independent and unofficial
Prince fan community
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > P's favorite keys on piano?
« Previous topic  Next topic »
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 12/21/19 8:03am

dm3857

P's favorite keys on piano?

me and a buddy of mine were listening to Piano & Mic 83 the other night trying to figure out the keys he gravited to most. He seems to like G alot (atleast from what were able to pick out) i know there was a thread a while back about keys of recorded songs, but i was wondering if anyone else listened to his solo piano playing and done this? & if so maybe shed some light on what you're hearing also?

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 12/22/19 12:07pm

Dandroppedadim
e

The black ones?
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 12/22/19 7:13pm

coldasice

Dandroppedadime said:

The black ones?

You beat me to it! Lol
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 12/28/19 4:06am

drfeld

dm3857 said:

me and a buddy of mine were listening to Piano & Mic 83 the other night trying to figure out the keys he gravited to most. He seems to like G alot (atleast from what were able to pick out) i know there was a thread a while back about keys of recorded songs, but i was wondering if anyone else listened to his solo piano playing and done this? & if so maybe shed some light on what you're hearing also?

Legit question. I've been toying with the idea of analyzing the keys used throughout his catalog. (Has anyone already done this?)

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 12/28/19 8:22am

RodeoSchro

He played the songs in whatever key he'd recorded them in originally. I've not found any instances of him changing the key of a song on his last Piano and a Microphone tour, but if I'm wrong then let me know.

That said, it's well-known that D minor is the saddest of all keys.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 12/28/19 8:25am

RodeoSchro

drfeld said:

dm3857 said:

me and a buddy of mine were listening to Piano & Mic 83 the other night trying to figure out the keys he gravited to most. He seems to like G alot (atleast from what were able to pick out) i know there was a thread a while back about keys of recorded songs, but i was wondering if anyone else listened to his solo piano playing and done this? & if so maybe shed some light on what you're hearing also?

Legit question. I've been toying with the idea of analyzing the keys used throughout his catalog. (Has anyone already done this?)



Once, about 20 years ago, someone did compile a list of all the major and minor keys, with a Prince song for each key. IIRC, Prince had recorded at least one song in each of the what? 24 keys or so?

I wish I had that list but I don't.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 12/28/19 9:06pm

TrcikyChristop
her

b-flat

2...3...4...

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 01/03/20 7:59am

peppeken

minor G is the chord of pleasure....it will be played 11 measures

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 01/03/20 9:24am

OBX

It sounds like the songs on P&M83 are in the following keys:

17 Days Gm (same as studio version)

Purple Rain Bb (same as studio version)

A Case Of You D (Joni Mitchell version in Db)

Mary Don't You Weep Dm

Strange Relationship Dm (same as studio version)

International Lover B (same as studio version)

Wednesday B

Cold Coffee and Cocaine Am

Why The Butterflies Bb

It doesn't seem like he transposed anything for this record so I imagine he would have kept the songs for his solo piano sets mostly in their original keys. Looking at some other piano-based tunes it looks like he used a whole range of keys (and probably used every key at some point):

When We're Dancing Close... B

Gotta Broken Heart Again D

Do Me Baby G#m

Free D

International Lover B

How Come You Don't Call Me... Db

Beautiful Ones F (Chorus in Ab)

Condition Of The Heart B

Pop Life B

The Ladder Db

Under The Cherry Moon Em (Chorus in D)

Venus De Milo Gb

Anotherloverholenyohead Am (Verse in F#m)

Starfish and Coffee A

Anna Stesia Cm

When 2 R In Love Db

Diamonds and Pearls C

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 01/06/20 8:37am

steakfinger

Most self-taught pianist gravitate toward the black keys. If Prince wrote a song on the guitar it is often in guitar-friendly keys. Purple Rain in Bb was undoubtedly written on a piano. Raspberry Beret in the key a A was certainly written on a guitar. His later songs that feature a lot a slap bass stuff tend to be in the key of E (dorian) as he thumps the low open E tring a lot. There are alway exceptions, of course, but the majority of his songs follow this pattern.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 01/06/20 9:03am

lavendardrumma
chine

Seems like in the rehearell recordings he's always calling out the same chords..I forget which but I want to say.....E, G, maybe B?

There are some riffs/tones he would always gravitate towards and you can separate it by era too I think. Stand Back is B minor. I wanna Be Your Lover is B major.

Not sure Piano and a Microphone is one stop shopping because he was doing medlies, but the transitions and improvs would give some indication of where his hands gravitated to most when he was alone and composing. Then again (it's been a while since I listened but) I think he goes back to the same transition like a slow boogie.



I'd be more interested to check those first keys he hits during regular shows when he'd break off from a jam in his own world or when he'd sit down for Piano portions, and hit those first notes in the dark and the audience would erupt because they knew they were getting some piano set.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 01/18/20 8:55am

RodeoSchro

steakfinger said:

Most self-taught pianist gravitate toward the black keys. If Prince wrote a song on the guitar it is often in guitar-friendly keys. Purple Rain in Bb was undoubtedly written on a piano. Raspberry Beret in the key a A was certainly written on a guitar. His later songs that feature a lot a slap bass stuff tend to be in the key of E (dorian) as he thumps the low open E tring a lot. There are alway exceptions, of course, but the majority of his songs follow this pattern.



Interesting. I know I like playing guitar in major keys - especially G, A and E. It seems like all female country artists do most of their songs in D, not sure why.

I find a lot of funk songs with horns are in Bb, I guess because that's the natural tuning of a saxophone? Not sure, that's what someone told me a long time ago. I know nothing about any horn instruments.

One of the greatest rock guitar albums of all time is Springsteen's "Born to Run" and he said the funny thing is that he wrote almost that entire album on the piano. I guess when you got it, you got it!

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > P's favorite keys on piano?