Little Red Corvette


New Member
I am just getting started with 1Chart. I am charting Little Red Corvette by Prince. The entire song is basically Fmaj, Gmaj, Amin. I think normally this would make the key C. NNS says this would be a 4, 5, 6. In my first chart, I started by charting this as 4 5 6-.

I just watch a tutorial that suggests that I should use the 1 quite frequently, if I am not using the 1 frequently, the song is probably not in the right key. So, it seems that the real key is F, so I would chart it as 1, 2, 3-. But, the 2 is major, not minor.

Is this in the key of F or C? Do I notate 4 5 6 or 1 2 3?

I also just watch a tutorial that says that the 2, 3, and 6 are by default minor and should NOT be notated as such. We can assume a 2, 3, and 6 are minor so it should not be notated.

Since the second chord is Gmaj, would I write 2maj to show the exception/accidental?

It seems to me that it would be best to notate it as 1 2 3-, but this seems to break some rules?

How do you notate Fmaj, to Gmaj, to Amin?
I gave this version a listen...

...and basically I'm hearing (using the asterisk as a way to separate out the phrases in the chorus):

Verse: Gb Ab Bbm
Chorus: Gb Ab Db * Gb Ab Bbm Ab * Gb Ab Db * Gb Ab

But you could definitely play the song a half-step lower — starting in F — as you were doing.

I'd call this song's key Db, and in a way it "breaks the rule" about spending a lot of time on the 1 chord. I wouldn't get too hung up on that, though. I think you'll find that most charts you're doing will have a more obvious home key, and they'll hit the 1 chord much more often.

So in the key of Db, this tune in numbers would be:
Verse: 4 5 6m
Chorus: 4 5 1 etc....

And by the way, during the verse (the first verse anyway), I'm hearing that 4 chord as 4add9 the first two times around, then 4maj7 the last two times. And I think the 6m in the chorus gets a b7 here and there. And I'm sure there's other stuff going on... :)
Actually, I forgot that I changed the key down a half step. F G A are easier to think about than Gb Ab Bb. Thanks for the reminder.

Let's assume the key is Db. I didn't hear that Db being played at all, so there was no 1 on my chart. Because you do hear the Db chord being played, it makes even more sense to say that the key is Db. (I don't have a good ear at all, so I'll take you word for it and listen harder.)

Thanks for the help!
I think it's a Db... I had to really listen to the bass part in that section. :)
evikjames - looks like your question is over a year old. But if you're still looking for an answer - here goes. Assume you changed the key so you're using chords F G Am. Yes - technically it's the key of C. But that's not the tonality. You might hear it as centering around F. Or maybe you hear it centering around the Am. Play through the chords and see if you stop on an F, does it sound complete? Or does landing/stopping on the Am sound complete/resolved? Here are your options for the actual keys:
  • Song is in key of C. But if you feel it has an F tonality, then it's modal. It's really F lydian. (4th mode of a major scale.)
  • Song is in key of C. But you feel it has an Am tonality. Again, it's modal. This time it's A aeolian (also known as as A minor). 6th mode of a major scale.
  • Song is in the key of F with a non-diatonic 2 chord. (G major instead of G minor.)
  • Song is in the key of Am. Same key signature as C major.
So - depending on how you choose to analyze it, you can argue that it's key of F, key of Am, or has a key signature of the key of C but is F lydian or A aeolian.

Me personally - I hear it as being in the key of Am. When I play through the chords a few times and end on an Am, it sounds resolved. But charting in a minor key is a pain in the arse. (And I don't know if 1Chart let's you designate a minor key. I'm new to it.) Since key of Am is the same as key of C, I'd chart it by stating it's in the key of C and uses the chords 4 5 6m.