The C Major Scale COMPLETE Map!
Other Major Scales:C | C#/Db | D | D#/Eb | E | F | F#/Gb | G | G#/Ab | A | A#/Bb | B |
On this page, you’ll find a FULL map of the C Major scale.
All of the theoretical information, the scale formula, the chords, harmonic function, chord progressions, and even song examples!
The article is divided into two sections:
Guitar positions and exercises
If you feel like you need to learn this subject more thoroughly, be sure to check “The Major Scale Explained” article, where we explain all of these concepts in depth!
The C Major Scale
The Notes of the C Major Scale
🤔 Why are these boxes painted in different colors you ask?? It relates to their harmonic function, just read along...
The C Major Scale Formula
This formula is the formula of every major scale, not just the C major scale! This is a certain pattern that colors what we hear in a specific tone and when copying this pattern to another root we get another major scale.
Notice that the semitones of the C Major Scale are located between E-F and B-C.
The C Major Scale Ascending and Descending
Key Signature of the C Major Scale
There is no key signature to the C major scale because that scale doesn't have any accidentals in it. No flat or sharp notes, that's why this scale is always best to start learning with.
The key signature will be a series of flat or sharp notes at the beginning of the piece right after the treble clef.
If key signatures confuse you, check the "Accidentals" article, there you'll find the easiest way to memorize ALL of the key signatures in just a few minutes!
The C major scale diatonic chord
Here you can see the triad version and the seventh chord version for each degree of the scale.
Triads of the major scale
Seventh chords of the major scale
The C Major scale roman numerals
The roman numerals system is a technique that doesn't use the actual notes of each scale, instead, it uses a degree that symbolises every note of the scale
This formula is a lot easier to operate in your head while playing, instead of thinking about notes, you're thinking in "templates". Because this is a note-less system, it fits as it is to every major scale!
The avoid notes and available tensions of the C major scale (“Jazz Chords”)
For more information about avoid notes check the "Avoid Notes" article!
Modes of the C major scale
Each degree of the C major scale has its mode. A mode is created by playing the notes of the C major scale starting from different steps of the scale.
For example, when we will play the C major scale notes starting from D, we will get the D Dorian mode.
The C Major scale Frequency Chart
For those of you who mix, this piece of information can be really useful! If you have an untreated room with some harsh frequencies popping out or when you hear a certain note that is in a higher volume than others for example.
The C major scale Harmony
C Major scale harmonic function
Now we can finally understand the meaning of the colors in every graphic on this article. This map will tell you the exact harmonic function of every chord in the C major scale.
* If you want to really understand this subject, be sure to check our “Harmonic Function” article!
The relative minor of the C major scale
Every major scale has a relative minor scale that uses the exact same notes, the only difference between these scales is their starting point.
A Minor Scale
Common Chord Progressions of the C major scale
Songs in C major scale
A good and most importantly, fun way of practicing the C major scale is by learning a few good songs in that key, here are a few honorable mentions:
"Imagine" by John Lennon
"House Of The Rising Sun" by The Animals (A minor scale)
"Let It Be" by The Beatles
"Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen
The C Major scale on the Guitar
In this section, we are going to put everything we've just learned into practice!
We'll start with mapping the guitar with scale positions and then travel through it with different sets of chord positions.
C Major Scale Exercises
C Major Scale Fretboard Map
We break the C major scale into 7 different positions and practice over each one separately. Each position starts from another step of the scale and consists of notes taken only from the C major scale.
These positions are actually the modes of the C major scale!
CLICK HERE → 7 Modes Positions in C Major Scale PDF
Triads of the C major scale
in this PDF file, you will find all the basic triad chord forms of the C major scale. Triads are chord consist of only 3 notes, these notes might repeat themselves inside the position.
CLICK HERE → Triads in C Major Scale PDF
Seventh chords of the C major scale
On this PDF, you'll find the seventh chord positions of the C major scale. Seventh chords consist of 4 notes, all of the notes derived only from the C major scale.