#1
hey i've got a rather noob theory question so please reframe from flaming me

If some one ask me to jam in the key of say C#m. Do i play the chord progression in that key? and does scales have anything to do with the notes being played in that key/ i know this sonds confusing but if for example i only know the A minor pentatonic scale, what key isit relavent to?

sorry if i confuse u guys. thanks in advance
#2
look up a circle of 5ths. C is on top ont he outside with Am directly below it, on top, on the inside. and as you go left, add on flats in this order: BEADGCF (notice how its almost a 7 string guitar tuning). When you end there, go back up to C/A and move right. every time you move right add sharps in this order: F C G D A E B (notice how its reverse order.)

you just add sharps/ flats to the scale starting with the letter.

its easier to explain in person with someone but i hope that made sense
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#3
yeah you have the right idea with the chords. if you were jamming with someone, and they said "let's do a I-V-IV progression in C# minor", you would play C#m-G#m-F#, because that is those are the I, V, and IV chords respectively in that key.

scales have everything to do with the notes in that key. when you get really deep into scale knowledge, you'll see you would have a lot of options, but for right now I would use C# natural minor or pentatonic minor over that.

the A minor pentatonic scale is relevant to the A minor key.
#4
If someone asks you to play in C#m then you would be playing in the Key of C# but you would use the degrees of the minor scale to decide which chords/notes to play along with them. The C#m scale consists of C# D# E F# G# A B and C#. This is keep in mind the C# natural minor scale which has a flat 3rd (E) a Flat 6th (A) and a Flat 7th (B). This all is built off and corresponds to the major scale. My advice to you would be look into learning the major scale that way you can learn to tweak it and build other scales from it, much like the minor scale here.

Back to your question though, when asked to play in C#m you can use any of the notes above to jam around with and they will all sound "good" over a C#m progression. As far as the progression goes I'm sorry I'm not exactly sure what type of chords you would use if they should be major or minor. However they do correspond to the scale meaning that you would play a D# chord or an E chord or a G# chord I'm just not sure as to if they should be major or minor I only know the rules to the major scale. You could just jam around on them and see which ones fit what your doing best.

As for only knowing the Aminor Pentatonic scale I assume you know the box shapes for them, if you were to start the box pattern on a C# note on the low E string and then play the box as you would for A minor you would have a C# minor pentatoic scale this works for wherever you slide it to on the low E string, however again I'd advise you to learn the notes of the scale and the intervals that make up the scale instead of just box patterns. Take if from someone who just learned the box patterns when they were starting out, your playing will sound just like that boxed in and plain, this may sound like an old cliche but the best way to go about playing is outside of the box.

Keep playing man, and read up on the sticky in this forum about music theory it's a complicated process and can't be learned over night but stick with it and it will come and remember pracitce practice practice and jsut when you think you might be getting better practice some more.
#5
hmm alright thanks alot i have a clearer picture now

1 more thing. Isit safe to say that watever key that i wan to jam in, i just use the scale according to the key? Like a Cmajr scale fer the key of C , A minor pentantonic for the key for A etc etc
#6
Quote by disillusia
Isit safe to say that watever key that i wan to jam in, i just use the scale according to the key? Like a Cmajr scale fer the key of C , A minor pentantonic for the key for A etc etc

You're close. You play in key, yes. So the scale you play in is the same as the key of the song.

Key = C
You play in C Major / A minor

Key = A

You play in A Major / F# minor
#8
Knowing how to change and play other keys is a useful skill. However, one thing you should also realize is that the guitar is an instrument which is better in playing in certain keys (this can vary depending on tuning and if a capo is used). Key shouldn't be chosen arbitrarily, so if the person picking the key has a reason for picking that key, then you should be able to adapt to it. If they are just picking a letter at random, you should point out it would be better to play in a different key.

Being able to switch keys at will without much issue is a good music theory skill to have. Recognizing the guitar is an instrument that works better to play in certain keys is also a musical theory skill as well. If you are playing in that key because the melody is being played by an instrument that plays in only one key, then that is a good reason to change keys. However, if the key was chosen because it is the same as the singer's girlfriend's first initial, that isn't really a good enough reason.
#10
yeah i dont understand how its easier to play in one key on the guitar than it is to play in another key...

someone explain please?
#11
Wow talk about bumping..lol

I think some keys are "easier" because of how the guitar's tuning affects scale "shapes". Like, I'd say that E Minor/G Major takes less effort to use than say A# Minor/C# Major does
#12
Quote by indie_black_std
yeah i dont understand how its easier to play in one key on the guitar than it is to play in another key...

someone explain please?

It's not. It's an incorrect and ridiculous statement.
#13
Quote by Spamwise
Wow talk about bumping..lol

I think some keys are "easier" because of how the guitar's tuning affects scale "shapes". Like, I'd say that E Minor/G Major takes less effort to use than say A# Minor/C# Major does


They use the same intervals...Same shapes...
#14
It depends how much you incorporate open strings. There is a lot more variety in standard tuning playing in certain keys than others. If you are just using the box formations and leaving it at that, there isn't much difference. If you are playing a line like:

0-12-0-13-0-17-18-17-0-12-0-15-0-17-19-17

with 16th notes at a high tempo, it is really impractical to not play them on one string and the tone is a bit different.

There are also songs with unusual open chords that don't have convenient substitutes (Close My Eyes Forever, is probably a good example of that) and require a particular voicing.

It depends how much use you make of open strings, if you just play everything is closed positions, shifting keys is just a matter of changing the fret you are centered on.

Just playing in any key isn't particularly hard, being able to make better use of the guitar favors certain keys because it opens possibilities that aren't available. There is a major difference listening to someone using the 5 position A Minor Pentatonic box and someone using the A minor Pentatonic that knows what else they can do with that scale other than play in that one position.
#15
Other than open strings, the major scale is the same shape all around the fretboard...So is Lydian, Phrygian, you name it. Regardless of what key you're in the intervals stay the same. Distance between octaves doesn't just randomly change along the fretboard either...Another reason the scales stay the same shape.
#16
Yeah they look all the same to me after a while too.
It just as easy to play any keys or pitch
It just takes pratice. You see different finering shapes I guess.

That's what cool about the guitar to begin with...it allows you
to use different shapes for the same scale or chord

If playing in Dmin...the 7th fret shape or fingering from the key of C
moves to the 12 fret or open position. ..so why would it be any harder ?

Your getting it by identifying the root of the chord and the scale you choose

If you go axis pitch system ...it won't bother me none if you play a minor scale
over a major chord. The 3rd becomes a passing note.

I think Keys are more limited due to vocal.
It's easier to adjust to the vocal then to strain the singer's voice.
Last edited by Ordinary at May 9, 2008,
#18
Quote by Night
I-V-IV progression??

is that triads?

sry thats the only time i remember having seen roman numerals :P:


The numerals symbolize the intervals of the major scale. I being the root, ii being the minor second, iii being the minor third etc.
#20
Quote by Night
you mean intevals between the scale degrees? the whole half steps between em?


No, the roman numerals refer to the scale degree as in a I - V- IV progession
in C would be: Cmaj - GMaj - Fmaj.

Generally, the numeral is capitalized to signify a major chord, small letters for minor.
#21
Quote by GetOutOfMyYard
They use the same intervals...Same shapes...

Yeah, but I find that its location makes it easier to play. As well as the fact that you can incorporate every open string too.
#22
Quote by Chris_Sleeps
Key = C
You play in C Major / A minor

Key = A

You play in A Major / F# minor
Nope. If you're in C, you play C, not Am. You play Am if you're in Am.