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What key are these pieces in?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Garrett Mireles, Apr 5, 2003.

  1. Ok, I'm composing a bass solo (not a vacuum cleaner :D ) , and I came up with these pieces last night watching tv. But, I can't build off of them unless I know what chord progressions I need to make.

    If you guys could tell me what key they are in, and what notes are allowed in that key, I would be eternally grateful.

    The pieces (some parts repeat, but here they are):


    A-0------0------0------------------5/3 (slide up to E second time)-

    I plan to build off of this, so thanks alot guys. :bassist:
  2. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    You're in A minor(slide up to Berklee 2nd time)just kidding:D,
  3. Yep, definitely A minor, as ConU said. Now the next step is being able to figure that out.

    A big giveaway here is that all the notes you used are natural notes. If it's diatonic (in a key), then it's either Am or C. It revolves around A, so it's safe to say it's Am. It's not always this simple, but in this case, it's pretty easy to figure out.:)
  4. Minor eh. I guessed it would have been Major because of the whole notes. I guess wrong. :D

    So, why is this? Because A is the root note/lowest note I'm hitting?
  5. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    Those notes are in the Key of A minor (Same as C Major) A B C D E F G

    G major has the same notes as E minor: G A B C D E F# G

    The start of a theory lesson...Keep charging!
  6. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK

    ...Seriously though, Garrett - in future, can I suggest that you post *note* names, not tabs? It's *so* much easier for the rest of us to help you with theory questions if we can see the notes, and not have to work them out from tabs. You want help right? Well, it'd be nice if you help *us* out by giving it to us in an easy to read form.

    So, what we've got here is:

    A D A A E B A D A B C G

    A D A A E B A D A B C B G D (though I don't quite know what you mean by "5/3 (slide up to E second time)- ")

    I concur with the populist view - A Minor. What do you mean you "guessed it would have been Major because of the whole notes"? Whole notes? Do you mean whole tones? If so... uh... what whole tones?

    The reason we say A Minor, is that it seems to be rooted on A - and because is using the (natural) minor form of the scale. The big giveaway that it's minor, not major, is the C - which is the minor 3rd. If it were A Major, it would use C# instead of C. And it's using G natural here, not G# - so it is using the natural minor (or Aeolian) scale, not harmonic/melodic minor.

    BTW, You said "If you guys could tell me what key they are in, and what notes are allowed in that key". It's not a question of what is and isn't allowed - there are no rules here.

    Oh, and how's that Berklee application coming along? :D
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Songs in the Key of Life...... the University of Life!! ;)
  8. I think it's okay if people post tabs- it helps me test my knowledge of the note names on the neck.

    people who are used to reading notes get practice translating fret positions into them, and vice versa.
    I'll probably get flamed by all you theory buffs, but that's fine:p
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well I don't think moley needs that kind of practice but his point is that if you are aiming to learn theory, then one of the first steps is to think in terms of notes and not positions on the neck.
  10. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK

    And reading tabs isn't really natural to me, because I don't even think in terms of fret numbers anyway. I don't think "7th fret", "9th fret" etc, I think of those frets in terms of the intervals they represent (to the extent that I "name" frets at all, that is) - e.g. I think of 3rd fret as being a minor 3rd from the open string, not as the "3rd fret", 4th fret is a major 3rd, 5th fret is a 4th, etc. etc.

    So when I see the numbers in tabs, I have to think "Ugh, what interval is that". Note names would be so much quicker!
  11. actually, I think of the fret positions in the same way as you- I usually have to think about which note is referred to by a tab fret number.
    but I see it all as having practice value, whether someone gives note names or fret numbers.
  12. Well yeah but people learn the patterns of modes first, because they are so easy to memorize/recognize.

    Therefore I posted the tab. I figure'd it would have been easier than tsaying "What key is this in - A E G D A B C F D" or something

    And for the record, I never said I wanted to go to Berklee. I made a thread asking questions about it. Quit being assholes. (You know who you are)
  13. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Garett said a dirty word!:eek:

    Anyway. . .I find the tab/notation thing to be interesting. First, I have a pretty strong intuitive feel for tab, as I think in intervals anyway.

    Second, I think Garrett's point is pretty valid - he could've listed the notes, but that wouldn't have told you which octaves they were in, and the patterns etc. That's pretty important stuff for saying what scale/mode it was.

    Seriously Moley, if he had simply said "A D A A E B A D A B C G" - lots of A's in there, but sheesh it could be D Dorian maybe? Or B Locrian for that matter, if done in a certain way (say the Bs are low, loud, and long).

    So, tab doesn't give you note lengths, but it's a good deal better than just listing notes. And, forgive me but, shouldn't you know what note is at the 10th fret on the D string? ;)

    I think the anti-tab backlash around here is a little too much.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    That's rubbish - how is it "a good deal better" - not at all!!
  15. Personally I think where tab is strongest is that is shows EXACTLY how the person played a certain song, which can be good or bad. An *accurate* book can show you exactly what Flea or McCartney played. It's good when studying a player's personal style.

    However this is not the case with most tab sites as they're just interpretations of what the tabber plays, not the original artist.

    I'd rather just have the notation so that I can apply my own style of playing. And though occasionally when I get lazy to figure out a part by ear I'll look at a tab, assess if it sounds correct, then just modify it to my liking. Tab can be limiting as most new learners forget that the same note can be played on different parts of the board (ie open string D vs. fifth fret A).

    Just my 2...

    - Chris McDougall
  16. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Because - a list of notes is only a list of notes. Tab (when you know the tuning of the instrument tabbed for) is that same information plus more: sequence, and octave. Last time I checked, those concepts were fairly important to music.
  17. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Like I said before, I don't think in terms of "10th fret" - I think in intervals, not fret numbers. So, I have to think for a second when I see fret numbers in tab.

    Lighten up, Garrett, I was kidding with ya about the Berklee thing!! Note the Smiley!!
  18. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Let me put it another way. You need to find a "C" on your bass, now! Where are the possible fret positions? This is a pretty important skill.
  19. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I know, but you're missing my point. I know the fret positions, but I just don't think of them as fret numbers - I think of them as intervals. So, I can find a C on my bass now! - but I'm not thinking of it as 8th fret on the E string or whatever (see, just then I had to think for a second to work out what the fret number was - even though I could find it straight away on my bass!). See I know where the C is straight away, but not because I know that it's the "E string, 8th fret" (I don't, cuz I had to think about it!) - but because I know C is a minor 6th above E, and I know which fret is the minor 6th!

    See - fret numbers don't relate to musical intervals - which is why tabs are annoying to read!!
  20. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    ??? Where in the world do you pull this statement from? How could they not relate to musical intervals? You know where the (minor) 6th is because it's 8 semitones from the base note, which means the 8th fret. You seem to be implying somehow that you get from "E" to "C 8 semitones above it" without involving the number 8 at all. There's no way your brain can do that. To have a "what is this 'eighth fret' stuff?" attitude is only fooling yourself. How else do you know where "there" is? I'm sure you're not looking. . . ;)

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