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Im a noob and i need help

Music Theory
shreadhead96  
13 Apr 2009 18:53 | Quote
Joined: 13 Apr 2009
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like i dont understand what it means when people say thats in the key of G or Cm (i think you get the idea)
EMB5490  
13 Apr 2009 19:00 | Quote
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well a key has certain notes in it, key of g is e minor, which has the notes: gmaj,amin,bmin,cmaj,dmaj,emin,f#dim, you really should look at bodoms lesson on scales. but a key just contains notes that sounds good within it, if you say eminor, its in a minor key sad sounding, so generally would base the chords around the e minor but its the same as g major.
shreadhead96  
13 Apr 2009 19:11 | Quote
Joined: 13 Apr 2009
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sorry to sound dumb but that was kinda confusing
JazzMaverick  
13 Apr 2009 19:58 | Quote
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you know each fret and string holds a note, and each of these notes, in a sense, have rules about them, basically our way of understanding these notes in more detail.

A Key is a group of notes gathered together and can be played going all across the fretboard. Basically a title for these group of notes and it's dominant note.
JustJeff  
13 Apr 2009 20:55 | Quote
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Here is Music Theory 101 for keys and scales

Some important terms:

KEY: A specific scale or series of notes defining a particular tonality. Keys may be defined as major or minor, and are named after their tonic or keynote. Thus the series of notes with intervals defining a major tonality and based on the key of C is the key of C major. (I will explain what this means a bit later)

SCALE: A series of notes in ascending or descending order that presents the pitches of a key or mode, beginning and ending on the tonic of that key or mode. The degrees of a scale have specific names shown below and each of the unique 12 notes of the chromatic scale can be the tonic note of a scale.


Degrees of a Scale

1 - Tonic
2 - Supertonic
3 - Mediant
4 - Subdominant
5 - Dominant
6 - Submediant - Superdominant
7 - Leading Note - Subtonic

STEP:the interval between one degree and the next, regardless if it is a major, minor, augmented, or diminished second.

CREATING A SCALE: What is the G major scale?

To define the G major scale, we will use the standard Major mode of music. This is defined as having 7 intervals that follow the pattern, Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half. What this means, is that of all the notes that are available (A, A#, B, C, C#, etc), if we follow this pattern of W (whole), W, H (half), W, W, W, H, we will make a full circle around. So here is a more detailed structure:



W W H W W W H (Step)
G A B C D E F# G (Note)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (Degree)

So, when we are playing in the key of G major, these are the notes that will be used. If you were to find your favorite song in G major (For example, Time of Your Life by Green Day) and play these notes in some order, it will sound pretty good and probably fit in the song. There is a little bit more to solo'ing than this, but here is your foundation!


USING THE SCALE TO MAKE CHORDS:

Now that we have defined all the notes that are in our scale, we can start building chords. Now, to create chords, there are certain rules that we follow. First, the basis of all modern music (besides jazz and some blues) is based off of 3rds. What I mean by "3rds" is that the amount of steps involved from one note to the next is a 3rd jump. For example, the chord G Major has the notes G, B, and D. From G to B, we have a 3rd, or an Interval spanning two diatonic scale steps. There is also a 3rd from B to D.

So, using our scale we can build all of the chords to use. We will have 7 chords, since there are 7 notes in our scale

1 -> G, B, D
2 -> A, C, E
3 -> B, D, F#
4 -> C, E, G
5 -> D, F#, G
6 -> E, G, B
7 -> F#, A, C

Now, to define what these chords are. A major chord is built of 2 specific thirds: A major third in the first 3rd, and a minor third in the second 3rd. To further clarify, if we look at the G chord which has G, B, and D. To count up from G to B, we go G, G#, A, A#, B -> 4 half steps. From B to D, we have B, C, C#, D -> Only 3 half steps. So we can define a major third as having 4 half steps and a minor third having only 3 half steps.

Let's analyze the next chord: A C E
To count up from A to C, we have A, A#, B, C -> 3 Half steps. This is a minor third. From C to E, we have C, C#, D, D#, E -> 4 half steps. This is a major third. So we now have the reverse of what we had before. This is a Minor Chord.

Here are the rest of the chords and their names

1. G Major
2. A Minor
3. B Minor
4. C Major
5. D Major
6. E Minor
7. F# Diminished (Special case, don't worry about this right now)

This pattern is true of all Major keys. All you need to do is define the scale, and then same chordal names will follow. For example, here is C major next to G major.



C Major G Major
D Minor A Minor
E Minor B Minor
F Major C Major
G Major D Major
A Minor E Minor
B Dim. F# Dim.



PUTTING ALL THIS STUFF TOGETHER:

So now we have defined a scale and we have defined the chords that go with that scale. What does this all mean? It means that now we have defined what is in a KEY. So, when someone says they are playing in the key of G major, they are using the scale and the chords of that key. There are also many other ways to describe keys: Minors, Modes, etc. These require a bit more understanding to get a hold of, but use the same notes as a major scale, just arranged in a different order.

Hope this information helps. If you have any more questions, just ask! Have a good stay!
BodomBeachTerror  
13 Apr 2009 21:24 | Quote
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dont be afraid to ask questions, even if they sound dumb! this looks really confusing, im still not quite sure about keys, i mean i can play in different keys but i do it mostly by ear and not by this theory stuff. you'll get it eventually
EMB5490  
13 Apr 2009 22:10 | Quote
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way to beat me to it.... posting all the theory...
JustJeff  
13 Apr 2009 22:17 | Quote
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@emb5490
I couldn't resist :)
shreadhead96  
14 Apr 2009 13:55 | Quote
Joined: 13 Apr 2009
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that helped alittle, so if i play an open G chord im in the key of Gmajor
JustJeff  
14 Apr 2009 16:16 | Quote
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Not necessarily.

A G major is not only in the key of G.

G major also exists in C major, and in D major.

So, G, C, and D all have the G major chord, so if you play an G chord, you could be in any of those 3 keys. It matters by what other chords you play.

If you play an F major and a G major, you are in the key of C. If you play a A, and a G, you are in D major. If you play a D and a G, you are in G major.
blackholesun  
14 Apr 2009 17:10 | Quote
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JustJeff says:
It matters by what other chords you play.


That's the key point, right there. As Jeff said above, the chords in G major are:



G major
A minor
B minor
C major
D major
E minor
F# diminished


Playing a combination of those would mean you are playing in the key of G major.

Some of those chords are quite tough for a beginner to play on guitar, and I see on your profile that you can play a bit of piano. I don't know how much you know about piano so I'm going to go slowly.



1. Find middle C
2. Play the E (two white keys above C) and the G (a further two white keys above E) at the same time. This is a C major chord.
3. Move all the notes up by one white key. This is a D minor chord.
4. Continue moving up by one white key at a time to get the chords of E minor, F major, G major, A minor and B diminished.


Notice how all the chords sound like they belong together? That's because all of the chords are from the key of C major.
BodomBeachTerror  
14 Apr 2009 21:00 | Quote
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which fret is Middle C? is it the lowest C on the neck?
RA  
14 Apr 2009 22:49 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
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middle C or C4 has 5 locations and is in 16 different positions. but to help you out second string first fret. but remember Guitar is a transposed instrument so guitarist read C4 in treble clef and play C3


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