A more visual picture of how the keys are related
is the circle of 5ths. Start on a C and move clockwise around
The key of G major is up a perfect 5th from C
(G is the 5th note in a C major scale). Keep moving clockwise
and the key of D major is up a perfect 5th from G (D is the
5th note in a G major scale) This continues around the circle
until it starts over (C is the 5th note in an F major scale).
You will notice that 3 points on the circle have 2 different
names. B is the same as Cb, F# is the same as Gb and C# is the
same as Db. These are known as enharmonic keys (sound the same,
but are spelled differently). As far as practical use, you would
use the B instead of the Cb. It is easier to think of 5 sharps
rather than 7 flats. Also you would use Db instead of C#, because
it is better to think of 5 flats instead of 7 sharps. Since
F# and Gb have an equal number of sharps and flats, both are
C# and Cb are considered more "theoretical" keys
than actual usable keys, so for most situations do not use them.
memorize the order of sharps (these are
the more common keys used for guitar). Get some staff paper
and write the key signature for C# over and over until you
just know it. Then you will be able to figure out any key
signature, using the tricks learned above. Start quizzing
yourself, and write the answer on your staff paper. Then
do the same for the major keys that use flats.
Once you have the key signatures memorized,
practice "spelling" the major scales. For example, if you
know that the key of a A major has an F#, C#, and G#, then
and A major scale would be spelled ( A B C# D E F# G# A)
Practice naming the scales forwards and backwards.
These are not things that you can learn in a very
short period of time. Pick one or 2 keys to work on at a time.
Learn these keys first, they are THE guitar keys.
||C D E F G A B C
|| G A B C D E F# G
|| D E F# G A B C# D
|| A B C# D E F# G# A
||E F# G# A B C# D# E