What key is Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo in?

What key is Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo in?

What key is Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo in?

Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo is based on the A minor pentatonic scale and A minor scale (natural minor or Aeolian mode).

The intro uses the chords F5 G5 A5 and then a C5. This chord movement is very common and stems from a 4 5 6 chord progression in the A natural minor scale (Aeolian mode, C major scale). But only power chords are played (if you listen closely you can hear that a 6th interval is added to the F5 and G5 giving it a blues shuffle style). Instead of using the full minor scale over these changes the guitars mainly stick to A minor pentatonic (as heard in the riff at the end of the chord figure).

The E7 (0:28 in the video) is technically a key change, but you could treat it like a blues 5 chord and continue playing A minor pentatonic over it. You could think of it as the 5 chord in the key of A major and play A major scale patterns over it. You could treat it as a blues key change and play a mixture of E major and E minor pentatonic scales over it. Or it could possibly be thought of as a 5 (V7) chord in A harmonic minor (but this might sound a bit too exotic for this bluesy rock song). Or you could not play over it at all, as is the case in the song.

The verse (0:51 in the video) uses the chords A5 C5 D5. Again, these power chords still stem from the A natural minor scale (Aeolian mode, C major scale). All of these notes are also found in the A minor pentatonic. The guitar riff that occurs after each line of the verse is the A minor pentatonic with a chromatic passing tone added (blues scale). See guitar tab below.

Verse Riff: A Minor Pentatonic "Blues" Scale Patterns 3 & 4
E----------------------|------------------|
B----------------------|------------------|
G------14--14-12-------|----------12b(14)-|
D----------------14-13-|-12-10------------|
A--12------------------|------------------|
E----------------------|------------------|

So you can see that Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo is based on minor chord progressions and pentatonic scale patterns. This is very common in blues and blues-based rock songs.

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