Guitar Keys

The Key Of A Major For Guitar

The Key of A Major for Guitar

The notes in the key of A Major are:
A, B, C#, D, E, F#, and G#

Notes in the Key of A Major

When these notes are assembled in order of pitch (ascending or descending) the notes form the A major Scale.

A major consists of three sharps: F#, C#, and G#, as demonstrated by the key signature preceding the notes in the example above.

This means that all occurrences of these notes in a piece of music written in A major will be played as sharps unless otherwise indicated.

The Sound Of A Major

The key of A major has a bright and cheerful quality and is often associated with feelings of triumph and positivity.

In classical music, A major is often used to convey a sense of grandeur. Many composers, including Mozart and Beethoven, wrote pieces in A Major to capture the majestic emotions this key evokes.

In popular music, A major is a common key for songs that have an upbeat and energetic feel.

The A Major Scale Step Pattern

The A Major Scale Step Pattern

The step pattern for the A major scale begins on the tonic note of A, before moving up a whole step to B, followed by C# which is a whole step up from B.

We then jump a half step to D and then a whole step up to E, followed by F# and G#. The scale then jumps up a half step to the tonic note of A in the next highest octave. While it is technically the same note the frequency of the pitch is actually double that of the A in the nearest lower octave.

The A Major Scale

An A note can be found on the 5th fret of the 6th (low E) string. As a result, the A major scale can be played beginning at the 5th fret (E caged shape).

The A Major Scale

Keep in mind, that there are many ways, and positions on the guitar fretboard to play scales, this is just one example.

Chords In The Key Of A Major

The chords in the key of all major scales follow the pattern of Major, minor, minor, Major, Major, minor, and Diminished.

In the key of A, this gives us the following chords:
A Major, B minor, C# minor, D Major, E Major, F# minor, G# Diminished.


*Keep in mind, much like scales there are numerous ways to voice chords, the following are some of the easier chord voicings for each chord.

A Major Chord
B Minor Chord
C# Minor Chord
D Major Chord
E Major Chord
F# Minor Chord
G# Diminished Chord

7th Chords in A Major

7th chords can be used in place of triads (major, minor, augmented, and diminished) to add more harmonic complexity to a chord progression. In the key of A major we have the following 7th chords available:

A Major 7, B minor 7, C# minor 7, D Major 7, E Dominant 7, F# minor 7, and G# minor 7 flat 5.

You can read more about 7th chords and their application here.

A Major 7 Chord
B Minor 7th Chord
C# Minor 7th Chord
D Major 7th Chord
E Dominant 7th Chord
F# Minor 7th Chord
G# Minor 7b5 Chord

Chord Function

The three most important chords in any key are the I (tonic), iv (subdominant), and V (dominant). These are all Major chords and contain the 7 notes of the A Major scale.

You can read more about chord function and the relationship between chords here.

* Capitals denote major chords, lower case denotes minor chords.

Common Chord Progressions in A Major

I – V – vi – IVAmaj – Emaj – f#min – Dmaj
I – IV – VAmaj – Dmaj – Emaj
I – vi – IV – VAmaj – f#min – Dmaj – Emaj
I – IV – vi – VAmaj – Dmaj – f#min – Emaj
I – V – vi – iii – IVAmaj – Emaj – f#min – c#min – Dmaj

Relative Minor

Relative Minor of A Major - F# Minor

The relative minor key to A Major is F#minor, which contains the same notes as A major, however, the sequence of notes begins on the 6th scale degree of the A Major scale.

F# minor



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