So, as the title says, me and my friend are writing a song (the first) for our band... I was wondering, since we are going to have a solo in it, how do you figure out the key of a song, and what scale to play to those chords?

Also, if it is to any help, the general progression of the song is - Em - Am - Em - Dm....

There's also a lesson specifically on finding keys (the link is general theory), but I can't find it right now. You should look for it.

The jist of finding a key is finding the chord to which something resolves, writing out the notes in the musical passage, fitting the notes to a scale as well as you can, and then you have your key.

Let's do that with your progression. Even though it starts out with Em, I feel that it resolves to Am. Despite what some putz will tell you, the first chord is not always the key. The notes in your chords are (Em) E G B (Am) A C E (Dm) D E F. In order, starting on A, the notes go A B C D E F G. That is exactly A natural minor, so the key is A minor.

One note on modes: if you uses D Dorian, the key is not C major; it is D minor. before anything, a modes is a scale that has a small alteration from the natural scale.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Jan 7, 2007,