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Joseph Jacobs


I'm not much of a lead guitarist, so I don't do a lot of lead licks per se. Anyway, I do have a boat load of lick books from the past. Can anyone enlighten me as how does one knows what key the lick is in. The books never say. There has got to be a simple method of telling just what key the lick is in...right? I'm looking for a simple way: like what note the lick resolves on or something? Help please.

Posted 1 year ago by Joseph Jacobs - 2 replies

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Not easy if you are unfamiliar with scales. But I get the impression you are very familiar. All I do is read the notes, noting the sharp, and flats. When I compose a piece, I start in a scale and try to stay there. But as music goes, I will substitute a chord, or note (and mark it with a sharp or flat) that sounds perfect.
If the piece has an F# note and no other notes are sharp or flat, that is a G scale.
I the F, C, & G notes are sharp, guess what scale that is? (A Scale) Get the idea.
These pieces of music are normally in the C Scale, where the author just added the sharps or flats to the notes as needed by the pieces.
I love to play in the C# major. Such a sweet sounding scale.
Cheers, Jimmy

Reply posted 1 year ago by Jim Lair

Well, would not know for sure...

First of all, are you talking about scales or tabs ?

Scales would help identify the key by the number of «b» or «#» at their beginning since each scale has its own signature.

Be it scales or tabs, if you compare the licks to pentatonics, it could help.

Another factor is modal music : MODE is a way to play a scale that put some fog on them, particularly in Jazz, but even in rock. Playing modal music is playing scales but starting on another note than the first one !

Reply posted 1 year ago by Marc Mony

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