Key and chord chart

A chart with keys and chords showing the relationship of chords in all the keys can be seen below. From left to right you can see a key and the chords that belong to it. If you are looking for an overview of guitar chords, see the chart with diagrams.

Chart with chords sorted by key

Key I ii iii IV V vi
C# C# D#m E#m F# G# A#m
F# F# G#m A#m B C# D#m
B B C#m D#m E F# G#m
E E F#m G#m A B C#m
A A Bm C#m D E F#m
D D Em F#m G A Bm
G G Am Bm C D Em
C C Dm Em F G Am
F F Gm Am Bb C Dm
Bb Bb Cm Dm Eb F Gm
Eb Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb Cm
Ab Ab Bbm Cm Db Eb Fm
Db Db Ebm Fm Gb Ab Bbm
Gb Gb Abm Bbm Cb Db Ebm
Cb Cb Dbm Ebm Fb Gb Abm

In essence, the table gives tips on which chords to play together. Chords on the same rows will always sound good in different progressions because they belong to the same key. See also an extended version of the chart below and a table from a minor key perspective.

How to use the table

The chord chart above is very useful because it tells you which chords that belongs to a certain key. As soon you know this, you also know which chords that are well played together.

For an example, look at the chord chart and the column that begins with C. Here we find C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major and A minor. Every one of these chords always sound nice together. Try the following chord progression:

C - Em - Am - F - G - C

Really nice and smooth, isn’t it? Of course, sometimes we want some dissonance in our music but the chart above gives us the fundamentals for creating chord progressions.

One more area in which the chart can assist us is in writing our own songs. As we recognize chords that match, we can use them together then composing music.

Chords in the key of...

To help you out in the most common keys for guitar here are some shortcuts that can come handy:

Chords in the key of G: G, Am, Bm, C, D and Em
Chords in the key of C: C, Dm, Em, F, G and Am
Chords in the key of D: D, Em, F#m, G, A and Bm
Chords in the key of A: A, Bm, C#m, D, E and F#m

It is also possible to play in minor keys and here are some common minor keys and chords:

Chords in the key of A minor: Am, C, Dm, Em, F and G (you can substitute Dm for D and Em for E)
Chords in the key of E minor: Em, G, Am, Bm, C and D (you can substitute Am for A and Bm for B)

For the other keys, use the table below. For more instructions, see the article about chords that sound good together.

Expanded chart

Key I ii iii IV V vi    
C# C# D#m E#m F# G# A#m D# E#
F# F# G#m A#m B C# D#m G# A#
B B C#m D#m E F# G#m C# D#
E E F#m G#m A B C#m F# G#
A A Bm C#m D E F#m B C#
D D Em F#m G A Bm E F#
G G Am Bm C D Em A B
C C Dm Em F G Am D E
F F Gm Am Bb C Dm G A
Bb Bb Cm Dm Eb F Gm C D
Eb Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb Cm F G
Ab Ab Bbm Cm Db Eb Fm Bb C
Db Db Ebm Fm Gb Ab Bbm Eb F
Gb Gb Abm Bbm Cb Db Ebm Ab Bb
Cb Cb Dbm Ebm Fb Gb Abm Db Eb

Expanding the chord possibilities

This second table gives you some possibilities beyond what is presented in the first table. One example of chord progression using the expanding chords in the key of G is:

G - A - C - D

To include a chord from the e second of the expanded rows, this progressions works well in the key of C:

C - E - Am - F or C - E7 - Am - F

You could even add a third chord beyond the standard key chords: iiimajb. In the key of G this would be Bb. One example of chord progression is G - Bb - C - D.

Chart with four-note chords sorted by key

Key I ii iii IV V vi
C# C#maj7 D#m7 E#m7 F#maj7 G#7 A#m7
F# F#maj7 G#m7 A#m7 Bmaj7 C#7 D#m7
B Bmaj7 C#m7 D#m7 Emaj7 F#7 G#m7
E Emaj7 F#m7 G#m7 Amaj7 B7 C#m7
A Amaj7 Bm7 C#m7 Dmaj7 E7 F#m7
D Dmaj7 Em7 F#m7 Gmaj7 A7 Bm7
G Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7 Em7
C Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7
F Fmaj7 Gm7 Am7 Bbmaj7 C7 Dm7
Bb Bbmaj7 Cm7 Dm7 Ebmaj7 F7 Gm7
Eb Ebmaj7 Fm7 Gm7 Abmaj7 Bb7 Cm7
Ab Abmaj7 Bbm7 Cm7 Dbmaj7 Eb7 Fm7
Db Dbmaj7 Ebm7 Fm7 Gbmaj7 Ab7 Bbm7
Gb Gbmaj7 Abm7 Bbm7 Cbmaj7 Db7 Ebm7
Cb Cbmaj7 Dbm7 Ebm7 Fbmaj7 Gb7 Abm7

There are more categories of four-note chords, but these are suggestions of chords that fit well together. For example, it is common to use a seventh dominant as the V chord.

Chord substitutions

Whenever a chord is marked with a 7th, you could always substitute it with a 9th, an 111th or a 13th chord. Following the same concept, a m7 or a maj7 chord could as well be substituted with a m9 or a maj9, respectively, and so on. All extended chords don't function in this way, however. Minor 6th and minor 13th chords are atonal in the degree that they will not match the same key as the relevant triad minor. So, for example, replacing Em7 with Em6 in the key of G major will lead to some dissonance.

Chart with chords sorted by minor key

Key i ii° III iv v VI VII
A#m A#m Cdim C# D#m E#m F# G#
D#m D#m Fdim F# G#m A#m B C#
G#m G#m A#dim B C#m D#m E F#
C#m C#m D#dim E F#m G#m A B
F#m F#m G#dim A Bm C#m D E
Bm Bm C#dim D Em F#m G A
Em Em F#dim G Am Bm C D
Am Am Bdim C Dm Em F G
Dm Dm Edim F Gm Am Bb C
Gm Gm Adim Bb Cm Dm Eb F
Cm Cm Ddim Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb
Fm Fm Gdim Ab Bbm Cm Db Eb
Bbm Bbm Cdim Db Ebm Fm Gb Ab
Ebm Ebm Fdim Gb Abm Bbm Cb Db
Abm Abm Gbdim Cb Dbm Ebm Fb Gb

The minor version is easy to learn since it's just a mirror of the major version with a different order. The I chord is now function as III chord and so on. To simplify, the ii° column has been left empty since the diminished chords are seldom used in a triad context.

It would be possible to create a chromatic key overview. For the C major, it would include the following chords: C - C# - D - Eb - E - F - F# - G - Ab - A - Bb - B. This organization would be less useful, though. For one thing, the notes wouldn't be decided as either major or minor.

Chart with four-note chords sorted by minor key

Key / i7 ii7b5 IIImaj7 iv7 v7 VImaj7 VII7
A#m7 Cm7b5 C#maj7 D#m7 E#m7 F#maj7 G#7
D#m7 Fm7b5 F#maj7 G#m7 A#m7 Bmaj7 C#7
G#m7 A#m7b5 Bmaj7 C#m7 D#m7 Emaj7 F#7
C#m7 D#m7b5 Emaj7 F#m7 G#m7 Amaj7 B7
F#m7 G#m7b5 Amaj7 Bm7 C#m7 Dmaj7 E7
Bm7 C#m7b5 Dmaj7 Em7 F#m7 Gmaj7 A7
Em7 F#m7b5 Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7
Am7 Bm7b5 Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7
Dm7 Em7b5 Fmaj7 Gm7 Am7 Bbmaj7 C7
Gm7 Am7b5 Bbmaj7 Cm7 Dm7 Ebmaj7 F7
Cm7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7 Fm7 Gm7 Abmaj7 Bb7
Fm7 Gm7b5 Abmaj7 Bbm7 Cm7 Dbmaj7 Eb7
Bbm7 Cm7b5 Dbmaj7 Ebm7 Fm7 Gbmaj7 Ab7
Ebm7 Fm7b5 Gbmaj7 Abm7 Bbm7 Cbmaj7 Db7
Abm7 Gbm7b5 Cbmaj7 Dbm7 Ebm7 Fbmaj7 Gb7

Other extended chord types are of course possible as well.

See also Dorian mode chord chart | Lydian mode chord chart | Phrygian mode chord chart | Mixolydian mode chord chart

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