Distinguishing the scale of song between major and relative minor

Discussion in 'Tamil Guitar Tabs - Submit or Request' started by rajeshguitar, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. rajeshguitar

    rajeshguitar New Member


    I thought this may be helpful to you.

    In the Yellae Lama example, I was mistaken by referring to the song being in Gmaj scale.
    However, as roentgen pointed out, it is an Em scale song.
    Both Gmaj and Em are relatives, i.e. Em is the relative minor of Gmaj.
    I just played the notes on the guitar and concluded it is a major scale (with one sharp - F#).
    The below link explains the distinction, incidentally, with the same two keys - Gmaj & Em


    Keys and Chords for Guitar

    Excerpt from the website.

    Every major key has a relative minor. The relative minor has the same sharps or flats as its major. Count up six from the major key to find the minor. The relative minor of C major is A minor. The relative minor of F major is D minor. The relative minor of G major is E minor. Look at the vi column in the table.

    Someone might mistakenly say a song is in the key of G when it is actually in the key of Em. The key signatures are the same and the banjo might be in G tuning. If a song is in E minor the first chord will be Em, not G. The next chord will probably be D or one of the others in that key (the relative major).


    As I was reading this, I was reminded about a useful post by roentgen, which talks about this -


  2. thamboo

    thamboo Member

    The relative major-minor theory opens up a new window for beginners, learning the music theory will be of great advantage when we reach the songwriting stage, I opine that it would be good for beginners to learn music theory along with everyday practise; learn about whatever one come across, learning & memorizing pentatonic notes for each scale would be a lot helpful when one steps on soloing, The Beatles songs are the one with which I started and it was a great learning experience to progress from a 3 chord song to the ones with 4 different progressions, I always feared to touch Raja's song owing to the intricacies & poor availability of chords in internet, now I see good Raja's song chords in IGT and that too they are close to the original
  3. rajeshguitar

    rajeshguitar New Member

    Thanks for the insight. Any specific books/resources that you would recommend to learn the music theory, specifically the scales?
  4. thamboo

    thamboo Member

    I tried to upload but of no avail, gimme your mail ID, I will mail it to you
  5. Keoraf

    Keoraf Keyboard Player

    If a song is in E minor the first chord will be Em, not G!!!???
    This is certainly not true, if you would say probably, then yes this might be true!
  6. thamboo

    thamboo Member

    A song which begins with chords Dm-C-F-G is also in C Major Scale though it doesn't begin with C Major Chord, it is not in Dm Scale as only Gm is available in Dm Scale not G Major
  7. Keoraf

    Keoraf Keyboard Player

    This isn't true either, ofcourse it can be the C major scale. It isn't necessary that all the chords of a partcilarly scale should be involved or even be used. A nice example is Pukarata Chala Hoon Main, this song is in the Cm scale. The G major chord doesn't exist in this scale, but it is played!!! And it is very dangerous to say, because of these chords it is this scale. Not at all, to determine the scale you just have to listen which chord is the best. There are no rules to determine the scale, but there some things as, mostly the first chord is the scale, some people do believe the last chord is the root chord of the scale, but these things are just mostly and certianly not a rule. Of course, if you know that the chords used are "Dm-C-F-G", you then can think about what scale it should be, playing along with the song wil give you a feeling about the root chord as you will be able to say, it is the Dm or the C major or the G major or whatever!
    It is true that the first chord in a song could be an indication of the scale of this song, but this isn't a rule. There are lots of songs starting with another chord as the root chord.
  8. thamboo

    thamboo Member

    it was just an example said on how to pick key, let me give my own examples where chords out of key have been used
    1. "I Should Have Known Better" - The Beatles - (Song Key - G Major) but Lennon used B7 instead of a Bm
    2. "Take Me Home Country Roads" - John Denver - (Song Key - A Major) but John Denver used an G Major in the bridge
    3. "A Hard Day's Night" - The Beatles - (Song Key - G Major) but Lennon used F Major
    .........I can just write one after the other

    The point was to make one understand on how to read a song's key

    Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is a song in C Major where the whole song sticks to 5 Chords in C Major scale(C, Am, F, G, Em)

    Songs have been written in multiple keys, The Beatles "If I Fell" is a sample where the intro is in a descending pattern from Ebm,D,Db,Bbm - Ebm,D,Em,A7 and the rest of the song sticks to D Major scale(again only majorly as it contains a Gm)

    These are ways to get rid of monotony
  9. Keoraf

    Keoraf Keyboard Player

    But that's the issue, you can't read the key just by seeing the chords. Ofcourse you can say, it might be that scale, but to be sure you just have to play the chords and listen carefully to decide which chord is the root chord. And if someone is saying, the first chord is the scale of the song, that's not true man. It's mostly true but certainly not for ever, there is no rule about determining the scale of a song!
  10. thamboo

    thamboo Member

    I think I have to reiterate, seeing the chords of the song is one way of determining the key, "as long as it sounds good what would be the problem in using it", placing a specific chord at a place in a song is left to the songwriter as he has the liberty to use what ever chord he wants as long as it sounds good
    I need to gain more knowledge about songwriting based on classical ragas, I know that it will take years but still worth the time spent on it I believe
  11. Keoraf

    Keoraf Keyboard Player

    Oke, that is true, it is a way to determine the key.
    And about the ragas, i wish you good luck with your study!
  12. thamboo

    thamboo Member

  13. rajeshguitar

    rajeshguitar New Member

    Keoraf & Thamboo,
    Thanks for the healthy discussion.
    It helps newbies like to understand and analyse more.
    In my specific case, the chords were
    either of Gmaj scale or Em.
    Possibly, shouldn't have generalized the findings based on
    What I read on websites.
    I believe roentgen's post addresses this, cautions about generalizations.

    Thank you,
  14. thamboo

    thamboo Member

    Building a strong musical ear to pick notes will take time and we can make sure of it by tuning your guitar by ear, many would have seen their guitar tutors tuning the instrument by ear, we would get it out of experience and diligence, still a long way to go for me

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