What Does the Key of C Mean for Guitars?

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The first thing in understanding a key is looking at the scale notes that make it up. Learn what the key of "C" means for guitars with help from a Los Angeles-based guitar player in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Be a Versatile Guitarist
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Video Transcript

I'm Marcus Gerakos and I'm a guitarist based here in the LA area. I do a lot of studio work here on films and television and today I'm going to talk about what the key of C Major means to a guitarist. The first step in exploring a key or understanding a key is looking at the scale notes that make it up. In this case we have see, C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C. This is called an octave. Whenever we complete the circle like this. Here the the C Major scale, one octave, heres' a C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C again. The distance between this C and this C is an octave, one octave. Now, we isolate the first step, the third step and the fifth step. We have what's called a C Major triad, C, E, and G. Now if we sort of promote every note, one step higher on the scale, we have D, F and A which is D Minor. We keep going in the same pattern, E, G and B, E Minor, F, A and C which is F Major, G, B and D, G Major, A, C and E which A Minor, B, D and F, which is B Diminished and here we are back at C, G E which is C Major again. We've completed the octave. I'm Marcus Gerakos and this has been what the key of C Major means on the guitar.


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