Track sequence and keys

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Larry F, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    My recordings have mostly been contemporary classical pieces on CDs by performers who play my stuff. My music does not use functional tonal harmony and keys.

    I've changed my tune for now. I'm planning to make a collection of 5-6 blues tracks featuring the guitar stylings of me, Blind Lemon Fritts (for real, this was my name in junior high). I'm idly curious to know how people, particularly in blues, sequence their tracks in terms of key structure.

    When gigging, as far as I can recall (I played blues, rock,country, and jazz gigs), we tried to separate minor songs from each other and songs in the same key in a row. Definitely not a hard and fast rule, as I've played several songs in the same key before (this can especially happen if you take requests).

    But I'm talking something like an EP for SoundCloud. I am considering three particular songs in G. There will be 1-2 minors, and something in E, A, or D. I'll be mixing up the styles a little bit (but still blues), and will swap out guitars and maybe amps.

    I hear a lot of non-classical recordings (blues, 60s rock) that have 2 or more consecutive tracks in the same key. Easy enough to look that up, I guess.

    What should I do? Endeavor with extreme prejudice to avoid placing two G majors next to each other? Or should I lightly endeavor to avoid this?

    Just having fun, think out loud and writing it down. Haven't done this here in a while, as there had been more of a tendency for members to start arguing about unrelated things. Or they go meta, which is worse of all (why ya doing blues? why don't ya sing? do you have a van?).
  2. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 28, 2006
    NELA, Ca
    I'm in the camp of avoiding the same key twice in a row unless it's major to minor.
  3. Kingpin

    Kingpin Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    When I write up set lists for my country band I take several factors into consideration, and I think these would be applicable to track sequencing as well.

    Avoiding the same key back-to-back is desirable, but not the only criteria. Another consideration is the rhythmic backbone of the tune (shuffle vs. swing vs. two-step etc.). Avoiding more than two shuffles in a row is desirable. Having a variety of tempos in the sequence is another consideration. Lastly, the momentum of the set is of overall importance. IMO, sets or track sequences generally work best when they start (and finish) with strong uptempo numbers. What happens in between the start and finish should have enough variety to keep the listener on their toes.
    erratick likes this.
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