Key vs Scale?

Adin Shepherd

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It's also where knowing your circle of 5ths and order of sharps/flats can be useful. If there is 1 # symbol in the key signature, the circle tells you that it will be an F# and that you are in the key of G, if there are 2 #'s they will be F# and C# and you are in the key of D, etc.....
 

Adin Shepherd

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Adin I hear what you're saying. Can you do a visual?
images.jpeg

You will see on the outside of the diagram the key signatures, working inward shows the corresponding major and relative minor that the key signature relates to. Working clockwise from C the key of G has one sharp, an F#, key of D two sharps F# and C# and so on until you reach C# which has all seven notes sharp. Counter clockwise from C the key of F has one flat, Bb and so on until you reach Cb which has all seven notes flattened.

I remember the order of sharps with the mnemonic Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle, reversing it for the order of flats, Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles Father.

Hopefully that helps, if not, or you want more info on how to put the circle together let me know.
 

Ids Schiere

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Key basically tells you which chord is the I chord of the chord progression. For example in the key of Am is a chord progression where the I chord of the chord progression is Am. Knowing this you know you can use the A minor scale over the chord progression(pentatonic, aeolian etc) .

Keys are determined by the chords you're using, not by the scales!
 
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Firsty Lasty

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My answer: key and scale sometimes have a messy relationship. Blues, rock, and metal are genres which were built by musicians not trying to fit their music into the structure of any major scale.

If you're looking at sheet music the written "key" is like a map key; it's the thing which tells you which notes are sharps and flats. In this context the "key" of a song doesn't necessarily tells you how the listener will experience the music. It could sound major or minor or alien or whatever. It just tells you what the notes are.
 

Dominik Gräber

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Key basically tells you which chord is the I chord of the chord progression. For example in the key of Am is a chord progression where the I chord of the chord progression is Am. Knowing this you know you can use the A minor scale over the chord progression(pentatonic, aeolian etc) .

Keys are determined by the chords you're using, not by the scales!
If you have a I chord, does it mean it the song and Progression Starts with this chord?
So this is likely your Tone Center??
And did PG kinda mean the Key when He was talking about the Tone Center???
 

Dominik Gräber

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My answer: key and scale sometimes have a messy relationship. Blues, rock, and metal are genres which were built by musicians not trying to fit their music into the structure of any major scale.

If you're looking at sheet music the written "key" is like a map key; it's the thing which tells you which notes are sharps and flats. In this context the "key" of a song doesn't necessarily tells you how the listener will experience the music. It could sound major or minor or alien or whatever. It just tells you what the notes are.
That's confusing me a little. A Key is written as one Note. Eg. C#. How do I know what the notes are? Scales have Rules how to build them so you can derive the notes from the Name. So how does this Work with the Key? Or is this where the circle of 5ths comes in?

Sorry, I probably should have tried to Progress in the Lessons first🤔
 

Firsty Lasty

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Yes, it's related to the circle of 5ths. If you look at the pic Adin posted all those little things with the ♭ and ♯ signs and a "treble clef" are key signatures. Each line and the spaces between lines represent notes. If you start at C (no sharps or flats) you can go one direction and add flats or go the other direction and add sharps. C# sure looks messy, doesn't it.

Reading sheet music is one of those things that some people never need to know but some people really need to know. As a hobby guitarist I doubt I'll ever benefit from knowing how to read sheet music. However, in the professional world there are a lot of paying gigs which require it. Not everyone is a rock star, for example some people play on cruise ships or for theaters in New York.
 
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Ids Schiere

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If you have a I chord, does it mean it the song and Progression Starts with this chord?
So this is likely your Tone Center??
And did PG kinda mean the Key when He was talking about the Tone Center???
The name of the key depends on the tone center, Am, A Dorian etc. But he did not really Nescecarily mean key by tone center, it's very closely linked though because you name the key depending on where you tone center is. The I chord doesn't have to be the first chord(I mean jazz progressions tend to be ii - V- I) the tone center is the one you resolve to.
 

Dominik Gräber

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Yes, it's related to the circle of 5ths. If you look at the pic Adin posted all those little things with the ♭ and ♯ signs and a "treble clef" are key signatures. Each line and the spaces between lines represent notes. If you start at C (no sharps or flats) you can go one direction and add flats or go the other direction and add sharps. C# sure looks messy, doesn't it.

Reading sheet music is one of those things that some people never need to know but some people really need to know. As a hobby guitarist I doubt I'll ever benefit from knowing how to read sheet music. However, in the professional world there are a lot of paying gigs which require it. Not everyone is a rock star, for example some people play on cruise ships or for theaters in New York.
Thanks! I'll make my way through the circle of 5ths lessons and then come back here again!
 

Dominik Gräber

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The name of the key depends on the tone center, Am, A Dorian etc. But he did not really Nescecarily mean key by tone center, it's very closely linked though because you name the key depending on where you tone center is. The I chord doesn't have to be the first chord(I mean jazz progressions tend to be ii - V- I) the tone center is the one you resolve to.
Hmm okay, a little confusing but I think I got it!
 

Kai C

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So from my understanding....

The key is which notes go together harmonically, which really determines which chords can be included in the progression to make things fit.

For example since we were talking Am (and I straight up just googled this 😂 so I didn't do any of the hard work) - the notes are A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. It's the only minor that doesn't include sharps or flats like how C is in the Major key. So the chords Am, Bdim, Cmaj, Dm, Em, Fmaj, and Gmaj work in this key by the book.

Scales build on top of the chord progression by playing those notes in ascending or descending intervals. Music is created by playing things in and out of key/scale or in and out of order to create and relieve tension. As both @Brian Haner Sr. and my guitar teacher always say, it's a conversation and playing it by the book is boring or barbaric.

Lol I'm literally just cherry picking what I've read, I'm still learning that myself and can't even tell what key we're in 😂 So if I'm wrong someone correct me but I hope that helps
 
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Dominik Gräber

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So from my understanding....

The key is which notes go together harmonically, which really determines which chords can be included in the progression to make things fit.

For example since we were talking Am (and I straight up just googled this 😂 so I didn't do any of the hard work) - the notes are A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. It's the only minor that doesn't include sharps or flats like how C is in the Major key. So the chords Am, Bdim, Cmaj, Dm, Em, Fmaj, and Gmaj work in this key by the book.

Scales build on top of the chord progression by playing those notes in ascending or descending intervals. Music is created by playing things in and out of key/scale or in and out of order to create and relieve tension. As both @Brian Haner Sr. and my guitar teacher always say, it's a conversation and playing it by the book is boring or barbaric.

Lol I'm literally just cherry picking what I've read, I'm still learning that myself and can't even tell what key we're in 😂 So if I'm wrong someone correct me but I hope that helps
Not sure if this helped but I will keep it in mind! 😂