Neat trick for QUICKLY finding the key of songs in
This will be small, but it's a neat little trick I was taught at the beginning of my music theory class.
Given that your song is in a Major key, it's VERY easy to figure out the key just by looking at the key signature. Without going through a huge long process by going through the Co5's (read blog below), you can figure it out easy.
For sharp key signatures, all you have to do is raise the LAST sharp a half-step. For example, let's use A Major. It has 3 sharps in it, F#, C# and G# in that order on the staff. The last sharp, as noted already, is G#. Well... what's G# up a half-step? A. Therefore, our key is A Major. For another example we'll use B Major. F#, C#, G#, D#, A# are all present in that order on the staff. Raise the A# a half-step and whaddya get? You got. B.
For flat key signatures, you look at the SECOND TO LAST flat in the key signature. Of course, this only works if you have at least two flats, so you'll just have to remember that "1 flat = F Major". So... we'll choose Ab Major for our example. Bb, Eb, Ab, and Db are there, in that order, on the staff. Look at the second to last flat in the key signature... it's Ab. Easy enough right? Good.
I'll have to come up with a way to tell the minor keys, but I've got another acronym for that... I use that right now, so I'll just go ahead and tell it:
The order of sharps and flats for minor keys are the same for major songs (F C G D A E B, and B E A D G C F, respectively). An acronym we came up with in 9th grade went as follows:
That IS the order of increasing sharps using the minor scale. E minor has one sharp, B minor has 2, F# minor has 3, and so on and so forth.
The only thing you have to remember with this one is that, after the F#, the tonic is sharped in EVERY key. See how it goes from B to F? It really goes from B to F# to C# to G# to D# to A#. Easy stuff right?
The only problem with this is, I don't have a way to remember it going BACKWARDS. I myself have to go "Destroyed, get, children, function.. aright, it's in F minor". So that'll be something I have to think of...
To go backwards, the only thing different (aside form what I said above) is that, once you hit the "B" key going backwards (adding flats) it's REALLY Bb Minor. It's Bb Minor because the flats it has in the key signature are as follows: Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb. The next key is Eb Minor and then Ab minor. Make sense?
The Co5's is the arrangement of the respective keys in order of
increasing sharps. It goes (F)CGDAEBF# (I learned it with an F at the
beginning; you'll find out why). C Major has no sharps, so let's start
there (I included F Major, cause that's how I wrote it in this
paragraph. Don't pay much attention to it yet.. you'll know why in a
[[(F Major) = 1 Flat]]
C Major = 0 sharps
G Major = 1 sharp
D Major = 2 sharps
A Major = 3 sharps
E Major = 4
B Major = 5
F# Major = 6
C# Major = 7
The 'F' before my 'C' in the Co5's I gave you above the list represents
the first Flat key (read below). It's also the first note to get
sharped in a key signature (that's why it's at the beginning). Whenever
you write a key signature in a Major key (aside from C Major) you will always start with a sharped F. Next would be a sharped C. Then G. Then D. So-on-so-forth.
To do a sharp key you start on the F, and then move down a 4th, up a
5th, down a 4th, up a 5th until you reach B Major, in which case you'll
go down another 4th (rather than up a 5th) to sharp the A. You do this
just because it looks nicer than having a sharp on a ledger line. The
pattern continues after that.
Now if you do it backwards starting at F you get: (C)FBEADGC. This is
in increasing flats. This is more of a Circle of 4th's, but it's
relevant, so i'll explain it. If you start at C Major, you get no
flats, then move up a 4th and you get F Major; 1 Flat. Up another 4th;
2 flats. It'll come out like this:
C Major = 0 Flats
F Major = 1 Flat
Bb Major = 2 Flats
Eb Major = 3 Flats
Ab Major = 4 Flats
Db Major = 5
Gb Major = 6
Cb Major =7
Now with the flat keys you will always first flat the B.
So F Major now has a Bb. Then for Bb Major, you flat the E as well as
the B. This pattern continues all the way until you reach Cb Major,
which is 7 Flats.
Now when you write a Flat key signature, you start at the B, then move
up a 4th, down a 5th, up a 4th, down a 5th, and that repeats until you
get to Cb.
A nice acronym to remember the Co5's is:
Fat Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Bagels
And for the Flat keys, I just remember F Bead GC. You'll get that eventually. Or there's also BEAD GCF (Greatest Common Factor)
My Marshall MG50 died on me not too long ago... I know, it's a crappy amp and all, but I make it sound good with my pedals! That's besides the point though.
All I have to play through now is my crappy (but not horrible) beginner First Act starter amp. I mean, with my pedals it's alright, but I still would rather another amp.
And it really sucks, cause I get my car soon (Finally!) so my parents aren't willing to shell out another $500 for a new amp... and I understand that. I have to wait until Christmas, or buy one myself, or send it in to the Marshall repair shop or whatever it is. But I have to find my warranty...
Oh well, i'll probably upgrade to a half stack when I get the money :]