What key is this song?

Discussion in 'General Music' started by living room rocker, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. living room rocker

    living room rocker Active Member

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    Was turned onto this group recently.....liking this group's "soul". In the short time I've been playing, part of my fun has been training the ear to correctly nail down a song's key w/o checking online tab. Am successful much of the time but get stumped now and again. This song is an example.....a simple song with a repeated progression of Gmaj, Fmaj, and Cmaj. My ear says G major with a borrowed Fmaj chord but online sites say C major.....not that it matters really, but I think a budding guitarist ought to at least be able to nail down a 3 chord song. What do you veteran players say.....C major or G major?

     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    That's in G major.
     
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  3. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    It's in G. Some of these sites that show chords and keys and how to play songs will transpose songs into various keys for whatever reasons.

    Sometimes it's a matter of choice because it's easier to play in a different key. Sometimes people show a "camp fire" version of songs to make it easier. Sometimes, well, they just **** it up, too lol.

    It gets annoying at times, especially when there will be 10 videos out there, all playing the same song in a different key or structure arrangement. Look up how to play "You're in my Heart" by Rod Stewart when you get a chance, for example.

    Some sites that show the songs in different keys will have a function to transpose a song into various keys, too. They will have a dropdown menu on the page- click the key you want and it will show the chord changes that fit that key.
     
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  4. living room rocker

    living room rocker Active Member

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    Thanks donepearce.....appreciate it.


    Thanks rotorhead, I'll make note of those online tips. This group appears to be from your neck of the woods.....ever hear of them?
     
  5. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. They've been around for a while and do some great stuff.
     
  6. living room rocker

    living room rocker Active Member

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    donepearce,rotorhead.....please bear with me with this last question. I value your opinion and ask this only because I want to better myself as a player. Just above is another song by the same group shown earlier in this thread with yet another simple three chord progression. My ears hear Ebmaj, Bbmaj, & Fmaj (in that order). Those chords are in the key of Bbmaj.....however, an improvised solo over the soundtrack sounds best to my ears in the key of Fmaj. Most online sites will show a progression of Fmaj, Cmaj, & Gmaj.....which I think is incorrect. I'm not sure why, but songs that don't begin on the tonic chord seem harder for me to identify the actual key of the tune. What do you think is the correct key of this song and what scale would you use to improvise over?
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  7. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    That has exactly the same chord progression as the other one but it is in Fmaj
     
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  8. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    Bingo.
     
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  9. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    The thing with JJ is that he'll be doing one thing and whatever guitarist he has in the band at the time will often be doing something a little different, especially when playing live.

    It all seems to come together somehow but it adds a bit of color to the songs. The Black Crows did the same thing many times, and Aerosmith used to do it, too.

    Mofro came out about 20 years ago and due to their extensive live jamming they'd often mix things up. If you went to see them even the next night you'd see them mixing things up.

    You can nail down the basic chords of whatever key they might be playing in, but it's hard to nail their stuff down due to the many changes they'll add in to their stuff. At one point they'll play maybe in Gmaj but then lift a finger or add one in. The other guy might be shifting other stuff around, too.

    Add to that (at least back in the day) they might be a little toasted on stage and simply be messing up the chords lol.

    To get their feel while playing, I'd suggest getting the base chords down and just improvise at will. If JJ himself came to see you he'd prolly buy you a beer and say your version was good enough.
     
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  10. living room rocker

    living room rocker Active Member

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    Thanks again men for helping me out. I know they're not complex songs. Basic music theory interests me and I like to analyze song chords and structure. Now and again I find tunes that seem to sound decent in more than one key and I try to figure out why. Also, thanks for the history on JJ Grey rotorhead.....not sure what exact genre he fits in but am really liking his stuff.
     
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  11. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    His (their) influences are pretty widespread, everything from Southern Rock, blues, folk, jazz, etc. It's kind of hard to peg them into an exact genre but I guess southern blues jam...stuff lol.

    Others like them, or pretty close, would be Widespread Panic, Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Leftover Salmon, Trigger Hippy (sorta), maybe some Allman Bros and Grateful Dead, too.

    It's one of those bands who put out decent albums but really shine live where they are the most comfortable.
     

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