#1
im having trouble figuring out what key a song is in. not just one particular one, but any song. i dont know how its decided and i was wondering if theres anyway to tell
#2
I don't know either just by looking at what chords a song is made up of. What I do is play every major scale until one fits in then I figure hey this works then I use the reletive minor to back up what I'm thinking. If they both fit then I know ok Emaj and C#minor fit perfect the song must be in that key. Not very scientific or anything but it gets me by. So yeah trial and error for me.
#3
Its not a precise science unless you can see the sheet music. If you can't do that and assuming you know a bit of theory, make a guess based on the starting and ending notes/chords (usually the root I chord and the key signature) and the accidentals (sharps and flats) that occur throughout the piece and choose your key based on that.
#5
rule of thumb is the chord that the song begins with and ends with... in most cases it's the same. if theyre different, then listen carfully to the ending of the song, if it feels like the song closes or ends then odds are that the ending chord is the key. this does have it's exceptions though, and should only be used as a rule of thumb... not taken as law. Afterall, whos to say that a song that apears to be in F major isnt really in the key of E# major?
#6
usually the last note or chord of the song (usually same as the beginning of the song as well)
#7
SEAL Sniper, I think common sense and logic and rationality say that a song in F major is not in E# major!

(Disclaimer: Dont take this the wrong way, I know you were just making a point)
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#8
I usually play chords until I find one that fits in the song, know what I mean? For instance, if I listen to a song that's in Am, but I don't yet know the key, I play several chords and I notice that all others except Am sort of "don't belong" there.
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#9
You can also tell what key its in from when you hit that certain chord that feels like 'home' in a song.
#10
If there's a solo in the song you can usually tell the key by looking at what key the solo is in.

did you know the major scale on a piano, starting at whatever note (lets say E). you just go straight up the white keys without hitting a black one. and you got the major scale.

#11
Quote by Ænimus Prime
SEAL Sniper, I think common sense and logic and rationality say that a song in F major is not in E# major!

(Disclaimer: Dont take this the wrong way, I know you were just making a point)


they're enharmonic, so either would be correct...most people would say F, but E# wouldn't be wrong, just not very practical when naming the key of a song
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#12
Quote by axe_grinder247
they're enharmonic, so either would be correct...most people would say F, but E# wouldn't be wrong, just not very practical when naming the key of a song

A friend of mine would argue this point. I really wouldn't but I'll share anyway. I'll use a scale because it's easier to understand.

C D E F G A B C

Ok we know that D#/Eb is enharmonic right? We know that an augmented 2nd from C would be D#. HOWEVER, we cannot call Eb an augmented second even though it's the same note. Why? Well sticklers and anal retentives in music theory practice will tell you that a jump to E implies a third so Eb is the minor third but in turn D# can't be referred to as a minor third even though they are technically the same note. This really only applies when constructing chords but a good bit of info on a Theory exam. I think it would work the same way with finding keys in that you have to look at the overall context of the song to determine if it's F or E#, which in reality doesn't exist. So I'll use A# and Bb.
#14
yeah, that was where i was headed, but you came and explained it perfectly - thanks
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#15
Quote by SEALSniper1152
rule of thumb is the chord that the song begins with and ends with... in most cases it's the same. if theyre different, then listen carfully to the ending of the song, if it feels like the song closes or ends then odds are that the ending chord is the key. this does have it's exceptions though, and should only be used as a rule of thumb... not taken as law. Afterall, whos to say that a song that apears to be in F major isnt really in the key of E# major?

As composers mature, they may learn that changing keys in a song or starting a song on a totally different chord than that which is the key keeps things interesting. Therefore, that rule isn't always true. But, in most popular music (ie. not jazz, prog, classical, some metal, etc.) that rule does work.
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#16
Quote by Lemmon
You can also tell what key its in from when you hit that certain chord that feels like 'home' in a song.




Man hit the nail on the head.

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#17
Hmm...so, I've got a simple riff/melody that I want to build a song around, but don't know which key to put it in. The riff has two sharps, so someone mentioned it's in DMaj. But a D Maj chord doesn't fit in the song (not to my ear, anyway). The riff starts on a B, and I found a Bm7 chord sounds good with it...does this mean I can try to key of Bm? (Which is the relative minor of DMaj anyway, isn't it?) Man, I'm confused...I should learn more theory before I swrite something, but the music won't stop coming...
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#19
^there is no such a key known as E5 it's E Minor.
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#20
Quote by Duranix
If its metallica its in E5


the key of E5 aye?

sounds - interesting
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#21
My bro mate, who teaches me know and again, jus runs along the bottom e string until he gets the note that fits, he says he listens for the first chord.

Then about 2 mnutes later he will be playing along with song, then about 10 minutes later he will have worked out all the we chords pretty mad stuff me thinks.