Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > Artists Corner > Talk Instruments
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-13-2013, 07:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
Groupie
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Default Picking the right key

First time posting here, yada yada...
I apologize in advance for the massive wall of text

So I've been trying to write a piece of music, more specifically a song, recently and I've been having trouble picking the right key for the music. I just bought a keyboard and am not very experienced at piano but I figure, for practical purposes, it is the simplest instrument to self teach and to use to write a piece of music - the notes are lined up in ascending order and you don't really need to be proficient at the instrument to get started because the note you play will be the same pitch no matter how you press it, compared to say a violin where you really have to spend some time learning how to play or finger a string properly, but I digress.

I've noticed something that's been very frustrating: you can play a melody or piece of music in a number of different keys and they will sound relatively the same (I say relatively because if you space the notes at the same intervals but just move your hands across the piano a couple of notes, you will get roughly the same melody). Obviously there are still differences, and I'm sure that a trained musician or someone with perfect pitch would be appalled by your playing a song in a different key.

So I've been writing the notes down and have attempted playing some songs by ear, but I keep changing my starting position on the keyboard only for it to sound the same. I can hear the notes and chords in my head but when I begin to play the piano, the key in which I'm playing naturally sort of takes over and I can't compare it properly.

This also has me thinking, what if there is another key that would make the song sound better. Anyways, I'm completely lost here.

How do you guys correct for this error when writing music?
FatShamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 07:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
Groupie
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Oshkosh WI
Posts: 4
Default

Hey FatShamer,

The best thing you can do in my opinion is to learn some music theory. Look up some stuff online, and if I were you I would learn one key first (probably C major or G major) and learn it really well. The vast majority of people can't tell the difference between them unless they heard them right after each other. Then once you know one really well, you can start moving on to other keys and it will be much easier since you understand the theory behind it.

Also, are you talking about playing a song like from the radio or making up your own song? Because if your playing an existing song it's really hard to pick up chords, I usually look up the chords online and try to figure out the melody more by ear.

Hope this helps!

Zach evnas
keystroke3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2013, 10:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
An Butthole
 
Sequoioideae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Someone's Backyard
Posts: 539
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatShamer View Post
First time posting here, yada yada...
I apologize in advance for the massive wall of text

So I've been trying to write a piece of music, more specifically a song, recently and I've been having trouble picking the right key for the music. I just bought a keyboard and am not very experienced at piano but I figure, for practical purposes, it is the simplest instrument to self teach and to use to write a piece of music - the notes are lined up in ascending order and you don't really need to be proficient at the instrument to get started because the note you play will be the same pitch no matter how you press it, compared to say a violin where you really have to spend some time learning how to play or finger a string properly, but I digress.

I've noticed something that's been very frustrating: you can play a melody or piece of music in a number of different keys and they will sound relatively the same (I say relatively because if you space the notes at the same intervals but just move your hands across the piano a couple of notes, you will get roughly the same melody). Obviously there are still differences, and I'm sure that a trained musician or someone with perfect pitch would be appalled by your playing a song in a different key.

So I've been writing the notes down and have attempted playing some songs by ear, but I keep changing my starting position on the keyboard only for it to sound the same. I can hear the notes and chords in my head but when I begin to play the piano, the key in which I'm playing naturally sort of takes over and I can't compare it properly.

This also has me thinking, what if there is another key that would make the song sound better. Anyways, I'm completely lost here.

How do you guys correct for this error when writing music?
Depending on the relation to the notes in a tuning, how they sound in said tuning, and how it relates to other instruments is how I determine what key I want to play in, and my general play style also factors in. It all comes down to preference really, how you want something to sound, and if you're with a group, they can have a big influence on the key of something as well.
__________________
Funnel From Another Lover

God Is My Solar System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sansa Stark View Post
"check yr fucking posable limbs privilege you ****s"
Sequoioideae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2013, 09:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
AllTheWhileYouChargeAFee
 
DriveYourCarDownToTheSea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 935
Default

In writing a song, I would think one of the most important considerations in choosing a key is which key fits your vocal range the best. If you've got the same melody but play it in different keys, in different keys the melody is going to be higher or lower. If you've got a low voice, choose a key where the melody is going to be sung lower, or choose a different key if you've got a higher voice.
__________________
Stop and find a pretty shell for her
Beach Boys vs Beatles comparisons begin here
DriveYourCarDownToTheSea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2013, 11:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
Groupie
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Default

the key doesnt matter because we use equal tempered tuning. any song can be played in any key as long as its stays major or minor.on a keyboard the key of "C" is your best bet because its just the white keys.what seperates the keys is the number of sharp notes,c=0,g=1,d=2,a=3,e=4. everytime you go up a fifth you add one more sharp and that sharp is a fifth above the last sharp note in that key.if you want to make it easy on you play just the black keys, this will put you in a sharp key but you'll be in a pentatonic scale, in other words any combination of notes sounds good.
hifijohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2013, 08:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
Account Disabled
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 895
Default



To transpose, just use a circle of fifths. Above, the song is in C major. So it is represented by I. To the left of it is the IV which is F major. The V is G7. The other positions ii (D), iii (E), vi (A) and vii (B) are all minor chords (that's why they are in lower case).

Now suppose you want to change the key of this song to D. Then D major becomes I, G major becomes IV, A7 becomes V, E minor becomes ii and so on.

Just remember that the V position is really a V7, that is, a major triad with a minor 7th. You need that to resolve back to I or to shift keys for those songs that shift key.
Lord Larehip is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



© 2003-2020 Advameg, Inc.