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> How Can I Tell What Key A Song Is In?, Kris said this was a popular question ..
Fuebob
post Mar 23 2016, 11:34 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Mar 23 2016, 09:35 PM) *
Hi Fuebob -

You need to keep in mind the root notes of these chords which are a clue to the tonal center. Both of those riffs (as is often the case) seem to me to start with the first root note as the tonal center - C in the first, D in the second.

For the first rift, that confirms what you already said - this seems to be a C minor riff.

For the second riff, the first root note is D, meaning we are looking for a scale that starts with D and incorporates F, G and A# as well.

D aeolian is D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C D - since Bb is the same note as A# it fits in nicely.

The reason we would say Bb and not A# in this context is that D Aeolian is a mode of F major which is the scale we get when using one flat (Bb), but that is really just a matter of notation and doesn't change our conclusion.

To answer your general question - the fact that we don't have any thirds here in theory gives you a little more leeway in scale choice but since power chord riffs are usually painting around full scales in the actual songs anyway, in practice the 3rds are kind of assumed and you end up with the same result.

One way to confirm this is to not just listen to the riff, but also any bass and melody line that goes with it - they will often incorporate other missing notes of the scale and give you a fuller picture.


Thanks so much to the Master of Theory.

It answers perfectly the last shadows I had in mind for this.

Many thanks Andrew!
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Todd Simpson
post Mar 24 2016, 12:38 AM
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Great answer from ANDREW!!! Nice smile.gif That should go in the Wiki!

Todd

QUOTE (Fuebob @ Mar 23 2016, 05:34 PM) *
Thanks so much to the Master of Theory.

It answers perfectly the last shadows I had in mind for this.

Many thanks Andrew!



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Andrew Cockburn
post Mar 24 2016, 02:50 AM
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QUOTE (Fuebob @ Mar 23 2016, 06:34 PM) *
Many thanks Andrew!


Happy to help - although it feels weird replying to a post I wrote about 9 years ago wink.gif

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 23 2016, 07:38 PM) *
Great answer from ANDREW!!! Nice smile.gif That should go in the Wiki!


Thanks Todd!


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