I'm pretty clueless on how you determine what key something is in...Yesterday I learned the five different patterns of the minor pentatonic in A minor, but I only know that because that's what the book said. So I don't know anything about this And I don't know why chords are called G, C, D, ect. If someone could explain it, probally not, or just give me a link where I could study this and understand I would appreciate it.
Well, G is called g because well....Its G. But key, is usually the root note of a song. Say your playing I love rockin roll by joan jett. The root not in that song is E. So you play a solo or watever in the key of E.
Every key has a different key signature with different notes really that make it up. (simple way of explaining it.) Take for an example Am key signature is no sharps or flats (every natural note will work). Same with the key of C which is why you can work their scales together, but the C is obviously major.

Need more explaining just ask me. (I'm not the greatest teacher haha.)
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You should learn about the circle of fifths. I think theres a lesson on UG or musictheory.net, but if not, grab a book. Music Theory for dummies has really helped me with my theory.
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Ok, then I guess I should buy that book. First I'm going to try and find some stuff on the web. I don't even know what root notes are for, I think it's to transfer scales to other keys, but I don't know how to tell what key something is in. And I don't know any notes, sharp or flat. I guess I'm better off buying the book for dummies.
Thanks for the help everyone.

And thanks blue strat for the link, I think it will help me.
Last edited by RockonRoids at Jul 17, 2007,
You better learn your notes first.
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Quote by Rock'N'Soul
You better learn your notes first.

Yeah I think I know them you start at first fret, right? And then it goes like this:

A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#.

All the way to the 12th threat then it starts over, I didn't realize the signifigance of this until now. My guitar teacher just told me to memorize that on the A string.
Yeah I guess A string would be easiest, also make sure you know every note on the neck too.
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So, it isn't the same for the other strings? Like A doesn't start at the first fret on the low E string?
Here, I'll explain my way:

BEADGCF. That is the order of flats in a key signature. If you look at the key signature and see two flats, which would be B and E, you go back one in the BEADGCF sequence and it will be Bb Major. Now, if you know the key but don't know which flats are in it, you use this same concept. If the key is Gb Major, you would know that you would use every flat up to G and then the one after G, so the flats would be BEADG and C.

FCGDAEB. That is the order of sharps, opposite of flats. If the key signature has 3 sharps, you will go up the sequence and will end up at G. Then go to the next letter in the musical alphabet and that is your key, A Major. Now, if someone told you that the key was B major, you would go backwards 1 letter in the musical alphabet to A, and then use all of the sharps up to A, which would be FCGD and A.

To find the minor with the same tonic, such as A Major and A Minor, add three flats to the key signature. Say we have F major, which has 1 flat, B. F minor would have 4 flats, BEA and D. You can also go from minor to major by adding 3 sharps.

And so you know, F major is not Fb Major because the tonic (F) is not flatted in the key signature.

So that just shows a little bit on how to figure it out. If you are looking at a piece and trying to figure out the key, usually the first and the last notes of the song can be an indicator. Songs often start out on the tonic (the first note in the scale of the key), and usually end with an authentic cadence of some sort which ends on a tonic. So if you saw that the song seemed to keep resolving to an A, and there are no sharps or flat in the key signature, you would probably assume that the song was in the key of A minor, which is the relative minor to C major.
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Last edited by copet at Jul 17, 2007,
Quote by copet
Here, I'll explain my way:

BEADGCF. That is the order of flats in a key signature. If you look at the key signature and see two flats, which would be B and E, you go back one in the BEADGCF sequence and it will be Bb Major. Now, if you know the key but don't know which flats are in it, you use this same concept. If the key is Gb Major, you would know that you would use every flat up to G and then the one after G, so the flats would be BEADG and C.

FCGDAEB. That is the order of sharps, opposite of flats. If the key signature has 3 sharps, you will go up the sequence and will end up at G. Then go to the next letter in the musical alphabet and that is your key, A Major. Now, if someone told you that the key was B major, you would go backwards 1 letter in the musical alphabet to A, and then use all of the sharps up to A, which would be FCGD and A.

To find the minor with the same tonic, such as A Major and A Minor, add three flats to the key signature. Say we have F major, which has 1 flat, B. F minor would have 4 flats, BEA and D. You can also go from minor to major by adding 3 sharps.

And so you know, F major is not Fb Major because the tonic (F) is not flatted in the key signature.

So that just shows a little bit on how to figure it out. If you are looking at a piece and trying to figure out the key, usually the first and the last notes of the song can be an indicator. Songs often start out on the tonic (the first note in the scale of the key), and usually end with an authentic cadence of some sort which ends on a tonic. So if you saw that the song seemed to keep resolving to an A, and there are no sharps or flat in the key signature, you would probably assume that the song was in the key of A minor, which is the relative minor to C major.

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I think I found a good place for me to start...

http://www.cyberfret.com/first-fret/note-names/index.php

....

Well, it's about ****ing time I figured this out. I now know how to transfer the scales to other keys, because I finally learned all the note names of the frets and strings. So I think this is right, Whatever note your root notes are on that's the key your playing in, right? I hope so, lol.
Last edited by RockonRoids at Jul 17, 2007,
yeah basically, to find out the key of a song break down all the chords and write down each individual note in each chord and figure out what key the song is by looking at the notes already in a song. each key has its own set of notes (which can be seen looking at key signatures) and each major key has its relative minor (6th degree of any major scale) which uses the same notes as its relative major

I - ii - - iii - - IV - V - vi - vii - I
C - Dm - Em - F - G - Am - Bdim - C

those would be the chords for C major, relative major is Am so C and Am have the same notes/chords.

learn some scales from that key and bam improvise all over that baby
Last edited by louie_dogg at Jul 17, 2007,
Thanks a lot, guys.