What key signature is this?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by 9mmMike, May 18, 2012.

  1. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    Playing "Ain't No Sunshine" cover by Joan Osborne.

    The bass line is essentially just C, G, Bb, C.

    How can I tell what key this is?


  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    One flat... Major key = F, minor key = d
    Just a guess...
  3. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Lancaster, Pa
    You can't tell the key by the information provided.
  4. wagdog


    Mar 20, 2000
    Der Waffle Haus
    With just three notes to go on couldn't it also be Bb major?
  5. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    The starting and ending notes are C, that's probably the key. The bass line is the Root(C)-5th (G)-b7 (Bb) and back to Root (C). There's no 3rd so the line doesn't indicate whether it's major or minor, but if you listen carefully you'll hear the minor 3rd. It's C minor.
  6. C
  7. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    I can pop an Eb in there on the way back to C in the end of the verse and it sounds OK. Does that help?
  8. That's what I was thinking as well. The Bb would be the tone that makes that a minor, which is the b7 of the C major scale.
  9. C
  10. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

  11. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
  12. Its Cm, but if you want to solo/make fills just use Cm-pentatonic or chordal notes. It's not just that progression you stated, there's another one with a f-like chord.

    So just use chordal/notes arpeggio's and you're never wrong.
  13. Kobaia


    Oct 29, 2005
    San Diego, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amp Gruv Gear and Mono Cases
    Its Cmaj. Bb is a bVII borrowed chord from C minor.
  14. Then it would be Cmixolydian? I don't think so. In my view a major third doesn't sound good. A minor 3rd sounds way better.

    EDIT: I checked again: It's Cminor. A nice bit of Cdorian can't do wrong either.
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Actually the third is the quality interval, the b7 could still indicate a major triad, it could be dominant. The Eb is the minor 3rd which indicates that it is minor. :bassist:
  16. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    no this is not c major...
  17. You're right. Drats! Foiled again!!!:bawl:
  18. ACalbass


    Dec 16, 2011
    I am not sure why they play a Bb instead of an F as I heard in the original version,only then you could define the key of C min.(as a a I V IV structure,in the chorus)
    Still all C min.
  19. TL5


    Jun 27, 2005
    Exactly, C minor.
  20. Adding an Eb in there supports the C minor theory.

    C, Eb, G, Bb is a C minor chord.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Oct 26, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.