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Determining key
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Jauniba
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July 25, 2011 - 9:19 pm
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Ok. How do I know what key I am in, when what I am given is a sheet with the words, and some chords?

So above the lyrics it just lists a letter, like "D"   "G"     "A"    "D"

How do I then determine based on that what key I am in? The pianists seem to know just by looking. Why do they know that?

And then knowing that, what does it do for me? I understand that I can easily play a 3rd or a 5th above those given letters and I can kind of feel further some things that sound nice (and don't). What does the key tell me?

Sorry, I feel like I ask the same question to everyone. I guess I am just dense. Or I need a good music theory book. Or a class. violin_girl

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Daniel
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July 25, 2011 - 9:58 pm
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http://www.e-chords.com/chords.....od-of-ages

 

For example, if the sheet didn't tell me what key it was in(it's G btw), I could still make an educated guess what key it is in.

 

In playing guitar using chords, choose the first note that is written, and count up. Usually the chords are 1,4,5, and sometimes 6.

So, saying: G,a,b,C,D,(E). and also, the F# was also a clue since G has only an F#(as does D,A,E,B). 

Also, since your genre is Worship(just guessing) the Keys are usually, C(or Am), D, E, B, F, and A. So try doing the same analysis with those keys. Be careful because not all songs start with the Chord 1. Sometimes it's 4, or even 5/6. 

 

See which ones add up. It also helps to have a familiarity with keys, especially which flats/sharps are in what key. Any thoughts myguitarnow? Oliver? Pierre?

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David Burns
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July 25, 2011 - 10:04 pm
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You make it sound easy. It is like reading bomb defusing instructions to me. I can read the words, I just don't have the practical experience with music to make it make sense. I am hoping it will come in time. You have a ton of music knowledge, thanks for sharing it.

 

Dave

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Oliver
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July 25, 2011 - 10:11 pm
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With limited research, all of the fiddle tunes I could find with chords are in the same key as the first chord.  I verified for G,D,A,F,Bb,Eb.  If this is not a rule then it is certainly common.

coffee2

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Jauniba
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July 25, 2011 - 10:17 pm
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Ok, so wait. The notes that are used throughout the song are (normally) all part of a common chord, and when I can figure out what chord is being built, I can figure out the key?

So basically I need to study guitar or piano? LOL. Or take some sort of a chord sheet with me so I can reference and figure it out.

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Oliver
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July 25, 2011 - 10:26 pm
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The chords certainly will change within a given song BUT the KEY remains the same.  If, for instance, you are in "G" you will always play an F#.  That is NOT the same as the chord structure story.

coffee2

I'm missing something.  Why not just look at the key signature ?

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Daniel
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July 26, 2011 - 2:19 am
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So above the lyrics it just lists a letter, like "D"   "G"     "A"    "D"

 

Well, so you can take this as a reference 🙂 add the next letter as a 6th if necessary

C: C,F,G 

D: D,G,A

E: E,A,B

F: F,Bb,C

G: G,C,D/F#

A: A,D,E

B: B,E,F#.

 

From this I can deduce that your sheet is in the key of D.

Oliver said:

With limited research, all of the fiddle tunes I could find with chords are in the same key as the first chord.  I verified for G,D,A,F,Bb,Eb.  If this is not a rule then it is certainly common.

coffee2

True enough, even in chorded lyrics.

 

David Burns said:

You make it sound easy. It is like reading bomb defusing instructions to me. I can read the words, I just don't have the practical experience with music to make it make sense. I am hoping it will come in time. You have a ton of music knowledge, thanks for sharing it.

 

Dave

You're welcome, and I can't overstress the importance of theory in music. 

 

Jauniba said:

Ok, so wait. The notes that are used throughout the song are (normally) all part of a common chord, and when I can figure out what chord is being built, I can figure out the key?

So basically I need to study guitar or piano? LOL. Or take some sort of a chord sheet with me so I can reference and figure it out.

Not necessarily, when you say, "all part of a common chord" it should be, all part of a common key/scale. And when you say "Figure out what chord is being built" you are correct in the sense, that you want to know the "root chord" (that is what I mean by #1 chord) 

 

Think of it like trying to figure out which McDonald's burger you're eating from the ingredients used.

Oliver said:

The chords certainly will change within a given song BUT the KEY remains the same.  If, for instance, you are in "G" you will always play an F#.  That is NOT the same as the chord structure story.

coffee2

I'm missing something.  Why not just look at the key signature ?

She's talking about figuring out key from something similar to the link I posted, minus the "Key of:" part. 

 

The chord structure(what chords are used) is usually built from the Tonic, Subdominant and Dominant (1,4,and 5). 

To know what I'm talking about, here's the link

 

And finally, thanks to my teacher who drilled all that stuff in my head lol, it came in handy even though I failed miserably at piano and guitar rofl

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Jauniba
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July 26, 2011 - 9:31 am
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Ha ha, LOVE the mcdonald's analogy. But it's like I'm in McDonald's in Asia, and i'm sampling a burger with some ingredients I can't identify. It tastes familiar, but I don't know the name.

 

I would normally just look at the key signature, but I don't get a key signature. All I am given is the name of the song, the lyrics and some letter names, which up until now, did not make much sense to me.

 

Somehow I think out of all of the information above, right now what made the most sense to me - and maybe what I needed most to understand - was this:

The chord structure(what chords are used) is usually built from the Tonic, Subdominant and Dominant (1,4,and 5). 

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Daniel
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July 26, 2011 - 8:19 pm
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Good luck! And anyway, you can always post whatever you're having a hard time with here.

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rotex13
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I'm really confused! is it really possible to play chords in a violin? dazed

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Oliver
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Sort of.  You simply draw the bow very quickly across more than one string.  I think 3-string chords are not too unusual but even a thing called a double stop is a chord of 2 notes (played together).

coffee2

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Fiddlerman
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July 27, 2011 - 10:37 am
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You can play seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths and can fluctuate between notes creating chords. You can also play 3 note chords but you need to press hard enough and pull with just the right speed to touch 3 strings at a time. Plucking chords as one does with a guitar is also a possibility. If one plays arpeggios back and forth or in some kind of rhythm they have a type of chord progression going as well that can be used to accompany or what have you.

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but the one who needs the least."

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Daniel
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July 27, 2011 - 9:47 pm
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@ Roq: Mostly I use the chord information to find the key and also to know what notes to play in an accompaniment. For example if at one point, a song requires a C chord, I can play either C,E, or G,  CE, EG, CG or an arpeggio like Pierre says. Listen to this:

0:22-0:36 is an arpeggio based on chords. (an arpeggio is a chord plus the root note. C= C,E,G,C)

 

@ Jauniba

This method requires a basic understanding of key signature. Just figured this one out so it's not perfect and I won't claim that it will work 100% of the time.

 

http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.co.....es_crd.htm

Find the chords that are right next to each other on a scale(or two half-steps apart;E-F and B-C are only a halfstep apart. ) and count down 4 notes from the 2nd note in the pair.  

 

so saying, there's C,D and D,E,

 

C,D….D….count down from D.  D,C,B,A,G

D,E….E….count down from E.   E,D,C,B,A

 

That leaves us with possible keys of G, and A.

 

Key of G has only an F# while key of A has F#,C#,and G#.

 

Now in the sheet you can see only an F# chord and no C# or G#'s. Therefore it is 95% okay to assume that the song is in the key of G. The remaining 5% means that you have to try it out done

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Joe
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I couldnt even get through the entire thread...my eyes started to hurt

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