Re: Sweet Home Alabama...Key?

Great discussion.  Confessing my genuine lack of credentials I would like to suggest that lead breaks afford the performer a certain amount of poetic license.  Using notes from a different key--or flirting with that idea--can make a lead break far more interesting than being consigned to a single key..  I guess jazz players have taken this idea to the max.  My old friend Keith used to say that use of the major vs minor third could accomplish this with little effort.  AND, some breaks clearly change keys and/or go back and forth.  My simple example is Clapton's "Why Does Love Have to Be So Sad".

Re: Sweet Home Alabama...Key?

There's a recent discussion here, where Ed King chimes in about the key … the-LPF!!!


Re: Sweet Home Alabama...Key?

I have actually had conversation with Ed and he says it's in the Key of G case closed!!

From Ed King himself!!

Hey Ed it's been a while. Hope all is well. I really don't want to bug you but I have had numerous dealings with guys over Sweet Home Alabama and would love to know since you wrote it. Which key you based the song on? Thanks man.

Key of G.
Thanks for your time Ed. Hope all is well.
By the way I had it right. Thanks for clarifying.

D mixolydian I even had guys tell me!! LOL

Scales have nothing to do with it.
I know....People have just had a time trying to wrap their heads around the fact you opened with a
I think it's a brilliantly written tune
Honestly I never ever get tired of playing it
Thanks for that Mr. King

40 (edited by gars64 2018-02-27 14:25:08)

Re: Sweet Home Alabama...Key?

ken wrote:

Here's one for the musicians out there...even Joe.
I was on another forum today, and they have a huge 20  plus page thread/battle going about this song.
The big fight is about what key is this song in...D or G? Apparently, Ed King said the solo came to him in a dream the night before recording it, and he played the whole thing thru in one take. Then the producer (Al Cooper-a schooled musician) wanted him to do it over again, because he said he played it in the wrong key (G instead of D).  The rest of the band looked at him like he was crazy (I think this is one of the iconic solos in rock, almost a song unto itself). Apparently, it drove Al crazy and he even took the song to Mike Bloomfield to get his opinion.

So pretty much, all the theory guys say that the song is in D, and all of the feel, play by ear types (like Ed), say the song is in G.

My main question that came out of this thread is maybe not necessarily what key is the song...but...what does the song resolve to (that may be the same thing?)...G or D.

To me, my ear tells me the song resolves to G, (and I would play Gmaj pent to get that country type sound like Ed).

What are your thoughts?

PS. I've never played this song in any band I've been in, but if I had to play it, I think it would be fun to get it exact.

I'm a play by ear guy that has been self-studying theory for several years now...
I think you're correct on resolving to Gmaj. The overall progression is a reverse I IV V,  where V = D, IV=C, and I = G. This ingeniously simple progression is repeated.  The solo is played in G.

However, for those that insist on D mixo, which has the same notes as Gmaj, could opt for the less known I,vii7, IV progression, but I digress.

Re: Sweet Home Alabama...Key?

I haven't read all the threads but there is a Tim Pierce video (a session guitarist) and he's playing along with the record. Sounds pretty good to these old ears.