Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Resonator Guitar Lovers Online

Sep 26, 2022 - 11:37:31 AM
likes this
2477 posts since 8/3/2008

Just a gentle correction that your guitar is using a tuning, not a key.

I swiped the following from Deering's website with a tad from me in parenthesis :

Key - a system of tones and harmonies generated from a hierarchical scale of seven tones based on a tonic (ex. the key of G major)

Tuning - the process of adjusting the pitch of one or many tones (with strings) from musical instruments to establish typical intervals between these tones. (ex. a G major chord)

Carry on!


Sep 26, 2022 - 2:41:57 PM



1457 posts since 9/28/2010

In rural Virginia my kinfolk use "chord" instead of "key", e.g. "B chord".

Sep 27, 2022 - 8:39:33 AM

235 posts since 1/3/2011

wlgiii wrote

In rural Virginia my kinfolk use "chord" instead of "key", e.g. "B chord".

Ain't it the truth. Here in Western North Carolina just about every jam I've attended or participate on a regular basis, the "key" is announced as a "chord". It made me crazy for a while, but I learned to shrug it off. This area is a hot seat  of "Hillbilly Music", and  there are many things that are met blank stares... any mention of formal music notation or theory being high on the list.  For example, Howard's post above might as well be "Oedipus Rex" in original Greek.

Don't get me wrong... most of these players are as good as or better than anyone in the business. They've been playing for years, learning the music from their elders, passing it down to sons and daughters. It's "three chords and the truth".... and Juilliard be damned.

Oct 7, 2022 - 2:22:59 PM

4565 posts since 7/27/2008

I haven't gotten out to many jams in recent years, and when I have they aren't usually structured bluegrass jams where the majority know the "protocol."

They have been more along the lines of acoustic 15 bean soup where almost anything goes. A little bluegrass and folk, Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Eagles and the occasional jazz standard by guitar players that know a lot of chords. Not to mention originals where I initially don't have a clue but at some point in the song I'll pick up the gist. 

I wish some of the people whose turn it is to call out a song would at minimum refer to the key as "the chord," instead of just plowing into the song and not saying anything about it.

When it has been my turn I have very deliberately announced the key like a driver training instructor telling the teenager behind the wheel to "put on your right turn signal now."

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 10/07/2022 14:29:00

Jan 5, 2023 - 7:50:59 PM

416 posts since 9/9/2016

I would embarrass myself when I would have to reply : " I dunno . I learned it all by single note lead , I never played it by the chords ."

Jan 6, 2023 - 1:10:17 AM

53 posts since 8/31/2009

A little bit of very simple music theory can help a lot in disentangling keys. I joined a band about a dozen years ago as a bass player, and establishing the keys for each song was initially a puzzle based on what I was told by the two band members who had been playing together for a few years.

"This one's in G" - no it's not, you've got a capo on the second fret.
"This one's in A" - no it's not, it's starting on the V chord, its in D.

We got there and I'm still playing with them, I like to think I've imparted a little bit of useful music theory to them :-).

Jan 6, 2023 - 7:39:05 AM



1457 posts since 9/28/2010

There is one more option. A couple of years ago a jam gathering (multiple circles) one guy hogged the circle and kept calling song after song in the same key each time; and pretty much the same chord progressions. Not hard to follow, but hard to enjoy.

Jan 6, 2023 - 9:07:30 AM
Players Union Member



803 posts since 9/2/2008

How about this approach for calling out the key?

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories