What key is "LTAW" in? ;D

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by jbmando, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Holic

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    Long answer coming, consider yourself forewarned.

    British Invasion music his highly influenced by blues, so the flat-7 is an important part of the overall sound, though it isn’t strictly persistent. This should point you towards the realization that a strict adherence to key signatures will not always lead you home. There are often modal influences and blues influences to consider, and more often than not music tends to be more fluid than strict in its adherence to a specific underlying scale structure.

    If you look over your given chords, you can see a I -bVII - IV - bVII - I progression in the key of B major, a slightly embellished version of the common I - bVII - IV - I progression used in loads of tunes with blues influence. You could call this a blues inflection or use of the mixolydian mode, either will get you there. By the end of the form, you see a straight up I - vi - IV - V in B major, which really solidifies B. In addition, when you listen to this song, push pause a little way in and sing the tonic, or “home-base note”, the pitch which the song seems to gravitate towards...you will probably sing a B.

    Then it modulates up a half step to C and repeats all of the same processes. Now listen to the last chord and consider whether it is stable or causes the music to feel resolved. I think it doesn’t. It intentionally lands on a less stable chord, leaving the music unresolved.
     
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  2. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    If you find it rational to answer a "what key" question without listening to the song, I agree. I disagree with the conclusion. The song seems unmistakably, to me, to start in B and modulate to C, ending on the ii chord. Incidentally, the ii does not come from nowhere. It was used in the original key - C#m in the key of B - so it it not a complete non-sequitur, musically speaking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
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  3. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Key sigs don't mean squat in R&R, Blues or Jazz.
    To play a convincing solo on this tune you need play over the changes.
    If I was explaining this song to player on the bandstand I would say, "B mixo and modulates up a half step at the end".
    *Please no one give me their lesson on modes and key signatures. Home is not E or F.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
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  4. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    I don't see the progression being in diatonic language or in a key, it's more the blues language that was the backbone of so much rock back then, it made the Stones filthy rich.. The term I would use is "tonal center". Look at the root movement in the first section B A E A B... it's not friendly to diatonic scales and modes, it's not modal,,, It's a super common blues based progression found in the fusion of that minor pent with all the acoustic progressions that were popular back in the 60s and 70s.

    B is the tonal center "root", it's the chord the song will end on, A is the b7, E is the 4th. B is the tone the other notes orbit around.

    You could play B major pent over the B chord and then the blues rock fusion of adding the
    B minor blues pent over it and that would work great. Those chords and those pents were a common thread throughout that genre of rock.

    I haven't looked at the modulation yet, I may not look at it till next year, or the year after that lol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
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  5. Rob R

    Rob R TDPRI Member

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    ^^^This^^^

    Looks like E on paper but sounds like B Mix.
     
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  6. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    The Grateful Dead would never have happened if blues pents and mixolydian were never considered tonal centers.

    Long live R&R.
     
  7. DaveGo

    DaveGo Tele-Meister

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    You know the guitar intro is pretty interesting for the period (1965). The wide two-fret pinky stretch on the D string in the picking pattern a couple of times isn't easy to pull off clean and fast. For those of us trying to master the three chords of "Gloria" a year or so later this would have been quite a challenge. I love the pre-"Long Cool Woman" version of the Hollies. They put out some memorable pop songs that hold up nicely today IMO.
     
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  8. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    I'm gonna say E for the first part of the tune.

    Anytime you see two chords in alphabetical sequence (here--A & B), they are always the IV and the V chords.



    Okay, let's talk about the key for Sweet Home Alabama now!
     
  9. Gene O.

    Gene O. Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Starts in B, then modulates to C. Theory be damned, just go with the sound. The only chord that throws a monkey wrench in the chord theory would be the A & Bb, but a chord formed over the flatted 7th is very common. The root sticks out like a sore thumb in this song, so I don't see how anyone can think of it as anything but B & C. Overthinking, maybe?

    EDIT: The final chords also throw bit of a kink in the theory, suggesting a final key of F, but I still think the vocals say B & C.
     
  10. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    No, they aren't. Maybe 'most' of the time in classical music but not in rock, pop, jazz, blues, R&B, etc.
     
  11. rough eye

    rough eye TDPRI Member

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    somebody should have told Django Reinhardt that. "A," "B," etc wouldn't have meant squat to him.
     
  12. Northern Tele

    Northern Tele Tele-Meister

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    Why all the confusion. The first part is in B and it moves up a half step to C . If those chords are correct I don't need to listen to the song to discern it's key.

    Anyone with even the most rudimentary grasp of major scale harmony should know this.
     
  13. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sounds like E to me. B A E A B = V IV I IV V
     
  14. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    The sheet music shows three sharps. Other online sources cite a range of keys mostly minor) for the song. IMO, that's what it is: a piece of music composed around chord changes without regard to simple key-based chord selections and progressions. Anyone who's ever heard it -- and I have loved this song for decades -- will tell you that it leaves you hanging at the end rather than resolving itself. To me, the exercise of trying to characterize the song in terms that are not really those used in its creation is helpful for the handful of individuals who have no knowledge of the original but need an approximation (translation) into their own non-synonymous language, but it will not fully duplicate the original. Yes, a tangerine is a citrus fruit (generalization) but it is not exactly the same as an orange (particular). I think the work of creating theory-based explanations for what we hear is important but that doesn't mean it is always successful, as is the case in an honest intellectual discipline. Theory is not law. That this song does not readily fit into a familiar key structure is what is haunting about it.
     
  15. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Since he was completely illiterate regarding musical notation and the academic application of harmony, A, B and any other key or chord did mean 'squat' to him.
     
  16. Northern Tele

    Northern Tele Tele-Meister

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    I don't think Django could read or write at all..didn't seem to matter. I guess being a genius has its advantages.
     
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  17. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    The sheet music has it in the key of A and it shows A major being the first chord. It is a typical "incorrect" transcription of the record. But, by the logic of the sheet music, the record is in B, the actual first chord of the song.
     
  18. rough eye

    rough eye TDPRI Member

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    in most of the world people don't say "C major" they say "Do mayor." but i think everyone no matter where they learned music know what key 4 flats is (ok maybe not americans :) )
     
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