#1
Hi everyone

Im wondering how to tell what key your playingin?

can anyone help?

thanks
Last edited by Craigz0rz at Jul 26, 2008,
#3
1. Get sheet music.
2. Look at Key Signature.


Simple way:
Look at the music and see what notes are sharp/flat.

Assign the song a major or minor key by using your understanding of the Circle of Fifths. (For example: If you have F# and C# in the piece instead of F natural and C natural, looking at the circle of fifths you can tell that that is either the key of D major or B minor)

Then you have to find the tonal center. (In my example of D major or B minor: You would see if the music wants to resolve on a D major chord or a B minor chord. You know it sounds resolved when it sounds complete or finished.)

Whatever note it wants to go to either X major or Y minor is the key. [In my example: If it wants to end on a D major chord, it's in D major (that's taking into account the sharp notes, NOT just the fact it wants to end on D major.)]


If you don't have an understanding of the Circle of Fifths, read this thread in which Casualty01 (Chris aka Cas) has an amazing post: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14696&highlight=circle+of+fifths
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

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Last edited by metal4all at Jul 26, 2008,
#4
What metal4all said.

Oh, and if there are key changes then you're screwed.
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#5
If you learn the major scale and the chords that apply to each scale degree it helps alot. So lets say you are playing an A minor chord that then changes to a C major chord. That would be in the key of C major because A would be the sixth scale degree and C is the first. But it all makes way more sense if you've learned the major scale.
#6
thanks, so id have to right the peice of music id just made up onto sheet music and work it out from there?

sorry im technically good at guitar but when it comes to theory im hopeless
#7
Quote by Craigz0rz
thanks, so id have to right the peice of music id just made up onto sheet music and work it out from there?

sorry im technically good at guitar but when it comes to theory im hopeless

Hell no. Sheet music is just easier that way.

If you write it in tab you just have to look at all the numbers on the strings and think of them as individual notes and figure out if they are sharp. Then go through the steps in my post


Quote by SLD.Potato
What metal4all said.

Oh, and if there are key changes then you're screwed.

Thanks ...and not necessarily. If you can figure out how to find the key in a basic song then you can surely learn how to spot a key change. I won't go into it though because TS is just learning and there's no reason to complicate things.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#9
No problem. Glad I could help.

Anymore questions, just ask.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#10
Ive read the post about the circle of fitfths and i gues i sort of understand it, although i am a bit confused

The riff ive made up has a f# and b# in it, but im not really sure what i do next, so could someone explain?

Thanks everyone!
#11
Well a b# is the same thing as C natural (for this purpose because the key hasn't been identified yet) so that leaves you with F#.

The circle of fifths shows you that the key of G has one sharp. That sharp happens to be F#. You can also find out by going through the major scale. Start on G and go up WWHWWWH (W=whole step or 2 frets, H=half-step or 1 fret) and you get G,A,B,C,D,E,F#.

But the circle of fifths also says that the key of E minor has one sharp (F#).

To figure out if it's in G major or E minor you see which chord it resolves on (like i explained above).


If I missed something or am just completely off, please tell me.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#12
Great!

Ill try out the next part of your explanation, this is a great help, so thanks again.
#13
The music theory n00b (that being me) is already confused

Basically the riff goes like this


----------------------------------
----------------------------------
----------------------------------
------------------4-----5--------
--2---------------2-----3------2
--0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0

Ive got myself confused with the "which chords makes it sound complete part"

*asks for more help*
#14
Well the only sharp note you have in there is F#. We already concluded that is either G major or E minor.

You see the heavy use of the E note (low e string and 2 E5's) which is a dead giveaway it's in E minor.

BUT, just to say: The tonal center makes it sound complete (yes, i'm redundant. haha). after you play that riff, play a G major chord. Play it again but end on an E minor chord. Which one sounds complete, fulfilling, and "right", to you?

I would say E minor definitely.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#16
No problem
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥