Musical people: what's your favorite key?

Musicians, music lovers, and everyone else who knows what a key is - what’s your favorite? It could be your favorite key to hear songs in, to write in, or whatever. Feel free to add anything, from your least favorite key, to comments on keys or music in general, jokes or references to movies or TV shows, snide comments directed at me or my mother, comments about how I’m a snob by addressing this topic only to people who know what musical keys are (and I’m actually not, but I suppose they’re more inclined to give a meaningful answer), or what have you. Hell, if you like, you could just make a good laugh. I love to laugh, even at my expense, so if you make my day, I’ll love you forever. :smiley:

Personally, whenever I’m making up songs (I’m not so audacious as to claim I “write music” when I can’t even read it), I often find myself in the key of E minor. The last band I played with decided we should tune our guitars to Standard Eb, so I found myself playing in (what is technically) Eb minor very often. Over the course of almost a year, we wrote 7 original songs. 2 of them were in Eb minor, another was (I think) in Ab minor but sounded like Eb minor because it hinged around chugging on an E5 chord (which is a standard operating procedure for a metal band), and a couple of the others drifted in and out of Eb minor occasionally.

Some people might argue that I have little variation when it comes to musical keys, but Metallica’s made a whole career out of primarily songs in E minor, so there! :smiley:


The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 2 characters.

C - all white keys, none of those fussy flats or sharps to deal with. But it might be different if I played clarinet, or sax, or trumpet…

Give me ‘G’ again. Easy to write in, easy to play.

What’s not to like?

F sharp, but only for a couple of songs. Thing is, it feels so good to do that, and those particular songs lend themselves to it.

G for almost anything else.

For some reason I like F-minor/Ab-major on piano. When improvin’ I usually come up with more original stuff than on keys I’m more familiar with (C, D, G, A, F and respective minors).

On guitar, nothing beats good ol E-minor for open-chord goodness.

There’s a Lisa Marr song with a great lyric

So what you wrote a song in the key of F#
You’ll never Rock it on the Autoharp

(Lisa Marr is wonderful for fun, playful, silly lyrics- They Might Be Giants fans may know the song New York City which Lisa wrote and TMBG covered)

“The devil’s octave”

A to E

D minor – the saddest key of all! :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue:

D Major here. Me and Pachobel.

Violinists like me like sharp’ed keys… G major, D major, A major (and their relative minors). Nothing more than E major, and definitely no flat keys! :slight_smile:

B major is my favorite key overall, but it’s a bitch to play on most instruments (that I play, anyway.)

Immediately following that would be a tie between F major and Ab minor.

But for just pickin’ and jammin, the old bluegrass standbys - G, D, and A.

Eb Major. I can’t remember why, but I think it was a Mendelssohn piece that made such an impression on me (I sing soprano).

B# :stuck_out_tongue:

D minor. Everything (to me) sounds haunting when it’s in D minor.

(Hijack, and this may cement me as a ‘crazy’ person on this boards, but has anyone else ever thought of musical keys in terms of colours? I always thought of C major as a cheerful, sunshiny-lemony bright yellow, D major as a bright, festive, holly sort of green, E major as a royal velvety purple, E flat major as a more pastel lavender, F major as a warm peachy orange, G major as a vivid sky or navy blue, A major as a blaring ruby-cherry red, and B major as a lightly golden-bronze colour.

…OK, have I really gone nuts now?)

D major, says the vocalist/pianist/violinist. It’s the easiest one to remember, and flats are hard. :slight_smile:

Kythereia, I totally agree about keys and colors – and some of our colors are the same! D major is a sort of warm, light green, like sunshine on leaves, or a cello. C major is a good, solid, primary red, G major is strong royal blue, Bb major is dark gold, Eb major is terra cotta, F minor is so dark blue it’s almost black.

This is fun! :slight_smile:

F major for singing.

No particular favorite for piano playing.


When it comes to writing, I love the flat keys (Eb, Bb, Ab… yummy, Ab). For a darker key I usually gravitate towards Bminor.

RE: the color thing… you guys are definitely not alone. As a matter of fact, those “Learn to play piano by ear!” things you always see televised usually use that angle. They try to get you to learn how to identify the notes or chords based on their “color”.

By the same token, I sometimes get a color in my head from an entire song, which usually has nothing to do with what key it’s in. Riddle me this.

Isn’t there a neurological condition where people see music as colors? (“synesthesia”…I think)

What wonderful timing. This month’s Harper’s has a great little excerpt from Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart (1739-91)'s “Characteristics of the Musical Keys.” Each one is described quite poetically, though it’s all Russian to non-musicians like me.


C MAJOR is quite pure. Its character is innocence, simplicity, naiveté, and baby talk.

F MINOR deep deppression, wailing for the dead, groans of misery, and yearning for the grave


and so on…