Chords In Keys

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Now that you’re familiar with the C major scale, I’ve got just a tiny bit of music theory to go along with it. This doesn’t get too far into theory, but if you’re quite unfamiliar with music theory, you might want to check out my music theory course. This stuff is much easier to understand if you start from the beginning!

I had mentioned the C major scale earlier, which as the name would imply, is in the key of C. That means that all of the notes in the C major scale make up the key of C. Chords using the notes in the C major scale are also in the key of C. Also, all of the notes in the key of C are white notes, or naturals. That means there are no sharps or flats, or black notes, in it.

Chords in the Key of C

Major Chords: C, F, G,

Minor Chords: Dm, Em, Am

Generally, any song containing any one or combination of those chords and only those chords is said to be in the key of C.

For this reason, whenever you’re playing a song in the key of C, you’ll want to use notes from the C major scale in the melody lines and solos. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important and beneficial to practice your scales!

Practice and Study

  • Work out what the notes in the chords are and compare them against the notes in the C major scale.
  • Try writing out the notes in the scale and the chords.
  • If you’re a songwriter, listen to songs using the key of C to get familiar with the actual sound of the key.

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