Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

The Use of Keys

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Superdave, Aug 23, 2004.


  1. Superdave

    Superdave

    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    I've got a question about the use of keys, and keys in general..

    Now, how would I figure out the Key of a tune? Would this be based on the chords in used? Or the use of sharps/flats?

    Another question - say a tune is in the Key of C, what would be the proper notes/scales/modes to play?
     
  2. Superdave

    Superdave

    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Yeah, I've already checked out that thread, but I haven't really found what I'm looking for.
     
  3. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I just worked on this a little bit at tonight's lesson. If you have the sheet music, the key signature will narrow it down to two scales. Without this, then you need to figure out what chords are played in the song.

    So, we looked at the chords in the song and the chord that ended the song. My instructor says that almost all songs end on the tonic center of the song in order to provide resolution.

    So, we were working on Blue Bossa. The key signature has 3 flats in it, which means the song is written for the key of Eb Major or its relative minor scale, C minor. The song begins and ends on a C minor 7 chord, which also points us to C minor. There are other chords that point to C minor as the tonal center of the song.

    So, you'll really need to transcribe and examine the song to figure out what key a song is in.
     
  4. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
  5. Superdave

    Superdave

    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Thanks for the help.