What key would this progression be?

Henry Wilt

Making a come back (when I get home again!)
#1
I got me an iMac :bounce: so I am trying to use Garage band lessons to aid my learning and decided to start from the beginning to make sure I'm not missing bits.
Anyway, in the rock lessons there is an exercise for palm muting etc but the playing bit sounds quite good to me so I thought it would be a good backing to try some solo type stuff except I'm not sure what key or scale will work best.
The verse chord progression is D5/// A5/// B5/// Bb5/A5/ then the chorus progression is G5/// A5/// D5/// Bb5///.
From the little theory I have learned so far a 5 chord is neither minor or major so that doesn't help me and I can't work it out from a I IV V progression as that doesn't seem to fit to me.
Any help as to how I would work out what key it is in or what scales might work over it would be gratefully appreciated.

TIA
 
#3
With power chord progressions, as you say, there are no 3rds so major minor harmony for you to determine a key/tonal centre, but you still need to watch those 5ths and what collection of notes you are ending up with.

Think of the chords purely from their root notes to help outline a scale/note collection to use so for D5, A5, B5, Bb5 and A5, taking D as your tonal root. you have, interval wise, 1 5 6 b6 5 which works well with few note collections.

Taking the 5ths into account though, relative to D interval wise you actually have:

D5 - D A (1 5)
A5 - A E (5 2)
B5 - B F# (6 3)
Bb5 - Bb F (b6 b3)
A5 - A E (5 2)

There's an F# in the B5 chord and an F in the Bb5 chord so you may want to think of playing something like D Pentatonic Major over the D5, A5 and B5 chords switching to D Pentatonic Minor over the Bb5 and A5, though as it's only a single bar maybe just targeting the b6 note would sound cool or even a nice Bb major arpeggio, or even a Bb to A arpeggio sequence. :)

For a more blanket approach you could use, as Hosenbugler says, D Pentatonic Minor solely but target a major 3rd (F#) over the B5 chord, or say a D Major or B minor arpeggio :)

The chorus of G5 A5 D5 and Bb5, keeping things simple, you could still think of staying in a D tonality using D Pentatonic Minor for all of the chords as there is no B5 chord.

Hope that helps and isn't too confusing over time you eventually begin to see these kind of things on the fly or your ears are more attuned rather than doing a thesis in analysing a chord progression ;)
 
#4
I would say: stay on D major or D mixolidyan which is the same as G major, am thinking that the Bb5 is a passing tone, instead of modal borrow. Anyway, if the progressions just contains power chords, you can still use D minor pentatonic to give it a bluesy feel :).
 

Henry Wilt

Making a come back (when I get home again!)
#5
D minor pentatonic/D Dorian would work great. :)
I would say: stay on D major or D mixolidyan which is the same as G major, am thinking that the Bb5 is a passing tone, instead of modal borrow. Anyway, if the progressions just contains power chords, you can still use D minor pentatonic to give it a bluesy feel :).
Thanks Guys, much appreciated. I now know I am looking at scales centered around D major or minor depending on how I want it to feel. I also need to go and watch Robs YT on modes again (to remind me of which is which) but it's great you've given me some ideas on how to try and use modes for the 1st time. :bounce:
{loads of really great, really detailed info}...

Hope that helps and isn't too confusing over time you eventually begin to see these kind of things on the fly or your ears are more attuned rather than doing a thesis in analysing a chord progression ;)
Thanks Mark, this certainly will help although I need to study this to really understand it.
My aim is to be able to either see these things or eventually be able to hear them on the fly but at the moment I still feel I need to try and understand why it all goes together before I can just do it. :confused:
 

digitalscream

Well-Known Member
#6

Henry Wilt

Making a come back (when I get home again!)
#7
There's a fantastic site for helping you out on this sort of thing - jguitar.com

Using their harmoniser, and putting your chords in, you get this:

http://jguitar.com/harmonizer/chord2scale?chordRoot=G&chordlist=D5&chordlist=A5&chordlist=B5&chordlist=A#5&chordlist=G5&chord=5

Handy, no?

EDIT: Jeez, I just had a poke around in the scale library on there...some of those scales are insane. Take this one for example - try playing that without breaking a finger.
Woah, excellent site and yes very handy, not just for the harmoniser but helping me with scales in general.
Thank you for posting it.
I had no idea there were so many scales....... cue countless questions over the coming months regarding where and when they might be used :rolleyes:. No, I promise if I find one I like the sound of I will try and find more information on the interweb before I ask here. :D
 
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