#1
As many of you are probably assuming from my topic's title, I don't know jack about music theory. Of course this hinders me a great deal, but I'm trying to work at it one step at a time.

My question at hand: How does one "stay in key" with a particular song? I find that when I jam with a buddy of mine and I take a lead part, it just winds up sounding all mismatched. I'm assuming it's the problem with staying in the key of the song. How do I know what key a song is in and how do I stay in that key while moving up and down the fret board?
"Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance. I mean, after all, it's the thing that makes America great." - Frank Zappa while on the Arsenio Hall Show

Quote by vintage x metal
On a side note, TS, love the username. I'd kill to be under you.
#2
Quote by Thebridge
As many of you are probably assuming from my topic's title, I don't know jack about music theory. Of course this hinders me a great deal, but I'm trying to work at it one step at a time.

My question at hand: How does one "stay in key" with a particular song? I find that when I jam with a buddy of mine and I take a lead part, it just winds up sounding all mismatched. I'm assuming it's the problem with staying in the key of the song. How do I know what key a song is in and how do I stay in that key while moving up and down the fret board?

You stay in a key by playing the scales and chords that go with that particular key. I'm not sure of the extent of your knowledge of scales, but if you're playing in the key of A, an A scale would be the most fitting. You find the key by using the circle of fifths which tells you how many sharps or flats there are in a certain key. So basically, to play a lead that matches the key, you'll have to learn scales.
#3
it's actually kinda complicated. the best advice i could give is take a music theory class. or learn it on your own. (not recommended)
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#4
Quote by ortrigger
it's actually kinda complicated. the best advice i could give is take a music theory class. or learn it on your own. (not recommended)

It is complicated, but it wouldn't be so much harder learning it on your own with the help of UG than with a class. Just start slowly: learn the circle of fifths, the basic scales and how to form chords and your on your way (although it is easier said than done)
#5
1.) Know all the notes on the fretboard. It seems daunting but its not that hard, look for patterns

2.) When you are jamming (I am assuming that yor buddy is able to stay in one key) and you play a wrong note change that note by 1, 2 or even 3 frets. If you end up changing it by 3 that means that there IS another note in between the 2. Once you find a few notes that work start playing them all over the fretboard and experimenting, play what sounds good. This might sound wierd to you but there are no "wrong" notes, even if they are out of key, they are not necessarily wrong they just give a sound that you dont necessarily want, though yo umay want to work with that later on so pay attention to what you are doing.
#6
Thanks for the help guys. I appreciate it. But now I have another question: the circle of fifths. What is it?
"Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance. I mean, after all, it's the thing that makes America great." - Frank Zappa while on the Arsenio Hall Show

Quote by vintage x metal
On a side note, TS, love the username. I'd kill to be under you.
#7
Quote by Thebridge
Thanks for the help guys. I appreciate it. But now I have another question: the circle of fifths. What is it?

RTFS
My name is Andy
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#8
Quote by wyantsm
1.) Know all the notes on the fretboard. It seems daunting but its not that hard, look for patterns

2.) When you are jamming (I am assuming that yor buddy is able to stay in one key) and you play a wrong note change that note by 1, 2 or even 3 frets. If you end up changing it by 3 that means that there IS another note in between the 2. Once you find a few notes that work start playing them all over the fretboard and experimenting, play what sounds good. This might sound wierd to you but there are no "wrong" notes, even if they are out of key, they are not necessarily wrong they just give a sound that you dont necessarily want, though yo umay want to work with that later on so pay attention to what you are doing.

Or learn theory - the whole point of theory is that it tells you what's going to sound good before you play it.
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#9
Once you learn the notes it's easier, they're in alphabitical order on the fret board, just E and B don't have a flat or a sharp, I may be wrong though, i taught myself music theory, it took forever-_-, but one day it just clicked after studying it forever:]
Now as long as i Know the chord progression i can play with a song, i just need to learn more scale cuz i'm getting bored of the three i know:/
#10
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If something isn't clear, feel free to ask here. Just take it slow, and be sure that you understand and use the lesson you just learned before moving on new one.

You could also buy some books or get a teacher if you are feeling sticky isn't enough.
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#11
Quote by stratkat
just E and B don't have a flat or a sharp, I may be wrong though

There is a semitone between E and F, and a semitone between B and C. This doesn't meant there is no B#, Cb, E# or Fb though. Those notes are still used to make theory make sense. For instance, the C# major scale is C# D# E# F# G# A# B#.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#12
Wow. My head is spinning.
"Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance. I mean, after all, it's the thing that makes America great." - Frank Zappa while on the Arsenio Hall Show

Quote by vintage x metal
On a side note, TS, love the username. I'd kill to be under you.
#13
If you wanna do this without diving too much into theory, you could keep it simple & just learn one or two of the minor pentatonic shapes-you can use these over most rock & pop tunes & eventually maybe even learn the full minor scale from it (just a few notes extra).

if/when you find a minor pentatonic diagram, you can use the notes listed individually or whichever chords fit in the shape. theory seems like an uber drag, but i cant recall the amount of times ive worked something out from the fretboard which seemed like NASA science on paper. most of the work is just playing and realising stuff through time.
#14
Alright, I came up with a plan. I'm going to put college education to good use and I'm going to take a music theory course next semester. That should help out a great deal.
"Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance. I mean, after all, it's the thing that makes America great." - Frank Zappa while on the Arsenio Hall Show

Quote by vintage x metal
On a side note, TS, love the username. I'd kill to be under you.