Hey whats up? I just joined a rock/metal band for rythm guitar. I can play covers and stuff fine, and make up stuff fine, but when it comes to keys i dont really have much of an idea. Ive played for 2 years on and off, but never really considered myself as a rythm guitarist, so never bothered learning keys. I usually practiced by playing leadish/bluesish stuff, scales and whatever sounded good. Can anyone try to explain to me (or link me to somewhere thatll tell me) what exactly keys are, and how to go about learning them? I figure is will REALLY come in handy if i want to take the band seriously. Thanks!
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No one ever really explains the concept that well, they just explain how to find the keys to chords and chord progressions. Think if key as what the whole song kind of revolves around, the whole baseline for what you are playing. It just kind of serves as a base and a guideline for music.

Chords that are in the same key tend to work with each other, which is kind of the whole point. Knowing about keys is probably just as important for a lead guitarist as it is for a rythm guitarist. The rythm guitarist needs to know it so his progressions are in key, and the lead guitarist needs to know it so he knows where to play his licks and what scale to use. Out of key solos tend to sound off or out of place. That's not always the case though. It's alright to play a D# when you're in the key of C if it sounds good of course. And you can play a C minor or a D major in the key of C too if you think it fits and sounds good. Knowing what key to play in is just a generalization of what the song centers around.
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