The Dilemma of Changing Key Within a Song

Key changes can save a song that is stuck using the same chords over and over.


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Folk guitarLately, I’ve been getting a ton of email with questions regarding how to properly change key. And since this week is a busy one for me — teaching at a vocal camp all day — I thought that rather than reinvent the wheel, I would simply direct you to a post I did on this topic last year.

It outlines several different ways you can change key within a song. Remember, key changes will more often than not happen as a way to inject a bit of “tonal excitement” to your music, and there are many ways to do that. Changing back and forth between major and minor tonalities is popular, as well as the standard upward modulation by a semitone or whole tone.

So if you’re wondering if a key change might breathe a bit of life into your song, give this article a read first:

7 Tips for Changing Key Within a Song.”

You’ll know if the key change is working for you by what happens if it’s done wrong: you’ll notice an unpleasant “bump” in the music that seems to detract from the general flow of the song.

Done well, key changes can save music that seems to be wallowing, with the same chords over and over again.


Gary EwerWritten by Gary Ewer. Follow on Twitter.

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