View Full Version : What key is this song in?

May-14-2017, 6:31pm
Trying to learn this song. Hank Williams did in G. I'm trying to learn by ear. I think it's in the key of F. Pretty sure I'm hearing F and Bflat but is there a C in there as well...thx


Warren H
May-14-2017, 8:40pm
Key of F. Listen to the first verse. There's a C chord on the word "sad."

May-14-2017, 9:14pm
Thank you sir...just wanted to make sure I was on the right track.

Willie Poole
May-15-2017, 10:41am
Why worry about what key someone else plays a song in, it can be played in any key that fits your voice or your ability to play it on the mandolin in which ever key suits your skills...I have seen far too many bands that want to copy songs that someone else does and do them in the same key and they strain their vocal chords to get there.....


May-15-2017, 3:48pm
Agree with Willie, sing the song in the key that suits your voice, that is what has limits that can't safely be breached. The mandolin can be played in any key. True, some keys may be easier to play than others but that is what practice is for.

May-15-2017, 5:01pm
Yes, but to transpose it helps to know where you're starting from. Before distributing any lead sheets to our youth band members I work out the best key for our singers. Sometimes only minor changes are necessary, but I've cut out a couple of great songs because we couldn't get them to work without either putting a capo on guitar way up the neck or using too many barre chords for the kids to keep up with and play cleanly.

Also, sometimes it's just fun to play along with your favorite recordings ;)!

Warren H
May-15-2017, 9:09pm
Maybe I take too much for granted, but playing the chords to a three chord song in one key usually means you can play it in any key. To find the right key for me to sing, I just keep moving it up until the tenor singer can't cut it anymore. Then drop it a fret or two and there you go.

May-15-2017, 11:07pm
Finding the key of a song comes easy to some and very hard for others, you say you learn by ear , do you know the note on the neck and chords , if so listening to the song while playing with it should get you there , if you think it's in what ever play in that key with the song you should be able to tell, now alot of the same note are in every key, take your time trust your ear.

May-17-2017, 12:52am
Usually the key of the song or tune is the note it ends on, not where it starts. This is not 100%, but nearly.

May-18-2017, 3:33pm
Over the years I have found that the key I play in really doesn't matter - because I only sing in one key . . . the wrong one!