For the topic of the first blog post here at the PlayInKey Backstage Blog, I thought it would be appropriate to explain what PlayInKey.com really is. Play In Key is a free search engine for musical scales, covering the most common scales used in modern pop, rock and jazz.
It’s free and open for everyone.
Since it’s still at an infant state, some of the features are still under development, but the most central feature -querying for scales by using a set of notes- is already completely functional. Scales and modes that Play In Key currently covers are the diatonic scales as well as the harmonic and melodic minor scales and their most commonly used modes in all keys, plus the minor blues scale and pentatonic major and minor scales. I will be adding more data and features along the way (besides working on developing PlayInKey.com I work 9-5, so it might take a while for me to get everything up and running…). On the list of upcoming features are things like coverage of the diminished scales and some other scales and a ranking scheme to rank the search results based on their relevancy with respect to the query.
Ultimately I’m aiming for Play In Key to be a tool for learning scales and music theory. With this I am targeting people who already know some basics but still want to learn some more. And there is always something more to learn… PlayInKey.com might at some point expand to include other tools besides the search engine, but at the moment I’m focusing on improving the search features.
Besides using Play In Key to find scales it could also be used as a toy for exploring and for trying to get some fresh musical ideas in case you happen to find yourself in a creative rut. For example, pick a scale or a key that you’re not familiar with (say… Phrygian Dominant Scale in A sharp, anyone?) and try to write some music using that scale and see what you can come up with. Let me know if you come with something cool by using this method. I’d love to hear about it :-)
Now, go to PlayInKey.com to try it out!