Guitar Keys

The Key of Eb Major for Guitar

The Key of Eb Major for Guitar

The notes in the key of Eb major are: Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, D

Notes in the key of Eb major

When assembled sequentially the notes form the Eb Major Scale.

Eb or D# Major?

Both Eb major and D# major are used on the guitar, but Eb major (E flat major) is generally more practical due to its relationship with standard tuning and the layout of the fretboard.

In standard tuning (E, A, D, G, B, E, ), Eb major is relatively easy to play, as you can simply use the same chord shapes as E major but move everything one fret lower.

On the other hand, D# major is less intuitive as the chord shapes don’t fit as naturally into the standard tuning of the guitar, making it less commonly used and often less convenient.

However, the choice between Eb major and D# major can also depend on the musical context. In certain genres or compositions, you might encounter D# more often.

So, while both Eb major and D# major can be used on the guitar, Eb major is more commonly encountered due to its alignment with standard tuning and common chord shapes.

You can learn more about musical keys and how they are named here.

The Eb Major Scale Step Pattern

The Eb Major Scale Step Pattern

Like all major scales, the Eb major scale follows a pattern of whole steps and half steps, as follows: whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half.

Playing The Eb Major Scale

The root Eb note can be found on the 11th fret of the 6th (E) string. One way to play this scale is to use the caged E shape scale pattern below. You can read more about the CAGED system by clicking here.

The Eb Major Scale (Chart and Tabs)

Keep in mind, this is just one approach. There are many ways to play scales.

Chords In The Key Of Eb Major

All chords constructed from major scales follow the pattern of:

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

E Flat Major Chord (Ebmaj)
F Minor Chord (Fmin)
g minor 1
a flat major 1
b flat major 1
c minor 1
D Diminished Chord (Ddim)

*There are many different ways to play the chords above, the examples above are some of the easier voicings for each.

7th Chords in Eb Major

7th chords can be used in place of triads (major, minor, augmented, and diminished). They add richness, complexity, and depth to music by introducing additional harmonic flavors and tension. In the key of Eb major, we have the following 7th chords:

Eb Major 7Eb, G, Bb, D
F minor 7F, Ab, C, Eb
G minor 7G, Bb, D, F
Ab Major 7Ab, C, Eb, G
Bb Dominant 7 (Ab7)Bb, D, F, Ab
C minor 7C, Eb, G, Bb
D Half-Diminished 7 (Minor 7 Flat 5)D, F, Ab, C
E Flat Major 7 Chord (Ebmaj7)
F minor 7 Chord (Fmin7)
G Minor 7 Chord (Gmin7)
A Flat Major 7 Chord (Abmaj7)
B Flat Dominant 7 Chord (Bb7)
C minor 7 Chord (Cmin7)
D Minor 7 Flat 5 Chord (Dmin7b5)

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

Chord Function

Chords play roles within given keys due to the interplay between the notes that make up the chords, creating and resolving tension that gives rise to interesting, and pleasing chord progressions.

For example, the V chord, or dominant chord (Bbmaj) plays an important role in this regard, due to its inherent instability which introduces tension that pulls us strongly back to the tonic chord (Ebmaj) 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 Eb Major

I – V – vi – IVEbmaj – Bbmaj – cmin – Gmaj
I – IV – VEbmaj GmajBbmaj
I – vi – IV – VEbmaj cminGmajBbmaj
I – IV – vi – VEbmaj GmajcminBbmaj
I – V – vi – iii – IVEbmajBbmajcmin – f#min – Gmaj

Relative Minor

The Relative Minor Key of E Flat Major is C Minor

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

C minor



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