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Keys, chords and scales

Keys, chords and scales

Sometimes composing a melody with Sonic Pi can be tricky, if you don’t immediately know what 62 or :c3 sounds like. To help with that, here’s a browser keyboard for trying out your ideas. If you want, you can select a scale from the drop menu to see what keys might sound nice in a certain key.

Select scale:
Range [C3-B5]
(Use left/right arrows to adjust with keyboard)

Audio Synthesizer, created by Keith William Horwood

What chords and notes to play?

Obviously you can play whatever notes and chords you like to. There’s no right or wrong. Music doesn’t have to sound harmonic and some dissonance or noise belongs to a track as much as the artist wants it to belong. However there’s some rules you can try out if you wish.

If your composition is in a certain key, let’s say C major for an example, you have certain chords that probably sound nice on the track. Here’s a table with some jazzy chords that should play along with each other quite nicely. If you want you can look more in to chord progressions here: lotusmusic.com/chord-progression-map.html

Common chord progressions in major I - IV - V I - VI - IV - V II - V - I
Major key I II III IV V VI
C chord(:C, :major7) chord(:D, :minor7) chord(:E, :minor7) chord(:F, :major7) chord(:G, "7") chord(:A, :minor7)
Db chord(:Db, :major7) chord(:Eb, :minor7) chord(:F, :minor7) chord(:Gb, :major7) chord(:Ab, "7") chord(:Bb, :minor7)
D chord(:D, :major7) chord(:E, :minor7) chord(:Gb, :minor7) chord(:G, :major7) chord(:A, "7") chord(:B, :minor7)
Eb chord(:Eb, :major7) chord(:F, :minor7) chord(:G, :minor7) chord(:Ab, :major7) chord(:Bb, "7") chord(:C, :minor7)
E chord(:E, :major7) chord(:Gb, :minor7) chord(:Ab, :minor7) chord(:A, :major7) chord(:B, "7") chord(:Db, :minor7)
F chord(:F, :major7) chord(:G, :minor7) chord(:A, :minor7) chord(:Bb, :major7) chord(:C, "7") chord(:D, :minor7)
Gb chord(:Gb, :major7) chord(:Ab, :minor7) chord(:Bb, :minor7) chord(:Cb, :major7) chord(:Db, "7") chord(:Eb, :minor7)
G chord(:G, :major7) chord(:A, :minor7) chord(:B, :minor7) chord(:C, :major7) chord(:D, "7") chord(:E, :minor7)
Ab chord(:Ab, :major7) chord(:Bb, :minor7) chord(:C, :minor7) chord(:Db, :major7) chord(:Eb, "7") chord(:F, :minor7)
A chord(:A, :major7) chord(:B, :minor7) chord(:Db, :minor7) chord(:D, :major7) chord(:E, "7") chord(:Gb, :minor7)
Bb chord(:Bb, :major7) chord(:C, :minor7) chord(:D, :minor7) chord(:Eb, :major7) chord(:F, "7") chord(:G, :minor7)
B chord(:B, :major7) chord(:Db, :minor7) chord(:Eb, :minor7) chord(:E, :major7) chord(:Gb, "7") chord(:Ab, :minor7)
Common chord progressions in natural minor I - VI - VII I - IV - VII I - IV - V I - VI - III - VII II - V - I
Minor key I II III IV V VI VII
Cm chord(:C, :minor7) chord(:D, "m7-5") chord(:Eb, :major7) chord(:F, :minor7) chord(:G, :minor7) chord(:Ab, :major7) chord(:Bb, "7")
Ddm chord(:Dd, :minor7) chord(:Eb, "m7-5") chord(:E, :major7) chord(:Gb, :minor7) chord(:Ab, :minor7) chord(:A, :major7) chord(:B, "7")
Dm chord(:D, :minor7) chord(:E, "m7-5") chord(:F, :major7) chord(:G, :minor7) chord(:A, :minor7) chord(:Bb, :major7) chord(:C, "7")
Ebm chord(:Eb, :minor7) chord(:F, "m7-5") chord(:Gb, :major7) chord(:Ab, :minor7) chord(:Bb, :minor7) chord(:B, :major7) chord(:Db, "7")
Em chord(:E, :minor7) chord(:Gb, "m7-5") chord(:G, :major7) chord(:A, :minor7) chord(:B, :minor7) chord(:C, :major7) chord(:D, "7")
Fm chord(:F, :minor7) chord(:G, "m7-5") chord(:Ab, :major7) chord(:Bb, :minor7) chord(:C, :minor7) chord(:Db, :major7) chord(:Eb, "7")
Gbm chord(:Gb, :minor7) chord(:Ab, "m7-5") chord(:A, :major7) chord(:B, :minor7) chord(:Db, :minor7) chord(:D, :major7) chord(:E, "7")
Gm chord(:G, :minor7) chord(:A, "m7-5") chord(:Bb, :major7) chord(:C, :minor7) chord(:D, :minor7) chord(:Eb, :major7) chord(:F, "7")
Abm chord(:Ab, :minor7) chord(:Bb, "m7-5") chord(:B, :major7) chord(:Db, :minor7) chord(:Eb, :minor7) chord(:E, :major7) chord(:Gb, "7")
Am chord(:A, :minor7) chord(:B, "m7-5") chord(:C, :major7) chord(:D, :minor7) chord(:E, :minor7) chord(:F, :major7) chord(:G, "7")
Bbm chord(:Bb, :minor7) chord(:C, "m7-5") chord(:Db, :major7) chord(:Eb, :minor7) chord(:F, :minor7) chord(:Gb, :major7) chord(:Ab, "7")
Bm chord(:B, :minor7) chord(:Db, "m7-5") chord(:D, :major7) chord(:E, :minor7) chord(:Gb, :minor7) chord(:G, :major7) chord(:A, "7")