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#1 2012-02-17 16:21:56

srpetty
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From: Iowa
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 55
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Key change

I have an idea for a song I'm working on but I'm unsure how to go about it or even if it's a good idea.  The song is four verses long, no chorus, 3/4 time in C with a pretty straightforward I-IV-V progression.  Each verse resolves with the root.

I was thinking about doing a key change, perhaps up a step to D, for the third verse for emphasis then back to C for verse four.  Do you think this would be a good idea and, if so, how would I transition from C to D then back smoothly?

As a beginner I appreciate the help.


Scott
Philippians 3:13, 14
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#2 2012-02-17 17:32:53

vimmerman
Junior Member
Registered: 2010-03-24
Posts: 4

Re: Key change

I think an example would benefit you more.  I'd say take Carol Kings piece, 'Up on the Roof', which is basically a 3 chord song, then look at how James taylor has done it. He's weaved some interesting twists though it all. To be fair, it just maybe be that I haven't tripped across a Carol King Tab that really was broken down anyway. At any rate, it's still a good study.

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#3 2012-02-17 17:42:34

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3074
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Re: Key change

Well, start with "How does it sound?"

If you like it, it's OK. If you don't, you shouldn't do that.

As far as one step modulation, try a simple chromatic walk up to the D.  Lot of songs do that.

C  C#  D


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#4 2012-02-17 19:35:21

arkady
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From: England
Registered: 2006-11-23
Posts: 1940
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Re: Key change

srpetty wrote:

I was thinking about doing a key change, perhaps up a step to D, for the third verse for emphasis then back to C for verse four.  Do you think this would be a good idea and, if so, how would I transition from C to D then back smoothly?

As a beginner I appreciate the help.

If you think the key change sounds good then go for it. It your song and what sounds good to you is what matters. If you think it it sounds bad to you then don't do it. There's no particular rules to song writing just go with own thoughts and make it your own.
ark

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#5 2012-02-17 21:13:00

tubatooter1940
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From: Alabama Gulf Coast
Registered: 2008-06-24
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Re: Key change

Quite often, it sounds really spiffy to play the 5 chord of the new key after a verse or bridge and then launch the next verse in the new key.
So if you're playing in the key of C, most times verses will begin and end on C. At the end of a verse at C then change to A (5th chord in D) then D becomes your one (key) chord and you're off to the races playing D,G and A.
I use that technique playing the last two choruses of "Another Saturday Night" by Cat Stephens.
It be lively. :-)


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#6 2012-02-18 21:50:41

srpetty
Member
From: Iowa
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 55
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Re: Key change

Thanks for taking the time to help.  I've got some ideas to try out now.


Scott
Philippians 3:13, 14
Takamine GS330S

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#7 2012-02-19 15:13:50

Russell_Harding
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From: A black hole in deep space
Registered: 2007-10-29
Posts: 6680
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Re: Key change

I agree with toots try playing the 5th of the new key before the Ist or as Jerome suggested chromatically smile


"Growing old is not for sissies"

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#8 2012-07-22 08:24:12

janejam
Banned
Registered: 2012-07-18
Posts: 10

Re: Key change

Practice playing a simple song with a G, C, D chord progression. Strum a G chord four times, then a C chord for four strums, then back to G for four strums, then a D chord for four. This is the first half of the song. Order generic viagra

Last edited by janejam (2012-07-28 13:18:01)

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#9 2012-07-23 18:08:31

mc9320
Junior Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2012-07-23
Posts: 14
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Re: Key change

Suddenly playing the 5th chord of the new key is effective.
What you could also try is a pivot chord modulation which is when you have a chord common to both keys, and then play the 5th chord of the new key.

E.g C major to D major

Pivot chord = Em or G (both chords work in both keys)
5th chord of new key = A
New key = D

This can make the key change smoother, if that's what you're after. Sometimes abrupt key changes sound great!


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