BIG IDEA 1: Learn the six main chords that make up some of the most common keys, starting with C Major

  • For each chord, use the check boxes to rate yourself on how easily you can play each chord from "Noper", which means not yet, to "Yepper!" which means you can do it easily! 
  • Don't worry if there are some chords you can't play well yet! Wait and see if there are chord progressions you want to play where you need that chord to decide whether (or how much) you need to work on it.  
  • MOST OF ALL, BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF!  If playing an instrument were easy, nearly everyone would do it!


BIG IDEA 2: Practice common chord progressions in each key using our free jam tracks

  • For each chord progression, use the check boxes to rate yourself on how easily you can move between the chords in each progression from "Noper", which means not yet, to "Yepper!" which means you can do it easily! 
  • Practicing these chord progressions with jam tracks helps with so many things including- timing, ear training, making your chord changes fluid. These progressions are so common, you'll often think you're hearing a familiar song!
  • You can find links to these tracks in the Mastering Keys Checklist, or by going to Tools > 200 Free Jam Tracks above.


BIG IDEA 3: Practice playing each Major scale and Major pentatonic scale along with the chord progressions 

  • First learn the Major scale (the notes in white boxes in Fretboard Toolbox books) and the Major pentatonic scale (the underlined notes in Fretboard Toolboxes) in a position near the headstock of your instrument.
  • Once you're starting to play it pretty smoothly, then put on the free jam tracks in that key and play the scales with the jam tracks. You'll start hearing that certain notes sound good with certain chords, and then you're on your way to being able to improvise, which is one of the highlights of playing music!

To see the chords, progressions, and scales all over your instrument, check out Fretboard Toolbox Essential

and Complete books by going to "Pick Your Instrument" above. The page numbers for each edition are shown in the Mastering Keys Checklist, and you can learn all about the differences between the two versions here.

You can try the checklist with either Fretboard Toolbox version in the key of G Major for free by selecting

your instrument from the "Pick Your Instrument" tab above, and then clicking "LOOK INSIDE" for any edition

and watch what happens when you can see the note locations of each key all over your fretboard\!  

Mastering Keys Level 1 Checklist
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  Mastering Keys Checklist: Learn chords, progressions, & scales in common keys!

​​​​Mastering Keys: Level 1 Players

Learning the chords, chord progressions, and scales that make up the

most common keys makes an ENORMOUS difference in your playing!!