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ginometalhead
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:36 pm
Posts: 92
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:11 pm 
 

The notes in E minor are E, F#, G, A , B, C, D. So as long as my riffs and picking match the aforementioned notes, the song is in E minor regardless of whether or not they follow the above sequence? e.g. if I tremolo pick E, G, A... This is still E minor, even though I skipped F#? I also understand that shifting from one minor key to another is appropriate as long as the key you are shifting to is missing no more than one shared note, correct? AKA Closely Related Key

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awheio
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 289
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:36 pm 
 

Haha, well as far as I know, there are no very simple rules for knowing what key you're in exactly. Consider the fact that every minor scale has a major scale with exactly those same notes! I guess the facts about what key you're in concern facts about the tonal "shape" the piece things to have -- which notes begin patterns, which keys contain (most of) the notes, especially beginning with the notes that tend to begin patterns here... etc. etc. But yes, playing the 1st, 3rd, 4th intervals will certainly keep you in that key. But you could probably describe it as belonging to part of a different scale, one lacking the 2nd interval of the typical minor scale... blah blah. But I just don't think there are many "facts" about these things -- it's a matter of what kind of explanation is "best".

About sifting keys -- I don't know. It will be less jarring the more shared notes there are, that's for sure. But you could easily, say, shift a pattern up one fret, and suddenly something that may have been perfectly in C may now be fuck-full of sharps! But it might not sound all that jarring necessarily.

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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2145
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:37 pm 
 

ginometalhead wrote:
The notes in E minor are E, F#, G, A , B, C, D. So as long as my riffs and picking match the aforementioned notes, the song is in E minor regardless of whether or not they follow the above sequence?

Yes, or it could be its relative key G major, whichever your chord progression is leading to.

ginometalhead wrote:
e.g. if I tremolo pick E, G, A... This is still E minor, even though I skipped F#?

Could be any scale that has the notes E G A, not jut E minor.

ginometalhead wrote:
I also understand that shifting from one minor key to another is appropriate as long as the key you are shifting to is missing no more than one shared note, correct? AKA Closely Related Key

Modulation between closely related keys is smooth, but not compulsory. You decide what is appropriate, and to which key you want to modulate to. The closer the keys are in the circle of fifths, the easier it is to modulate, but there are no hard rules on the matter. You could still modulate from C to C# and sometimes it could be your best option. It all depends on the context.

Tip: You don't have to follow the methods you learn from music theory down to the letter.


Last edited by kingnuuuur on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Apteronotus
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
Posts: 864
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:43 pm 
 

If you play just 3 notes like E, G, and A then the melody could fit into quite a bit of key signatures. So while you would still be in E minor, it might not feel like E minor just from those notes.

You could play every single note in E minor but by changing the order have the melody or chord progression be in G major because that is E minor's relative major (meaning it shares all of the same notes). When you play in key, the tonic note (E in your example) is the central note. While you do not have to play the notes in a key in any particular order, your tonic note is basically the home key from which you build tension.

Yes you can have a riff that goes E, G, A and skip F# without taking the song as a whole out of the key but that riff alone does not do much to imply E minor in particular because like I said before G Major also has those notes but since you started with E it will sound like E is more important unless you did something to lessen that role like if you had it as a really short quiet passing note. That said, the key part of E minor is that the tonic/key/hoe note of E is normally a minor chord when you turn each note in your key into a chord. So with E you build a minor triad using E, G, and B. So when you start with E, G is the not you add for the minor third interval, but E, G, and A could be a melody for something in the key of E diminished as well. You can skip whatever notes you want and write in whatever order your want but in traditional music theory you would never skip too many notes in a row in a key, melodic jumps greater than a minor third (I think) were disallowed but no one ever really followed those rules and no one has pretended to for hundreds of years. (This is by the way how the melodic minor scale developed not that anyone cares.)

In short, skipping F# is fine, but 3 single notes one after another in a melody do you give off a strong impression of a key signature.

For your second question, again music really has not rules but traditionally people shift key signatures in the manner you describe. For a visual representation of closely related keys look up the "circle of fifths" which should help you understand the concept more so than any written explanation I could provide.

Edit: wow 2 other people commented with essentially the same comment while I was typing this. I am slow.
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ginometalhead
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:36 pm
Posts: 92
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:35 am 
 

These explanations helped tremendously. Thanks

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