So here's the thing; I'm trying to learn songs from bands such as Zeppelin, Chili Peppers, etc, record my playing it onto the computer using a program I have, and then add a second and maybe a third guitar overdub filled with soloing and chord work in order to kind of understand what works and help me with figuring out how to play along to things.

My problem is I don't know what to do sometimes. I know the minor pentatonic and major scale (at least partially, one or two forms for them), and sometimes I can play along and really have fun with it. But what I want to know is, how do I figure out what key a song is in? Furthermore, how do I know what notes will work on a song based on the key it's in? I've learned Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, so if anyone knows what key that's in or what might work with it, the help would be greatly appreciated.
Well, you have to fool around with it. It could take a full week to figure out the solo to a song without tab help. But every song that you pick up by yourself and really mean it, will make you a better guitarist.
You'll know what key it's in from the key signature -- the number of sharps or
flats at the left side of the bar line. That is, if you have a song transcript that has
both tab and standard notation.

Otherwise, you'll have to figure it out. Not hard to do. Just listen and see what
chord the progression sounds like it resolves to.

I'd advise you to buy a good book with the songs you like tabbed out. Something
like the Signature series. Usually they are accompanied by an analysis.
To really know what key a song is in, you can do it theoretically or practically.

The theoretical way can be found in the lessons section of the site.

The practical way is, play the pentatonic (box 1) starting from each fret from 1-12, and see which box contains only notes that sound good along with the song you're playing.

Ex. So let's say you're playing along to Dani California Playing pentatonic starting at the 8th fret sounds pretty bad cause that's not the key of the song, but playing the pentatonic at fret 5 will sound good cause it's in the same key as the song.

The root (as you probably know) is the first note of box 1, and is also the key of the song.

Pretty much just experiment playing in different keys until you find the right one.
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Ok, I think for Baby I'm Going Leave You, you can play a solo using the A-natural minor scale (A--B--C--D--E--F-G) .Try to play some bends on A and some legato between B and C.

Good Luck!
i thought to find what key a song is in, is basicaly, play a scale from the root note from the song your trying to learn, and find all the notes from there, thats what i do when im writing my own songs tho.

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Last edited by Cringles at Jun 27, 2006,