#1
i'm not really good at knowing what key a song is in (i just feel it out and kinda have a general idea of where on the neck i should solo on) but in 72 hours, i'm playing in front of a pretty big crowd (for the first time EVER mind you), i'm trying to figure out where on the neck exactly i can improvise some things during layla. both at the end of the verse parts, and then the slower, piano part. I've been watching videos of clapton playing layla live, but i can't exactly get the right area of the neck when i play.
i'm trying to play along with it too, but i can't seem to get it right (it might be because i'm freaking out a bit too much)

any help at all would GREATLY be appreciated, and it would take a HUGE weight off my shoulders. the 4 songs i'm doing are pretty much the shot i have to prove to everyone (especially my parents) that i am a competent musician of sorts. the first three are pushovers, but layla's my "shining" moment, if you will.
G-G-G D-E-C C chord
#2
the key is basically what scale, just in case you didn't know.
go to Jguitar.com and go to the Chord to Scale harmonizer and put in what chords are in the song and it'll tell you what scale it fits in
#3
the verse for layla is in C#m and the chorus is in Dm, not sure about the piano part tho
#5
The intro, chorus, and solo are in D minor. The Verses are in C# minor, but there is a lot of chromaticism, that it, notes that don't quite fit in the C# natural minor scale, but may be borrowed from other C# minor scales to achieve a different sound, so watch out for those. The piano outro is in C major, but again, there is likely a lot of chromaticism.
#6
I think what you need to do is stop thinking in "areas", you know a scale consists of seven notes, that's all it is. You can find those notes all over the neck, and you can start on any fret or string and start improvising. If you learn intervals, you can just yank any note, hear what function that note has within the key ("hey, I played an A and it sounds like the 5th, so I must be playing in D/Bm!"). Get it?

Now, that stuff takes a while. I could just tell you what key Layla is in (if I could be arsed to listen to it right now), but that wouldn't really help you. Pick a key, like C for example, play all the chords in that key in different progressions and compared to the root chord, and listen to how each chord sounds within the key. How does the first chord sound, how does the fifth, or the subdominantparallel. That's what you need to work on, you'll have great benefits from it.
#7
Quote by Aziraphale
("hey, I played an A and it sounds like the 5th, so I must be playing in D/Bm!").
A would be the seventh in Bm, but it could be the fifth in D (or D minor).
#8
Quote by bangoodcharlote
A would be the seventh in Bm, but it could be the fifth in D (or D minor).


Yeah, but since D and Bm has the same notes, whether the key is D or Bm is mostly subjective. And therefore, deciding if you're playing in D or Bm isn't really relevant. If you prefer to think of the fifth as the seventh to the relative minor, then that's all good too, as the point is just to orientate yourself.
#9
Quote by Aziraphale
Yeah, but since D and Bm has the same notes, whether the key is D or Bm is mostly subjective.


Not at all. It is completely dependent on where the tonal center of the piece is.
#11
Quote by branny1982
With respect to the TS problem, D and Bm may as well be the same thing... he needs to know which scale to use for the live show.


That answer's already been provided; I'm simply trying to dispel this "D/Bm are the same exact thing" BS.
#14
Quote by :-D
Not at all. It is completely dependent on where the tonal center of the piece is.


Ok, let's just say that a lot of songs make good use of both the root chord and the minor parallel, and the "tonal center" jumps seamlessly between both during the song. Even if the song ends on the root chord, and you might say that means it's in a major key, it won't help you at all during the rest of the song.

So a lot of the time, whether a song is in D or Bm is a matter of individual perception, and even if you could determine ONE tonal center for the entire song, by use of science and physics and whatnot, there would be no practical use of it anyway.

And we should be glad for that, as music is meant to be dynamic and not so easily reduced to 0's and 1's.
#15
Quote by Aziraphale
Ok, let's just say that a lot of songs make good use of both the root chord and the minor parallel, and the "tonal center" jumps seamlessly between both during the song. Even if the song ends on the root chord, and you might say that means it's in a major key, it won't help you at all during the rest of the song.

So a lot of the time, whether a song is in D or Bm is a matter of individual perception, and even if you could determine ONE tonal center for the entire song, by use of science and physics and whatnot, there would be no practical use of it anyway.

And we should be glad for that, as music is meant to be dynamic and not so easily reduced to 0's and 1's.


If the tonal center of a piece does actually shift, let's say from D to B minor, then of course you would use the B minor scale in that section. When the tonal center of a piece shifts, however, you'll be able to tell. The only issue I had with your original argument was that you said "whether the piece is in D/Bm is subjective" when it's really not. You can tell where the tonal center (and whether it changes at all through specific sections) is by looking at the first chord, chordal analysis throughout the entire piece, and seeing where different cadences and progressions resolve.
#16
Quote by :-D
If the tonal center of a piece does actually shift, let's say from D to B minor, then of course you would use the B minor scale in that section. When the tonal center of a piece shifts, however, you'll be able to tell. The only issue I had with your original argument was that you said "whether the piece is in D/Bm is subjective" when it's really not. You can tell where the tonal center (and whether it changes at all through specific sections) is by looking at the first chord, chordal analysis throughout the entire piece, and seeing where different cadences and progressions resolve.


So if you ask someone what key a song is in, would you rather hear "It's in D/Bm" or "Yeah the thing is that the first two bars are like in D, and then it's Bm for two bars then it goes BACK to D and it's in D for four bars then it changes to Bm for a while maybe I don't know cause you're only playing the IIm and IV but THEN it's in D anyway in measure 18 but then it's Bm for six bars and D for three bars then Bm again, man all these changes in tonality are so hard to keep track of, whew! But anyway then it's another verse so ýou just repeat..."

Yeah, that sounds like useful information.

I get it, you don't agree that you can perceive tonalities differently, or make use of a Bm scale over a D chord (god forbid you happen to use the B note). And if you don't think proffessional musicians will look sideways at you if you blab out a four page essay on which bars of a song are in D and which are in Bm, then good for you. And if you can calculate a nice mathematical answer to what key C-D-G-Em-C-D-E-C-D-E is, then that's probably very useful to you aswell.

Fersure.
#17
Quote by Aziraphale
So if you ask someone what key a song is in, would you rather hear "It's in D/Bm" or "Yeah the thing is that the first two bars are like in D, and then it's Bm for two bars then it goes BACK to D and it's in D for four bars then it changes to Bm for a while maybe I don't know cause you're only playing the IIm and IV but THEN it's in D anyway in measure 18 but then it's Bm for six bars and D for three bars then Bm again, man all these changes in tonality are so hard to keep track of, whew! But anyway then it's another verse so ýou just repeat..."


Personally, yes- I'd rather know what different tonalities the piece moves into instead of locking myself into "it has a tonal center of D the whole piece" unless the tonal center does actually stay the same. The tonal center changes for a reason, because certain notes are supposed to be emphasized, so I'd rather accentuate those change rather than thinking the D major scale will work optimally regardless of how the tonal center changes. Clearly you wouldn't share this reasoning, you're not going to agree with me, let's just leave it at that.

EDIT: I'm not saying you can't play a B over a D chord; sometimes the sixth does sound great. I think you just missed what I was trying to say.
#18
Cut the crap guys. If it resolves to Bm like home, it's Bm key, if it's D major - key of D.
#19
Quote by srecko
Cut the crap guys. If it resolves to Bm like home, it's Bm key, if it's D major - key of D.


We're having a discussion here, it's not just "crap". Get over it.
#20
Quote by srecko
Cut the crap guys. If it resolves to Bm like home, it's Bm key, if it's D major - key of D.


Oh rly Sherlock, that wasn't at all what we were discussing.

@:-D Obviously we both know what we're talking about, we just have different mindsets. I wouldn't solo randomly in Bm over a D chord just because the scale "works", nor would I solo randomly in any scale/key, I always listen carefully to everything when I improvise, keys, cadences and basslines, and I adapt to that and play off it. I just do this by listening rather than by reading/remembering a huge load of information that, for me personally, isn't that useful. So "It's in D" is all I need to know, even if it ends up leaning a lot towards Bm.

If you find that extensive information useful, and it helps you get to the desired destination in your music, then that's great. I won't criticize you for favouring other methods than I do. If I were to play off chord sheets and calculate my playing beforehand, sure it wouldn't sound off-key or anything but I wouldn't be at the top of my game as far as expressing an emotion. Even in a Jazz improv setting I will often pay less attention to sheets and listen more to the movement of the music, not because I have to, but because I simply sound better that way.

If your opinions on this differ from mine then that's fine, because you can back up your arguments and you're being a gentleman about it. I think we've taken this as far as it can go, so no hard feelings.
#21
Aziraphale: Well said, good to have a discussion with somebody knowledgeable that didn't turn into a flame war as well.
Last edited by :-D at Mar 27, 2008,