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Teen Town: Key?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by rarbass, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    A few of us are thinking of doing Teen Town at a show at my school, and I'm wondering exactly what key/scale/whatever it is in. Any help would be appreciated!!

    (Note - Not thinking of the live version with the key change, though if you want to include that, go right ahead as we might even do that)
  2. j.a.e.r.i.p


    Apr 8, 2007
    Well...the chart in the Jaco book is written in C, but that is probably just so we don't lose track of accidentals (cause all the omnibook is in C too for the same reason).
  3. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    I think the song itself is actually in C. But I could be wrong.
  4. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    I figured C, but C what? Like is it a specific scale?
  5. jady


    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    C with a flatted 7


    It seems to modulate through a few keys on the main riff though.
  6. Tslicebass

    Tslicebass Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    The first chord is C13... i think
  7. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    it's more like Igor Stravinsky's centrist concept of "C" than the traditional "key of C".

    It starts on a C dominant chord, and it has a tonal center that hovers around C, but it has way too many accidentals and implied modulations to say it's in the "key of C" -- or any key, really.
  8. jady


    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    Yup, what he said.........
  9. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    C Chromatic I thought. :bag:

    But seriously, I think it's C Mixolydian. But then again, it's jazz, so my previous statement stands. :p
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This is the kind of thread that bemuses me - so what does it tell you or help with, if you know what key this piece is in?

    Either transcribe it and play along with recordings or look for transcriptions in books etc. - but somebody telling you a notional key is not going to help you play it or understand it...:meh:

    So if somebody says C Mixolydian - then fiddling about in this mode is not going to cut it! :confused:
  11. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene

    That's true. Messing around on the C Mixolydian is not Teen Town. There's way too many accidentals and quarter-tones, etc. for it to be 100% on C Mixo. all the time.
  12. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    And for a bonus point: what are the chords?
  13. Welcome to jazz. The key does not matter. I would call the tonal center C, but remember that Jaco uses so many chromatic passages and passing notes that there is no sense thinking in terms of keys with Jaco or Weather Report. Make sure to check out Marcus Miller's live version. It helped me get a grip on it!

    Check it out at this link......

  14. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    What you have all said makes sense, and I was actually thinking this at first as well. I'm just not 100% sure on the whole "key" thing, or scales and modes...I figured there were way too many notes that were immediately next to each other for it to be in a specific scale. That's not necessarily a professional way of looking at it, but just think about it. Usually you have quite a few tones in a scale (mixed with semitones) so I figured it couldn't be specifically restricted to a scale.

    As for why? I don't actually recall why we were wondering about this, even though it was just last night. Sorry LOL but thanks for all the input!
  15. bassplayertom77


    Sep 24, 2008
    It's in the key of f****** difficult!
  16. rarbass


    Jul 3, 2008
    Amen to that!! I mean it's not too hard to remember the notes, but to get them as articulate as Jaco is probably near impossible!
  17. bassplayertom77


    Sep 24, 2008
    I can do a bad ass bossa nova version. Like "Layla".
  18. conebeckham


    Jun 27, 2008
    Bay Area CA
    This is basically a bebop tune, really. The tonal center is C, I'd say....if you learn the "head" you could transpose it to any other tonal center.
    But Bebop, and Jazz in general, can only be ascribed to "keys" in a pretty general sense.

    I used to be able to nail the head pretty well...but it as been quite a while.
  19. brivello


    Jun 27, 2008
    The song starts on a C7 chord, but that should not limit your note choice to one scale. Especially in the case of a V7 chord, there are many different "scales" that you could use over a chord. passing tones aside, Depending on your use, any note could be appropriate.

    Jaco did a good deal of innovation on the bass...I haven't heard anything with quarter-tones yet though....there certainly aren't any in teen town

  20. It's chromatic and not really tonal. It's not in any key.

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