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Hey up all. A quick intro: not been around or had any time at the piano for around 6yrs. Wanting to take it bk up again, as I do miss it. I'm self-taught and can pretty much just play a few songs either by ear or learning/memoriesing sheet music, measure by measure. ...anyways, I'd been previously advised that learning scales should really be a priority, which I did half heartedly, but soon gave up/got bored and continued to carry on learning song to song.

This time 'round I thought I'd start there first. I had the idea that maybe I could learn the scales maybe in an order that would make more sense to me.

E.g I've picked a pop song, Coldplay - Creep. Chords, G, B, C, Cm

In my mind I thought I could play the scale of G, B, C, Cm in that order, maybe with the bass note of each. Does that even make sense? Then it made me question key signatures. If the song is in G, then what happens when you move to B and there's heaps more sharps to B major. My mind has just gone bamboozled.

I almost created a fake account to post this question in fear Im being absolutely ridiculous 🀣

Kind regards to all.

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Hi Wayne, welcome back.

The scale of G, would give you a clue as to what chords you are most likely to encounter when playing in this key. But, there are others you may encounter too.

If the key changes, either by way of modulation, or actually changes in the key signature, then a new 2nd scale would apply. Otherwise, the scale does not change with every chord, even if those chords are not native to the scale, as B and Cm are not are not native chords to the scale of G.

That's what I think.

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I'm not sure I understood your questions correctly. You want to practice playing those four scales G, B, C, Cm one by one in a row so that would remind you of that song? It's absolutely ok to do it. Arpeggios are often practiced like that to make practice more enjoyable.

A song does not change its key signature with every new chord, but you will certainly need to change the key signature mentally before playing every new scale if you want to practice like that. So yes, be prepared for 5 sharps in B major. It's a very easy scale technically though.

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Last edited by scirocco; 10/27/21 06:33 PM.

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Wayne, it makes sense to me because last year my teacher gave me some jazz exercise. I played the chord progression of autumn leave in my left hand and my right played the arpeggio of the chord and so on for each chord. If you move from chord G to B, you will see a few accidentals notes in the melody. You can ask that question in the non-classical forum also.



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Ok I checked the sheet music and on the third measure the melody goes to a D# so you can't play a G chord because the note D will clash with the D# so they choose a B chord to harmonize with the melody.



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Originally Posted by wayne33yrs
Then it made me question key signatures. If the song is in G, then what happens when you move to B and there's heaps more sharps to B major.

Yes?
You play them?
Like you play one that are not sharps or flats. The same way, with your fingers?

Why are you questioning key signatures?
What exactly is the question you're trying to ask?

The key signature is a framework or a class or a template for how keys in that signature are raised and lowered consistent to that key. That's all.
It's like a pattern you apply, and stick to, unless a note(s) doesn't follow that pattern, which you know when you see an accidental.

A piece is typically written in a key because the composer chose that key for it's sound / color / feel / whatever. You should play it in that key.
You can also transpose from any key, to any other key if you prefer a key. But why would you prefer a specific key? Why are more sharps different than no sharps?

I can see why you gave up previously.
If you're having difficulty understanding what a key signature is, or why it is, or dealing with it, then I'd suggest you start learning piano from the beginning, like a beginner, as opposed to try and apply arbitrary keys and chords to a random song. All you're going to do is confuse yourself more and more, and then give up. Again.

But it is likely that I simply don't understand what you're asking or saying.

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Originally Posted by wayne33yrs
In my mind I thought I could play the scale of G, B, C, Cm in that order, maybe with the bass note of each. Does that even make sense? Then it made me question key signatures. If the song is in G, then what happens when you move to B and there's heaps more sharps to B major.

I don’t think that would help you much. As you’ve noticed, the key of B has all those extra sharps, so it’t going to sound nothing like a song that’s in G. So if you’re doing it within the context of the song as opposed to a random exercise it’s not going to achieve much.

Just because a song has any given chord in it doesn’t automatically mean you could play the whole scale of the root of that chord and have it work to sound good in the context of the song. They’re two separate things.


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Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
...
I can see why you gave up previously.
If you're having difficulty understanding what a key signature is, or why it is, or dealing with it, then I'd suggest you start learning piano from the beginning, like a beginner, as opposed to try and apply arbitrary keys and chords to a random song. All you're going to do is confuse yourself more and more, and then give up. Again...

Or, you could come here, ask the question and then be on your way again.

This sounds a bit harsh to me. When I first came to this forum, Wayne was teaching me a thing or two about theory.

It seems like a reasonable question to me and the very sort of thing I was not clear about when I started up here, after having 30 or so years of playing experience, I still didn't know squat about scales.

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Three pieces of Music are, melody (backbone or lyrics), harmony (chord progression], meter (rhythm).
The key is the tonic center. Not the first note of the song, but resolves to it. Most of the time, the last note is the key. The melody is in there. It may not be in one octave, but it's in there.
Harmony and chord theory is another discussion completely. As is meter. It is confusing because, if one wishes to sing and play, one typically will be playing chords. Like I said, deriving chords to fit a melody could be done for you, or with enough experience in chord theory construct them yourself. Best of Luck.


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@Wayne ... to answer your question directly ... If in 'C' you have all of the notes in that major scale even if you change chord within a song.
There are exceptions just like a added chords/harmonies to structures but as a rule you stay within the signature scale.

There are of course different scales that one can use for any given key. Some mis out notes (Pentatonic)and others include (Blues)more (some others include accidentals) Also there are different starting positions of any key (model) Oh don't forget that you might see melodies hitting the relative minor key played (like key of C major, Am relative). But most are flowering and embellishments to allow for more complex sounds to fool the audience that we players are better than we actually are.

There are thousands of examples but this should assist you in keeping your mind clear.

Hope this helps you

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Hi, Wayne, it's great to see you again!

The song isn't changing scales with every chord change. In this particular one, Creep by Radiohead not Coldplay, the song is adding the flattened sixth to change it up a bit and create a different mood in the usual I-iii-IV-V turnaround, the most common chord progression in rock.

The usual chord progression would be G-Bm-C-D. Here, in the iii chord the Eb becomes the enharmonic D# and the chord becomes B Major.
Compare the chorus in "Waiting for an Alibi" (G-B-C-D).

Now we change the last chord by adding the flattened sixth again to the repeated third chord, so C Major moves to C Minor instead of going to the dominant, D Major.

Compare the verse in "Sittin' On the Dock of a Bay" (G-B-C-A) where it changes to the dominant of the dominant or the verse of "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" (G-B-Cm-D) where the dominant is still in place but the flattened sixth is used in the third chord.

So, it's basically G Major, one sharp, F#, but with the minor sixth, Eb, being thrown in here and there for colour, which is a commonly added note in blues.


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Originally Posted by Greener
Hi Wayne, welcome back.

.... the scale does not change with every chord, even if those chords are not native to the scale, as B and Cm are not are not native chords to the scale of G.

That's what I think.

Hey up Greener, nice to see you're around. Hope you're well 😊 Thanks for the reply. ...n lol at your second comment, maybe the forum header 'Adult beginner' went unnoticed πŸ˜†

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I'm not sure I understood your questions correctly. You want to practice playing those four scales G, B, C, Cm one by one in a row so that would remind you of that song? It's absolutely ok......

A song does not change its key signature with every new chord, but you will certainly need to change the key signature mentally before playing every new scale if you want to practice like that. So yes, be prepared for 5 sharps in B major. It's a very easy scale technically though.

That's exactly right, well until the confusion kicked in 🀣


Originally Posted by Serge88
Ok I checked the sheet music and on the third measure the melody goes to a D# so you can't play a G chord because the note D will clash with the D# so they choose a B chord to harmonize with the melody.

Thanks for looking into it specifically Serge88


Originally Posted by JohnnyIssieBangie
....

Why are you questioning key signatures?.....

I guess 'cos the questions popped in my mind 😝


Originally Posted by scirocco
Just because a song has any given chord in it doesn’t automatically mean you could play the whole scale of the root of that chord and have it work to sound good in the context of the song. They’re two separate things.

Thank you. Most helpful 😘

Originally Posted by Farmerjones
.....Best of Luck.

Originally Posted by Killomiter
Hope this helps you

Andy

Thanks to you both for the replies.

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Bump - in case you missed my reply in the cross post, Wayne.


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Hey up Richard, lovely to see you! Hope all's well.

Thanks for explaining what's going on in this example (lolling at myself getting the band name wrong, god knows how Serge88 found the sheet music 🀣) I'll take a look at the examples you've suggested for comparison, cheers.

It's probably gonna take a short while to get my brain bk into gear at the piano, but I've really missed it and hope I can dedicate a bit of time to pick it back up.

Also missed the shenanigans 'round here πŸ˜‰

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The best approach is to treat each chord more or less autonomously so you'll need to use scales that are close to the chord names, i.e. G then B, then C then Cm. However, playing through this sequence I found I was able to take considerable liberties, modifying the scales in those middle two chords, B and C major.

As far as possible use your ears to judge what 'works' - a harmonic analysis is usually an inadequate guide.


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