Two different people asked me about musical keys this week.
A key is a collection of notes in a particular pattern. If you start singing a song on one note & then sing the same song but begin it on a different note, it’s still the same song but is in a different key.You’ll also have to play different chords to make it sound right.
Here are two different versions of The Kinks’ Lola – one on Ukulele Boogaloo & one from Richard G’s Songbook. You’ll notice the difference when you play them – you might find the chords easier to play in one version or that you can sing along better on one.
The main note in the key is called the root or tonic. So, when we say that something is in the key of C, C will be the root or tonic. It’s the first note that appears in the scale & most important note in that key.
- Have a look at Chris’ article Very, Very, Very Basic Understanding of Music for Absolute Beginners, an introduction to how notes & scales work.
- Moving onto chords, see my guide at PLUCking Ukes – Striking A Chord – Major Chords.
- Examples of groups of chords in different keys can be found on PLUCking Ukes – Striking A Chord – Improving Your Chord Changes. See Uncle Rod’s Self-Assessment Tool & Boot Camp Chord Drills.
- More chords for the different keys and some very common sequences of chords that appear in many songs can be found here PLUCking Ukes – Striking A Chord – Playing Chord Progressions.
Do have a look round the site as we’ve put a number of different articles up here on this topic. Feel free to keep asking questions – it’s the best way to learn.