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Hey Ivan I've downloaded a number of backing tracks off the web. Some tell what key and BPM, some don't. How can I determine what key/scales to use?
Ivan Milenkovic
Hey mate,

For me there wasn't any real process of determining the key. In beginning it was very hard for me to find out the key of some song, but after I learned all the keys and chords it became easier. Also, it depends a lot on the complexity of the harmony. I still have some problems in determining the key in some complex tunes, like jazz etc. The most important thing to find is the root or the key note. When you find a root note you will easily build a scale on top of it. I guess finding a root was a process that had three main periods in my guitar learning.

Period 1 - When I started playing I knew just a pentatonic patterns. The position that I knew the best was minor pentatonic box 1. So every time I wanted to find out in what key to play, I would usually play the D string horizontally until I find the root note on the D. That would be the root of the minor pentatonic scale in box 1, so I played from there.
Period 2 - After a while, when I started to learn the whole major key pattern on the neck it became easier to catch the root anywhere on any string, but I was still searching for it.
Period 3 - After a while of playing these patterns I was able to play any note on the fretboard and know where the root is from there based on relative ear. This is something I'm still using and developing.

Looks like it will be an ongoing process then bud. It's just frustating WHEN YOU DON"T KNOW! mad.gif

You could just write down all the notes/intervals used, and then look for the best matching scale. It's not nearly as cool or fast as just hearing the scale and key, but then again, finding out individual intervals is imho often easier then finding the key.

- Jonas
Ivan Milenkovic
Don't worry, and take it easy step by step. When you learn the patterns on the fretboard it will become easier and easier, so focus on that and key and note recognition will come naturally.
I thought the root, in this case the first note in Ionian scale, is the same as the key? I know it's not the "key signature," which drives me crazy.
Hey Ivan! jdriver suggested I get familiar with CAGED in relation to this venture. I did a search, and there are several lessons including your pentatonic series. But a quick look didn't show any explanations on what CAGED is??? Help me out bro!
QUOTE (Mandos @ Jan 14 2009, 04:33 PM) *

Doh! Theory board. rolleyes.gif Thanks mate!
You're welcome. smile.gif
Ivan Milenkovic
Definitely do parallel CAGED theory articles along side CAGED lessons you do Toroso mate.

PS Sorry for not answering sooner! smile.gif
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