The “technical” side to music is often scary to beginners for two main reasons.
- The terminology can be intimidating. (Phrygian dominant mode of the harmonic scale anyone?)
- Teachers are generally pretty made at breaking it down to where it’s easy to understand.
When you combine both those elements together you can see why most people shy away from music theory altogether.
When it comes to learning songs the first step is to get 2 keys under your belt…
The Key of C Major
C Dm Em F G Am Bdim
As you can see, we have seven chords which make up the key. The very last chord, B diminished, is not so important to learn when talking about beginner guitar songs and chords – it’s more used in Jazz and Classical music.
The second key you’ll need is the key of G Major, it looks like this…
The Key of G Major
G Am Bm C D Em F#dim
Again, you can see there are 7 chords and if you look even closer you’ll also see that they key itself maintains the same basic structure as the previous one, by this I mean that the sequence of major and minor chords are congruent. The formula of a major key looks like this…
M m m M M m Dim
Now, you should also notice that the two keys above share many common chords – they are keys which are closely related. Putting both keys together we’d need to know the following chords, we’ll leave out the diminished chord number VII in each one for now…
C, D, Dm, Em, F, G, Am and Bm
I would also add the chord of E major and there you’d have it, the 10 most powerful chords arranged into 2 keys which all fit neatly together and open the door into 100’s of songs on guitar.