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Playing in a Key
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March 13, 2015 - 7:56 pm
Member Since: March 13, 2015
Forum Posts: 1
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I have been trying to learn the fiddle. But the thing that has got me confused is what someone means when they are saying they are playing in a certain key. How do I learn the keys. I know the fingering, but I can not understand learning this. Most people who explain this, explains like I have been playing the fiddle for years. Any help would be appreciated.

Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil

March 13, 2015 - 8:50 pm
Member Since: November 19, 2012
Forum Posts: 220
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but...

In my conception, a Chord is a combination of notes that harmonize between each other, and most of the times these notes are all in the same scale/key.

Taking for example the G chord in the guitar - it's the G note, plus it's fifth (D), plus it's octave (g). That doesn't mean that it has to follow that specific order. It's normal to see chords using fourths, seconds, thirds and so on.

What I do to find out what key is a song in, is look for the lowest note in the song. It's usually also the one that is repeated the most. i.e. Bach's First Cello Suite is in the key of G, because G is the lowest note played.

Hope it helps, and again, if I'm wrong, someone please correct me.

Skype: augustoad Email: Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)


March 13, 2015 - 8:57 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
Forum Posts: 1642
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Hi Collins:

In very simple terms, the key -- or key signature, as it's called on the musical staff -- refers to which notes are played sharp or flat, if any, throughout a given tune or song.

When playing a scale, the key dictates which note you start and end on, as well as which notes you will play sharp or flat on the way up and down.

Any given tune/song can be played in pretty much any key (I won't get into modes, which is related but something to learn later on). Changing the key changes how high the highest note in the tune/song is and how low the lowest note is. Being able to play a tune in different keys is important if, for example, you will be backing up a singer. One particular key might fit the singer's vocal range better than another.

Here are a couple of good references for you:

The concept of musical keys is way more complicated than my simple explanation, but those are the main points that you need to know, IMHO. I hope that helps. I'm sure others will weigh in with better explanations.

Welcome to the forum! -- Diane

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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