chord because that's what a lot of popular music does I don't really understand it but.

Yes, the order of the chords matters.

But one chord belonging to many different keys is really not that complex. Key is all about the tonic. What note feels like the tonic defines the key, not really what the other notes are (well, the other notes define whether it's in minor or major). If you look at C and G major scales, they are just one note different. G major has an F# in it, C major has an F natural.

As I said earlier, the key gives the notes a function. The note C functions differently in different keys. It sounds way different in the key of C than in some other key. In the key of C, C is the tonic. In the key of F, C is the fifth. In the key of B, C is the minor 2nd. In the key of F#, C is the tritone. It makes more sense when you use your ears and forget about the note names. Think about the functions. Whether you are playing C in the key of G, or D in the key of A, or F# in the key of C# doesn't matter. They will all sound the same. All of them have the same function, all of them are fourths.

Same applies to chords. Chords just have three (or more) notes in them. C major in the key of G major is the IV chord, and will sound the same as G major in the key of D major or Bb major in the key of F major. Learn about chord functions and it makes so much more sense.

C-Am-Dm-G = G-Em-Am-D = D-Bm-Em-A = F#-D#m-G#m-C#

Those are all I-vi-ii-V progressions in different keys. They will sound exactly the same.


Now, that bVII chord is not a diatonic chord. It doesn't really belong to the key. It is a borrowed chord. But it is a very common chord. You can really play any note in any key. Remember that key is all about the tonic (the note that feels like home). If the tonic stays the same, you are in the same key, no matter what the other notes are.

There are no rules, just common practices. You can play any note in any key.


7.
Song: Psycho Killer
Tab: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/t/talking_heads/psycho_killer_tab.htm

One guitarist looks to be playing an A5 the song according. We start with an A chord. The bass actually starts the song but I don't know what note it's playing. I am also 30% deaf in one ear so I am at a further disadvantage here.

We use the chords A major and G major alot in the intro and this fits perfectly into a the key of A The first chord in the progression being A major and the 7th chord can be changed or swapped to G major.

Don't think of it as "fitting perfectly into a key". Anything can fit the key perfectly. Again, key is all about the tonic. Yes, you can flatten the 7th scale degree, but you can flatten any other scale degree too. It's not a rule that you need to follow. There are no rules.

THEN we hit the chorus and a F, G and a brief A minor appear. Consulting with our chart we realise there is no F major or C major. This confuses us immensely.

We then have a look at A-minor keeping in mind the song actually starts and it's dominant chord is an A. Now the A-minor has the F maj and the G maj which are apart of this song. It also has the C major which is used fleetingly

A minor seems to fit, but the dominant chord is actually a major???

The chorus is clearly in A minor, not in A major. The verse is a bit more majorish, but it still uses the b3. It's kind of in-between. The tonic chord is actually a dom7 chord in the verse. It's kind of "bluesy". But yeah, the song can go between parallel keys (A major and minor). But yeah, even the verse is not clearly in major.

But yeah, don't look at any chord charts or anything like that to tell you what chords are appropriate and what aren't. Even if the key was A major, F major and C major are not rare chords. They are borrowed chords, just like G major is.

Also, A is not the dominant chord, it's the tonic. Dominant is the V chord, the chord built on the fifth scale degree. In the key of A it would be E7.

Towards the end of the song there is

[Bm] Ce que j'ai fait, ce soir [G] la (What I did that night)

We have no idea what B minor? Is doing there. It's not in any key nor does it belong but it sounds ok can someone explain that to me?

It's a key change. The new key is B minor.
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
#19
8. In reference to the Hi-standard song I think this is out of my league tbh. I can't pick the key let alone pick when it changes to e sharp/flat which I've never even looked at in my life..Maybe that's the kinda of stuff that is too advanced for me at the moment. (trying to go with the most common stuff first)

Is the tonic the root note so the hi-standard song is starting away from the root note? So when they do that how did everyone figure out what key the hi-standard song is in?

Is hi-standard sitting down in band practice talking about this or they just jamming power chords? It's hard to know? If anyone wants to explain how they spotted the key change I'm all ears.

When you write songs, you don't have to think about keys or any theoretical stuff. You just write what you hear in your head. Sound first, theory second. Hear sounds in your head, then figure out the explanation for them. I'm 100% sure they weren't thinking about theory when writing the song (considering they are a punk band, and punk bands usually have no theory knowledge).

When you write songs, it's not just random jamming (well, sometimes it is, but most of the time, even if the song is jam based, people still decide about some of the stuff they are going to play in the song beforehand - but the Hi-Standard song is clearly not a jam based song). The key change was a decision they made. It was a straight jump to the key a half step above.

And yes, I think this might be too complex for you.


9.
Tame Impala

So no guitars...I cannot tell what notes he is singing my ear is not trained? Where would you event start in a song like this? No chords, weird instruments...all the things that are meant to help you find key are not there...I know I've got to hear his voice but I just can't even make out the notes let alone which one's are dominant.

I started playing a pentatonic in positions over the tame impala song lol but still nothing my teacher had me do that and try to listen to all the notes and what goes and what doesn't and though I can pick the stuff that's obviously doesn't belong everyone can when half it fits and half is kinda off I get lost.

Is it in the voice? Do I have improve till I find a dominant chord or theme or note or how is it done?

If you can't figure something out, start with singing the melody (or the other instrument parts). Then try to match the notes you sing with your guitar. Know how the song goes (so that you can sing it) before starting to noodle around. You want to think in pitch, not in fingerings. Know what pitch you are looking for before trying to find it. Sign the pitch.

How are there no chords in the song? No guitar chords, because there's no guitar, but there are definitely chords in it. The synth plays chords all the time.

But yeah, I would recommend starting with something more simple.


10. Is there any good apps for this? Any that could say listen to a song through the misc and tell you the key? Is this worth $15 http://www.hooktheory.com/blog/i-analyzed-the-chords-of-1300-popular-songs-for-patterns-this-is-what-i-found/

No. Use your ears. I have tried some of apps and they are most of the time inaccurate. Just learn to do it by ear and you'll need no apps.
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 Aug 11, 2015,
#20
So the tonic is the tonal center. I've just been mucking around with C major and A minor since they have the same notes.

I've noticed A minor functions differently in each key. So this means basically the progression matters where the chord falls. Of course starting with most songs I listen to it probably will be the first chord?


DM-G-C is quite nice. I can see how the DM chord despite starting the progression does not dominate it. C is the tonic or tone center in this progression?

If most songs use a common progression from the common keys Urge Over kill change the key then? When can I change a key without going out of key?

I am understanding more definitely about the tonic...well kinda. I know to look for it as for finding it hehe.

If I can play any note in any key though why when you start soloing in the wrong place does it sound like crap?

If Psycho Killer is a simple song yet continuous changes key how will I ever learn to improvise or solo without hitting bum notes if the key and notes that work within that key keep changing.

If the psycho killer chorus is in A minor why is it not in order? VI VII and then back to the I chord?

So we don't really have a key for psycho killer? Improv on the verse according to the Amaj and the G. A minor for the chorus and B minor for the bridge?


Am I improving in A-minor I am mixing the first two positions of the A minor pentatonic in this improv.

If I am playing the A-minor in two different positions not many but a few notes seem to sound 'bad' I left them out but I hit them and thought yuck. If it's all in the pentatonic of A minor why?

Thanks for all the help. I am getting some information, longish way to go but it's kinda of exciting to finally get some understanding of what I have been playing.
https://youtu.be/IAdMZoE-BIM
https://youtu.be/406nSrz2v78
#21
Song: The Offspring - Gone Away

Chords: F-G#-Eb-Bb
Key: F major
Reasoning: The song starts on F it sounds I think it ends on F as well. F sounds both final and it is the note the whole song seems to based around or the tonic.

The G# and Eb sounded to me like the functioned minor but that would mean it's not in F major and I am fairly certain it is in F major. The only G in F minor is diminished and the F5 powerchord does not sound diminished in song.

What I don't really get is the progression. It's in 5ths and doesn't follow the order of the key?

I, ii, vii, IV


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6i38RH-FJI


I should start playing chord progressions over songs like the Tame Impala one to figure out the key in more tricky songs...I don't hear anything in the voice tbh a guy yelling eventually is what I hear and that could be anything
Last edited by MyOceanToSwim at Aug 11, 2015,
#22
"out" or dissonant tones typically relate more to the chord you're playing over than the overall key, as there's an immediacy to the contrast between, say, an A note and a chord that has, for example, a Bb or G# in it, because notes a semitone away from one another clash. similarly, an augmented 4th/diminished 5th splits an octave and will destabilize the tonic of a given chord, causing dissonance

you need to read up on consonance and dissonance and learn your intervals. once you have a solid foundation, theoretically and in your ear, of the contextual hierarchy of notes from "most consonant" to "most dissonant" within a given chord will be apparent to you. from this point, scale shapes become obsolete in a sense as you realize that all 12 tones are valid at any given time if approached appropriately.

that point of understanding in a player is much easier if you have a solid grasp on arpeggios, as, for the most part, i'm always thinking of what chord is playing, or should be played right now rather than the actual key. the key is derived from the juxtaposition of several chords creating a cadence, and is built around the basis of tension and resolution that will come inherently from playing that caters to the chords used to fulfill that role

at any given time, i see the root, the minor and major thirds, the fifth, the major and minor sevenths, then understand where i can extend to 9ths and 11ths (or alter to sus2 or sus4). between each of these tones are fair game as long as their approached with an inferential understanding of consonance and dissonance, and knowing whether i want something more jarring or more conventional and light to sound at that specific point in the tune

if you play up and down the blues scale, you find that the tritone is present within the scale. why does it work? why is it okay to play one of the most "wrong" notes in one of the most popular scales? it's because it's utilized as a chromatic passing tone, as well as a leading tone to create tension to built up to the 5th, which is the most "right" note in conjunction with the root aside from a unison. by going from a very "wrong" note to a very "right" note, or from dissonant to consonant, we thereby achieve resolution, and impact

all you need in music is that relationship. tension and resolution, right and wrong, yin and yang, ebb and flow, orchestrated in such a way as to maintain interest while still giving listeners a way to relate to and take away impact from the piece. beyond that, music theory is a series of guidelines based around previous experience with the actualization of that goal in mind, and is fully descriptive rather than prescriptive

as long as something works, it's right. how do you know it if works? you try it. if you like it, play it for other people. rinse and repeat till you die. it's that simple, and people try and confound it to no end. with very basic music theory, a good ear, and a proactive disposition towards your skillset, you can eventually master your instrument.
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#23
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
What I don't really get is the progression. It's in 5ths and doesn't follow the order of the key?

I, ii, vii, IV

Yes, that's perfectly acceptable. This progression isn't even uncommon, really. A lot of Punk-based bands use this kind of thing.
#24


The song you posted by The Offspring and this one have identical chord progressions (at least in verses, and transposed up 1/2 step). What notes do you hear the singers singing? Write them down.

Also, F major (and minor) are defined as having flats in their key signature, thus it is error to mix them at this point.

Power chords present: F5 Ab5 Eb5 Bb5. Without writing anything to point to major or minor, it should be 1 b3 b7 4. And you need to be more precise with your capitalization. Capital Roman numerals are major chords, else minor.

Just an FYI, you have good evidence but then attacked your good intuitions and came up with the wrong conclusion.
Last edited by NeoMvsEu at Aug 11, 2015,
#25
I kinda understand what your saying Hail but and I am sure any note can work with anything in the right context but I feel like I need to know the basics. That seems pretty advanced.

I can't hear any notes in Molly's voice...None I played the F5 chord with 'I be fine' but it didn't hear any relationship.

So when it comes to power chords your common order or progression doesn't matter as much? The F major power chords being in reverse of the I IV thing kinda threw me.


In maybe some good news I've been playing the most common chord progressions over the top of the Tame Impala Eventually

I think the chord progression goes like this from ear.

C A min Dmin
C A min Fmaj

SO the key is C. I got the C by ear and then looked at the chart I have of C major key to guess A min, Dmin and F.

I then cheated and Googled it: http://www.e-chords.com/chords/tame-impala/eventually

The good news is the have the same tonic of C as me the bad news is they then go and ruin it all putting a B minor and D minor in the song which don't belong in major or minor key of C and confuses me.

He is playing guitar there
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH5sundoSx0
#26
the first step towards actualizing your goals is to understand what your goals are
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#27
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
Song: The Offspring - Gone Away

Chords: F-G#-Eb-Bb
Call that G# Ab. Trust me....
Quote by MyOceanToSwim
Key: F major
Reasoning: The song starts on F it sounds I think it ends on F as well. F sounds both final and it is the note the whole song seems to based around or the tonic.
Right.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

The G# and Eb sounded to me like the functioned minor but that would mean it's not in F major and I am fairly certain it is in F major. The only G in F minor is diminished and the F5 powerchord does not sound diminished in song.
OK. This is a standard rock convention known as "borrowing from the parallel minor".

So you can start with a major tonic chord (F in this case). You can use the other chords in F major if you like (they pick Bb).
But you can also use anything you like from F minor - in particular the chords Ab and Eb. Sometimes also Db and Bbm.

It's like rock doesn't really care too much whether a key is major or minor. It can be a mix of both.
Of course, some songs are much more clearly in one or the other, but heavy rock, metal, punk, grunge etc commonly mix the two in this way.
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

What I don't really get is the progression. It's in 5ths and doesn't follow the order of the key?
There is no "order of the key".

When we write out scales we start from the keynote and go up alphabetically. But you don't expect every song to play its notes in that order!
Same with chords. There is no right order - except maybe the very common one of starting and ending with the key chord. What happens in between is up to you. (And you don't even have to start or end with the key chord if you don't wanna.... )
Quote by MyOceanToSwim

I should start playing chord progressions over songs like the Tame Impala one to figure out the key in more tricky songs...I don't hear anything in the voice tbh a guy yelling eventually is what I hear and that could be anything
Ah, there you have a problem. Singers don't yell - not often anyway - they sing notes. Most of those notes will be in whatever chord is happening at that moment; and you should be able to find those notes on your guitar.
It's not necessarily on obvious thing, and it's common to find it difficult because voices sound so different from guitars. But the notes are the same.

E.g., the first phrase of the Offspring song ("maybe in another life") is these notes:
----------------------
-4-4---4-6-4---------
------5--------5----
---------------------
--------------------
--------------------
"Maybe in a-" is over the F chord, and he's singing the 7th (Eb) and the 5th (C)
"-nother life" is over the Ab chord, and he's singing the 6th (F), 5th (Eb) and 3rd (C).

He may not have known all that, but he tuned his voice into the chords. Or maybe he began with that vocal tune and found chords to fit.

And the notes of that phrase are all in the F minor pentatonic scale - rock's favourite scale, and the scale that all the chord roots come from!
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 11, 2015,
#28
If you want to figure out the notes in the singing melody, first learn to SING the melody. Then try to match the pitch of your voice with your guitar.

As I said earlier, you need to know what pitch you are looking for before trying to find it. If you can sing the melody, finding the notes will be easy.


Quote by MyOceanToSwim
So the tonic is the tonal center. I've just been mucking around with C major and A minor since they have the same notes.

I've noticed A minor functions differently in each key. So this means basically the progression matters where the chord falls. Of course starting with most songs I listen to it probably will be the first chord?

DM-G-C is quite nice. I can see how the DM chord despite starting the progression does not dominate it. C is the tonic or tone center in this progression?

Yes.

If most songs use a common progression from the common keys Urge Over kill change the key then? When can I change a key without going out of key?

I wouldn't say there's a key change in the Urge Overkill song. I hear it more as a i-IV-(b)VII in Gm than ii-V-I in F major. But the way the chorus ends (on the F major chord, and the chords preceding it are Gm and C) makes the F major sound really strong. But the way it continues sounds like Gm again. It's about the way you continue it. Gm and F major are not that far away from each other - the key scales are just one note different. So if you are modulating between close keys, you won't necessarily even go "out of key" when modulating. But going "out of key" may sound cool. It's not necessarily a bad thing.

The easiest key changes are between keys that are close to each other, because they share a lot of notes. For example Gm and F major. Many times in key changes there's a "pivot chord" - a chord that belongs to both of the keys. In Psycho Killer G major is the pivot chord when the key changes. It fits in both Am and Bm. Another common way of modulating is by playing the V7 of the new key and then moving to the next key. For example a way of moving from Gm to F major would be [progression in Gm]-C7-F-[progression in F major]. Of course this kind of modulation can sound a bit out of place or forced sometimes, but it's the "easy way" of modulating between keys.

Many songs just jump straight to the next key. It's all about what sounds good. I wouldn't force a modulation. If your ears tell it needs to modulate somewhere, then the modulation will also sound very natural. Just listen to the sounds you are hearing in your head.

If I can play any note in any key though why when you start soloing in the wrong place does it sound like crap?

When I said you can use any note in any key, I didn't mean any note will always sound good. It's about the way you use the notes. You could sound crap by playing only notes in the key scale too. Just because you are playing the "correct" scale, it doesn't mean it will sound good.

If Psycho Killer is a simple song yet continuous changes key how will I ever learn to improvise or solo without hitting bum notes if the key and notes that work within that key keep changing.

You need to know the song you are improvising over. Know when the chords change. Know when the modulations occur. Know the structure. Improvisation shouldn't be random.

If the psycho killer chorus is in A minor why is it not in order? VI VII and then back to the I chord?

How are the chords not in order? (b)VI-(b)VII-i is a really common chord progression in a minor key. You can have the chords in any order. There's no right or wrong order.

So we don't really have a key for psycho killer? Improv on the verse according to the Amaj and the G. A minor for the chorus and B minor for the bridge?

We do have a key for Psycho Killer. It's in the key of A. What we call the key of the song is the key the song starts with/ends with/is in most of the time. It is mostly in the key of A. I don't know whether I would call it major or minor. The chorus is clearly in Am (well, it also sounds a bit C majorish), but the verse is not clearly in major or minor. But it is in A. The bridge is in Bm. But it's a short key change, and it comes back to the original key.

If you want to improvise over the whole song, Am pentatonic will work pretty well over everything but the bridge. A major scale will not work that well over the verse because of the A7 and G major chords, both of which have a note (G) that doesn't fit the A major scale. A major pentatonic would work over the verse.

If you are lacking ideas, start with the melody of the song. Learn to play it and base your ideas on it.

If I am playing the A-minor in two different positions not many but a few notes seem to sound 'bad' I left them out but I hit them and thought yuck. If it's all in the pentatonic of A minor why?

Well, first of all, make sure you are really playing the notes in the scale. But not all notes will fit everything. Not all notes will sound good all the time. It's about the way you use the notes. As I said, you can use the "correct" scale, but still sound like crap. It's about a lot more than what scale you use. You could play a lot of "wrong" notes and still sound awesome (that's called playing "outside", and it's common in jazz).
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 Aug 11, 2015,
#29
Quote by MyOceanToSwim at #33543755


I can't hear any notes in Molly's voice...None



Therein lies your problem, your extreme guitar bias. Work on transcribing other instruments' parts as well. The bass and vocal parts would be best to learn, because they often carry a lot of harmonic information. There is no reason to ask for "guitar chords" unless you want to be stuck as a rote player. Ask for chords and you get a context... if you can hear the context.

There is no way on earth that the Offspring song is in F major; the one time in the bridge they actually play A natural (conveniently, in the guitar part) is an exception. That song is in F minor with a natural 6 à la Dorian. Ab's are sung rather often in the latter half of the song, and these Ab's fall under the F power chord.

I'll abstain from "Eventually" comment for now, but my intuition is that the band just went and did their own thing

Also, +1 to what MM covered.
#30
Quote by NeoMvsEu
There is no way on earth that the Offspring song is in F major; the one time in the bridge they actually play A natural (conveniently, in the guitar part) is an exception. That song is in F minor with a natural 6 à la Dorian. Ab's are sung rather often in the latter half of the song, and these Ab's fall under the F power chord.
Just so the OP doesn't think we're in total disagreement here...

I agree there's no discernible A natural in the F chord in the intro, which - with the other chords - suggests dorian (rather than strict major or minor key).
But there's a clear A natural in the F chord before the vocal starts, around 0:26 in.

It's a relatively trivial distinction, but I'd still say this is typical of the rock habit of using a major tonic chord with other material drawn from parallel minor (or mixolydian or dorian).

"Major key" - in the traditional sense - it clearly ain't. It's "In F", basically. "F whatever" .
#31
Quote by jongtr at #33544277
Just so the OP doesn't think we're in total disagreement here...

I agree there's no discernible A natural in the F chord in the intro, which - with the other chords - suggests dorian (rather than strict major or minor key).
But there's a clear A natural in the F chord before the vocal starts, around 0:26 in.


I would give that to you if that were true.

The tab is as follows, at least the notes.

e|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|---------/10--------/8--------8-10\7-3--3-5----------------------------------
D|--8-10--------5-6------3-5--------------------3(let ring through verse)------
A|-------8----------6--------6-------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fm          Ab       Eb          Bb
#32
Quote by NeoMvsEu
I would give that to you if that were true.

The tab is as follows, at least the notes.

e|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|---------/10--------/8--------8-10\7-3--3-5----------------------------------
D|--8-10--------5-6------3-5--------------------3(let ring through verse)------
A|-------8----------6--------6-------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fm Ab Eb Bb
I'm not talking about a lead line, I'm talking about a note I hear clearly in the chord. Isolate that first "F" chord, and tell me you hear an Ab in it and not an A. (The lead line Bb-C-F is not evidence either way.)
The first chord under the vocal also sounds strongly major (with the vocal on the b7).

As I said, it doesn't make the key "major" (except in a very narrow sense), but it does put it into the conventional "mode mixture" box.
#33
Quote by jongtr
I'm not talking about a lead line, I'm talking about a note I hear clearly in the chord. Isolate that first "F" chord, and tell me you hear an Ab in it and not an A. (The lead line Bb-C-F is not evidence either way.)
The first chord under the vocal also sounds strongly major (with the vocal on the b7).

As I said, it doesn't make the key "major" (except in a very narrow sense), but it does put it into the conventional "mode mixture" box.

I don't hear a third in that chord.

You are right about the first chord under the vocals. It does sound like major. The strange thing is, there is really no chord played over it. There's just the bassline that plays root notes.
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
#34
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I don't hear a third in that chord.
Interesting...
It's not so much that I hear a 3rd standing out, but I definitely hear the chord quality as major. My Transcribe software also shows a clear A natural (while showing no 3rd at all on the F chord on the intro).
Quote by MaggaraMarine

You are right about the first chord under the vocals. It does sound like major. The strange thing is, there is really no chord played over it. There's just the bassline that plays root notes.
You really only hear bass under the vocal at that point? I hear a sustained chord (and the sustained lead note of course). And the software also shows a complete major chord (the A is too low to be an overtone of the bass).

I guess the program could be hallucinating too....
#35
There is no third. There is a lot of high-end on that guitar sound, so the program may register different harmonics more strongly.

I usually reserve major/minor judgments until I get enough context.
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Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#36
Quote by jongtr
Interesting...
It's not so much that I hear a 3rd standing out, but I definitely hear the chord quality as major. My Transcribe software also shows a clear A natural (while showing no 3rd at all on the F chord on the intro).
You really only hear bass under the vocal at that point? I hear a sustained chord (and the sustained lead note of course). And the software also shows a complete major chord (the A is too low to be an overtone of the bass).

I guess the program could be hallucinating too....

Well, I do hear the bass, vocals and a sustained note (F) from the lead guitar. The F chord in the background has already faded out when the vocals start.
Quote by AlanHB
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#37
Quote by NeoMvsEu
There is no third.
What you mean is, you don't hear it.
Quote by NeoMvsEu
There is a lot of high-end on that guitar sound, so the program may register different harmonics more strongly.
AFAIK, it can't register a harmonic an octave below where it could exist. The A it shows is below middle C (which fits with how I hear it, and where it would be in a standard F shape). For that to be an overtone of F, the F would need to be at 44 Hz, octave down from lowest bass F. (Not out of the question, but no such F appears on the spectrum.)
Of course, I'm no acoustics expert, and maybe a "virtual" A could be produced somehow in that region by interaction of other frequencies?
Or maybe they're just playing an F major?
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 12, 2015,
#38
You're not going to agree with me even if I said I hear just fine, so I'm dropping it.
#39
Quote by NeoMvsEu
You're not going to agree with me even if I said I hear just fine, so I'm dropping it.
I'm sure you hear just fine, it was only your use of "is" that bothered me. You don't hear a 3rd, I do. That's the only facts here. And I think my hearing is fine too. (If you heard one and I didn't, that might be different.)
Happy to drop it, it contributes nothing to the topic - except perhaps to highlight the subjectivity of hearing. We agree to differ (I presume ).
#40
I guess earlier in thread it was mentioned key is subjective I guess this is one of those discussions.

1. Anyone got any thoughts on the Tame Impala song? It's in the Key of C I worked that out and I am very happy with myself as it's one of the first non-guitar songs I've been able to hear some non guitar notes.

I still do not understand what a B minor is doing in the song when it's not in any of the C keys and we have established it's in C?

Is this borrowing from the "parallel minor". If the song is in C major what is the parallel minor?

How do you figure out what can be 'borrowed' and what cannot?

C major: http://www.guitaristsource.com/lessons/chords/keys/key-C-major.shtml
C major: http://www.e-chords.com/chords/tame-impala/eventually

Which is the correct c major?
Why is it different?


2. So we established the Millencolin song Mr Clean is in B minor say I want to play some leads over this song where do I start basically B minor scale? Any B pentatonic?

B5 G5 A5 F5 Do I now solo on these four pentatonics to stay in key and sound good but also play some leads?


3. I figured out this song...I originally played an A-minor over it and although that wasn't the right chord the A resonated strong enough for me to realise the song starts on A.

Does Ab mean A flat?
This is a very weird key isn't it. And it's weird because it's mostly a keyboard based composition?
There's 3 chords in Ab none of them in this song which is Ab ***HELP***

I'm honestly not getting the bit where were we spend ages finding the key and then 60% of the song isn't in the key, this is my issue at the moment

I know there is use a capo and make the chords easier version of this ut I've already learnt the Ab Bb Eb Gm Ab Gm Bb5 version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3mjvlKriTo


4. This well past my level but a brief comment on this song. It goes for 17 minutes and has alot of chords

http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/n/nofx/the_decline_tab.htm

They just endlessly change key on borrowed notes is that correct? Is that correct for the hi standard song?

But alas powerchords are not even chords so we have to figure out how 17 minutes of power chords function as major or minor to surmise the key?

How do we know what to end on start off Ok in our new key


5. Some note combinations in key don't sound good, even though they are in key. My guitar teacher says simply run away from these...as I don't know how to avoid them yet as I don't know the notes and relationships and yaya, when I hit a meh note I just start ascending father up or down good idea for a noob?


I am thinking of taking the common keys and memorizing some common chord progressions and variations of each just so I can spot the easy stuff I guess.

My guitar teacher was away so we have only had 4 lessons but so far


Lesson 1: Major and Minor chords I know most of them, bit scrubby on B major and to remember Root

Lesson 2: A minor pentatonic first position and jam on that, and run away from bad notes and end on A while playing a song in A.

Lesson 3: Not in order using less notes and phrasing things with string bends, hammer ons etc so I don't run out of notes.

Lesson 4: A minor pentatonic second position. Showed me a hand shape to try and remember them so I know A minor in two positions thus far.


I hope something good is coming. I don't want to be a genius I just want to understand it and be able to comfortable play with other people.
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