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rancidrocker  
7 Feb 2007 20:14 | Quote
Posts: 1
yeah ok ive been playing guitar for a little bit now. and i want to know how to tell what key a song is in. i just dont get it. if someone could explain to me how to tell what well i guess, firstly what a key is, and secondly how to find out what key your chord progressions are in. im at that stage where i hate tabs coz they dont teach you anything and im pissed off i never started learning notes. GRRR ill get there.
zmazz  
8 Feb 2007 17:36 | Quote
United States
Posts: 94
u wanna know what key ur chord progression are in? there's a link at the tops of the page that says chord progression. u can figure it out from there. Heres an example:

C Dm Em F G Am Bdim---> if u use any of these chords in your song.. u are in key of C.

one more thing.. dont be a hater.. sooner or later u'll love tabs! LOL trust me!
blackholesun  
9 Feb 2007 17:12 | Quote
Joined: 04 Jan 2007
United Kingdom
Licks: 1
Karma: 11
Moderator
A key basically decribes the mood of a song (major/minor), as well as the tonal centre of it. In general, the key of a song is whichever chord is the first or last in a song, but this doesnt always apply.

"C Dm Em F G Am Bdim---> if u use any of these chords in your song.. u are in key of C."

Sorry but that's wrong lol.

The best way to work out what key you are in is it look at all the notes in the chords you are using, and see which scale they fit. For example, if you used C Dm Em F G Am Bdim, then you would be in C major or one of its related modes (D dorian, E phrygian, etc), because the notes found in the chords make a C major scale or a mode that uses the same notes as the C major scale. There are no notes in those chords that are not in the C major scale. Watch out for songs that modulate (change keys) during them!

You can take the notes from the chords and put them in the reverse scale finder. The link is at the top of the page or go here... http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/reverse_scales.php. The name of the scale is the key, as chords are built from scales. Hope this helps. If you don't understand modes or something else then just ask!
luckyhubbie  
25 May 2007 10:29 | Quote
United States
Posts: 69
Yeah the C Dm F G ect. line is definitely wrong.
blackholesun  
25 May 2007 16:15 | Quote
Joined: 04 Jan 2007
United Kingdom
Licks: 1
Karma: 11
Moderator
its not completely wrong though. those chords ARE the chords in Cmaj, but by saying if you use ANY of those chords then you are in definately in Cmaj is wrong.
zmazz  
26 May 2007 11:36 | Quote
United States
Posts: 94
O my bad! i guess i should have said that he is probabaly in Key of C if he uses those chords.
paerdeveygh  
27 May 2007 02:47 | Quote
Joined: way back
Finland
Lessons: 1
Karma
In, for exemple, the key of 'C' you would spend most of the time on that chord. In a very real sense, this is the 'main' chord of the piece. Sometimes this alone can be a good indicator to what key a piece is in -- particularly for forms such as blues, country, and pop.

Another, more subtle thing to notice, is that there is a very specific arrangement of chords sitting around the 'home' chord. If we start on C, and we go up to F, and up to G. If we call C number 'one', and count up the keyboard, you can see that we use chords I, IV and V.

In fact, in the vast majority of Western music, these chords, I, IV and V are the most common chords used, simply because they are the ones that sound good when they're played one after another. When your brain hears that relationship of chords, even if you don't consciously realise it, it will be able to pick out which chord is number I, the 'home' key.

Perhaps you think you can't do this. Well, put on a piece of simple music, pause it halfway through, and just tell yourself to "hum the main note". You may be surprised at how easily your brain picks out a note to hum. At the very least, you can usually tell whether the piece sounds 'complete' and it could stop there (even if it carries on in real life), or if it sounds 'interrupted' and needs to carry on to go somewhere else..."


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