Modulation and Cadence 5

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C major and closely related keys, modulation, cadence and common guitar scales

In our last lesson we covered different types of Cadence. Each type of cadence was explained in the key of C major or Am. In this lesson we will continue to work on progressions and modulation. Before we begin we need to review the key of C major.

The key of C major is made up of the following notes and chords: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am and B dim.

In the key of C major and in every key, there are 3 major chords, 3 minor chords and 1 diminished. This holds true for every major key.

For example, in the key of F major you will find the following notes and chords: F, Gm, Am, Bb, C, Dm, E dim and F. Every major key is constructed the same way, WWHWWWH steps. MmmMMmd. Every major key also has a relative minor. The relative minor shares the same key signature with the major key it is in. The relative or natural minor is always the sixth note in the major key. Look at the sixth note in the key of F major; you will notice that Dm is the relative minor.

The key of G major would have the following notes. G, Am, Bm, C, D, Em, F# dim. Notice that Em is the relative minor to G major.

In the key of C major, Am would be the natural minor. Once again look at the notes in the key of C major. C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am and B dim.

Key of C major, notes and chords

Each note in the key of C major above is illustrated with its major and minor relationship. The C is relative to Am in that they share the same key signature. Look at the illustration above and notice how each major and its relative minor are linked together. (C-Am). (Dm-F), (Em-G).

The sentence to follow is very important and should be fully understood before moving on.

Every major key has 3 minor keys and 2 major keys that are in common or are closely related. A closely related key differs by no more than 1 sharp or 1 flat.

Look at the major keys that are closely related to C major below.

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