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Can somebody please tell me what key this is in?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Da Bassics, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Da Bassics

    Da Bassics

    Nov 27, 2012
    man ive sent this to a gang of bassist and even asked marcus miller himself and everyones told me something different.

    its started a debate on another website where everyone gave a different key so I decided to join a bass forum and ask bassist.what key is this and exactly what notes are played

  2. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    The verse beginning bass notes are Bb G C F

    The chords are maybe related to Bbm G Cm F
    Sound to me like it's in Cm there.

    The 2nd part of the verse sounds like Db G Cm Ab
    And again sounds like it's in Cm.

    All depends on the intent of the writer.
  3. Da Bassics

    Da Bassics

    Nov 27, 2012
    thanks im gonna try this. so is he modulating? and how did so many people get Ab or f minor from this? one person even a minor which i dont see at all :rollno:
  4. B FLAT Minor !!!!!!!!!!!!!! don't over think it.
  5. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    One method that some use to determine a key is to find the key signature that can represent the music
    with the fewest accidentals. If a song contained no sharps or flats, The "best fit" key would be C or Am.
    While this works for probably most songs, it can't always be relied on.

    The main bass notes for the two main parts are Bb G C F and Db G C Ab. These are all natural to the
    key of Ab and it's relative minor key, Fm. If the chord notes are also all mainly natural to this key, then
    the Ab or Fm could have been based on that.

    I usually have little trouble identifying a key. Most every song has some chord that acts as "home" or "rest".
    This chord will be the tonic or key. The other chords in the song have some type of tension, more or less
    and they usually will resolve back to the tonic. There are different indications that the the chord progression
    has "returned home". Could be something in the rhythm, or the singing phrasing, etc. Hard to describe, it's
    like you just know it when you hear it.

    But the chords in this song are very unusal sounding and hard to hear. So far, I am only be able to "hear" the
    Cm as the tonic. I have to listen some more.

    The Cm, Fm, and Bbm, as tonics, have one thing that somewhat supports them. They are preceded by a
    V chord, which is one of the most common ways to return to the key chord. There is no prominant V chord
    for the Ab.

    There is one thing to watch out for though. It is possible to hear a song in more than key. If one is not familiar
    with a particular style, one might simply hear it wrong or not as intended.
    A good example is "Sweet Home Alabama":

    Are the chords:




    Only one is correct (in other words as intended), but it is possible to "hear" it either way.
  6. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    "The saddest of all keys, D minor."
    - Nigel Tufnel
  7. Ab is my verdict.
  8. - except there's a sharp 6.

    That sounds close, but I changed your quote to what I think it is

    This, although that Fm sort of screws with things, and I'm not versed enough with music theory to know what to call that. I suppose you could also call it Cm. It never goes to Ab and never fully resolves to Cm, though.

    I'd never heard this song before. I like it! I like those chord progressions!
  9. Da Bassics

    Da Bassics

    Nov 27, 2012
    thank you. this is what i got playing it today Ab again and i can play the bulk of it in Cmin also backward on the E and A string

    i told u tispoopiecaused alot of commotion :D
  10. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    so we have Bbm -G7- Cm-F7 in the first part of verse; F7 is non-diatonic but wants to bring you back to Bb which it does-Bb minor is non-diatonic as well, but works nicely in the voice leading of the melody
    Db -G7- Cm-Ab7 in the tail end of verse.
    the way i see it and would be playing it is in C minor; in both parts we have a G7 which wants to resolve (via C harmonic minor) to Cm. that is a very strong indicator that we are in Cm.
    the Ab7 naturally wants to pull you back to Db which it does; that is probably why it is not a major 7 (diatonic to Cm)
    the Db is non-diatonic to Cm but no biggie; once you play that note you are back in Cm (with the exception of the Ab7)
  11. Da Bassics

    Da Bassics

    Nov 27, 2012
    i fell for this once never again smh
  12. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Ab is correct. Don't let all those dominant chords fool you. When you hear V7 - I or V7 - i, it doesn't necessarily mean anything about the tonic.

    This is a little deceiving since at the end of the first section (I'll call it the A section), the Ab7 is used as the V7 of Db, which is the first chord of the B section (or chorus or whatever you want to call it). More on that in a moment.

    First, to better understand this progression, play the A section like this

    | Bbm7 / G7aug / | Cm7 / F7 / | Bbm7 / Eb7 / | Abmaj7 / / / |

    Makes sense when you hear the Abmaj7 chord hit in this context, right? The way they play it, the first 4 chords just keep cycling around and around.

    Now, as mentioned above, the turnaround in the B section, which leads back to the Db maj7 chord at the top of the B section, is

    | / / Ebm7 Ab7 | Dbmaj7 / / / |


    ii - V7 - I to the IV chord (in the key of Ab, it's Db), a very common technique.

    You are mostly correct - it will sometimes indicate that, but a dominant 7 chord pulling to the first chord in a progression doesn't necessarily mean that that first chord you're hearing is the I chord. Definitely not in this case.
  13. Da Bassics

    Da Bassics

    Nov 27, 2012
    i had one bassist tell me this year it was in g sharp
  14. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    like i said it is a strong indicator-not gospel.
    in my head it would be an easy tune to play properly regardless of over complicating it
    i still think the G7 is acting as a functioning dominant chord in both sequences
    megafiddle had a great point-that one can hear it in more than one key; either way i know i would end up with the desired result.
    great thread BTW
  15. Da Bassics

    Da Bassics

    Nov 27, 2012
    how long you been playing and how hard was it for you to get this?

    also is this complicated what EL is playing or will I be able to learn it as soon as i get basic theory down
  16. Da Bassics

    Da Bassics

    Nov 27, 2012
    thanks. man it caused a fuss on two other forums and even a nasty argument on one and ive been asking everyone i know for years what it was and everyone comes up with something different.

    i even asked the great marcus miller himself and he told me Ab what ive become most comfortable with to this day.

    i listen to this song literally almost everyday multiple time for
    the last 3-4 years. it does something to me i cant explain man :crying:

    i listened to it 5 times alone today not counting the two times i listened while tryna play it
  17. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    You are absolutely correct. G7 is acting as a V7 - I to Cm. It's just that Cm is not the I chord, it's the iii chord.
  18. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    if this is in Ab i will eat my work boot (i stole that one!)

    however, i have been indulging in some amazing wine tonight and that may hamper my ability to analyze this right now:bag:
  19. Zootsuitbass


    Mar 13, 2011
    Let your ear guide you... sing "Home".

    Usually the chord you end the tune on.

    Bb Minor.

    How to analyze the progression?? Different question.
  20. Da Bassics

    Da Bassics

    Nov 27, 2012
    dont do that get some hash brown patties from trader joes. theyre awesome!!:bassist: