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

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17 Responses to “Chords that Work Together in 'C'”

  1. maggie February 13, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    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!

  2. Jonathan February 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    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:

  3. maggie February 16, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    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:)

  4. maggie February 16, 2010 at 10:09 am #

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

  5. Jonathan February 16, 2010 at 11:13 am #

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

  6. maggie February 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm #


  7. peter batchelor April 18, 2010 at 10:44 am #

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

  8. Ron Towle June 5, 2010 at 5:53 am #

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

  9. Ted Kroll June 9, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    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.

  10. Jonathan Boettcher June 9, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    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... =)

  11. cwgreen August 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    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.

  12. Psalmuel October 21, 2010 at 9:35 am #

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

  13. Brian November 18, 2010 at 4:12 am #

    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.


  14. tom December 27, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    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 December 28, 2010 at 9:09 am #

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

  15. Wayne September 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

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

    • Jonathan September 13, 2011 at 10:57 am #

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

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