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a request about keys

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by miccheck1516, Jun 18, 2003.


  1. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    Ireland
    Ive been playing bass for a while and ive decided its definately time to leran some theory.

    So my question is, i dont think its a hard one, if im playing the notes a,e,g and d what key am i playing in and why . Also feel free to refer to this topic as i THINK it has something to do with the scales of the notes. thanks in advance
     
  2. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    A, E, G, and D... you're just playing the open strings :D

    Seriously, you can't tell what key you're playing in from that. It could be a number of keys. More info please? What is the whole bass line? Have you got any chords? A recording of you playing it?
     
  3. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    Ireland
    ok thats shows you how much i know. Ill say that the chords a e g and d are being played, does that help at all?
    God i feel really stoopid now, i guess we all have to learn sometime eh?:bawl:
     
  4. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Heh, don't worry, no need to feel stupid :)

    Now, when you say the chords are A E G and D, I'd assume you mean A Major, E major, G Major and D Major.

    In which case, I'm gonna go with A Major as the key, here. G being the non-diatonic chord.

    More specifically, you're playing "Scooby Snacks" by Fun Lovin' Criminals :D

    As for the 'why' part...

    Well, the first chord is A, which is the first hint. The second chord is E, which is the dominant in the key of A. So far, this seems to suggest A Major, because these are the two strongest and most common chords in any key - chords I and V (1 and 5). Starting on I and moving to V is a very common thing to do. Ok, the next chord is G. Now this isn't diatonic to the key of A Major (i.e. it contains notes not in the A Major scale - specifically, the G. The A Major scale contains a G# not a G). But that's ok, it doesn't necessarily stop it being in A. The last chord is D - which is diatonic to A Major, and is another very common chord in any key - chord IV (chord 4).

    So, what we've got here is a chord sequence which contains three chords belonging to A Major (the A, E and D chords), and one chord that doesn't (the G chord). In fact, there isn't one key, in which all these chords are diatonic. But, it starts on A, and moves to E - a very strong start to an A Major progression. It then moves out of key, for the G Major chord, and then brings it back round with the D Major chord.

    So yeah, I'm going with A Major.
     
  5. miccheck1516

    miccheck1516 Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    Ireland
    Thanks for your time i appreciate it.

    Btw the only reason i ask why is so i can figure out what key im playing for all other chords. I dont wanna have to post here everytime i learn a new song and dont know what key its in. lol.
     
  6. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Generally speaking, the first and last chord (most often they are the same) will identify the key of the song.