Hey there, fellow songwriter! Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you gotta figure out the key of a song or instrumental? No worries, we got your back. Knowing the key can totally level up your music game, whether you’re adding a catchy melody to an instrumental or jamming with a singer who’s got a specific range. In this blog, we’re gonna walk you through some steps on how to find out the key of a song or instrumental all on your own.
Step 1: Find the Tonic
First things first, let’s find that tonic, the “home” note of the song that usually wraps up the chorus or the whole song altogether. Grab your trusty instrument or hop on an online piano, and see if you can discover that magical note.
Step 2: Get the Vibe
Once you’ve nailed that tonic, it’s time to get a feel for the song’s vibe. Does it make you feel happiness or overall positive emotions? Well, it’s probably in a major key then. Feeling a bit introspective and melancholic? Then chances are it’s cozying up to a minor key. Sometimes, a song can have a mix of major and minor feels, and that’s when it might be hanging out in a mode.
Step 3: Test it Out!
Now, it’s time to put your tonic to the test. Strum or play the chord that matches the key of the song you suspect it might be. Let’s say you have a hunch it’s in A minor. Strum that A minor chord when the song hits the tonic chord. If it feels like a match made in musical heaven, you’re on the right track, my friend.
Step 4: Seek a Second Opinion
If you’re still scratching your head after going through the previous steps, it’s time to phone a friend. Reach out to another musician and ask them to lend their keen ears. Sometimes, a fresh perspective can unveil things you might’ve missed in the musical maze.
Note: Some Songs Play by Their Own Rules
Remember, not all songs play by the traditional key rules. They might throw in some modal keys or switch between major and minor keys. Don’t stress too much about pinning down the key for these songs. Instead, it’s best to follow your musical ear and see where it goes.
Being able to figure out the key of a song or instrumental is a seriously awesome skill for any songwriter. By following these steps, you’ll be able to unlock the key mystery all by yourself. Just keep practicing and don’t let frustration dim your musical spark. With time and practice, your ear will become a professional at detecting those keys. You got this, buddy!