Topic: Key of "B"

Tryin' to work up Randy Travis' song - Pray for the fish - and need some help with the chords. (look up the song in "song" to see chord progression). I've checked several places and everywhere has the same chord structure. In a normal 1 - 4 - 5 progression the chords would be
B       E       F#.

Everywhere I've looked has the progression shown as  B     A      E      A       E       B........... The chorus and tag is the only place a F# chord shows up.

What I am having problems with is the A chord as bit is shown. Is this just an "off" chord?. By my thinking this should be a Bbdim chord. (Correct?) After I learn the song per the CD, which from what I am hearing is in the key of B, I am going to have to transpose the chords to either the Key of G or A to match my wife's voice range.  We're hoping to be able to do this song at our next group "pickin' n grinnin'" session in 2 weeks. Thanks for any advice.


Re: Key of "B"

If it's in B, you should be playing a I IV V progression as B, E, F#.   A major would be "outside" the progression.   

A chord progression of B A E A E B would more likely be in E major.

Someday we'll win this thing...


Re: Key of "B"

That's my thinking, as well. If played in the key of E the the chord shown as F# would then be a F#m chord since it would be a ll chord. Or am I just thinking too much?


Re: Key of "B"

that's a good song! good luck with it

Without music life would be a journey through a desert.

I Cor 14:15

Re: Key of "B"

Ok, I've been playing this song all afternoon and to my tired old ears it sounds correct to the Randy Trsvis version on You Tube. During Randy's proformance of this song he is mainly holding his guitar while making repeated trips to a Dixie Cup located behind him, on stage. Since he does very little playing on this video I cannot see the chords he is playing. In listening to the band I hear the chords as;


For me I get a more correct sound by capoing the 2nd fret and playing A....G..D................. which is still in the key of B.

I know this chord progression is outside the norm BUT that's how I hear the song and when I go to different sites to view the song they show this chord progression. Could this be an exception to the 1 - 4 - 5 - 7 rule (the 7 being an F#dim)

Any way - does anyone else have any comments about this song? JJ do you play this song? If so, what key and chords do you play?

Could someone with better ears than be listen to this song and offer any comments?


Re: Key of "B"

It's a 1 4 5 in e that starts on the 5.

You dont always have to start on the 1.  Can't you see is 5 4 1. So is magic carpet ride.

Re: Key of "B"

BGD, I can understand that. But then the song ends on the iv chord, which is strange. Also, the song - based upon every site I have site I have went too for the lyrics show a F# chord. This would thne be a lll chord and be played as a minor (correct) I cannot hear a minor chord in this song - so would this just be an "off" chord?

I can play this song (rythem) and it sounds correct to me with the CD. Just don't quite know how to explain it to the other players in our group so they can follow along.


8 (edited by Astronomikal 2012-06-28 22:16:05)

Re: Key of "B"


I kinda suck at this, but here's my two cents.

I assume this is the video you are referring to:

In my view this song is played in the key of B.

I think you have the B-A-E progression in the verses right.  What's throwing you is that it's not a 1-4-5, it's a 1-b7-4.  Other songs which use this progression (or slight variations of it) are "No Rain" by Blind Melon and "Seven Bridges Road" by the Eagles.  And thousands more I'm sure.

The F# (or it's possibly an F#7 - doesn't matter really) is used to resolve back to the B, which is the giveaway for me that it's in B.

Anyway, that's my contribution.


PS:  Good song.  I hadn't heard it before.

PPS:  One more thing, in your post to BGD immediately above you say the song ends on the iv.  I don't hear that.  In the video, the song ends at 2:56 and then another song follows in the video.  I hear a B at the end of "Pray For the Fish" at 2:56.

"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

Re: Key of "B"

You can also think of it as being in b w a flatted 7th scale tone aka b mixolydian

Re: Key of "B"

Well, the best I can tell is with my old ears is thst the song is in the Key of E but starts and ends with a B chord. That how i'm playing it anyway.