Lets have a KEY debate.


axemaster911
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axemaster911
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09/10/2006 4:04 am
1. Who can give the most common sense definition to the term Key in music?

2. Is there anything more important than knowing how to play in Key?

3. When is it ok to play out of Key?

Both beginners, and experts answers welcome !
# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
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09/10/2006 8:10 am
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_signature

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_%28music%29
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# 2
tehplatypus
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09/11/2006 5:25 am
Originally Posted by: axemaster9113. When is it ok to play out of Key?



generally, going out of key is not the sought after sound....and going out of key and getting back in key is a very delicate move that requires a lot of experience and knowledge of music...not only the theory but an experienced ear that can get you through...some people might never develop that and so those people should NEVER go out of key because it'll just be a disaster.


i don't see how there can be a debate, though....i mean unless you're tone-deaf, there's nothing really to argue...at least not that i can see.
okay...my post is done...goodbye.
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09/11/2006 1:38 pm
1) Key -- the sharps and flats at the beginning of a piece of music (about as basic and common as you can get)

2) More inportant than the key signature would be playing "in tune" with "on tempo" a close second.

3) When you play the solos of any "Living Colour" song. :p Vernon Reid is the only person so far that I have heard that can pull it off. (IMHO)
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ren
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09/11/2006 2:00 pm
Nothing to add on points 1 & 2, on 3:

you can get .away with playing anything in my opinion, as long as you phrase it appropriately. Playing notes that are out of key is where the oportunity for being artistic exists if we all played strictly within the church modes music would have considerably fewer permutations. If you listen to some Ritchie Kotzen, you'll hear he spends a fair bit of time wandering off key (I think they call it 'Jazz' :p ).

Resolving chromatics back to an underlying chord tone is a well established technique as a for instance - the harmonic minor modes also offer potential for substitution. It might be 'off key' strictly speaking, but there's usually a way to make it fit...

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gennation
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09/11/2006 6:23 pm
Originally Posted by: axemaster9111. Who can give the most common sense definition to the term Key in music?

2. Is there anything more important than knowing how to play in Key?

3. When is it ok to play out of Key?

Both beginners, and experts answers welcome !


1. The Key tells you exactly what notes you'll be using, minus any accidentals.

2. Anyone can play in Key because the notes are predetermined. What's important is making music with them and knowing what other notes to play.

3. You can play out of Key whenever it sounds good. Sometimes phrasing will make notes that are in Key sound extended, like they are out of Key. The concept of "altered" are not out of Key depending on how they are used...they are just accidentals...it's not like it would be a Key Change or anything.


NOTE For a great discussion, post a question about Minor Keys ;)
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axemaster911
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09/11/2006 10:15 pm
For the definition of Key so far Im getting many diffrent answers. This is a study so I am not saying any answer is right, or wrong, I just find it interesting to see the variations in defining the term KEY in music.
I am looking forward to answers from others because for musicians this is an important subject of which we should all be on the SAME page.
# 7
axemaster911
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09/11/2006 10:24 pm
Originally Posted by: jimmy_kwtx1) Key -- the sharps and flats at the beginning of a piece of music (about as basic and common as you can get)

2) More inportant than the key signature would be playing "in tune" with "on tempo" a close second.

3) When you play the solos of any "Living Colour" song. :p Vernon Reid is the only person so far that I have heard that can pull it off. (IMHO)


What is your assessment of Vernon Reids style? I see much chromatic in his playing. What are your thoughts about his technique?
# 8
tehplatypus
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09/12/2006 2:41 am
Originally Posted by: jimmy_kwtx3) When you play the solos of any "Living Colour" song. :p Vernon Reid is the only person so far that I have heard that can pull it off. (IMHO)




a fellow living color fan! :)
okay...my post is done...goodbye.
# 9
ren
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09/12/2006 8:39 am
Originally Posted by: axemaster911For the definition of Key so far Im getting many diffrent answers. This is a study so I am not saying any answer is right, or wrong, I just find it interesting to see the variations in defining the term KEY in music.
I am looking forward to answers from others because for musicians this is an important subject of which we should all be on the SAME page.


You shouldn't get different answers, but there is a difference between the terms 'Key' and 'Key Signature', so that could explain it.

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Jolly McJollyson
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09/12/2006 12:45 pm
Originally Posted by: zreynoldspYou shouldn't get different answers, but there is a difference between the terms 'Key' and 'Key Signature', so that could explain it.

When you do get different answers for what a key is, it's probably an issue of simple semantics. Either that or someone's wrong. There really isn't any other answer to what a key is, only several ways of saying it. It's like 1+1=2 vs. 1+1=2.0 vs 1+1=2*1 vs 1+1 = the square root of four.

and on and on. One of those is clearly the simplest way to say it, but they're all "right."
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ren
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09/12/2006 12:53 pm
What I was getting at was that a key and a key signature are not the same thing. Key signatures are a notational device.

For instance - G major is a Key, but it's Key Signature is 1 sharp - F#.

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# 12
jimmy_kwtx
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09/12/2006 1:27 pm
Originally Posted by: axemaster911What is your assessment of Vernon Reids style? I see much chromatic in his playing. What are your thoughts about his technique?


I really like Vernon's rythym style the most.

His soloing could be considered chromatic but it seems to eratic and not too thought out. It is more "free".

He tends to be "in key" when he is hitting his sutained notes or bending them up to reach a pitch that is within the "key" but every thing else sounds (and looks like) random fingerings and phrasing.

It would seem easy to do but I find it very hard to get his phrasing down. That to me is what his style is really all about--his phrasing.

And yes I am an LC fan!
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09/12/2006 2:01 pm
Originally Posted by: zreynoldspWhat I was getting at was that a key and a key signature are not the same thing. Key signatures are a notational device.

For instance - G major is a Key, but it's Key Signature is 1 sharp - F#.

Yeah, I was more referring to axemaster's statement that he was getting differing answers, but I quoted you because you were the other post dealing with how answers might end up differing.
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# 14
ren
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09/12/2006 2:07 pm
I guess it's funny that in trying to remove any confusion, we probably end up confusing people....

It's tricky to answer questions around music theory without bringing in more theory.... :rolleyes:

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axemaster911
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09/12/2006 11:46 pm
Originally Posted by: jimmy_kwtxI really like Vernon's rythym style the most.

His soloing could be considered chromatic but it seems to eratic and not too thought out. It is more "free".

He tends to be "in key" when he is hitting his sutained notes or bending them up to reach a pitch that is within the "key" but every thing else sounds (and looks like) random fingerings and phrasing.

It would seem easy to do but I find it very hard to get his phrasing down. That to me is what his style is really all about--his phrasing.

And yes I am an LC fan!



I have always listened carefully to this mans style, always amazed! Very unique Tonality, with much Functional Harmony, but very clearly testing the outer bounds of diatonic function. ( joking ) He,s just damm good I say!
# 16
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09/13/2006 12:58 pm
Originally Posted by: axemaster911I have always listened carefully to this mans style, always amazed! Very unique Tonality, with much Functional Harmony, but very clearly testing the outer bounds of diatonic function. ( joking ) He,s just damm good I say!


LOL. Yeah. One thing you can easily say is that he has his own style and if you heard it there would be no doubt about who is playing it.
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# 17
axemaster911
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09/14/2006 3:44 am
Thats a good idea bringing up a player like Vernon Reid in a Key deliberation. Playing in Key is great, but listening to a player who can do new mind blowing things thru several Keys is where the fun is at for me. There are many players breaking new ground manipulating the Keys of music. Some of whom I hope we refer more to in this debate.
# 18
axemaster911
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09/14/2006 8:27 am
Im am just wondering how most people think of the term Key, and relate it to their music. The first thing that comes to my mind when presented with the term key refering to music is the Diatonic scale. That for me is Key. I wanted to know how others think about this subject when it comes to explaining key at its inner most level.
I am curious to see how others relate to this subject. It has a complexity that can be made simplistic by different ways of thinking. Which is why I like to see other players way of looking at it all.
And I like to see explanations that are not to hard to understand. I mean with terms that are familiar to most medium skill levels. Because I know this is a broad subject not easily explained.
# 19
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09/14/2006 1:52 pm
What I have personally noticed in my years of playing that the only person really concerned with "The Key" of a song tends to be the guitar players since, we tend to think of the solos, ocassionally you will get the same concern from a singer but not as often as I would expect.

Usually as far as "key" or "chord names" go, I have found you just tend to stick with the generic, A,B,G (mostly for power chords while getting the songs down) the Minors, 7ths, susses etc. usually come after you have nailed the stucture down, and the bass player and drummer and singer usually care less.

This isn't always the case and sometimes if the other members have some music theory knowledge under their belt you find that discussions of "Key Changes" or finding the "right chord" for a song you are working on to be fun and helps create fresh ideas to either take the song in a different direction or help inspire new song ideas.

Pretty Much Gennation hit the nail on the head with his statement about -- Knowing enough Theory to be able to comunicate with other musicians. Or Basically the KISS method ( Keep It Simple Stupid ) so I would agree that just knowing the basic diatonic theory should allow you to comunicate and be understood as well as understand what is fundementaly "going on".

I haven't heard him in years (since Berklee) but wasn't Theloneous Monk another musician that played "outside of the box" alot in regards to the notes he used while playing and writing his jazz compositions?
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