Chords that Work Together in ‘C’

One of the questions I’ve been asked now and again is ‘What chords sound good together?

Well, there are a couple of ways for me to answer that question I suppose. I could show you specifically, and I could teach you the reasons why chords sound good together so you can figure that out on your own.

Chords that Work Together

In a way, I’ve done both. Today’s beginner lesson shows you all the guitar chords that work well together in the key of C. Simply, they are: C, F, G, Am, Dm and Em. In the video you’ll see that you can put these in literally any order and they’ll sound ok.

In the lesson I actually randomly play these chords in any order, to demonstrate that although it doesn’t end up sounding like any song you know, there aren’t any clashes – these chords all work well together.

In my Unlocking I IV V course I’ve take the time and gone into much more detail which chords work together which each other, but rather than giving you all the specifics, instead I teach the concept of I IV V and how to apply that to finding all the chords in any given key, in a matter of seconds. I’d recommend checking that out if you haven’t already.

Leave a comment below the video and let me know if this was useful for you or not. If so, I can make some more videos showing some of the other common keys as well.

Watch on Youtube

Leave a Reply 17 comments

maggie - February 13, 2010 Reply

I can’t find the download area for the fretboard print outs, I downloaded a couple of blank fret board print outs and a filled in fretboard as well….but I can’t figure out where to locate it now. Tip please!

Jonathan Boettcher - February 15, 2010 Reply

Hi Maggie, Are you referring to the lesson on string names where I had a blank fret board for download? You can find it here:

maggie - February 16, 2010 Reply

This was one-of-the-print outs, thanks. Also, I think maybe the other pdf file was part of my I IV V course. It was a filled in fret board, for easy viewing and learning. I had a copy that I printed, but has become a rather sorry sight. If you would direct me to the proper area to print out another, I would be smiling happily:)

maggie - February 16, 2010 Reply

I just remembered the names of the printouts, they are the CHEAT sheets!
That should help.

Jonathan Boettcher - February 16, 2010 Reply

Hi Maggie – you can get those cheat sheets in the Unlocking I IV V member’s zone, which you can login to here:

maggie - February 16, 2010 Reply


peter batchelor - April 18, 2010 Reply

hi ,allthe lessons i have got up to now r great .you make the foggy clear .thanks .peter

Ron Towle - June 5, 2010 Reply

Hi Jonathan-very interesting,some good reminders here for all levels

Ted Kroll - June 9, 2010 Reply

Thanks Jonathan, I have your 1,4,5 course but I don’t remember the back 3 frets being the minor, Thanks.

I would like to see a video the deals with the fastest and/or best way to change basic chords from one to another.

Jonathan Boettcher - June 9, 2010 Reply

Hi Ted – regarding changing the chords… the only way I know to do that is practice my friend. I wish I had some tricks to pass on there… =)

cwgreen - August 11, 2010 Reply

Jonathan, These tips really help a newby. I knew the three basic chords in the key of C and I knew how to find the relative minor for the C chord but I never thought about the other two major chords in the key of C (F & G)having a relative minor that would work in the key of C.

Thanks, I’m really enjoying all the information.

Psalmuel - October 21, 2010 Reply

Bless Up Boss you are good and i wanna be like you. Pls help me my email is Love you Bye Bye

Brian - November 18, 2010 Reply

Found the “run-down” of Chords in key of C and relative minor chords, most useful. More of the same would be appreciated at some stage.
Cheers and thanks for contributing to my re kindled interest in guitar after about 50 years. Keep up the good work that you do.


tom - December 27, 2010 Reply

Jonathan, I was wondering if you have plans to make videos of the more advanced chords that can be used in a key. I’ve been reading some songwriting books that go into chords that can be used in a key, for example, in lieu of the VII diminished one can substitute a flat VII or even major versions of the II III and VI. Thanks, love your work!

    Jonathan Boettcher - December 28, 2010 Reply

    Hi Tom, chord substitutions is a great topic – I’ll add that to the list! Cheers.

Wayne - September 11, 2011 Reply

Thanks Jonathan. Very helpful. Especially the relative minor thing. Does that work(three tones down), for all chords? Take care, Wayne

    Jonathan Boettcher - September 13, 2011 Reply

    Hi Wayne, yes, it works for every major chord.

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