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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Song played in what key..
Song played in what key..
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121 posts
Jan 26, 2021
9:22 AM
Hey all. Been awhile since I last stepped in. Just something interesting for anyone who is wondering what key a song you'd hear on a radio station, or on a CD, vinyl record, streaming music, etc is being played in. On your mobile device (I've got an Android), in the Google play store, there's a free app to download. It's called Song Key Finder. Just download the app, and open it when you hear a song. It'll tell you what key(s) a song is being played in. It's a great app and pretty reliable. And a lifesaver for me as I also play chromatics as well as bass guitar (which is a definite must to know). Even indispensable for acoustic & electric guitar players.

Last Edited by hot4blues on Jan 26, 2021 9:26 AM
665 posts
Jan 28, 2021
12:46 PM
Thanks Im gonna get it---hen Im at home like u I just grab my guitar---in yr case bass

Is it like shazamm? could I have it listen to Xm bluesville or pandora and do it that way? Through my phone mic??

Gonna chk it out
John M G
414 posts
Jan 28, 2021
3:43 PM
I've just downloaded it, there also appears to be a PC web page where you download the music file to get the key
Seems to work just fine, you drag and drop the mp3 file and it amaryllises it for a few seconds and comes up with a key.
Here's the link; https://getsongkey.com/tools/key-finder

Thanks for the heads up ;-)
2228 posts
Jan 29, 2021
7:33 AM
Sounds like cool software simplifying song key identification, but...

I look back and really value the many, many times I was frustrated and struggled to identify the key of a song, trying several different harps playing in different modes & positions to try to find the key of the song and the optimal fit of harp key and position to the song.

I learned a lot from the repeated struggles including key identification, modes & positions, etc.

If I had used an app, would I have learned what I learned?

Different strokes!

Doug S.
111 posts
Jan 29, 2021
7:49 AM
Hey Doug, you ever try my method "Hey what F'en key ?"
2229 posts
Jan 29, 2021
9:09 AM
When sitting in with a band or playing sideman at a jam, sure, I asked for the key if it wasn't easy to figure out.

For recorded music I did as described in my post above.

Another skill I worked on developing for live music sitting in was reading chords off the rhythm guitar neck. It is a helpful skill if the chords aren't too extended and the guitar is not tuned down or in a different tuning.

In one band I played in there was no set list and the guitarist lead singer changed the key of many songs at each gig, so a keeping a song list did not help. The bass player in that band would flash me sharps and flats of the key for each song using a number of fingers up or down (sharps or flats). That became handy, and at jams I would do the same for other players across the stage. The circle of fifths is your friend!

When capos are used, counting the frets quickly to analyze the chords and song key can get tricky. Also, I learned that the key that was called for a song was not always correct. Sometimes the capo was off one from the key that was called.

Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Jan 29, 2021 9:11 AM
196 posts
Feb 08, 2021
1:56 PM
I'm not an app guy, so I've been trying to train the ear for perfect pitch since I was not born with it. Doug is right when he says that the circle of fifths is your friend. Nate has commented in the past that he uses it to find the key and so have I. Once while playing with a band E major was called and it only took a couple of seconds to realize that he meant E minor.

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