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Thread: What key is Exhausted by Foo Fighters in? (chords included)

  1. #1
    indie sludge tigergolf06's Avatar
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    Lightbulb What key is Exhausted by Foo Fighters in? (chords included)

    Here is the official guitar tab of the song Exhausted by Foo Fighters:
    What key is this song in? Dm?
    Foo Fighters - Exhausted

    Album: 1995 - Foo Fighters
    Instrument: Guitar
    Tuning: eBGDAD


    Dave often add is pinky on the "Am" (3rd fret of the e string).


    Intro [0:00] (chords strummed 6 times)
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am
    e||--1--1--0--0--0--0--||
    B||--3--3--1--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--0--2--0--2--||
    D||--0--0--3--2--3--2--||
    A||-----2--3--0--3--0--||
    D||--------0-----0-----||


    Verse [0:39] (chords strummed 6 times)
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am
    e||--1--1--0--0--0--0--||
    B||--3--3--1--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--0--2--0--2--||
    D||--0--0--3--2--3--2--||
    A||-----2--3--0--3--0--||
    D||--------0-----0-----||


    Pre-Chorus [1:03] (Bb and A are played 8 times and G 16 times)
    Bb Am G
    e||--0--0--3--||
    B||--1--1--0--||
    G||--3--2--0--||
    D||--3--2--0--||
    A||-----0--2--||
    D||--------x--||


    Pre-Verse [1:10]
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am
    e||--1--1--0--3--0--3--||
    B||--3--3--1--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--0--2--0--2--|| (once)
    D||--0--0--3--2--3--2--||
    A||-----2--3--0--3--0--||
    D||--------0-----0-----||


    Verse [1:23] (chords strummed 6 times)
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am
    e||--1--1--0--0--0--0--||
    B||--3--3--1--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--0--2--0--2--||
    D||--0--0--3--2--3--2--||
    A||-----2--3--0--3--0--||
    D||--------0-----0-----||


    Pre-Chorus [1:46] (Bb and A are played 8 times and G 16 times)
    Bb Am G
    e||--0--0--3--||
    B||--1--1--0--||
    G||--3--2--0--||
    D||--3--2--0--||
    A||-----0--2--||
    D||--------x--||


    Chorus [1:54]
    F G A F D F D F D F D
    e||-------------------------------------------||
    B||-------------------------------------------||
    G||-------------------------------------------||
    D||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-------------------||
    A||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-------------------||
    E||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-4-5-7~\-----------||

    F G A F D F D F D F D
    e||-------------------------------------------||
    B||-------------------------------------------||
    G||-------------------------------------------||
    D||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-------------------||
    A||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-------------------||
    E||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-4--5-7-10-10-10\--||


    Post-Chorus [2:17]
    Am F9 Am
    e||--0--0--0--||
    B||--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--2--|| (once)
    D||--2--3--2--||
    A||--0--3--0--||
    E||-----0-----||


    Verse [2:22] (chords strummed 6 times)
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am
    e||--1--1--0--0--0--0--||
    B||--3--3--1--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--0--2--0--2--||
    D||--0--0--3--2--3--2--||
    A||-----2--3--0--3--0--||
    D||--------0-----0-----||


    Verse [2:34] (chords strummed 6 times)
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am
    e||--1--1--0--3--0--0--||
    B||--3--3--1--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--0--2--0--2--||
    D||--0--0--3--2--3--2--||
    A||-----2--3--0--3--0--||
    D||--------0-----0-----||


    Pre-Chorus [2:46] (Bb and A are played 8 times and G 16 times)
    Bb Am G
    e||--0--0--3--||
    B||--1--1--0--||
    G||--3--2--0--||
    D||--3--2--0--||
    A||-----0--2--||
    D||--------x--||


    Chorus [2:53]
    F G A F D F D F D F D
    e||-------------------------------------------||
    B||-------------------------------------------||
    G||-------------------------------------------||
    D||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-------------------||
    A||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-------------------||
    E||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-4-5-7~\-----------||

    F G A F D F D F D F D
    e||-------------------------------------------||
    B||-------------------------------------------||
    G||-------------------------------------------||
    D||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-------------------||
    A||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-------------------||
    E||--3-5-7-3-0-3-0--3-0-3-0-4--5-7-10-10-10\--||


    Interlude [3:25]
    Noises and Feedbacks


    Verse [4:14] (chords strummed 6 times)
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am
    e||--1--1--0--3--0--0--||
    B||--3--3--1--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--0--2--0--2--||
    D||--0--0--3--2--3--2--||
    A||-----2--3--0--3--0--||
    D||--------0-----0-----||


    Post-Chorus [4:21]
    Am F9 Am
    e||--0--0--0--||
    B||--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--2--|| (once)
    D||--2--3--2--||
    A||--0--3--0--||
    E||-----0-----||


    Verse [4:26] (chords strummed 6 times)
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am
    e||--1--1--0--3--0--0--||
    B||--3--3--1--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--0--2--0--2--||
    D||--0--0--3--2--3--2--||
    A||-----2--3--0--3--0--||
    D||--------0-----0-----||


    Pre-Chorus [5:00] (Bb and A are played 8 times and G 16 times)
    Bb Am G
    e||--0--0--3--||
    B||--1--1--0--||
    G||--3--2--0--||
    D||--3--2--0--||
    A||-----0--2--||
    D||--------x--||


    Verse [5:09] (chords strummed 6 times)
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am
    e||--1--1--0--3--0--0--||
    B||--3--3--1--1--1--1--||
    G||--2--0--0--2--0--2--||
    D||--0--0--3--2--3--2--||
    A||-----2--3--0--3--0--||
    D||--------0-----0-----||



    Lyrics & Tempo

    (Verse 1)
    I'm not around that much running exhausted and lost.
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am

    If it could be undone will it have costed? It's taught and lost.
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am Bb Am G


    (Verse 2)
    Blowing away we stray, wilted insulted, at fault.
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am

    What if the day had stayed in bed. These baubles we've brought at fault.
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am Bb Am G


    (Chorus)
    F G A F D F D F D F D


    (Post-Chorus)
    Am F9 Am


    (Verse 3)
    After the bliss has long ended this caution this fault.
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am

    Give me a breeze that's long winded accosted adult arrested.
    Dm G7 F9 Am F9 Am Bb Am G


    (Chorus)
    F G A F D F D F D F D


    (Post-Chorus)
    Am F9 Am


    (Repeated Verse with fade out)
    indie sludge

  2. #2
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    Hey tigergolf,

    looks like C major.

    Take care of the chord you named F9.
    Looks like it really is a Fmaj9/D (so, having the 13th in the bass).
    The Fmaj9 chord perfectly fit's into C major as it is the IV-chord.
    F9 would indicate a dominant chord (V-chord) .. check that one again. .

    Also re-think about the chord you named Bb.
    It rather looks like a Fmaj7sus4 to me.. i might be wrong though - i don't know the song and the bass line..

    best regards,
    Sven

  3. #3
    indie sludge tigergolf06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom View Post
    Hey tigergolf,

    looks like C major.

    Take care of the chord you named F9.
    Looks like it really is a Fmaj9/D (so, having the 13th in the bass).
    The Fmaj9 chord perfectly fit's into C major as it is the IV-chord.
    F9 would indicate a dominant chord (V-chord) .. check that one again. .

    Also re-think about the chord you named Bb.
    It rather looks like a Fmaj7sus4 to me.. i might be wrong though - i don't know the song and the bass line..

    best regards,
    Sven
    Wow, this is a really great description, thank you!

    So the key of a song can be found by the chords of the MUSIC or the VOCALS? Or both? Can a song have minor key music and major key vocals??
    indie sludge

  4. #4
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigergolf06 View Post
    Wow, this is a really great description, thank you!

    So the key of a song can be found by the chords of the MUSIC or the VOCALS? Or both? Can a song have minor key music and major key vocals??
    Yes, a minor or C major which have the same notes. Since there is no C major in the chords, I am inclined to think Am is the proper key.

    Fortunately you has displayed enough chords to acertain a key. Sometomes when you have too few chords, you must also look at the melodies to determin the key.

    Sometimes when there is not enough information to determin one particular key, you can experiment with a couple of keys.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Yes Am. Why? Look to the chords used - no C, kinda hard to get a C tonal center going with no resolution to the C chord. Now there is enough Am chords to get that Am tonal center going. Another give-a-way - look at the last chord used in the verse and or chorus. AM gets my vote.

    So the key of a song can be found by the chords of the MUSIC or the VOCALS? Or both? Can a song have minor key music and major key vocals??
    C and Am have the same notes and the same chords, how the chords are used determine the key being major or minor. If the song revolves around the major chords good bet you will be major, however, if the chords revolve around the minor chords good bet you will be in a minor key. The melody notes will be the same major or minor, but, understand the notes in the melody and the notes used in the chords should be sharing like notes -- i.e. both the melody line and the chord line should share some notes for the two lines to harmonize. It's this sharing of notes that give you the major or minor sound. If you are using major chords you will sound major and if you are using minor chords you are going to sound minor.

    I would have liked to see an Em chord or two to round out the minor chord use, but, my money is still on Am. Wierd Chorus, not sure what is going on here. I'd just follow the established fake chord and hang on.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 09-26-2010 at 02:30 AM.

  6. #6
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    Yes of course - Am.
    It's sharing the same notes with C major, but from the Chords used/arrangement it is rather A-minorish.

  7. #7
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    I hear Dmin as the tonal centre.
    the verse is rather ambiguous, but the bVI v IV (Bb, Am, G) pre chorus leading to the Dmin chorus riff plant it firmly in Dmin to my ears....
    I definitely cant hear the pre chorus as a bII i bVII....not a progression I've come across before as opposed to the very common bVI v IV...

  8. #8
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Just three points (without listening to this track):

    1. A song doesn't have to be in the same key throughout. (Eg, in this case, parts could be in A minor, parts in D minor.)

    2. The "key" is the note (and chord) that "sounds like home". You can't determine this from a list of chords used, although you can get a fair hint from the chord used most often, esp if it's at the beginning and end of verses or choruses (end is more important than beginning).
    Again, it's possible (and quite common) for a song to have more than one key centre, changing from section to section - although quite rare for it to have more than two.

    3. Lastly, music doesn't have to be in an identifiable key! Most rock is, but it will use all kinds of chord effects which can blur a sense of key centre (which seems to be happening in this case). Very typically, the distinction between parallel major and minor is blurred.

    My question to the OP is - why do you want to know the key? It seems like you have all the information you need to play the song. (If it's simply curiosity, that's fine. But knowing the key - if there is one - won't help you play the song. It may give you more understanding - but it may not.)

  9. #9
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    OK, I've listened, and have a few extra observations...

    Firstly, chord names:

    The G7 in the intro and verse is G7/B (no big deal, just tells you B is the bass note);
    The "F9" (more important) is actually Fmaj9. (F9 is a quite different-sounding chord.) It's not a complete Fmaj9, as there is no A, and you could look at it as a C triad on top of an F power chord. "Cadd4/F" sums it up pretty well, and may be a better name (for that reason) than Fmaj9. Take your pick.

    For what it's worth, I hear the key centre here as D minor, but with a definite dorian feel (thanks to the G7/B). The repeated Fmaj9/Am pair of chords at the end don't nail Am as key chord for me, but this kind of thing can be subjective. The pitch collection is certainly all from C major, so we have some kind of relative mode of C major; whether you want to call it A aeolian or D dorian (or C major/ionian!) depends on how you hear it.

    There is a hint in the vocal that the key is C major, as it seems to resolve there after the first 2 chords - and Dm-G7 (in other circumstances) would definitely indicate an approaching C major centre. But of course the chords under the vocal there are Fmaj9 (or Cadd4/F) and Am, which prevents the resolution. Technically, you can call this a "deceptive cadence" in C major. (Dm-G7 goes to F instead of the expected C.) But my money - given that this is rock and not classical music - is on D minor, in the broadest sense. Whenever they hit that Dm, it sounds like they're thinking of that as their base chord, their central focus. Then they're just following that with chords they think sound good.

    In what that tab calls the "pre-chorus" , I hear those chords as straight Bb-Am-G (triads), without the C and E on top of the Bb. (And the bass on the G this time is G, not B. In the bass I mean, not necessarily on the guitar.)
    (I wouldn't call this a "prechorus", as it isn't followed immediately by the chorus. Not sure what I would call it, mind you. It's not big enough to be a chorus itself, and is more like a short bridge section.)

    This is an odd set of chords keywise. Bb and G don't belong to the same key (are harmonised from different scales). But they still work in a "D minor" context because Bb comes from D aeolian (natural minor) and G from D dorian. (Mind you, you can also "explain" Bb as a bVII in C major, which would be a very common usage in rock. But I suspect they're still thinking D minor/dorian as their home tonality. They're refusing to go to C anywhere, at least, as Malcolm points out.)

    The "pre-vamp" is simply the intro repeated. "Vamp" is a better term than "pre-verse" (nothing wrong with the latter in principle - describes it very well - it's just not a conventional term). It's the same sequence as the verse anyway.

    The "chorus" is not a chorus, however - purely because there is no vocal on it! ("Chorus" by definition implies singing - unless, arguably, the whole track was instrumental.) This riff section is an instrumental "bridge" - and the implied key centre is clearly D, and mostly minor pent apart from that odd passing F#.
    Last edited by JonR; 09-28-2010 at 10:24 AM.

  10. #10
    indie sludge tigergolf06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    My question to the OP is - why do you want to know the key? It seems like you have all the information you need to play the song. (If it's simply curiosity, that's fine. But knowing the key - if there is one - won't help you play the song. It may give you more understanding - but it may not.)
    Yeah, I was just curious! I'm not actually playing the song on guitar or anything.
    indie sludge

  11. #11
    indie sludge tigergolf06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    OK, I've listened, and have a few extra observations...

    Firstly, chord names:

    The G7 in the intro and verse is G7/B (no big deal, just tells you B is the bass note);
    The "F9" (more important) is actually Fmaj9. (F9 is a quite different-sounding chord.) It's not a complete Fmaj9, as there is no A, and you could look at it as a C triad on top of an F power chord. "Cadd4/F" sums it up pretty well, and may be a better name (for that reason) than Fmaj9. Take your pick.

    For what it's worth, I hear the key centre here as D minor, but with a definite dorian feel (thanks to the G7/B). The repeated Fmaj9/Am pair of chords at the end don't nail Am as key chord for me, but this kind of thing can be subjective. The pitch collection is certainly all from C major, so we have some kind of relative mode of C major; whether you want to call it A aeolian or D dorian (or C major/ionian!) depends on how you hear it.

    There is a hint in the vocal that the key is C major, as it seems to resolve there after the first 2 chords - and Dm-G7 (in other circumstances) would definitely indicate an approaching C major centre. But of course the chords under the vocal there are Fmaj9 (or Cadd4/F) and Am, which prevents the resolution. Technically, you can call this a "deceptive cadence" in C major. (Dm-G7 goes to F instead of the expected C.) But my money - given that this is rock and not classical music - is on D minor, in the broadest sense. Whenever they hit that Dm, it sounds like they're thinking of that as their base chord, their central focus. Then they're just following that with chords they think sound good.

    In what that tab calls the "pre-chorus" , I hear those chords as straight Bb-Am-G (triads), without the C and E on top of the Bb. (And the bass on the G this time is G, not B. In the bass I mean, not necessarily on the guitar.)
    (I wouldn't call this a "prechorus", as it isn't followed immediately by the chorus. Not sure what I would call it, mind you. It's not big enough to be a chorus itself, and is more like a short bridge section.)

    This is an odd set of chords keywise. Bb and G don't belong to the same key (are harmonised from different scales). But they still work in a "D minor" context because Bb comes from D aeolian (natural minor) and G from D dorian. (Mind you, you can also "explain" Bb as a bVII in C major, which would be a very common usage in rock. But I suspect they're still thinking D minor/dorian as their home tonality. They're refusing to go to C anywhere, at least, as Malcolm points out.)

    The "pre-vamp" is simply the intro repeated. "Vamp" is a better term than "pre-verse" (nothing wrong with the latter in principle - describes it very well - it's just not a conventional term). It's the same sequence as the verse anyway.

    The "chorus" is not a chorus, however - purely because there is no vocal on it! ("Chorus" by definition implies singing - unless, arguably, the whole track was instrumental.) This riff section is an instrumental "bridge" - and the implied key centre is clearly D, and mostly minor pent apart from that odd passing F#.
    Wow, what a tremendously awesome explaination!

    So, basically you're saying that Dave Grohl (songwriter) just put chords whereever, not going by a certain musical structure but just what sounded good?

    Do you think he tried to get a Dm or sad sound in this or was it accidental?

    Regardless, awesome reply dude!
    indie sludge

  12. #12
    indie sludge tigergolf06's Avatar
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    Also: what's dorian?
    indie sludge

  13. #13
    Carrots!! All_Ľour_Bass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigergolf06 View Post
    Also: what's dorian?
    It's a type of minor scale that goes:
    Root, Major Second, Minor Third, Perfect Fourth, Perfect Fifth, Major Sixth, Minor Seventh

    D E F G A B C is a dorian scale, well if D is the root/tonal center anyway.
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by Chim_Chim
    Be different.

    Do it for the OATMEAL.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    OK, I've listened, and have a few extra observations...

    Firstly, chord names:

    The G7 in the intro and verse is G7/B (no big deal, just tells you B is the bass note);
    The "F9" (more important) is actually Fmaj9. (F9 is a quite different-sounding chord.) It's not a complete Fmaj9, as there is no A, and you could look at it as a C triad on top of an F power chord. "Cadd4/F" sums it up pretty well, and may be a better name (for that reason) than Fmaj9. Take your pick.

    For what it's worth, I hear the key centre here as D minor, but with a definite dorian feel (thanks to the G7/B). The repeated Fmaj9/Am pair of chords at the end don't nail Am as key chord for me, but this kind of thing can be subjective. The pitch collection is certainly all from C major, so we have some kind of relative mode of C major; whether you want to call it A aeolian or D dorian (or C major/ionian!) depends on how you hear it.

    There is a hint in the vocal that the key is C major, as it seems to resolve there after the first 2 chords - and Dm-G7 (in other circumstances) would definitely indicate an approaching C major centre. But of course the chords under the vocal there are Fmaj9 (or Cadd4/F) and Am, which prevents the resolution. Technically, you can call this a "deceptive cadence" in C major. (Dm-G7 goes to F instead of the expected C.) But my money - given that this is rock and not classical music - is on D minor, in the broadest sense. Whenever they hit that Dm, it sounds like they're thinking of that as their base chord, their central focus. Then they're just following that with chords they think sound good.

    In what that tab calls the "pre-chorus" , I hear those chords as straight Bb-Am-G (triads), without the C and E on top of the Bb. (And the bass on the G this time is G, not B. In the bass I mean, not necessarily on the guitar.)
    (I wouldn't call this a "prechorus", as it isn't followed immediately by the chorus. Not sure what I would call it, mind you. It's not big enough to be a chorus itself, and is more like a short bridge section.)

    This is an odd set of chords keywise. Bb and G don't belong to the same key (are harmonised from different scales). But they still work in a "D minor" context because Bb comes from D aeolian (natural minor) and G from D dorian. (Mind you, you can also "explain" Bb as a bVII in C major, which would be a very common usage in rock. But I suspect they're still thinking D minor/dorian as their home tonality. They're refusing to go to C anywhere, at least, as Malcolm points out.)

    The "pre-vamp" is simply the intro repeated. "Vamp" is a better term than "pre-verse" (nothing wrong with the latter in principle - describes it very well - it's just not a conventional term). It's the same sequence as the verse anyway, music lessons for kids.

    The "chorus" is not a chorus, however - purely because there is no vocal on it! ("Chorus" by definition implies singing - unless, arguably, the whole track was instrumental.) This riff section is an instrumental "bridge" - and the implied key centre is clearly D, and mostly minor pent apart from that odd passing F#.
    Great information.. I really like how Dave Grohl is being smart in music. I thought the chords is well planned, so it is like he made up this sound.

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    By Kazza15 in forum Music Theory
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    Last Post: 07-23-2006, 01:53 PM

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