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> Minor Key Help
Ignite
post Mar 20 2009, 05:37 AM
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Im having trouble understanding minor keys. So from what i understand, the 6th degree in a major key is the relatve minor of that key. So like A is the relative minor of the key of C. So the key of A goes like A B C D E F G, but when do you know a song is in a minor key or a major key?


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Jerry Arcidiacon...
post Mar 20 2009, 08:12 AM
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QUOTE (Ignite @ Mar 20 2009, 05:37 AM) *
Im having trouble understanding minor keys. So from what i understand, the 6th degree in a major key is the relatve minor of that key. So like A is the relative minor of the key of C. So the key of A goes like A B C D E F G, but when do you know a song is in a minor key or a major key?


You're right about relative keys but to be more precise I list the different scales here:

C major scale is C D E F G A B C, ok pretty easy smile.gif
A natural minor scale is A B C D E F G A.
A major scale is A B C# D E F# G# A - look that intervals here are the same of the C major scale.

Anyway, to understand if a song is in a minor or major key you should hear and find if there is a final-sounding chord.
Most of the time you hear this chord at the beginning and at the end of the song but it's not a strict rule.

Take a look at Andrew's theory lessons.


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Ramiro Delforte
post Mar 20 2009, 09:16 AM
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You have to listen carefully, the minor keys are very very different from the majors regarding the mood. But that "mood" comes by the hand with the harmony. So, in major you have the primal functions I, IV and V that are all major chords (in the case of C major would be: C, F, G). But in a minor key the I, IV, V would be all minor chords (in A minor: Am, Dm, Em). You have an exception when you're playing in melodic minor scale but that's other thing that I don't want to bring it into here now.

You can try to play those progressions and try to find songs that you know that are in major and in minor and listen carefully the differences.

I hope this helps biggrin.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 20 2009, 10:12 AM
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QUOTE (Ignite @ Mar 20 2009, 05:37 AM) *
Im having trouble understanding minor keys. So from what i understand, the 6th degree in a major key is the relatve minor of that key. So like A is the relative minor of the key of C. So the key of A goes like A B C D E F G, but when do you know a song is in a minor key or a major key?


You are right. In essence, you put the root note of the scale you are using to form song harmony in the beginning of the piece. This will give you the beginning key note - tonic - which will gravitate the harmony of the piece. Later on you can change keys, modulate, but the first harmony or set of chords usually determine the key name for the beginning of the piece.


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