#2
That's a tremendously broad subject. There are entire textbooks devoted to the subject. Is there any progression in particular you're wondering about?
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#4
Quote by Swap-Meet
Just pretty much the basics


If you're looking for a simple way to identify the key of a progression, your biggest clue would be the resolution of a major chord (or a dom7 chord) to another major or minor chord a fifth below or a fourth above (V-I or V-i). The resolution of the V chord to the tonic is very powerful and strongly establishes tonality. There are many other ways to resolve a progression, but this is the one you're most likely to encounter in popular music. The chord built off of the fifth degree in a minor key is technically minor, but it's very common to replace it with a major (or dom7) chord to strengthen the resolution (e.g. E7 - Am)

In a major key, it's also quite common to see two major chords a full step apart. Since this only occurs with the IV and V chords in the key, it strongly suggests certain tonality as well (in C major, this would be Fmaj - Gmaj)
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Jul 18, 2008,
#5
Quote by Archeo Avis
If you're looking for a simple way to identify the key of a progression, your biggest clue would be the resolution of a major chord (or a dom7 chord) to another major or minor chord a fifth below or a fourth above (V-I or V-i). The resolution of the V chord to the tonic is very powerful and strongly establishes tonality. There are many other ways to resolve a progression, but this is the one you're most likely to encounter in popular music.


The progression in my band is usually in 5ths (powerchords)
#6
Quote by Swap-Meet
The progression in my band is usually in 5ths (powerchords)


Progressions based on powerchords are usually more ambiguous, since powerchords have no tonality. You could analyze the notes and try to figure out if there's anything particularly suggestive of a tonality, but by far the easiest way would just be to play the progression and listen to try to see where it best resolves.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#7
Quote by Archeo Avis
Progressions based on powerchords are usually more ambiguous, since powerchords have no tonality. You could analyze the notes and try to figure out if there's anything particularly suggestive of a tonality, but by far the easiest way would just be to play the progression and listen to try to see where it best resolves.


I don't get what you mean by try and see where it resolves, I understand most of what you're saying, but I feel like I'm missing one little thing that is stopping me from understanding this.
#8
Quote by Swap-Meet
I don't get what you mean by try and see where it resolves, I understand most of what you're saying, but I feel like I'm missing one little thing that is stopping me from understanding this.

I think he means to just listen and see which chord sounds "correct" as an end to the progression. By the way, check your PMs, I responded to your question from the other day.
#10
Quote by :-D
I think he means to just listen and see which chord sounds "correct" as an end to the progression. By the way, check your PMs, I responded to your question from the other day.

^ thats what I do.

When you listen to a good chord progression you should hear some kind of tension being created. It creates a desire in the listener to hear a certain chord to relieve that tension. That chord you want to hear is the tonic.

Try playing E->A->B
Notice how there seems to be some stress building. If you follow with an A you might feel a slight relax in tension but for the most part it's still there. But if you play an E it will sound like you just got home.

Listen to a chord progression and then hum the one note you think best fits overall sound of the progression. There's your tonic. You will notice when a song modulates to a new key and the whole sound seems to rise or drop. This is because the tonic has changed.
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#12
Quote by Swap-Meet
Hm...Okay, buy can a song be in they key of a chord that it never plays?


It's entirely possible. Many chords resolve in predictable ways, so you can certainly imply a tonal center without ever actually playing a tonic chord, though you would very rarely see this in popular music. I don't know how long you could carry it on, though. I imagine that the listener would gradually start to hear one of the more stable chords (say, the IV) as a new tonic.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Jul 19, 2008,
#13
Quote by Swap-Meet
Hm...Okay, buy can a song be in they key of a chord that it never plays?
EVERYONE BUT ARCH PLEASE IGNORE


That would almost be modal playing. Dm7 G7 could easily resolve to C if you let it, but if you keep playing that vamp, you end up with D Dorian. (This is actually a question.)

But Arch, where have you seen a song played without the tonic chord ever being played (and no arp nonsense!).
#14
I remember a song by micheal jackson that was based on a repeating ii - V progression, and i don't think it was modal.
#15
Quote by bangoodcharlote
That would almost be modal playing. Dm7 G7 could easily resolve to C if you let it, but if you keep playing that vamp, you end up with D Dorian. (This is actually a question.)

If it's a question, the answer is yes. Look at the song Oye Como Va by Santana (and some weird guy before him who wrote it but I don't remember his name). It's exactly Dm7 - G7.
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#16
Quote by Archeo Avis
It's entirely possible. Many chords resolve in predictable ways, so you can certainly imply a tonal center without ever actually playing a tonic chord, though you would very rarely see this in popular music. I don't know how long you could carry it on, though. I imagine that the listener would gradually start to hear one of the more stable chords (say, the IV) as a new tonic.


but if i have a riff

B5, D5, A5, E5.

No sharps, no flats, which is a key signature for C Major (I think)

But all those chords are in both the keys of G Major, A Major and C Major, I'd be able to solo in any of those 3?
#17
Quote by Swap-Meet
but if i have a riff

B5, D5, A5, E5.

No sharps, no flats, which is a key signature for C Major (I think)

But all those chords are in both the keys of G Major, A Major and C Major, I'd be able to solo in any of those 3?


I would say only C Major. I believe you're implying a C Major tonality because there are no sharps or flats.

However, 5th chords have no tonality.
#18
Quote by Swap-Meet
but if i have a riff

B5, D5, A5, E5.

No sharps, no flats, which is a key signature for C Major (I think)

But all those chords are in both the keys of G Major, A Major and C Major, I'd be able to solo in any of those 3?


Those power chords are not in the key of C major. Try playing a C major chord (or C5) after the E5. Sounds a bit off doesn't it? The tonic chord is the chord that feels like home, the chord that has the most harmonic stability. A progression like this is fairly ambiguous but my ear's saying it's the B5 to me, and as it's all diatonic to B minor I'd use the B natural minor scale.