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finding the key


Urinate Forever

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I'm not comfortable going to any of the other forums so i'm mkaingthis here.

 

How does one find teh key to solo in? I've heard a bunch of different things, the chord you start on, the chord you end on, etc. I know the sure fire way is to count the sharps and flats, but that sounds tedious for someone like me who barely knows his way around the fingerboard.

 

So help? Recommendations (other than learning all the notes, I'm doing that slowly)?

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um, well every song has a certain key that it's in.... so you solo in that song. For instance... if a song is in D major, then you solo in D major...


Stairway To Heaven: A minor
Smoke On The Water: G minor
Sweet Home Alabama: D major

i dont really know how to explain it other than the circle of 5ths, which is how i learned.

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You mean finding what key you should be playing in, or physically finding the right notes on the fretboard?

Finding the key the song is in. . . you're going to have to look at the sheet music, learn what chords are in what keys, or just {censored} around until you find it.

Finding the right place on the neck. . . you don't need to know where all the notes are on the neck. I mean, you should learn them, but most songs are just Major or Minor key and there are only a few (five or seven, depending on how you learn them) shapes that you need to remember.

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Well ok.

First of all pretty much every song has that I, the root note or key. Find the root note and that is usually the key. You should know it when you play it, it is pretty distinctive. First play with a few songs you know what key they are in to get a hang of recognizing that root note. Try www.jazzpracticeloops.com for some good practice loops in every key.

You should then know at least 2 scales, however what some people don't know is that these two are actually both part of one large scale across the neck.

Those scales are the pentatonic scale and the major scale.

What you have to realize though is for instance a G major scale is the same thing as a E Pentatonic or minor scale.

Take a look at this scale.

The E minor scale is right below the G major scale.

If you know those shapes at least and some of the other ones on the neck, then you can just slide the whole scale to whatever major or minor key you are playing in.

So for a really basic lesson, find the root note/key and then determine whether or not it is in major or minor.

From there any chord progression that is out of the scale, you just change a few notes to fit in with the new chord.

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i guess i didnt explain very well haha. I know a few scales and I can mess around in them and all that.

 

Ok, say a Nirvana song goes

 

D5 Ab5 G5 A5 Ab5 C5

 

what key is that?

 

My teacher said he didn't really have a good answer and a book he pulled out said the key is the last chord played. Well the last chord played in that song is A5. So we tried soloing in Amaj, and it didn't work, so we did Am and it did work (by work, I mean harmonized). But songs that end in Am, you could also solo in Am. So, I don't know if this method the book said is really entirely accurate.

 

EvilSoup, how do you find the root note?

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i guess i didnt explain very well haha. I know a few scales and I can mess around in them and all that.


Ok, say a Nirvana song goes


D5 Ab5 G5 A5 Ab5 C5


what key is that?


EvilSoup, how do you find the root note?

 

 

That chord progression is very hard for playing solos over,

 

thats one of the reasons you don't hear a lot of solos in Nirvana.

 

In that example you would either play along with whatever vocal melody is there, if there isn't then you would usually end up playing a noisey grungey solo that is out of key usually.

 

Also what is hard in that progression is it is power chords and no major or minor is clearly notated. I doubt Kurt thought about the key or progression too hard on that, something noisey and dissonant would work.

 

You could get really in depth though. If the chords are just power chords then you can almost do either major or minor depending on if the bass is playing just the root or in major or minor. The scale changes too quickly and too often to solo easily without sounding dissonant. You would sound like Coltrane trying to play Nirvana if you really got into playing the correct scales.

 

I probably got into that too much though, a D pentatonic scale with some alterations and I'd throw in some tritones in there for a grungey feel.

 

 

 

Basically you should start with something easier. A basic blues progression.

 

Try one of these major ones.

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That chord progression is very hard for playing solos over,


thats one of the reasons you don't hear a lot of solos in Nirvana.


In that example you would either play along with whatever vocal melody is there, if there isn't then you would usually end up playing a noisey grungey solo that is out of key usually.


Also what is hard in that progression is it is power chords and no major or minor is clearly notated.




Basically you should start with something easier. A basic blues progression.


 

 

Well, I figured out soloing 'around' Am works. i mean around as in, using it as a guideline pretty much, but not paying a whole lot of attention to what notes I'm playing and just doing it.

 

I'm not really interested in practicing anything, or playing over anything, just knowing what I can play.

 

There's a dinosaur jr song that starts on C# and does a little E thing. Then it goes C5 D5 F5 C5. then the verse part with the vocals is A and F#m to E when the verse restarts.

 

I just wanna be able to know where I can at least solo "around" without having to ask someone or guess.

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There's a dinosaur jr song that starts on C# and does a little E thing. Then it goes C5 D5 F5 C5. then the verse part with the vocals is A and F#m to E when the verse restarts.


I just wanna be able to know where I can at least solo "around" without having to ask someone or guess.

 

 

DURRING THE VERSE - SOLO IN THE PENATONIC ! F# MINOR ! (2-4-5 WILL START YOU OFF ON THE e STRING)

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There's a dinosaur jr song that starts on C# and does a little E thing. Then it goes C5 D5 F5 C5. then the verse part with the vocals is A and F#m to E when the verse restarts.

 

 

It might change key for the different sections.

 

As for the D5 Ab5 G5 A5 Ab5 C5 thing, I don't know what song you're talking about, but I'd give D blues a shot since it has that G G# A thing going on.

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It might change key for the different sections.


As for the D5 Ab5 G5 A5 Ab5 C5 thing, I don't know what song you're talking about, but I'd give D blues a shot since it has that G G# A thing going on.

 

 

Yeah, it's Sappy. And really, since it's Kurt Cobain it doesn't matter a whole lot but for something that'd being in key is essential to sounding good I just wanna know for sure. and stuff.

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Well, I figured out soloing 'around' Am works. i mean around as in, using it as a guideline pretty much, but not paying a whole lot of attention to what notes I'm playing and just doing it.


I'm not really interested in practicing anything, or playing over anything, just knowing what I can play.


There's a dinosaur jr song that starts on C# and does a little E thing. Then it goes C5 D5 F5 C5. then the verse part with the vocals is A and F#m to E when the verse restarts.


I just wanna be able to know where I can at least solo "around" without having to ask someone or guess.



It is usually the first chord, most songs start on 1 because it feels like the strongest key.

It can get confusing to explain it though, thats why I recommend you go to that jazz practice loops site and some songs which you know what the key is in, some easier progressions and find THAT feeling.

I try not to think about it too much myself, I just know the basic scale and I use it like a blueprint. I tend to use some chromatics and sharp or flat some notes depending on what I want.

Music is a very open thing and it is hard to explain it simply without causing a lot of false restrictions. :freak:

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