Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor

Sometimes called the learning key, the key of C Major is one of the easiest keys to memorize and begin using.

Published: 11 Sep 2011 Updated: 09 Jun 2023Visits: 447Code: UL44

INSTRUMENTS: Theory Main: Music Others: Ukulele ANY Lapsteel
Subjects: Theory • Reading • Beginner • Intermediate • Advanced

All 4 sample page(s) are viewable on-line.

If you are a registered site member, have verified your email address, and have the correct permissions you can view ALL the pages of this PDF or Samples pages at a larger size using the LearningUkulele.com Online PDF Viewer .

This Download is NOT part of your LearningUkulele.com membership level.

Sign-up for Premium Site Access or Upgrade Your Plan your current access level to download this PDF or your can purchase a copy for download.

After purchasing a PDF , a download link > will be sent to you within 24hrs.

Contact LearningUkulele.com if there are any issues.

Each PDF file is a formatted, high resolution file that prints out great. You'll need a PDF Reader or application capable of viewing PDF files to view the PDF.

Download the PDF file for the latest, complete, and most up-to-date version. As well as additional information not presented on-line.

Members and Active Students need to sign-in to download this lesson's PDF for the complete lesson.

Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor


In music, it is important to learn and recognize the key signature for C Major and A Minor. These two keys have corresponding major and natural minor scales, along with basic ukulele chords that can be used with each scale. The key of C Major, also known as the learning key, is particularly easy to memorize and start using.

Additional Content
Available for Premium Site Access Plans Only

Sorry, can't give it ALL away!

This content requires a Premium / Gold Access Plan or enrolled in the Study with Curt - On-line or Private Lesson Program.

To view additional content for this page you'll need to either Sign In or Register for or Upgrade to a Premium Site Access Plan.

Login or SignUp to View Content

Key of C Major / A Minor (no sharps or flats)

C Major is a major scale based on the note C, consisting of the pitches C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. It has no flats (♭) or sharps (♯) in its key signature. The relative minor of C Major is A minor, while the parallel minor is C minor.

C Major is widely used in music and serves as the home key for many transposing instruments. For instance, a clarinet in B-flat, which sounds a B-flat major scale, is notated as playing a C major scale.

On the piano , the white keys correspond to the C major scale, although some electronic keyboards can be pitched to different keys.

Among brass instruments, the trumpet in C is more commonly used, and the contra-bass tuba is in C. A harp tuned to C major will have all its pedals in the middle position. A diatonic harmonic in C will have the C major scale available.

Sign-IN — it's FREE — to view, un-blur any additional content for this lesson.

Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor…

C Major is one of the most commonly used key signatures in music. Most transposing instruments playing in their home key are notated in C major; for example, a clarinet in B-flat sounding a B-flat major scale is notated as playing a C major scale. The white keys of the piano correspond to the C major scale (however, some electronic keyboards are pitched in B-flat). Among brass instruments, the more common trumpet is the trumpet in C, and the contra-bass tuba is in C. A harp tuned to C major has all its pedals in the middle position.

C Major is often thought of as the simplest key, owing to its lack of either sharps (♯) or flats (♭), and beginning piano students‘ very first pieces are usually very simple ones in this key, and the first scales and arpeggios that students learn are usually C-major based. However, going against this common practice, the composer Frédéric Chopin regarded this scale as the most difficult one to play with complete evenness, and he tended to give it last to his students. He regarded B major as the easiest scale to play on the piano, because the position of the black and white notes best fitted the natural positions of the fingers, and so he often had students start with this scale. A C-major scale lacks black keys, and thus does not fit the natural positions of the fingers very well.

Key Signature

A Key Signature is a collection of the natural, sharp, and, flat notes that appear in a piece, section, or part of music. Most commonly used with Diatonic Keys in Western music. Modal music will share the key signature from its inherent major key. And examples would be D Dorian using the C Major key signature. Basically the key signature of the major scale that is all the same notes of the modal scale.

Key Signatures can into use during the Common Practice Period of music.

The C Major Key Signature has no sharps or flats for: C D E F G A B'. This is the C Major Scale.

Basic Ukulele Chords for the Key of C

Note: The °7 is a Diminished Seventh chord. This is the chord that is traditionally substituted for a diminished (dim) triad. The °7 chord shown here can be G#°7, Ab°7, D°7, F°7 or B°7. Any one of the notes can be the name of the the chord. Even double flat and double sharp Enharmonic Equivalents are possible. That is a a lot of possible names, all depending on the harmonic context of the chord.


Download the PDF file for the latest, complete, and most up-to-date version. As well as additional information not presented on-line.

End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

Related Lessons, Videos, Lesson Series, Songs, Books & Reference Charts, Resources & Assets, Workshops are below.

Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor.

UL44a

Primary Chords - C Major

Updated: 25 Oct 2021

The primary chords for any major key are the I, IV and V chords of its corresponding major scale. For C Major, the primary chords are: C, F, G, and G7. From the primary and secondary chords of a major key, countless songs and chords progressions can be played.

UL44b

Secondary Chords - C Major

Updated: 25 Oct 2021

The secondary chords for any major key are the II, III and VI chords of it's corresponding major scale. For C Major, the secondary chords are: Dm, Em and Am. From the primary and secondary chords of a major key, countless songs and chords progressions can be played.

MLRMAe-14

Harmonic Analysis - Major and Minor Harmonized Chord Charts

Updated: 20 Aug 0024

Major and Minor Harmonized Chord Charts are used for while doing a Harmonic Analysis (HA). Shows triads and 4-part chords for ALL 15 major and minor keys. "Yes, Virginia there are 15 keys."

UL44

Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor

Updated: 09 Jun 2023

In music, it is important to learn and recognize the key signature for C Major and A Minor. These two keys have corresponding major and natural minor scales, along with basic ukulele chords that can be used with each scale. The key of C Major, also known as the learning key, is particularly easy to memorize and start using.

UL44c

Common Chord Progressions for the Key of C Major

Updated: 25 Feb 2013

Sometimes called the “learning key”, the key of C Major is one of the easiest keys to memorize and begin using. C major (often just C or key of C) is a musical major scale based on C, with pitches C D E F G A B C. Its key signature has no flats or sharps. Its relative minor is A minor A B C D E F G A B.

UL42-Blues-7C

Basic Blues Progressions in C Major

Updated: 23 Jan 2020

Basic and Quick Change blues chord progressions in the key of C major using the core 7th chords from the Big Six series of lessons. This is a great way to explore this core chord in various keys. These are the two most common blues progressions used in traditional and contemporary music.

ML-basic-11

The Major Scale

Updated: 02 Apr 2021

Called the "learning scale" for a reason. The major scale is a great scale for learning how music and chords work. It’s a core scale from which a majority of your core, essential scales can be derived. There are 15 major scales.

ML-basic-12

Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths and Fourths

Updated: 09 Jun 2023

Traditional key signatures provide a wealth of information that can enhance our understanding of music and its underlying principles.

UL31seq

Practice Cycles and Sequences

Updated: 11 May 2023

Sequences and cycles for practicing scales, intervals, melodic sequences and arpeggios.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor.

Key Signatures

Updated: 01 Jan 2003

In this comprehensive Series of Lesson (Series), we delve into all 15 major and relative minor keys, exploring their primary and secondary chords, along with sample common chord progressions.

Related Songs

Related Songs for Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor.

UL520

Sunny

Updated: 01 Oct 2011

Sunny is the name of a song written by Bobby Hebb. It is one of the most covered popular songs, with hundreds of versions released. BMI rates "Sunny" number 25 in its "Top 100 songs of the century".

Related Books & Charts

Related Books for Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor.

RMA1

Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution

Updated: 08 Jun 2024

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords. It is the process used to analyze the harmonic structure of a progression, song or composition. This analysis is then used to make scale selections for improvisation and chord substitution.

A Selection of Books & Reference Charts that are recommended for creating a solid foundation with your chosen instrument and music in general.

Books

Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard – C Tuning

Finally, learn the names of the notes of the fingerboard.

Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering

Learn the six fingering principles to navigating the ukulele fingerboard. Fingering is one of the most universal topics.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords. It is the process used to analyze the harmonic structure of a progression, song or composition.

Ukulele – Reading Music Series – Primer

Learn to read single note melodies in the first/open position is a lot easier than you might think.

Daily Practice Material for the Contemporary Ukulele

An organized collection of daily practice and reference material for the contemporary ukulele player for developing the vocabulary and knowledge necessary for single note playing.

Checkout the Books for ALL available books.

Reference Charts

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for C Tuning, Low or High G - G C E A

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for C Tuning, Low or High G – G C E A

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for G Tuning, Low or High A – D G B E

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for G Tuning, Low or High A – D G B E

Key Signatures — Circle of Fourths and Fifths – ANSI A & A4 sizes

A handy reference chart of all 15 major and relative minor key signatures. US Letter 8.5 x 11 sized (ANSI-A) , A4

Checkout the Books for additional Handy, Dandy Reference Charts.

Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor.

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY

Basic Ukulele Chord Chart

Updated: 11 May 2019

A chart of the most common ukulele chords in the most common keys of C, G, D, A, and E.

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY

Key Signatures - Cycle of Fourths and Fifths

Updated: 14 Oct 2019

A handy reference chart of all 15 major and relative minor key signatues. US Letter 8.5 x 11 sized.

Site Access Plans for LearningUkulele.com

Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access, you get ALL the benefits of a Premium Access Subscription such as Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources, related assets, and ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site, and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for responding to any questions.

If you're anything like me (Curt) and getting Subscription overloaded with everything and everybody on-line wanting money from you once a month — I'm with you. For like-minded individuals, this forever plan is a pay once, and you're done.

The price for Unlimited Forever access is right around the cost of a few months of private lessons. I can guarantee there is more than enough material on-line to keep you busy for a long, long time. And, you get all of my books for FREE. That alone is more than the cost of this plan.

Premium Access - This premium gives you Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads.

Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and LearningUkulele.com since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt

NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on the schedule.

Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

Want to leave a nice comment for LearningUkulele.com & Learning Ukulele with Curt? We'd love to hear how we're doing and how you are too. We'll share your comments and quotes throughout the site, helping to spread the word.

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!

curtieAnim.gif rw.vg.gif

Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II, 37 years ago. Man, does time fly.

“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!”

LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, Luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. Curt has been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

Content is added and updated daily — so check back often. I really do need to get out more ;-)

Love LearningUkulele.com? • Show your support!
Support development via a monthly membership or a one-time forever membership!