• # The “What Key Am I In” Game 7

Welcome to another edition of “What Key Am I In?”

If you haven’t seen my past ones, click here to check them out.

Ok… here we go:

What minor key am I in if I have these chords:

F major
Bb major
C major

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Explanation:

D is the relative minor of F major, so had you used these clues to figure out the “major” side of things (which would have been “F” had I asked for the major key), then the minor key would be a piece of cake.

Why? Because relative major and minor keys share the same key signature, scale tones, and chords.

So if you take the chords associated with the F major scale and simply “shift” them over so that “D” starts and ends the series of chords, you’re good to go! It’s that simple.

1st tone – F major (F A C)
2nd tone – G minor (G Bb D)
3rd tone – A minor (A C E)
4th tone – Bb major (Bb D F)
5th tone – C major (C E G)
6th tone – D minor (D F A)
7th tone – E diminished (E G Bb)
1st tone – F major (F A C)
2nd tone – G minor (G Bb D)
3rd tone – A minor (A C E)
4th tone – Bb major (Bb D F)
5th tone – C major (C E G)
6th tone – D minor (D F A)

7th tone – E diminished (E G Bb)

See the chords I’ve bold? Those are the same exact chords but instead of thinking of them in terms of “F major” (that is, with “F” as the starting and ending tone), I’ve emphasized them so that you can see how it works when you’re looking at the relative minor of the key. Same notes, same chords — DIFFERENT reference points… starting and ending notes. That’s it.

So when someone asks you to play in a minor key, if you know how to play in the relative major key, you should be fine!

(Oh, and just in case… you find the relative minor of any major key by going to the 6th tone. “D” is the 6th tone of “F major.” If you’re in a minor key and want to find the relative major, just go to the third tone of the minor scale. “F” is the 3rd tone of “D minor.” So that’s how all this works).

Here are all the relative major/minor relationships:

Relative Major / Relative Minor

C major / A minor
Db major / Bb minor
D major / B minor
Eb major / C minor
E major / C# minor
F major / D minor
F# major / D# minor
G major / E minor
Ab major / F minor
A major / F# minor
Bb major / G minor
B major / G# minor

I hope this helps.

Until next time —

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#### Jermaine Griggs

Founder at HearandPlay.com
Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

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