Home »Forum»Open mic at the Blue Iguana »Recognizing the key of a song?

recognizing the key of a song?

posted on #1
User Avatar Member
Posts: 21
Joined: 23.12.12
Hi there,

There are some amazing backingtracks on wikiloops, but half of the time the chords or key are not written in the tab section.

I seem to have a hard time finding the key of a song by ear, anyone has tips how to find this (or cheat this?;) ?
posted on #2
User Avatar Administrator
Posts: 236
Joined: 09.05.11
How to tell you? It is more done by feeling. You could think of a note as the harmonical centre. So you search for the one note that feels good almost throughout the piece.

If this is A for example you might test the scale of AMinor or A major. Or at once you can search by ear for a scale that feels good. Listening to the song you play slowly a scale and hear which one is best. Often there are several choices. This goes by practice and trial and error.

Good luck
posted on #3
User Avatar Member
Posts: 80
Joined: 10.09.11
As a harmonica player finding the key of a song was difficult at first but with a little practice it got easier over time.
If i can not figure out the key I've also tried using a guitar tuner to get the first and last notes of a song. I've also found http://chordify.net a good online tool to get the cords
just some ideas.
lastly if i still can't get it, I just ask.
Good luck
posted on #4
User Avatar Supporter
Posts: 356
Joined: 25.03.12
There is a program called transscribe
Not free, but not expensive. I find it very useful, not can you slow down and loop sections of a song, it has a speedup function which is great for practice and on top of that it shows note and chord guesses.

An other way is testing different tones if they fit in the tonality or not. Often this is quite easy to hear. When you find two or three notes you try to fit them into a chord or scale. Lets say that the notes C, D and E fit. In diatonic tonality there are only 3 major scales that have all these 3 notes. Cmajor, Emajor and Fmajor.
Emajor has a F# instead of a F so this would be a good candidate for trying. Also Fmajor has an Bb instead of a B so try this one as well
Edited by nilton on February 13 2013 20:45
Pure fingerstyle
wikiloops online jamsessions are brought to you with friendly support by:
Mr-Indica from England

"This is the perfect site for musicians to connect and share ideas. Keep up the good work."

wikiloops.com uses Cookies to provide you the best possible browsing experience.
Read more in our data privacy policy.