#1
I haven't been able to find a good tutorial on this, and I've searched around, I just want to be taught, basically take a riff/song and identifying the key it's played in so I know what key I should solo in.

My understanding of this is, if the song is in the key of lets say E, I am able to use all the scales for E that I have learned to solo over top of, and of course I will keep in mind "playing out of the box" and stuff, but I really just want to learn how this works so I know what I'm doing and I can identify the keys in songs, so I can write solos that are in key for songs.

Thanks.
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#2
Quote by DSchmitty
I haven't been able to find a good tutorial on this, and I've searched around, I just want to be taught, basically take a riff/song and identifying the key it's played in so I know what key I should solo in.

My understanding of this is, if the song is in the key of lets say E, I am able to use all the scales for E that I have learned to solo over top of, and of course I will keep in mind "playing out of the box" and stuff, but I really just want to learn how this works so I know what I'm doing and I can identify the keys in songs, so I can write solos that are in key for songs.

Thanks.

basically there is no technicall way to know the key of a song

you must be able to hear it

but sometimes its easy

lets say you want to solo using the E minor Pentatonic scale

And the progression is a very basic E, A, G, progression
then it would be obvious because E, A, and G are all part of the E minor Pentatonic

the same applys for Even the Major Scale but the major scale isnt as lenient as the pentatonic because the Major scale has More notes to it than the Pentatonic

Edit:most songs in their entirety arent in one key
Except for Christian music that tends to always be in a Major key

but what i mean is the Verse of a Song could Be E Minor

while the chorus could be C Minor
Last edited by hightension01 at Jul 23, 2008,
#3
Quote by DSchmitty
I am able to use all the scales for E that I have learned to solo over top of,
.

no

because if the song is in E Major a Em pentatonic wouldnt fit with it

so you would need to use the E major scale
there is ways to continue using a Minor scale on a Major progression but i think you should stick to the basics
#4
Well I understand that different sections of the song could have different keys, it all depends on the guitar riff and what key that is in, but what I'm asking is what is the method for finding out what the Key is?
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#5
Quote by DSchmitty
Well I understand that different sections of the song could have different keys, it all depends on the guitar riff and what key that is in, but what I'm asking is what is the method for finding out what the Key is?

i always listen for common notes in scales i already know

another Easy technique for playing Minor Improv stuff is

play in the key of the note you hear the most
#6
try looking at the notes of the riff...if they basicaly follow a magor scale, or even have alot of notes in common, then that is probibly the key, you can do it with all scales, it's pretty basic and easy, however it can occasionally be wrong, but thats kind of rare.
#7
If you're looking at pop songs that often play on your local radio or "simple" bands such as OneRepublic, Backstreet Boys, Maroon 5, etc, you should get an instrument and try to play along, playing the melody. Most songs are in Major scales, which are easy to find the characteristics. Study some music theory.
#8
Oh, so like, I just find out the notes of the song, then I fit them into whatever scale they fit into, and that's the key for that riff?
Live Rig:
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Jackson SLSMG Soloist
Currently in Ontario, Canada.


#9
i'll try to help the best i can...i'm by no means a guitar wizard or master of theory or anything but i was in your shoes at one time and know exactly the frustating feeling of wanting to rip a solo over a good progression but not knowing exactly what key it's in so therefore not really knowing what scales or modes i could use.....

lets take a song in let's say the key of C major/A minor....you first need to know all the notes that are in the key of C major. C major has no flats or sharps so it would be C D E F G A B then octave C. then you need to know what chords are in C major. which would be of course C major then D minor E minor F major G major A minor and B+. so if you have a progression that's going Cmaj. Amin. Gmaj. Cmaj. you could use the Cmaj. scale or it's relative minor scale which would be Amin. or either just the plain Cmaj. pentatonic scales or an Aminor penta scale.

now if your playing root 5th root chords (powerchords) your open to using either a major or minor scale since powerchord are only made up of 2 notes and those 2 notes are in both scales. thats why it's so much easier to solo over powerchords than full chords. i'm not guaranteeing this to be the set in stone rule or anything cause there is no set in stone rules in music, this is just how i determine what key i'm in and what scales i will use. i very well could be wrong since i've not had any proper teaching and all i know is just based off of what i've read in books and alot of trial and error, but give it a shot most times it seems to work well for me. and keep your songs simple that way theres alot less confusion when it comes to your lead work, try to keep the song all in one key.

sorry for such a long post, just trying to help you out as detailed as possible, i know how hard this **** can be to understand. i've realized that alot of times (not all the time) the key that the song is in is usually on the starting chord or note. Hope that helps
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