Guitar Keys

The Key of Db Major/C# Major for Guitar

The Key of D Flat Major for Guitar

The notes in the key of Db Major/C# Major are Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, and C.

Notes in the key of Db Major

When assembled in order of pitch the notes form the Db Major Scale.

Db Major or C# Sharp?

While both Db and C# are enharmonically equivalent (meaning they sound the same) as the key of C# contains 7 accidentals (sharps) while the key of Db contains five flats, Db is usually preferable.

Click here to learn more about keys, how they are named, and how to identify musical keys.

The Db Major Scale Step Pattern

The Db Major Scale Step Pattern

Major scales follow the same pattern of whole steps and half steps regardless of the key: whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half.

The step pattern for the Db major scale begins on the root note Db and then follows this pattern of whole (Eb), whole (F), half (Gb), whole (Ab), whole (Bb), whole (C), half (Db).

Playing The Db Major Scale

The root Db note can be found on the 9th fret of the 6th (E) string. One way to play this scale is to use the caged E shape scale pattern below.

The D Flat Major Scale (Chart and Tab)

Keep in mind, there are many ways to play scales, this is just one example.

Chords In The Key Of Db Major

All chords built from a major scale follow the pattern of:

Major, minor, minor, Major, Major, minor, Diminished.

In the key of Db, this gives us the following chords:

 D Flat Major Chord (Dbmaj)
E Flat Minor Chord (Ebmin)
F Minor Chord (Fmin)
G Flat Major Chord (Gbmaj)
A Flat Major Chord (Abmaj)
B Minor Chord (Bmin)
C Diminished Chord (Cdim)

*Much like scales there are numerous ways to voice chords, the examples above are some of the easier chord voicings for each.

7th Chords in Db Major

7th chords can be used in place of triads (major, minor, augmented, and diminished) to add depth and richness e.g. greater harmonic complexity to a chord progression. In the key of Db major we have the following 7th chords:

Db Major 7Db, F, Ab, C
Eb minor 7Eb, Gb, Bb, Db
F minor 7F, Ab, C, Eb
Gb Major 7Gb, Bb, Db, F
Ab Dominant 7 (Ab7)Ab, C, Eb, Gb
Bb minor 7Bb, Db, F, Ab
C Half-Diminished 7 (Minor 7 Flat 5)C, Eb, Gb, Bb
D Flat Major 7 Chord (Dbmaj7)
E Flat Minor 7 Chord (Ebmin7)
F minor 7 Chord (Fmin7)
G Flat Minor 7 Chord (Gbmin7)
A Flat Dominant 7th (Ab7)
B Flat Minor 7 Chord (Bbmin7)
C minor 7 Flat 5 Chord (Cmin7b5)

You can read more about 7th chords and how best to use them here.

Chord Function

Each chord within a key, plays a role within that particular key due to the interplay between chords, creating and resolving tension that gives rise to pleasing chord progressions.

For example, the V chord, or dominant chord (Abmaj) plays an important role in this regard, due to its inherent instability which introduces tension that pulls us strongly back to the tonic chord (Dbmaj) to resolve.

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

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

Common Chord Progressions In Db Major

I – V – vi – IVDbmaj – Abmaj – bmin – Gbmaj
I – IV – VDbmajGbmajAbmaj
I – vi – IV – VDbmajbminGbmajAbmaj
I – IV – vi – VDbmajGbmajbminAbmaj
I – V – vi – iii – IVDbmajAbmajbmin – fmin – Gbmaj

Relative Minor

The Relative Minor of Db is Bbm

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

Bb minor



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