Key Master

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

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Notes in This Key

In the Key of D major, the 7 notes are D E F♯ G A B C♯ — where D is our root note. From low to high, the notes are ordered as follows. The numbers below each note are the scale degree — which count up to 7, and then start over again at 1.

It's essential to understand that the sequence of notes repeats in both directions! If we go one note past the 7th degree of the scale, things start over again. This is true if we go down in pitch, as well. Here's the D major scale written as two complete octaves:

Quick things to try:

Chords in This Key

Here's the six chords you'll use most often in this key. These chords are called diatonic triads – meaning they're built 100% using the notes in this key, and they each have 3 notes. Below each chord is a Roman numeral representing the scale degree (number) of each chord.

Each chord above can be extended by one additional note, giving us diatonic seventh chords. These four-note chords have an extra layer of flavor in their sound. Of these, the dominant seventh (built on the V chord) is the most common — as it almost always resolves back to the I chord. Click on any chord below to see how it sounds!

Other Chords Sometimes Used

The following chords are also used in this key from time to time. These are all non-diatonic chords, meaning each chord here has at least one note that is not found in this key's major scale. Note, all 7th chords below may be swapped with their non-seventh version (e.g. E7 may appear as E).

Example Chord Progressions

Here's a handful example progressions using the chords in this key. In all the examples below, notice the I chord feels sturdy, grounded, and like home — leaving our ear at ease. Even if we play these same progressions in a different key (using different chords), the I in each key has this same quality.

The so-called "1950s Progression," used in songs like Earth Angel and Unchained Melody and Last Kiss and so many others — can be played in this key with the following chords:

Learnin' to Fly by Tom Petty, which is normally played in the Key of C, can be played in this key with the following chords:

Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, which is normally played in the Key of G, can be played in this key with the following chords:

Creep by Radiohead, which is normally played in the Key of G, can be played in this key with the following chords:

Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd is played with the following chords:

Songs Tutorials in Key of D

Here's all the lessons I've made for songs in this key. Click any link below to view my video lesson and any other resources I have available for that song. All the song sheets I've made (indicated with a blue badge below) are licensed and available for individual purchase.

Riffs & Instrumental Lessons in Key of D

Here's all the additional lessons I've made that involve playing in this key. Instructional PDFs are available for most of these tutorials – which can be download by Premium members here on this Song Notes website.

More Key-Specific Goodness Coming Soon!

I have a ton of things I'd like to add to this tool, giving you helpful at-a-glance resources for other things in any given key. Such as:

So, stay tuned! If you have any specific ideas, suggestions, or requests – feel free to email me. Thanks!