I'm trying to get a better understanding of scales and would just like to clarify something if that's ok.

The main riff from sweet child o mine (below) is played by tuning down a semitone, so the very first note is a Db I think. Does this mean that the key of the song is D?

Also, which scale was used to make this riff?

Thanks guys :0D

(sorry, i copied this from tabs but it hasn't shown up too well)

Quote by zimmzimmer
Maybe your Dads pissed because hes shooting blanks :P
Basically E minor pentatonic, but as you said its tuned down a hald step, so it would be Eb pentatonic.

Scuse me if this isnt correct, i know nothing of theory at al only a few scales. And this is just a guess based upon logics, hope it helped :P
if for a step down you would say D# A# F# C# G# D# the very first note is a G# it could be a D# minor scale,but i found very strange slash playin a simple minor scale so idk

Quote by zimmzimmer
Maybe your Dads pissed because hes shooting blanks :P
The recorded version of the song is in Db major, but seeing as Slash tuned down half a step it will have been played as if it were in D major. Likewise the riff is in Db major, if you look at it you can see it's all centred around a Db major chord, or a D major chord if you're in standard tuning. If you want to get an understanding of scales have a read of Josh Urban's Crusade articles in the columns section.

Most tabs assume you're already tuned down a half step, if you want to play along with the recording without retuning your guitar just transpose everything down a half step.
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Quote by zimmzimmer
Maybe your Dads pissed because hes shooting blanks :P
E aeolian (or in slash's tuning Eb)

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E natural minor (or E aeolian) is what that riff is based in. but the solo is in E harmonic minor.
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Up until the (real) solo, the song is in D major and makes large use of the bVII chord, as do many major-key rock songs. Once that solo starts, the key changes to Em; Slash is moving between the E natural minor scale and the E harmonic minor scale. He uses the harmonic minor over B7 chords (arps, I guess) as that is the chord in Em that signals the major 7th found in harmonic minor. Oddly enough, however, his first fast lick, the one where the rest of the band gets quieter and he starts wailing away with the wah pedal, uses E harmonic minor over an A5 chord. That still works and most people think it sounds great, but it is an unusual note selection. After that lick, most of the wah-heavy licks are based on the E Blues scale and the song remains in the key of Em from there until the end.

I have not accounted for the downtuning; I leave that up to you.