Jam Session #33 – “Finding Your Keys”
This week’s Jam Session was all about Keys in music…what they are and how they create harmony in music. I had a lot of “a-ha” moments during this session. I began seeing more of the “big picture” and how Keys are foundational to creating songs that sound good.
I also began to see how this training would go along with what we learned in earlier Jam Sessions about soloing. I can start to put together these various aspects I’ve been learning and start composing my own songs! That’s exciting because I have a good number of song ideas…several sheets of ideas and lyrics that have been just waiting for the day I learn the right things I need to know in order to complete them.
The Circle of Fifths
In the early part of the session, Steve (aka “VOID“) introduced us to the Circle of Fifths. He gave us the link to an online interactive version of this tool. We just got a sampling of what it’s all about and I’m looking forward to the future Jam Sessions (hopefully not too far down the road) where we’ll go more in-depth with this tool. I really want to master it. I can see it would be very useful to know how to put this thing to good use!
For now, Steve told us the main thing he wants us to be aware of is that the Circle of Fifths shows us we have 12 Keys in music. I really like how Steve gives us a little info at a time so as not to overwhelm us.
How to Know What Key A Song Is In
Steve also directed us to an online resource that helps you discover what Key any given song is in. So once you know what Key it’s in, you can figure out the chords used in that song much more easily.
Next, Steve demonstrated how the first 7 Keys can be easily found on the guitar using a fretboard “map”. It was amazing how easy it was to apply this map to the different Keys. Steve cautioned us not to let the simplicity overshadow how powerful this really is.
Weekly Video Challenge
For this week’s video challenge, we were to choose from among several songs Steve would post along with the Key the song (or part of the song) is in. We would then play this section to demonstrate our understanding of how the Keys and the maps are applied to the fretboard.
For my assignment, I chose “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac. Things got funny after that as some of the other Band members razzed me and another guy about our very brief assignment posts…mine was only 6 seconds, lol. But that’s all it really took to demonstrate I understood where the F Key chords were in the chorus of this song. If I get more time this week, I’ll go back and choose a second song from the list and give that one a go as well.
I’m really enjoying these weekly live Jam Sessions and the ability to post our videos for feedback in the Jam Space on Facebook. If you’d like to have the benefit of these in your own training, consider getting a Band membership.