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. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    645
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    What's confusing is why you think the guitarist who took the solo "thought the song was in G" when he's the guy who wrote the song and he also said it's in G but you think he doesn't know what he's talking about.
     
    stinkey, brbadg and teleaddicted like this.
  2. Recce

    Recce Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,990
    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Location:
    Northern Alabama
    Can’t You see goes D D C G repeat or V V IV I so G by golly. Kind of the same thing with what is said here with SWA.
     
  3. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Plymouth Meeting, PA
    I can answer that. He might not know what he's talking about. The fact that he played the second solo, (when the guy that played the first one did it in D) doesn't prove he knows what key it's in. I watched Brent Mason talk about playing an Ab note in the key of E once. Pros, even monster players, don't necessarily know everything about music theory.

    Do this - try ending the song on a G in the regular progression. Doesn't work. Your ears want you to end on a D.
     
    Tony474 and AAT65 like this.
  4. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    645
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    I believe the album jacket credited all the lead guitars to Ed King. The first solo was in the key of G as well.
     
  5. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Plymouth Meeting, PA
    Well the first solo starts in D and is mostly chord tones on the changes.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  6. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    645
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    I disagree. Can’t You See progression is D C G D. It is in the key of D.
     
  7. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    645
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    I'm not sure what you mean by that, but every single note in the first solo is in the G major scale.
     
  8. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,970
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    In the first three, the first chord is clearly the root. The giveaway In Don't Stop though is after, when it goes to the V chord over "yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone". In Sympathy and Hey Jude the progression is I bVII IV I. Sweet Home Alabama does not return to the first chord at the end of the sequence like those, which is why it's not comparable.

    No way is the D chord in Handle With Care the I. Firstly, the progression does not end on the first chord like the middle two in your list but the killer blow is in the rest of the song, in particular over the owrds "Handle with care" when it firstly goes C-D and landing on the G on "care", or alternately just C-D where the D is clearly working as a V chord before Roy Oribson sings over the G-GAug part.
     
    sonicsmitty likes this.
  9. brbadg

    brbadg Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    1,377
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Timonium,Maryland

    YOUR ears want you to end on a D. Mine can accept ending on G. Besides,Ed says it's in G.Good enough for me.
     
  10. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,147
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Switzerland
    The G major scale and D mixolydian scales are identical, just focused on a different root note.

    G Major:
    G A B C D E F#

    D mixolydian:
    D E F# G A B C
     
  11. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,147
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Switzerland
    You're right about handle with care, my mistake. It's in G.
     
    Mid Life Crisis likes this.
  12. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Plymouth Meeting, PA
    I can accept ending on G but it feels unresolved. Like ending a hymn on "Ahh" without the "men."
     
  13. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,362
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    as long as everyone in the band plays it in the same key. the proper correct actual so called key is irrelevant. We can argue all day long but if we are all playing the same chord progression, ALL AT THE SAME TIME , who cares ! Its in THIS key !


    Oh , and what key is Hotel California in ?
     
  14. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl TDPRI Member

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    92
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2017
    Location:
    Switzerland
    The solo in SHA in E minor pentatonic.:)
     
  15. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Plymouth Meeting, PA
    B minor. First line of chorus is D major.
     
    T Prior likes this.
  16. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    645
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    I think you're just over complicating things unnecessarily. The song spends twice as much time on the G as it does on the D.

    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
     
  17. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,371
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2018
    Location:
    next to the burn zone
    Not too many tunes "share tonal centers like SHA, not in jazz, tonal centers are everything.

    But is it really sharing? In the second chord G/C it's obvious the C note does not belong to the key of D that has a C#.
    That makes it not in D. D Mixolydian could be a choice making the first chord a D7. I have no problem with D7 and I still have no problem with D Mixo.

    If we were calling D7 our I chord then G would be the IV chord, basically Ionian, making the E minor pent that Ed King soloed with the relative minor of G. That's why he was thinking G as the key. But that's more part of the illusion the blues is throwing at us.

    Dominant 7th chords as I chords are the backbone of blues in rock.

    So why call it D7 as the I chord? Because this song operates with the blues language. D7 as a I chord is very common, play the D minor blues scale just the same as a regular blues. Ed King didn't do that, he used E min pent giving his solo a Lydian/Dorian sound, that's why it sounds different compared to the regular D minor blues scale. Ed could have used D minor blues and played Jimi style on this tune but his choice was almost unique to push the G sound. It creates a "tension" in a way. That's why the key of D voters vote D, that tension of non resolution bugs their ear. But I think it was a clever move on King's part.

    One good thing from all this is we've expanded the minor pents we can solo with,

    E min pent - Ed's one choice
    B min pent
    A min pent
    D min pent
    D blues scale
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
    klasaine likes this.
  18. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    meridianam altum centralis
    I always felt the G is the subdominant, so to me, it sounds like a D tune. I know the solos and licks are mostly built on G scales. It sounds unlike a typical G tune, because the G scale licks sound unordinary. If it were a G tune, those licks would sound more predictable. After decades, I can kinda hear the key of G if I try. I still prefer the final G chord as a subdominant (that's code for the 4 chord). 1-7-4-4 - , repeat in the key of D.
     
  19. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    90
    Posts:
    4,108
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Swanton Ohio
    My sax buddy says it's in Bb.
     
  20. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,623
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Plymouth Meeting, PA
    What scale(s) did Steve Gaines play on the solos in this live version? Hint: Not G anything.
    Rossington and Collins played theirs in G and sounded pretty bad in my opinion. Gaines sounded right, especially in the solo after the piano break.

     
    McGlamRock likes 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.