How od u go about figuring out the key of a song without chords? Example: Master of Puppets what is the key of it? Is it the first note played in a riff? Is they key always consistent throughout the song?
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learn what notes are in what keys
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Pretty much the only way to find out what key it is for sure is to see what chord it resolves to. If something resolves to A minor, it's in the key of A minor. I'm assuming we're talking strict tonality here, not moda...lity.

The first note/chord, last note/chord are usually giveaways. Also, look at the chords used in the song. If they're mostly diatonic triads from a certain scale, chances are it's that key.
i dont think it is necessary at all the first note in a riff is the key of the song. and the key of the song might change midsong, if the writers of the song decide to do so.

i think to find out the key of any section of the song u should look at all the notes played in that section, and find out what scale they fit into. then you need to find out which note of those group of notes is your root note. one way to find the root note is that any phrase that ends with a root note will sound "complete" as in the listener will not expect any more music after it, it kinda stands on its own. the last note of a piece that sounds complete is ur root note.
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What one Vision said. Master of Puppets for instance is the key of E if I am not mistaken.
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