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Old 04-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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So, I thought I had a fair idea of how to tell what key a certain progression is in. If it starts and ends on the same chord then it is In the key of that chord. Or whichever chord gives that feeling of resolving the progression (which is always gonna be the last chord) is the chord that tells you the key. Am I right?

Well I've got a new problem on my hand. Let's say you have practically two different progressions in the same song - a different progression for the chorus and verses, for example - how do you tell what the key of the entire song is?

Let's say the verse progression is: Am/G/D/C. So this progression would be in the key of C because the progression resolves on C?

Now let's say the progression for chorus is: C/Am/F/D. This progression is in the key of D?

Keep in mind that those progressions are part of the same song. How do I tell what the key of the whole song is when both progressions are in a different key? I'm sure I'm wrong somewhere along the lines, but as of now, I'm confused.

I guess I could solo in the key of C for the verses and then in the key of D for the chorus.

Last edited by blastingas10; 04-04-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by blastingas10 View Post
So, I thought I had a fair idea of how to tell what key a certain progression is in. If it starts and ends on the same chord then it is In the key of that chord. Or whichever chord gives that feeling of resolving the progression (which is always gonna be the last chord) is the chord that tells you the key. Am I right?
No, not really. Usually a I-IV-V chord progression starts on the tonic and ends on the V7. But it doesn't have to be that way for every chord progression.

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Well I've got a new problem on my hand. Let's say you have practically two different progressions in the same song - a different progression for the chorus and verses, for example - how do you tell what the key of the entire song is?
When you change keys in a song it called "modulation."

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Originally Posted by blastingas10 View Post
Let's say the verse progression is: Am/G/D/C. So this progression would be in the key of C because the progression resolves on C?

Now let's say the progression for chorus is: C/Am/F/D. This progression is in the key of D?
C Major:
  • C
  • Dm
  • Em
  • F
  • G
  • Am
  • Bdim
  • C

G Major
  • G
  • Am
  • Bm
  • C
  • D
  • Em
  • F#dim
  • G


Am/G/D/C would fit within the G Major. It would be a II-I-V-IV (two-one-five-four) chord progression

C/Am/F/D
If it was in the Key of G it would be C/Am/F#dim/D
If it was in the Key of C it would be C/Am/F/Dm
They don't sound right to me played with the chords that belong to the scale. C/Am/F/D sounds something like Kurt Cobain. Hypothetically if it was changed to C/Am/F/G which is a I-VI-IV-V (one-six-four-five) chord progression in the Key of C, you would modulate from G to C which is do-able. It would sound more Beatle-esque but I guess that is not what you looking for.

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Originally Posted by blastingas10 View Post
Keep in mind that those progressions are part of the same song. How do I tell what the key of the whole song is when both progressions are in a different key? I'm sure I'm wrong somewhere along the lines, but as of now, I'm confused.

I guess I could solo in the key of C for the verses and then in the key of D for the chorus.

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Originally Posted by blastingas10 View Post

Edit: I've been working with the first progression. The one that goes Am/G/D/C. I've been soloing over it using a mixture of the "A" minor blues scale and dorian mode and it sounds good. That brings me to another question, if the progression is in the key of "c", why does a scale in the key of "a" sound good? I've also been using the "c" major pentatonic and that sounds good as well. I've even mixed the "c" major pentatonic and the "a" minor pentatonic and it doesn't sound bad. Why is this? Isn't it wrong to mix a scale in the key of "c" with a scale in the key of "a"? And isn't it wrong to play a "a" Minor scale over a progression in the key of "c" major? Maybe that progression isn't even in "c" major, maybe I'm mistaken. I'm hoping you can put some clarity on this for me.
Well it would help to know even though it is called a minor pentatonic scale it's probably better to think of it as a Blues scale. IMO calling it a minor pentatonic is really a misnomer that can cause confusion. It's because the five notes in the blues scale are not exactly based on notes in a minor scales. The only thing it has in common with Major or minor scales (with the same key name) is the Root, Fourth and Fifth note with added Blues notes and lead in notes. The second note in a blues scale is not a minor third but a Blues note. Actually the Blues note lies somewhere in between a Minor Third and a Major Third and it can help your playing if you know you should bend the second note a little.

Blues in A:
  • A Root
  • C Blues note - equivalent to a flatted third, but not exactly
  • D IVth
  • E Vth
  • G Blues note - equivalent to a flatted seventh, ' '
  • A Octave

The Wind Cries Mary Jimi Hendrix starts off with a Blues note; the tonal center of the song is F so the chords are Db (Blues note) E (passing note) F (the key)

I hope this helps some.
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Last edited by Neapolitan; 04-05-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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All this theory getting thrown at me is kind of hard to take in at once. Rubato says that progression is in the key of G, not C. Y'all both a speaking over my head so I don't really know. You can see what rubato had to say in the "music theory - ask anything..." thread.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:27 AM   #24 (permalink)
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That progression is in G major.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
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That progression is in G major.
Yes the first progression is in G [Am/G/D/C] I was tired at the time and said it was C because he said he was soloing in C, but the second one [C/Am/F/D] I don't know what to say about it.

You can use a chord a whole step behind tonic (e.g. F to G) which is often done in Rock - it makes a good hook, but in this case it [C/Am/F/D] is unfamiliar to me.

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All this theory getting thrown at me is kind of hard to take in at once. Rubato says that progression is in the key of G, not C. Y'all both a speaking over my head so I don't really know. You can see what rubato had to say in the "music theory - ask anything..." thread.
Sorry, I was trying my best not to get too involved in theory but hard to explain how things work without it.
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Last edited by Neapolitan; 04-05-2012 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:51 PM   #26 (permalink)
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No need to apologize. I really want to learn some more theory. I have a basic understanding but I want to know more. I hope I can take some college courses some day.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:58 PM   #27 (permalink)
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No need to apologize. I really want to learn some more theory. I have a basic understanding but I want to know more. I hope I can take some college courses some day.
The best way to really grasp theory is on your instrument. Play with enough songs and learn enough scales/triads/shapes and the theory will come into place. Sure some people can resite theory for days but to truly know why it is what it is and how it sounds is a great thing. It takes years, but is the far better way of doing it than just memorizing facts from a book.

My advice to you... pick up your guitar and learn song after song. Learn what scales your favorite artists are using to get their "sound". Lastly learn all the major and minor triads you can as well as learning how to move chords like an a7 up the neck.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:19 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Does anyone have any speed building tips?
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:01 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Play slowly a LOT. And slowly add speed slowly.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:53 AM   #30 (permalink)
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The only tips for building speed are as follows -

1 - Don't tense up or contort. Be aware at all times of whether you're putting tension into your joints. Its bad for you, bad for your playing.

2 - Practice with some form of beat, not necessarily a metronome but a beat, and make sure that before you try and play something quickly, you can play it EASILY at a lower tempo. THe number one mistake "fast" guitarists make is forcing themselves to play fast. If you can play something fast, you should be able to play the same thing at ANY tempo below that and have it feel fluid and easy. Otherwise the only way to be fast will end up being to force yourself, which is the problem with point #1.


There are no other tips. Speed comes from absolutely nothing but these two factors, everything else falls into place around this.
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