Another "What's the key" post.....

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BAG, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. BAG


    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Somebody linked to this video below the other day and I've really been enjoying playing along with it. There's plenty of scope for tasty fills and its a great sounding progression. Is there any way to nail it down to one key or is it just another song that uses accidentals?

    The progression is F Am Eb Bb

    Fooled Around and Fell In Love

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    The key will make a lot more sense if you write Bb instead of A#, and Eb instead of D#.

    Is there a chord in the progression that feels like "home" and provides a sense of resolution?
  3. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I - iii - VII - IV in the key of F would be my guess (and the F chord sounds like the tonal center).

    Mushroo is exactly right when he gives the tip to spell out the sharps enharmonically. F only has one flat, the Bb - so how come there's an Eb in there if it is in the key of F major? Because it's based on an F mixolydian scale, which contains the flat seventh instead of the natural seventh (E). Or, a "dominant" sound that is very prevalent in blues in general.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    it's written in Bb.
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  5. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    If you take out the Am chord, we could have the age-old Sweet-Home-Alabama debate: Is it V-IV-I in the key of the first chord, or I-VII-IV in the key of the last chord?
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  6. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Good point Lobster, I've thought about this as well - is Bb the tonic or F?

    In favor of Bb being the tonic speaks the whole cadence, actually, with the roots of the three preceding chords spelling out the three most important chord tones of an F7 (F A Eb), which would, in functional harmony at least, lead back to Bb major.

    However, I hear the chord motion of Bb to F as a plagal cadence, with F being the tonic. Although the aforementioned cadence leads to the IV, it's not the center, instead I hear a IV - I to the F.

    (SHA is a V-IV-I for me)
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  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    That's Billy Sheehan isn't it? Wasn't really watching, didn't notice until the bit at the very end.
  8. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Ritchie Kotzen doesn't know what key it's in. Or what song he's playing. Maybe it's not that important?
  9. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    You could certainly get by not knowing the key, but it seems kinda important to know what song you're playing.
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  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
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  11. We've seen Bb and F. Course you can play it in any key you like. I really do not like to play in Bb, so I'd go with the one in F.

    Best way to tell what the video is in is to listen to it and run your frets up the neck, when the tonal center stands out - when what you are doing and what the video is doing sound good together you have found the tonal center, thus the key. Look down and see what note that fell on - that's your key.

    Works best if you do this on your G string.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
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  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

  13. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    It's V IV I in the key of the last chord I believe.
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  14. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    Same here, though the Eb smells more like the key of Bb on paper, I would think of this tune as being in F and just keep mindful that it subs the dominant 7 instead of major because rock and roll/blues.
    Josh Kneisel and HolmeBass like this.
  15. For determining the key there are two things in this song that tell me it's in F. #1 is the melody, which revolves around F. #2 is the little bridge-like section before the solo, around 2:30 in the video. It ends on a C7 before returning to the F at the top of the solo - that's a dead giveaway, to me.
  16. The *key signature* for an F mixolydian piece would be Bb. But I do not think that makes the "key" Bb. It's "in F". Up to the user to deal with that Eb.
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  17. And using that as the standard, definitely V-IV-I, because you don't end Sweet Home Alabama on that D! It ends on G. It turns around on D. It's in G.
    Honch likes this.
  18. This is why using the key signature can fail. The movement here definitely starts strong on F, the turn on each cycle goes Eb > Bb >>>> F!!! The song is in F.
    joebar likes this.
  19. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    Nailed it :) How it sounds is king. Analysis describes function.
    BAG and aprod like this.
  20. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    What is with the bass? It looks like it has 2-1/2 pickups.
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