#2
Harmony cant get pretty complicated, and generally chords relate more to what scale you are using that what key it's in.

try http://www.musictheory.net/lessons/html/id57_en.html going through that, it has a lot of information on this.

and BTW, there are no rules, only guidelines.
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Last edited by Kid_Thorazine at Jun 19, 2008,
#4
Quote by littledude65
I was just wondering, is there any sort of rule for what chords will be in what key? I'm starting to write some music with my friends, but I don't want to have to look into my notes to see if the chords are in key or not, especially when we are improvising.
This only applies if your playing strictly diatonically in major, which you probably are.

If theres a X7 chord, than the key is 7 semitones below that chord.
If there are 2 major chords only a tone apart, than the key is 7 semitones below the highest of those 2 chords.
If there are 2 minor chords only tone apart, than the key is 4 semitones below the highest of those two chords.
If theres a diminished chord, the key is a semitone above that chord.

These are just some cheats I used before I memorized all the chords of the major scale. Now I know the chords go major minor minor major major minor diminished major (or I ii iii IV V vi vii0) in the major scale.

Although, over non diatonic chord progressions and over (real) minor progressions, the scales/modes you can use change every so often. If its a fast progression, you might play one scale for 2 or 3 chords, or you could even play something different over each different chord if its a slow progression. I wouldnt recommend playing like if your begining to improvise.
#5
Take a look at this video which shows how chords are built from a major scale (i.e. major key).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9HybCIdeqI

It shows what chord is built on each note of the major scale. For example....

Take the F major scale: F G A Bb C D E F

Then build the chords on each note of the scale by stacking up every other note in the scale:

I- Fmaj7 - F A C E

ii - Gm7 - G Bb D F

iii - Am7 - A C E G

IV - Bbma7 - Bb D F A

V - C7 - C E G Bb

vi - Dm7 - D F A C

vii - Em7b5 - E G Bb D

So the chords found in the key of F major are:

Fmaj7 Gm7 Am7 Bbmaj7 C7 Dm7 Em7b5

Another way to look at it is like this...

If you take the 7 notes in a major scale: I ii iii IV V vi vii

The chord built on the 1st note will always be major/major7th
The chord built on the 2nd note will always be minor/minor7th
The chord built on the 3rd note will always be minor/minor7th
The chord built on the 4th note will always be major/major7th
The chord built on the 5th note will always be dominant/dominant7th
The chord built on the 6th note will always be minor/minor7th
The chord built on the 7th note will always be minor(b5)/minor7th(b5)

So if you take a C major scale

C
D
E
F
G
A
B

the triad chords built from that scale (key) would be....

C
Dm
Em
F
G
Am
Bm(b5)

the 7th chords built from that scale (key) would be

Cmaj7
Dm7
Em7
Fmaj7
G7
Am7
Bm7b5

Does that help?
Last edited by Groucho_Marx at Jun 20, 2008,