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#2965008 - 12/25/18 08:29 PM Backing track music theory question
Sharkman Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 679
I went to Youtube today to look for some 12 bar blues backing tracks to play along with. I found one that says it is in the key of A major. This track has a 1-4-5 chord progression using A7, D7, and E7. What got me wondering was the key of A is A, B, C#, D, E, F#, and G#. A7 is A C# G E; D7 is D F# A C; and E7 is E G# B D. Since the G in A7 and the C in D7 are both played natural instead of sharp, wouldn't A minor be the more appropriate key to call this? Or would it be better to play Amaj7 and Dmaj7 to make it a legitimate (for lack of a better term) A major key? Since most of you guys know way more about this than I ever will, your help is greatly appreciated.
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#2965038 - 12/26/18 08:01 AM Re: Backing track music theory question [Re: Sharkman]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11659
Loc: Northern California
I'm not a note guy but:

The notes in A major are: A B C# D E F# G#


The notes in A minor are: A B C D E F G


same as the relative major key of C. One of the best ways to tell if you are in a major or minor key is the 3rd is flatted in the minor key and not flatted in the major key. So in the major key of A the C# is flatted to C in the minor key. The same thing is found in the major and minor chord triads. A major 1 3 5 is A C# E. A minor 1 b3 5 is A C E. D major 1 3 5 is D F# A. D minor 1 b3 5 is D F A. E major 1 3 5 is E G# B. E minor 1 b3 5 is E G B.


Hope I got this right... crazy
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#2965049 - 12/26/18 08:40 AM Re: Backing track music theory question [Re: Sharkman]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 7294
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Several things come into play.
1st is that just because someone on the Net stated something, that doesn't mean they were accurate.

Secondly, just b/c a song is a bluesy tune, it doesn't mean all the 3rds will be flatted, particularly for the V chord----yes, even in a minor key.
Sometimes a 3rd (or any note) may be bent or slid into/out of or other variations may occur.

It's also not uncommon for a tune to be notated in a key that winds up requiring some notes to be adjusted w/an accidental every time they occur.
PPl take all sorts of approaches to notating music that may not be consistent.

Lastly, you may be absolutely correct abt yer initial question.
We can't hear the track but you can.
Does the backing track seem to have all minor chords in the relevant places ?
Originally Posted By: Sharkman
... most of you guys know way more about this than I ever will, your help is greatly appreciated.

You know enough abt keys, etc, to be able to lay out the quandary & why you wonder so give yerself more credit than you did in the OP, esp in regard to yer future knowledge ! thu
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#2965130 - 12/26/18 07:08 PM Re: Backing track music theory question [Re: Sharkman]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 8295
Loc: Japan
Your tones for A7 are correct, just switch the G and E.
Well, glad I could clear that all up-now let`s get a beer haha...
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#2965153 - 12/26/18 11:30 PM Re: Backing track music theory question [Re: Sharkman]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11659
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Sharkman
I went to Youtube today to look for some 12 bar blues backing tracks to play along with. I found one that says it is in the key of A major. This track has a 1-4-5 chord progression using A7, D7, and E7. What got me wondering was the key of A is A, B, C#, D, E, F#, and G#. A7 is A C# G E; D7 is D F# A C; and E7 is E G# B D. Since the G in A7 and the C in D7 are both played natural instead of sharp, wouldn't A minor be the more appropriate key to call this? Or would it be better to play Amaj7 and Dmaj7 to make it a legitimate (for lack of a better term) A major key? Since most of you guys know way more about this than I ever will, your help is greatly appreciated.


My answer is no. Since your 1 chord is an A7 with a major 3rd (i.e. C#), it is in the key of A major as stated in the vid. In order to be in the key of A minor the 3rd of your 1 chord (which is the tonic key chord) would be flatted to C (1 b3 5). The reason your G# is flatted to G in the 1 chord, is to give you an A7 chord. (1 3 5 b7)

I'm not saying that all the 3rds in the 1 4 5 minor chord progression or even in a lead part, have to use a flatted 3rd. But the 1 chord does need a flatted 3rd, if you want to play in a minor key. Your leads will sound better using that C instead of a C# for the most part(s), when playing in the key of A minor. cool



Edited by Larryz (12/26/18 11:57 PM)
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#2965197 - 12/27/18 09:39 AM Re: Backing track music theory question [Re: Larryz]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 7294
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
I reiterate what I wrote above.
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