Sweet Home Alabama is in G, no it's in D, no it's,,,,,

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by ASATKat, May 22, 2019.

  1. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    2,200
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Location:
    next to the burn zone
    After years of debating this over at tgp a lot of smart people decided the true key of this song is $%##$%÷

    I don't know what happened there, technical glitch,, guess we'll just have to discuss it amongst ourselves,,

    So what key is SHA in?????





    I know,,,
     
    CHarg likes this.
  2. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    4,021
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Location:
    Florida USA
    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
  3. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    4,021
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Location:
    Florida USA
    Or I should say, just play Werewolves of London when this subject comes up.
     
  4. teleMc

    teleMc TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    68
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2017
    Location:
    Orem, Ut
    What key do you do the solo in?
     
  5. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    27,396
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    It used to be in the key of awesome, many decades ago

    Now it's in the key of meh

    Once again, classic rock radio format is to blame
     
  6. tonyp145

    tonyp145 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    451
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Kent, WA
    There’s no debate in my mind, it’s in G. The first 3 chords are D - C - G, aka 5-4-1. Class dismissed.
     
    hotraman, stinkey, Toadtele and 8 others like this.
  7. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,947
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Location:
    Nueces Strip
    Isn't there the same ongoing question with Freebird?
     
  8. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,489
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Lansing, MI
    It's in mixolydian :D
     
    Pualee and Jakeboy like this.
  9. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    8,986
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Not to be contrary.....but I hear it as being in D.....so the progression is "I, VII, IV" with the final tonal resolution to D.
     
  10. wannabeatle

    wannabeatle TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    19
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    D. The melody strongly suggests D as the tonic. 3 blind mice - abama.
     
  11. NothingGoatboat

    NothingGoatboat Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    331
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Location:
    Southern California
    Definitely G. 5-4-1. Solo is in G also. Licks revolve around G.
     
  12. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    27,396
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    Well, every time I've played it live, I've ended on the G. Does that mean anything?

    Am I always ending it unresolved?


    Hmmmmm?
     
  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    66,772
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I still play it every so often.
    I’d say it’s in D.
    I’d also say the solos are in G.
     
  14. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    66,772
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Maybe klasaine will weigh in?
     
  15. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    2,200
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Location:
    next to the burn zone
    Ending on G sounds unresolved to my ear, it sound like G is the IV. But Ed King played E minor pent over it and he ends on G so there.

    Hold on son,,, when you play the ending lick and end you have to ask "which is the stronger resolution?"

    Ending on G
    ---------------------------------3
    ---------------------------------0
    ------------------------2--0---0
    --------0--2--0---------------0
    -0--2-------------2-------------
    ---------------------------------3

    Ending on D
    ---------------------------------2
    ---------------------------------3
    ------------------------2--0---2
    --------0--2--0---------------0
    -0--2-------------2-------------
    -----------------------------------

    To my ear, ending on D sounds final where ending on G sounds suspended,
    don't get me wrong, it is fine to end on G.

    In my opinion the true answer to this question is simple, the folks at tgp settled on the song being in both keys at the same time. And there are common links, for example Em is the iim of D and is the vi relative minor of G. Bm is the vi relative minor of D and the iii of G, these all blur the key center.

    So it seems SHA is bi-key and kinda anomalous.

    For soloing I would use B minor pent with a little E minor pent, mix those two up.

    .02
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  16. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,826
    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Location:
    Eastern Massachusetts
    Don't overthink this.
    It's in D.
    A flat VII chord is perfectly acceptable in a blues/rock tune.
     
  17. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    14,272
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Location:
    kamloops bc


    “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the most popular guitar songs ever. In it’s most basic form it’s just a simple three chord song. But there’s actually a lot more to it than that. I’m going to break down this song and analyze its key, chord progressions and scales.

    The primary Sweet Home Alabama chords are:

    D-C-G-G

    That’s one measure of D, one measure of C and two full measures of G.

    Most guitarists would say that “Sweet Home Alabama” is in the key of D because it starts on D. But since the music spends the most time on the G chord, it’s really the G chord that is the tonal center (called the tonic) of the song. For this reason, most of the guitar solos are based in the G major pentatonic. You can play along with “Sweet Home Alabama” using G major pentatonic scale patterns. Just put the recording on and “Turn it up!”

    Now let’s take a closer look at the whole chord progression. Even though the chord progression starts on D, the D, C and G are actually drawn from the G major scale. I, IV and V in G are G, C and D. There’s no other major scale that includes all three of these major chords together. So the “Sweet Home Alabama” chord progression, D-C-G, is V-IV-I in G. That’s five-four-one in case the Roman numerals are throwing you off.

    G Major Scale
    G A B C D E F♯
    I ii iii IV V vi vii♭5
    G Am Bm C D Em F♯?m♭5

    Sweet Home Alabama Chords
    D C G
    V IV I

    Since the chords are drawn from the G major scale, you can play it over the whole progression. Try playing along with the song using G major scale patterns and you’ll hear that they blend perfectly.

    While “Sweet Home Alabama” is primarily drawn from G major, there is one important twist that needs to be pointed out. There is modal interchange at the 1:30 mark with the chord changes F-C-D. The F is borrowed from G Mixolydian mode, the C major scale. I also hear the bass use an F-natural over the G chord beginning at 2:20, creating a G7 sound. In the vocal melody, this F-natural is used as a “blue note,” a note sung or played at a slightly lower pitch than that of the major scale for expressive purposes, and creates a D minor sound (Dm is 1-♭3-5, D-F-A).

    Finally, while the guitar solos are mostly G major pentatonic, I hear the minor 3rd B♭ used, which makes the G major blues scale.
     
  18. daddyplaysbass

    daddyplaysbass Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    900
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Location:
    Chandler Arizona
    What key is Johnny Rivers "Memphis"in, B or E?
     
    24 track likes this.
  19. jonrpick

    jonrpick Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,246
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Ed King said it was in GMaj.

    Done.
     
  20. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    2,200
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Location:
    next to the burn zone
    Sorry, but it is not D C G G.

    It's this,
    . D. . . . G/C. . .G
    --2-------------------------------------------------
    --3---------3--------3----------------------------
    --2---------0--------0------------------------2-0
    --0---------0--------0-----------0-2-0---------
    -------------3---------------0-2-----------2-----
    -----------------------3----------------------------

    G/C is not a C chord, it's G with C in bass, sort of a Gsus4 sound.
     
    nojazzhere and 24 track like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.