Major Key Cheat Sheets! Must-Know Chords, Scales, and Fretboard Diagrams

Lesson #518 • Sep 25, 2023

Hey there, friends! I’ve been busy at work putting together something that’s been on my list for a couple years — a bundle of cheat sheets showing you must-know info for the five most common major keys. This is something I started in lesson #388 and #407, but never finished for the other keys. Finally, I’ve got them at a place where they’re worth sharing!

In today’s video (linked above), I’ll give a walkthrough of the first page of each cheat sheet.

Specifically, I’m looking at the keys of C, G, D, A, and E major. In my experience of almost 25 years of guitar playing, these are the five keys that 95% of all pop/rock/folk/country songs are going to use. Learn the common chords in each, and you’ll get a ton of mileage you can apply to your guitar playing. Looking for somewhere to start? Key of C and Key of G are what I’d recommend. They use almost all open chords - requiring very when it comes to barre chords.

I do plan on adding to these cheat sheets as time goes on, starting very soon in fact! Scales, triads, walking bass lines, and must-know chord tricks per each key… there’s a ton of stuff I’m excited to add. But for now, I’m excited to have these initial versions complete and ready to share. I hope you enjoy!

  • 0:00 Overview
  • 1:59 Major Scale in Each Key
  • 2:58 Fretboard Map of Each Key
  • 4:13 Common Scales in Each Key
  • 7:51 Common Chords in Each Key
  • 10:50 Non-Diatonic Chords in Each Key

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Get the Major Key Cheat Sheets!

If you want, you can download all the cheat sheets as one file — it’s a single ten-page PDF, including each of the five cheat sheets.

Download All Major Key Cheat Sheets

If you want to download them individually (two pages each), use the links below.

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Fun & Helpful Tools I've Made

Fret Monster

Interactive fretboard map! See the patterns behind every scale in any key.


Capo Captain

An easy way to calculate key & chord combinations, for any capo location!


Key Master

See and hear the notes, chords, scales used in each of the most common keys.


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Free PDF templates to download, print, and write out your own guitar tabs!


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