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#1
Say, playing in the KEY of C. Are you playing C major scale ? Is C minor scale counted as well since it is also a 'C' ?

From my humble understanding, KEY is something to do with pitch ? So in the key of C means in the pitch of C ? So do you play in the pitch of C but you are running a D major scale in that pitch? I am getting confused.
Amateur guitarist straight from the oven !




Last edited by Stuck_nomore at Mar 23, 2016,
#2
Moved to MT because I sense things are poised to go tits up...
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#3
A key is all about tonal center. If a piece gravitates towards a particular point of resolution, say D chord, then that piece is in the key of D. A scale is just a group of notes constructed from a certain set of intervals relative to a root note. So if you are playing in the key of D, it would be assumed that you would be playing the D major scale, but there are many other D scales that can be used based on context, such as minor, dorian, mixolydian, lydian, minor pentatonic, major pentatonic, blues scale, and others as well. What scale you use depends on context and the sound that you are after, but changing from one D scale to another doesn't change the fact that you are in the key of D.
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#4
The key of C = when the harmonix context resolves to a C major chord

Scale of C = the notes of the C major scale

In the key of C, are you always playing the C major scale? Yes, because everything you hear will be heard in relation to a C major chord. If you play a note outside the C major scale, this will be considered an accidental.

When you simply refer to the key or scale of C, it is accepted that you are referring to C major. The minor needs to be specified.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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Last edited by AlanHB at Mar 23, 2016,
#5
Quote by AlanHB
The key of C = when the harmonix context resolves to a C major chord
Yes.
Quote by AlanHB

In the key of C, are you always playing the C major scale? Yes
No, not always!
A piece of music in "the key of C" will often use notes outside the C major scale. These are known as "chromatics" or (as you say) "accidentals".

theogonia777 is exactly right. Being "in the key of C" essentially means C is the home note, the tonal centre - the "keynote" or "tonic". No more than that, essentially.
The C major scale might be assumed as the most likely set of notes implied - because the major key is the most common "tonality" - but others are possible (notes and chords from the C minor key or other modes with a C root).

As long as C still "sounds like home" - the tonal centre of the piece, and the most convincing final note (and chord) - then the piece is still "in C".

That is, the C major scale (and all the chords that can be derived from it) are "diatonic to" the key of C major. All "inside", if you like.
There are 5 other "chromatic" notes (outside the key) that can nevertheless be used occasionally to make melodies or chord sequences more interesting.
Eg, the following chord sequence is totally diatonic to C major:
C - Em - Am7 - Dm7 - G7 - C
The following sequence has a chromatic chord, but is still (overall) in the key of C:
C - Em - Am7 - D7 - G7 - C
The D7 contains a chromatic note (F#), which leads up by half-step to the root of G. Or perhaps down from the G of Am7 to the F of G7 (as you'll see if you use the common guitar shapes for those chords).
It's called a "secondary" chord because it's borrowed from somewhere else (key of G) to spice things up a bit. The key doesn't change to G, because the next chord is G7 which goes straight back to C.

Try playing both sequences to hear the difference D7 makes. It doesn't stop C "sounding like home", it's just like a small detour or swerve on the way there.

All kinds of borrowed chords are possible, even in simple rock songs. Quite often a song that is "in C" - and mostly in C major (using F and G major chords) - will also contain chords from C minor, such as Bb, Eb, Ab or Fm. This is extremely common and is not "breaking rules".
A blues song "in C" will probably use C7 and F7 chords, which each contain a chromatic note (Bb and Eb). The melody will use both notes and might also use a Gb occasionally. And we'd still say it was a "major key blues" (because minor key blues are a little different.) Again, no rule is being broken. The blues rules are being followed!
Last edited by jongtr at Mar 23, 2016,
#6
People that don't use II7 chords really are inferior.

These are known as "chromatics" or (as you say) "accidentals".


That's what he just said though.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Last edited by theogonia777 at Mar 23, 2016,
#7
Quote by theogonia777
People that don't use II7 chords really are inferior.
Personally I prefer V/V chords...
Quote by theogonia777

That's what he just said though.
He did.
I was going to make some pedantic distinction between "chromatic" (non-diatonic note) and "accidental" (method of notating a non-diatonic note), thought better of it, but then left the half-assed sentence in anyway...
#8
Quote by jongtr

I was going to make some pedantic distinction between "chromatic" (non-diatonic note) and "accidental" (method of notating a non-diatonic note), thought better of it, but then left the half-assed sentence in anyway...


All good, I should have made it clearer. My point was that in the key of C you will always be playing some form of the C major scale, with accidentals being considered an alteration of that scale, rather than separate.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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Last edited by AlanHB at Mar 23, 2016,
#10
^^First one to ACTUALLY correctly state the difference between II7 and V7/V wins Jet's approval.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#11
Quote by Jet Penguin
^^First one to ACTUALLY correctly state the difference between II7 and V7/V wins Jet's approval.
Ooh that's a good one...

V7/V leads to V? and II7 doesn't?
I.e., if II7 leads to V, then it's really V7/V?
#12
Quote by Jet Penguin
^^First one to ACTUALLY correctly state the difference between II7 and V7/V wins Jet's approval.


There is no real difference. It's just something that your Berklee teachers made up as filler since there really isn't anything to teach you for 4 years and so it's all trivia, busy work, and making things up so they can force you to learn them and call it a lesson.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#13
Quote by jongtr
Ooh that's a good one...

V7/V leads to V? and II7 doesn't?
I.e., if II7 leads to V, then it's really V7/V?



Basically yes. II7 is a dominant chord that does not behave as a dominant, i.e., resolving down a 5th or half step.

When they don't behave as dominants, its more accurate to label them II7 (or III7, VI7, etc)

A classic example is in Eight Days a Week:

D E7 G D -> That E7 is II7 in our key (D)

The exception to this is when we have a deceptive resolution, like so:

C E7 Fmaj7

At first glance this looks like it could be III7, but its more accurately V7/VI, because the Fmaj7 is a deceptive resolution for the expected Am (V7->bVImaj7)


Sorry to hijack the thread, I'm not really sure what we are talking about.

Oh right. OP, a scale is a collection of notes. A key is a tonal center built off of and around a major or minor scale, which we navigate with chord progessions.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#14
I'm pretty sure that chords in a given key go:

I-II7-III7-IV7-V7-VI7-bVII

for major keys or

i-III-IV-V7-bVI-BVII

or

i-bii-ii-biii-iii-iv-bv-v-bvi-vi-bvii-vii

for minor keys and I don't think that any good music typically varies from that very often. Bad music like jazz, rock, and pop probably deviate from that but that's it.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#15
Quote by theogonia777
I'm pretty sure that chords in a given key go:

I-II7-III7-IV7-V7-VI7-bVII

for major keys or

i-III-IV-V7-bVI-BVII

or

i-bii-ii-biii-iii-iv-bv-v-bvi-vi-bvii-vii

for minor keys and I don't think that any good music typically varies from that very often. Bad music like jazz, rock, and pop probably deviate from that but that's it.

Nice one...
#16
Quote by steven seagull
Moved to MT because I sense things are poised to go tits up...


Several tits up later.

Different folk will tell you different meanings for "key". I had an email discussion on this very topic with a Berklee professor recently. He thinks of key same as I do ... it involves both a tonal centre, and a note source (any sort of scale that at least can produce a major or minor triad off of the 1 of that scale. So, major, dorian, lydian ...). Changing either the tonal centre or the scale type implies a key change.

Other folk are taught that key just means tonal centre. The note source is something separate. Indeed multiple sources can be used.

Other folk are taught that key means tonal centre plus major scale for note source.

Yet others are taught it means tonal centre plus the major/minor note sources (where minor includes harmonic, melodic and natural, mixed up as suits)

So, be aware these different practises exist.

Ultimately, with tonal music, you use chords and melody to draw attention to the notes of the major or minor triad built off the tonal centre. Up to you how purist you want to be (i.e. sticking purely to one note source, like major scale and its chords, or adding chromaticism to that, or mixing things up with various scales built off the tonal centre and their chords, ... by which point it gets blurry between chromaticism and the scale mixes. I wouldn't over analyse it.)
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Mar 24, 2016,
#17
Quote by theogonia777
I'm pretty sure that chords in a given key go:

I-II7-III7-IV7-V7-VI7-bVII

for major keys or

i-III-IV-V7-bVI-BVII

or

i-bii-ii-biii-iii-iv-bv-v-bvi-vi-bvii-vii

for minor keys and I don't think that any good music typically varies from that very often. Bad music like jazz, rock, and pop probably deviate from that but that's it.


You don't need the roman numerals, because your music only occurs in G major.

When you guys can write songs that aren't about drinking beer while wearing jeans in a truck parked by the riverbed in the moonlight on the weekend, gimme a call.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#18
Quote by Jet Penguin
Yeah well when you guys can write songs that aren't about drinking beer while wearing jeans in a truck parked by the riverbed in the moonlight on the weekend, gimme a call.

Also, you don't need the roman numerals, because your music only occurs in G major.


What's your number :-) ??
#19
Not you, I'm talking about the country hooligans.

You, Jerry, have to buy me a drink first.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#20
No true country musician would ever sing about any of those things other than beer and trucks (but only a rig). Plus some songs are in A, D, and E. You're thinking of bluegrass with the all G thing, but any bluegrass musician worth their salt only plays major tunes in A. Contrary to popular belief, capos are not meant to be removed from the second fret under any circumstance. Some musicians might be tempted to the fourth or even fifth fret, but that's getting into some dangerous territory right there.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#21
Quote by Jet Penguin
You don't need the roman numerals, because your music only occurs in G major.

When you guys can write songs that aren't about drinking beer while wearing jeans in a truck parked by the riverbed in the moonlight on the weekend, gimme a call.


I know someone who can do that.

His name is Matt Foley.....

And he IS a motivational speaker.

Best,

Sean

#theogoniaforMod2016
Last edited by Sean0913 at Mar 24, 2016,
#22
Quote by theogonia777
No true country musician would ever sing about any of those things other than beer and trucks (but only a rig). Plus some songs are in A, D, and E. You're thinking of bluegrass with the all G thing, but any bluegrass musician worth their salt only plays major tunes in A. Contrary to popular belief, capos are not meant to be removed from the second fret under any circumstance. Some musicians might be tempted to the fourth or even fifth fret, but that's getting into some dangerous territory right there.


Over here (UK) we have to apply for a special permit from the local council to be allowed to move the capo. £100 fine on the spot if you're caught outside the 2nd fret, without this license.
#23
They don't use capos in the UK since they only have alternative rock and EDM there.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#25
So you're saying Brits are so unfamiliar with capos that they confuse them with shoes.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#26
Quote by theogonia777
So you're saying Brits are so unfamiliar with capos that they confuse them with shoes.

Shoes??? We can't afford those things over here. It costs a fortune to keep these thatched cottages in good repair because of all the rain.

As for capos, we're lucky if we can find an old pencil and an elastic band... Then we have to wait our turn to have a play on the local council guitar, there's a big waiting list. Luckily we like standing in line.
Damn this socialism!
#27
The freer the market the freer the people.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#29
Yeah, right. Ronald Reagan is the devil.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#31
Quote by jongtr
Shoes??? We can't afford those things over here. It costs a fortune to keep these thatched cottages in good repair because of all the rain.

As for capos, we're lucky if we can find an old pencil and an elastic band... Then we have to wait our turn to have a play on the local council guitar, there's a big waiting list. Luckily we like standing in line.
Damn this socialism!


Still. at least there's a food bank normally available near the council tips where we hunt for what is usually a good supply of capo materials thrown away by the schools. Though can be a bit dodgy on a Monday morning when there's the fresh pile of 70 million torn beer cans, 300 million broken beer bottles, and 1 unused health drink sachet.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Mar 26, 2016,
#32
I blame the Scots.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#34
Quote by theogonia777
I blame the Scots.
Yes, don't trust guys who wear skirts. Especially where the weather is cold, wet and windy...

And then there's the bagpipes...
Last edited by jongtr at Mar 27, 2016,
#35
Hey... the pipes are beautiful, okay? Assuming they're not being used to play Danny Boy.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Last edited by theogonia777 at Mar 27, 2016,
#36
Quote by Stuck_nomore
Say, playing in the KEY of C.

Another meaning of key:
Wind instruments have no tunings but keys (tonalities). For example:
Bb key trumpet, baritone… meaning that the lower note can produce, when no valves are actuated, is Bb
Ab key diatonic harmonica…. meaning that the lower note can produce is Ab and can only play the diatonic scale (except using bending technique)
Abm key Harmonica…..meaning that the lower note can produce Ab and can only play the diatonic scale (except using bending technique)
C key Zurna or recorder instruments….. meaning that the lower note can produce is C when all holes are actuated (covered) and can also play microtone notes
#37
Quote by stefanos604
Another meaning of key:
Wind instruments have no tunings but keys (tonalities). For example:
Bb key trumpet, baritone… meaning that the lower note can produce, when no valves are actuated, is Bb
Ab key diatonic harmonica…. meaning that the lower note can produce is Ab and can only play the diatonic scale (except using bending technique)
Abm key Harmonica…..meaning that the lower note can produce Ab and can only play the diatonic scale (except using bending technique)
C key Zurna or recorder instruments….. meaning that the lower note can produce is C when all holes are actuated (covered) and can also play microtone notes

No. Bb trumpets are notated a major ninth higher than they sound. Middle C notated would theoretically sound as Bb, second line on piano bass clef. Nothing to do with range.
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
#38
Quote by NeoMvsEu
No. Bb trumpets are notated a major ninth higher than they sound.
Sure about that?
I've always notated them a major 2nd higher, with no problems so far...

Concert middle C is written as D below the (treble) staff for a Bb trumpet.
#39
I was writing in haste and just watched a video with notation, yeah major second below. Thanks!

Point being that "key" and range still have nothing to do with each other.
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
#40
Quote by NeoMvsEu
I was writing in haste and just watched a video with notation, yeah major second below. Thanks!

Point being that "key" and range still have nothing to do with each other.

Well, why trumpet is a Bb instrument has to do with the range, kind of. He was correct on that when you don't touch the valves and play the lowest note, it is a Bb. And I guess that's why trumpet is a Bb instrument.

But a Bb instrument is simply an instrument that is written a whole step higher than the sounding pitch. Guitar can be a Bb instrument too if you tune it a whole step down but keep the notation so that for example your "E major shape" (0 2 2 1 0 0) is still notated as E major, even though it sounds like D major.

Also, I have never heard of "Bb key trumpet". People usually say either "Bb trumpet" or "trumpet in Bb". Referring to the trumpet tuning as "key" may have to do with history when there were only natural trumpets that could basically play in just one key, just a guess.

Also, transposing instruments have nothing to do with this thread.
Quote by AlanHB
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