Major Scale Chords – Guitar Keys of C,A,G,E,D

Note: A PDF document for the Major Scale Chord Chart in this lesson can be found here.

In a previous post, I presented a Guitar Harmony Chart for twelve major keys. In teaching guitar I find that there are five keys that are far and away the most common. In fact, any one of these five might be used more than the remaining ones put together! These keys are C major, G major, D major, A major and E major. If we reorder the key note names we can call them the ‘CAGED’ keys – C,A,G,E and D.

The following chart shows the chords for the five most common guitar keys. Simply find the key you want to work with and then read left to right to get the chords in that key. The roman numerals at the top show the position and quality (major or minor) of each chord in key.

Learn Guitar Online - Step by Step Beginner's Guide

Major Scale Chords

The above Major Scale Chord chart shows a major chord for ‘VII’ rather than the diminished chord indicated by the previous harmony chart. While technically out of key, in practice this is a common substitution for the diminished chord in a major key: go down a half-step from the diminished chord and play a major chord in its place. This is a ‘borrowed’ chord from the minor scale or Mixolydian mode starting on the same key note and is a very common substitution in rock and pop styles.

Storm

About the Author

has written 127 stories on this site.

Related Content

80 Comments on “Major Scale Chords – Guitar Keys of C,A,G,E,D”

  • Roberto wrote on 30 March, 2009, 15:48

    Maybe I’m missing something, but why did you put a flat VII major chord instead of actually putting the diatonic VII diminished, which is actually correct? What you’ve put here is not the chords in a major scale, but rather the chords in Mixolydian mode which has a dominant function.

  • Storm wrote on 30 March, 2009, 16:04

    @Roberto: Right. If you read the text near the bottom of the post (below the chart) I describe what you point out. I have a chart of true diatonic progressions for twelve keys @ http://guitarteacher.com/2009/02/04/guitar-harmony-chart/

  • Mike Jones wrote on 21 April, 2010, 18:47

    Maybe a stupid question, but I’m a beginner. Do you do a different tuning for the different keys or put a capo  and what are the tunings or capo positions for such things. thanks

  • Storm wrote on 21 April, 2010, 21:23

    @Mike Jones – It is not a dumb question. Finding an ideal tuning or capo position for a tune is something that advanced guitarists could argue and have different opinions on.

    Open strings allow easy access to the notes to which they are tuned. As such, many songs in ‘standard tuning’ tend to favor keys that include those notes (i.e. ‘C,A,G,E,D’). If you are playing in different keys and want easier access to those notes, that is when capos or alternate tunings can be helpful.

    A resource on-site that might help is the Capo Transposition Chart lesson.

    I hope that helps and thanks for asking!

  • Dave wrote on 20 July, 2010, 13:55

    Hey there,
                 Im still quite a beginner in alot of aspects of guitar playing. Im currently working on some soloing however Im having diffculty moving around the fretboard finding where certain keys are played. Is there a sheet like the one you have here showing what frets would/could be played in a certain key?

  • Anthony wrote on 29 July, 2010, 8:47

    I am requesting the cords for the facelable or Do-Ray-Me of the guitar please?

  • Storm wrote on 29 July, 2010, 14:07

    @Anthony – If you mean solfege, just replace as follows:

    C=Do
    D=Re
    E=Mi
    F=Fa
    G=So(Sol)
    A=La
    B=Si(Ti)

  • Dave G wrote on 9 November, 2010, 21:15

    I am a confused novice. I am not following where you say go a half step half-step from the diminished chord and play a major chord in its place. How does this create a major chord?

  • robby adnan wrote on 26 December, 2010, 18:36

    Ok, tank you about your information

  • Zebulon Turrentine wrote on 13 February, 2011, 7:45

    This is a great way to teach diatonic harmony to aspiring folk and rock guitarists. Thanks for sharing this practical chart!

  • robinson wrote on 28 June, 2011, 14:17

    Hey Storm, really great teaching…but i was wondering if you could also put up chords for the other keys too?

  • Storm wrote on 29 June, 2011, 7:15

    @robinson – Check out the Guitar Harmony Chart post to see if that gives you what you’re looking for. It has the chords for all keys spelled out there. No chord diagrams though. Just remember, in that chart upper case letters represent major chords and lowercase minor chords. Hope that helps.

    Thanks for the comment and the complement!

  • kyawswar wrote on 20 July, 2011, 6:20

    guitar

  • Nick wrote on 3 August, 2011, 1:45

    I would highly recommend looking at the circle of fifths and understanding how that works and you should have a more of an understanding about music theory.
    I am a begginner too and i have had a few guitar lessons and the way it was explained to me helped me out loads.
    A rule for major scales: Maj, Min , Min , Maj , Maj , Min , Dim ,
    If you look at the circle of fifths you can see what progressions you can use for different keys.
    Also a good way to remember the circle of fifths is: -Father Christmas Goes Dodgey And Enters Boy, ie F C G D A E B.
    Hope that helps, please tell me if im wrong as i said im just learning it all.. :)

  • malcolm maynard wrote on 4 August, 2011, 14:37

    i went to now home to play giter

  • Dave wrote on 14 September, 2011, 21:21

    Hi:
    Thanks for the good information. Is there I way I can legally print out or save your helpful cord chart? I can pay a fee if that is how you like to do it.
    Thanks, Dave

  • nnamdi obioma nnamdi wrote on 26 September, 2011, 7:22

    guitar the world of the genius

  • Ashish wrote on 14 November, 2011, 23:04

    Is there a similar chart for chords in all Minor Scales?
    (most commonly used minor scales maybe?)

  • malisa najw wrote on 19 December, 2011, 5:03

    i like play guitar…huhu!!!!!!

  • solex wrote on 9 February, 2012, 9:24

    I love this site they what u want and only few site do that.thank guitar teacher, more grace 2ur elbow

  • bob wrote on 27 March, 2012, 20:15

    Isn’t the key of C- CDEFGABC. your key scale confuses me a little.

  • gman wrote on 18 April, 2012, 5:05

    All you novices stop looking a this you need to start on something much more basic.

  • galvatron wrote on 16 May, 2012, 17:49

    I just happened to pass this site real good. I been getting used to circle of fifths and It says the key of G has one F# which makes it key of G. when i seen your chart i got a little confused. The song i been jamming uses just power chord versions of E(ebe), F#,A,B and D. So i figured it is the key of G since im using one # and its F but when i see your chart the key of G has no F# chord but the key of D has one, am I wrong or what im confused now.

  • bobby wrote on 7 July, 2012, 8:17

    I whant to know more about minor keys

  • Shatfu wrote on 16 July, 2012, 7:38

    what happend to the 7th degree? 

    It’s all messed up.

  • Samson wrote on 22 July, 2012, 10:10

    Pls where do I place my finger on key F

  • syrone wrote on 22 July, 2012, 19:06

    @Storm – CAN YOU GIVE ME A ‘LEGEND’ IN THAT CHART BECAUSE I CANT UNDERSTAND IT BECAUSE IM A BEGINNER

  • finn wrote on 26 July, 2012, 0:19

    i want D flat 7 in the key of A, E, or C

  • carl wrote on 9 August, 2012, 10:35

    Bob,,, YES the key of C is CDEFGABC,,, but what I believe he has show in the chart is that there are 3 major chords and 3 minor chords plus the 7th (Dim ) that make up the keys.
    your I-IV-V are the majors, the II-III-VI are the minors so he just added the minors to the chart to save you time on figuring it out. please advise if any of this is incorrect !!

  • Hooper wrote on 21 August, 2012, 23:54

    Why is the 7th chord of G major listed as F major and not F# minor flat 5?

  • Hooper wrote on 21 August, 2012, 23:57

    …never mind, I just found the other chart with the correct chords.

  • Hooper wrote on 21 August, 2012, 23:59

    … I meant F minor 7 flat 5

  • Eric wrote on 26 September, 2012, 15:33

    Rock on Storm. I love your site. I started http://GuitarChordsChart.co but I learned great scale chords from you.
    Thanks,
     Eric

  • Gilbert wrote on 13 October, 2012, 12:28

    Hi there I am so excited I found your blog page, I really found you by mistake, while I was looking on Yahoo for something else, Nonetheless I am here
    now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a marvelous
    post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don?t have time to read through
    it all at the minute but I have saved it and also
    added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
    will be back to read more, Please do keep up the superb b.

  • arka roy wrote on 19 November, 2012, 8:48

    plzz…. tel me about circle of fifth…

  • gideon wrote on 12 December, 2012, 3:55

    It kul

  • dhanesh mane wrote on 17 December, 2012, 7:21

    He thanks a lot for nice article, its good for beginners. 

    Thanks
    Dhanesh Mane

  • troy wrote on 22 December, 2012, 4:59

    If you are going to post information, at least make it correct. The information posted here is incorrect. There is no G chord in the key of A major, for example. Get your facts straight, or leave it off the web.

  • KingOfChickens wrote on 14 January, 2013, 15:32

    Cool, but not based on the major scale. The 7th chord shouldn’t be bVII, it should be vii diminished

  • Bigboyalli wrote on 16 January, 2013, 13:03

    this is great have this info love this lol!!!

  • Northwoodguitar wrote on 29 January, 2013, 11:46

    Yea I was trying to figure out why this was done. Why put a dominant 7th in there instead of a major 7th?

  • fattyz wrote on 14 May, 2013, 13:57

    Ummm why are all the 7th chords wrong again ? In spite of the open chords being better I wonder is there a universal chord chart for the scale maj and min in barre chords. This would be really helpful for figuring out songs.

  • Dan wrote on 6 June, 2013, 7:30

    Thank you for took me that. Hey can you tell me a
    Do
    Re
    Mi
    Fa
    So
    La
    It
    For minor like am,Bm,cm,dm,em,fm,gm, please

  • Bliss wrote on 10 June, 2013, 17:49

    Um, newbie question: why is there no scale for B or F?

  • Thar Lay wrote on 6 September, 2013, 12:36

    thank u .. from
    phone myint myat zaw .

    please tell me ,how to string slow go go pattern

  • Adam wrote on 11 September, 2013, 5:20

    It just the 5 most common scales that he gave us

  • google.com wrote on 1 January, 2014, 11:02

    Excellent, what a blog it is! This website gives helpful information to us, keep it up.

  • Caesar wrote on 6 January, 2014, 7:18

    this has been a good lesions to me a beginner

  • Raquel wrote on 1 May, 2014, 3:58

    ?ookm?rked!!, I like your website!

  • John Ocansey wrote on 6 June, 2014, 8:39

    hi there am really happy.for you made me find what am looking for.though I did not have enough time to go through all but I have save page and will be back thanks.

  • online finding wrote on 22 June, 2014, 21:40

    Hi there Dear, are you genuinely visiting this web page daily, if so after that you will absolutely get fastidious experience.

  • fitness wrote on 23 June, 2014, 3:56

    What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this
    I have found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads.
    I am hoping to contribute & help other users like its helped me.

    Good job.

  • www.mediaoptions.co.uk wrote on 23 June, 2014, 5:08

    Businesses want to get to the top of the search list on the most popular search engines.

    Be patient, do your research, and give it time to work.
    Expect your agency to have experts with years of experience as well as a great deal of training.

  • Kim Kardashian Hollywood Hack wrote on 23 June, 2014, 8:19

    Thanks for some other informative blog. The place else may I am getting that kind of info written in
    such an ideal approach? I’ve a challenge that I’m simply now running on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such
    info.

  • www.clariorbc.co.uk wrote on 23 June, 2014, 12:25

    And “The Apprentice” is coming back for another season. California
    as a whole has 12% of the nation’s population, but 36% of the country’s Temporary Assistance for
    Needy Families welfare recipients. It is preferable to 3
    houses on the property before moving to the Built around
    a second quarter that you earned.

  • add skype credit online free wrote on 23 June, 2014, 21:37

    I’m not sure why but this blog is loading incredibly slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  • review wrote on 23 September, 2014, 18:02

    If you want to know the crystal clear details it is better to view just about
    any online store web sites explaining the actual product or service information using
    elements. Individuals who have underlying medical condition should
    also consult a physician before taking this diet pill.

    Glucomannan is among the most active hunger suppressants in Adiphene, and it works to suppress yearnings and help you handle your parts.

  • elite test 360 consumer reviews wrote on 23 September, 2014, 21:15

    I really like what you guys tend to be up too.
    Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys
    I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

  • Aline wrote on 23 September, 2014, 22:23

    Salt Lake roofing long after he became unconscious.
    They are expert installers unlicensed contractors at Charles Windows.
    Usually the most optimal fixtures, said the
    submerged curb foundation beam, which may change when the demolition, excavation, grading and hauling
    services. David H R 6111. Basements naturally have more peace of
    mind. My unlicensed contractors name is Sam Hostetler.

  • Hay Day Hack Coins wrote on 24 September, 2014, 16:19

    Remember though, to choose one that suits you and not your partner or you’ll end up squinting against the sun’s ray again. This now creates a market
    of renters looking for somewhere to rent. As your village grows, you need to explore uncharted
    territories for Gold and Wood which are the 2 key resources you will require in start
    of the game ( there is also Stone resource, which you discover later in the game
    ).

  • search engine optimization free wrote on 25 September, 2014, 0:05

    Email is BAD Most sites ask you search engine optimization this:
    When you start adding things on the images. Would your site, to
    investigate it properly and the clients. When speaking with a
    proficient team doing custom web design Edinburgh services.
    In addition to SEO from a reputed firm. When it comes to commercial translations, they want.

  • ecografia 3d wrote on 25 September, 2014, 15:59

    Just desire to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your
    post is simply spectacular and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date
    with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please
    keep up the enjoyable work.

  • buzzing in ears wrote on 26 September, 2014, 19:39

    So why is being overweight such a direct link
    to diabetes. Perhaps the main reason behind this though is that you have developed a dependence on food.
    With more time now passed, those rates would be even higher as obesity
    is still on the rise.

  • the linden method reviews wrote on 28 September, 2014, 18:10

    So why is being overweight such a direct link to
    diabetes. Perhaps the main reason behind this
    though is that you have developed a dependence on food.
    Sonnie Mc – Lemore is a health and fitness blog owner.

  • the linden method wrote on 28 September, 2014, 18:53

    Lets begin with stating among the information about this excellent revolutionary weight-reduction plan capsule and metabolism price booster.

    This means thay everybody who makes use of Adiphene should shed pounds.
    There is a section to discuss the biggest loser show, specific diets, and much more.

  • best Way To Learn guitar scales and chords wrote on 3 October, 2014, 21:19

    It will ?? a good laugh ?nd ver? laid back, and feel a? if ?ou ?ave set ?p ?our ?wn guitar club ?ut mor? usually than not this
    i? not the quickest wa? to ply guitar.

  • What Is The Best Way To Learn To Play Guitar wrote on 3 October, 2014, 23:48

    Wow, that’s what I was seeking for, what a data!
    existing here at this webpage, thanks admin of this website.

  • bing wrote on 5 October, 2014, 12:54

    You wont find Adiphene in your native pharmacy or
    some huge store like Walmart or Walgreens. There are hundreds to choose from, allowing you
    the choice of matching the type with your own health and fitness goals.
    Assuming that you aren’t a super-taught individual, you will have some major snags adding on control over your zealous urges
    towards consuming distinctive sustenances.

  • ringing in ears wrote on 5 October, 2014, 19:16

    If you want to know the crystal clear details it is better to view just about any online store web sites explaining
    the actual product or service information using elements.
    Adiphene the new weight loss formula is now available with the power
    of 11 different fat burners to boost weight loss. Having said that, the study has
    shown that just about anything that can maximize the metabolism, also can raise the weight reduction even if the human being is just resting.

  • curing tinnitus wrote on 5 October, 2014, 19:21

    You wont find Adiphene in your native pharmacy or some huge store like Walmart or Walgreens.
    Individuals who have underlying medical condition should
    also consult a physician before taking this diet pill.
    Indeed Adiphene weight reduction pill is the answer for those who
    always goes on food regimen however can’t endure
    the meals carving hunger and the irritability gave rise by dieting.

  • what causes tinnitus wrote on 5 October, 2014, 21:20

    Lets begin with stating among the information about this excellent revolutionary weight-reduction plan capsule and metabolism price booster.
    There are various surgical methods to combat obesity.
    Sonnie Mc – Lemore is a health and fitness blog owner.

  • what causes tinnitus wrote on 6 October, 2014, 1:08

    If you have been feeling tired and rundown lately, and seem to be gaining weight for no
    apparent reason, then it is time for a change. Perhaps the main reason behind this though is that
    you have developed a dependence on food. Glucomannan is among the most active hunger suppressants in Adiphene,
    and it works to suppress yearnings and help you handle your
    parts.

  • ?????? ?????????? ?????? ??????? wrote on 8 October, 2014, 14:43

    ????????? ?????? ?????????? ??????
    ??????? ??????????????

  • buzzing in ears wrote on 9 October, 2014, 1:04

    Such are the ingredients of Adiphene that its one finest selling level is the shortage of dangerous
    uncomfortable side effects. Individuals who have underlying medical condition should also consult a physician before taking this diet pill.

    Having said that, the study has shown that just about anything that can maximize the metabolism,
    also can raise the weight reduction even if the
    human being is just resting.

Trackbacks

  1. Guitar Reference Material - Capo Transposition Chart | Guitar Teacher Online
  2. La Técnica Bustelo para desarrollar el oído absoluto :: Santiago Bustelo – Detrás de las pantallas
  3. Finding the 1...and the 5...and maybe the 4
  4. felicitaciones de cumpleaños
  5. Make money from home
  6. wireless headphones

Write a Comment

Gravatars are small images that can show your personality. You can get your gravatar for free today!

Copyright © 2014 Guitar Teacher. All rights reserved.