Understanding Chords

There is a set of chords that "goes with" every major scale or key area...
In fact the chords in every key are built using notes from the major scale. (You should review the section on major scales and on chords if you have trouble with this lesson.) Follow the steps outlined below and you will be able to find the chords in any key.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Key of C: C Dm Em F G Am Bdim
Key of G: G Am Bm C D Em F#dim
Key of D: D Em F#m G A Bm C#dim
Key of A: A Bm C#m D E F#m G#dim
Key of E: E F#m G#m A B C#m D#dim
You should reference all the major scales and use the above newfound knowledge to find all the chords that belong to every major key. Experiment a little. Try making up a song in one of the keys above. Also, for a list of all the basic chords in every key, click here.

You don''t need all of the chords in a key to make up a pretty good song. Many great songs have been written using the 1, 4, & 5 chords; or just the 4, 5, & 6 chords. Like I said, experiment. . . . have some fun!


You gotta check this out! The progressionator is a tool that allows you to choose a chord progression in any key and in various styles. It''ll automatically build the progression and allow you to hear it played in whatever style you''ve chosen!

You''ll need version 6 of the Flash Player to use the Progressionator! Get it by clicking here.