​​​Musical terms that REALLY help to know...

When you know the scale degrees & chord Roman numerals of one of these keys by heart, click here to work on playing common melodies along with backing tracks using our free Picking Melodies Workbook.  This builds lots of muscle memory within a key!

As you're learning the chords & scales of each key, practice playing that key's chords & scales with free backing tracks here.

(Scroll all the way down for answer keys)

​Chromatic Scale: All of the possible notes in order, skipping none.

Major Scale: THE seven note scale that makes up the backbone of Western music

  • ​This is the do, re, mi, fa... scale, made up of seven scale degrees.  
  • The pattern of the distance between Major scale notes  is always the same:          

          (whole-step, whole-step, half-step, whole-step, whole-step, whole-step, half-step) 

​​Scale Degree: These are numbers given to the notes (d0 = 1, re = 2, mi =3, etc.) 

Whole-step: The distance between two notes where you skip a note in between.

Half-step: The distance between two notes where you don't skip a note in between.

Roman numerals: certain chords make up each Major key, and each gets a Roman numeral.

  • Three of the chords are Major chords (I, IV, V), and three are minor (ii, iii, vi).
  • Learning these chords means knowing the most common chords in the key! 
  • Learning the Roman numerals for the chords in the keys you play the most makes changing a song's key (transposing) infinitely easier!
  • There are really 7 chords that make up each key, but the 7th (called a "diminished" chord) is not often played, so I left it off of this worksheet.​

Chord notes: Each Major and minor chord is always made of the same notes, on ALL INSTRUMENTS!

  • Knowing those notes helps you build chords anywhere on your instrument, and gives meaning to chord shapes
  • Knowing those notes also makes a huge difference in soloing/improvising!

​ Major Pentatonic Scale: ​This is a VERY common five note scale that works great for improvising, so it's well worth learning!

  • Major pentatonic scales only use 5 of the 7 Major scale notes- learn which scale degrees it uses, and which it leaves out.​​

​Once you can easily fill out this worksheet, you'll get way more out of Fretboard Toolboxes!  Watch my Long, Boring Building Chords & Scales Video below for help getting started.  :-) 

  Building Major Keys Worksheet with Answer Keys: