Learn The Chords In Any Key
One little secret hidden within the Circle of Fifths is that it shows you all of the major and minor guitar chords in any key. This is a great tool even for those of you just starting to learn how to play guitar. First, let’s look at the key of C, which is at the top of the Circle of Fifths.
In any major key, the three major chords are the I chord, the IV chord, and the V chord. In the graphic below you’ll see the C major chord, which is our I chord in the key of C. We go to the left to see our IV chord which is F. Then to the right we see our V chord, which is a G chord. You can always use a guitar chord chart to help find these voicings.
The Relative Minor
Now, right below the C, we see the relative minor of the key of C, which is Am. The Am is also the vi chord. The other two remaining minor chords are the ii chord, which is D minor, and which we can see to the left of the Am, and the E minor, which is to the right of the Am.
The Diminished Chord
The only chord in a key that is not shown is the diminished chord. In a major key, this chord is not used very often. If you want to find it, just go down a half step or semitone from the tonic. For instance, down a half step from C, is B, so your diminished chord would be B diminished. The diminished chord is the vii chord or the last chord in the key.
Now let’s look at this in the key of G. As you can see, the I chord is G, the IV chord is C (to the left), the V chord is D (to the right), the vi chord is Em (directly below), the ii chord is Am (to the left of Em), and the iii chord is Bm (to the right of Em).
Master All The Keys
Hopefully, you now understand how you can use the Circle of Fifths as a reference to memorise all of the major and minor chords in any of the 12 keys. These chords will all sound great together in any order. And you can even start writing your own easy guitar songs using the circle of fifths! This doesn’t mean you have to constrain yourself to these chords. However, they will be the standard collection of chords used in any key.