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Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

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Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby JohnGrind » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:34 pm

I don't have any real music theory training. I know basics but mostly I write just by ear. Just using what sounds good. I'm working on a new song starting out on guitar and I'm not quite sure what key this is in.

The verse (or chorus I don't know yet but thinking verse) is Fm7, Cm7,A#maj/Bbmaj. Sometimes after the Cm7 I'll play a G#m7. Was also thinking of using that transition (The Cm7 to the G#m7) to go into the chorus (I might flip these I don't know I'll take advice on that too).

So for the chorus coming out of that G#m7 I kind of pause and go back to Cm7, A#maj/Bbmaj, Fm7. G#m7, Cm7, A#maj/Bbmaj

I also played around with going from the verse to G#m7 to G#maj, A#maj, Cm7.

So I have no idea what key this is in hah. I was thinking in Fm but the G#m throws me. Maybe Dorian? Or maybe key of Db? I don't know.

Question 1: Based on the chords given here in the verse and chorus, what key is this in? I'm playing it in a more rhythmic, soulful, groovy kind of vibe sort of a littlewing/john mayer style with similar chord shapes and double stop frills.

Question 2: Based on the (maybe?) verse chord progression the Fm7, Cm7,A#maj/Bbmaj, what else would make a good chorus? If I kept the current version of a chorus ( G#m7, Cm7, A#maj/Bbmaj) what is a chord that can tie the two together instead of just a long pause? Like what would be a good pre-chorus and then a chord or two to smoothly get back into the verse?

Question 3: Based on the these chords what could make a good bridge?

Since I don't really know the key it's kind of hard to find ways to tie these various progressions together and come up with ideas for choruses and pre-choruses, bridges, etc. Also a vocal melody is hard to come up with (suggestions on that are welcome too! haha) I know this was kind of a long and loaded question but any help would be greatly appreciated!! If an audio sample would make it easier to answer let me know and I can record all the parts quickly.



Thanks for your time and any help!!
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Re: Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:35 am

It's not as simple as that.
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Re: Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby GilesAnt » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:04 am

So apart from a vocal melody, chorus, pre-chorus and bridge, and one or two other transitions you have your song ready?

As shufflebeat says, it is far from simple.

The chords you list gravitate around F minor. Incidentally this would mean it is Bflat not Asharp. Also Aflat rather than Gsharp.

It also suggests an F Dorian too. The Aflat minor chord sits outside this though.

A list of chords in itself doesn't always tell the full story though. And of course borrowing chords from outside the key or mode doesn't necessarily change the key/mode overall.

You might find a good old C7 chord helps tie things together in places - reinforcing an F minor feel. Eflat major might also make a good addition to your palette of chords too - reinforcing a Dorian feel.
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Re: Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby BJG145 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:42 am

JohnGrind wrote:If an audio sample would make it easier to answer let me know and I can record all the parts quickly.

...yep, tricky to find a melody without knowing the rhythm/tempo... :)
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Re: Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:43 am

If you're writing it by ear you don't actually need to know what key it's in (if you want to write it down then you can work it out later). If it sounds good/how you want it, then it's fine. If you trying to find a formula to construct a middle 8 based on the key and chord progression I thing you might be better to do it by ear as you have the rest of the tune and bear in mind you don't actually need a middle 8 at all.

A demo would be useful but I'll go and have a play through the chords later, I play mostly by ear myself though I do have some theory.
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Re: Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby merlyn » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:54 pm

Fm7 Cm7 Bb is the key of Eb. I think I have an idea of the sort of thing you're going for. You might like using Bb7.

The Abm7 could be analysed as a substitution for G7 and that's from the key of Cminor, the relative minor of Eb.

A chord to get to Cm7 would be G7#5 (put the D# note (Eb) on the top.)
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Re: Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby GilesAnt » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:23 pm

Fm7 Cm7 Bb is the key of Eb

Not the most likely key since the chord of Eb is not present at all in the song. Since F Bb and C can be construed as I IV and V this is a more likely starting point. However without actually seeing or hearing some music it is pretty hard to say for sure.
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Re: Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby IAA » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:37 pm

If you're writing it by ear you don't actually need to know what key it's in (if you want to write it down then you can work it out later). If it sounds good/how you want it, then it's fine.

Seriously, this.
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Re: Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby merlyn » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:26 pm

GilesAnt wrote:Not the most likely key since the chord of Eb is not present at all in the song.

No, but Eb is the only key Fm7, Cm7 and Bb are in. We've got seven notes from those three chords. As we've discussed elsewhere F dorian isn't a key. :D

For the OP chords from Eb will stay with the tonality established so far.
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Re: Help Finding Key of Song & Possible Chrous/Bridge/Vocal melody

Postby GilesAnt » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:40 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:If you're writing it by ear you don't actually need to know what key it's in

I agree with this, but I'm guessing the poster doesn't quite have the ear or experience for this yet, and so a little theory can help. If you know what key (or mode) a piece is in, you can more quickly identify the likely candidates, i.e. the nearest related chords. Both merlyn and I in our different ways have suggested some possibilities both of which would be worth exploring.

Theory is (or should be) a supplement to the ear rather than an alternative - a few more tools in your music kit if you like.

merlyn wrote:[As we've discussed elsewhere F dorian isn't a key. :D
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