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Thread: Songs in the Key of C

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    17

    Default Songs in the Key of C

    Hola...

    My question is simple in that my musical understanding is such.

    Do songs that are in the key of 'C' always start with a 'C' chord?

    How does one determine what key a song is in?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Brockton, MA
    Posts
    542

    Default

    Hola

    > Do songs that are in the key of 'C' always start with a 'C' chord?

    No, not always. I'd say 95 % of songs started with the root chord, that is, starts with a C chord if the key is C major and an Am chord if the key is A minor.

    A better bet is the last chord. Probably more than 99 % of songs end with the root chord so it's a safe bet that the song is in key of C major if it ends with a C chord. If it does not end with the root chord, you will feel "un-resolved" (left hanging, without conclusion).

    Cheers
    Chief

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Hola Chief...

    Thanks mucho para tu response.

    I initially posted from work and may not have been as specific as I should have been.

    I'm downloading songs/lyrics/tab etc.

    My uke group (SOUP...Southern Ontario Ukulele Players) has a playlist of about fifty songs. They play in the key of C. I have been downloading versions of the playlist songs, and upon getting back to the weekly jam session realized that I had downloaded versions of the songs on the playlist in keys other than C.

    I will examine the songs that I have acquired according to your criteria.

    Thanks again amigio.

    Woodrow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    new orleans
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    78

    Default

    There are a lot of songs out there in the Key of C but the ones that aren't can be easily transposed into C. I do that a lot because I find C an easier key to play in. If you use the I IV V7 chord progression its easy to plug any thing in within reason. Some songs won't sound right in C and you can tell that by playing them in C. Some musicians like G or D etc but those songs can be transposed to what ever you like.

    I have found that the last note in a song is usually in the song's key with some exceptions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    2,914

    Default

    • Any song can be in the key of C if you put it there. :-)
    • For me, a better way of determining key is looking at all the chords in it... not just the first and/or last. (Although first/last really does help.)



    The basic chords that naturally occur in the key of C are C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, and Bdim. (You might also find extensions on them... those tacked-on numbers like C6, G7, Am7, etc.) If all the chords in a song are in that list, then the song is typically in the key of C.

    I got more into the whole key/scale/melody/chord relationship in this recent post.

    Hope that helps!

    JJ
    Last edited by Ukulele JJ; 05-12-2010 at 01:50 AM.
    "Talent is just a pursued interest. In other words, anything you are willing to practice, you can do." -- Bob Ross

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default

    JJ...Thanks...That helps a great deal.

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