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The Dark World International Experimental School of Music

Index Sections: Notes on Guitar Fretboard * Major Key Guitar Positions * Major Key Bass Positions * Chords in a Major Key


Major Key Guitar Positions: Open Position, 2nd Position, 4th Position, 7th Position, 9th Position, 12th Position


Key of C Major Guitar Positions: 12th Position

Key of C Major Guitar Positions: 12th Position

12th Position for the Key of C Major on guitar

This chart shows the pattern of notes moving across the fretboard on a guitar in the Key of C Major. The C note is the root of C Major, and is shown in red. When playing C Major in the 12th position, it is common to play notes on the twelfth fret with the first finger. Notes on the thirteenth fret are played with the second finger, notes on the fourteenth fret with the third finger, and notes on the fifteenth fret with the fourth finger. Patterns around root notes are powerful tools to know. Practice playing positions as a warm-up before rehearsing. Learn to walk your fingers up and down the scales fluidly. Always play through keys slowly and solidly at first, before trying to sprint up and down as fast as you can. Learn where the roots are in each position, and learn to hear which note you are on in a Major Key as you play it. Can you call out each note as you play it? Try it. With regular practice you will be able to hear when you are on a root of the key and more, just have patience with yourself.

This section of charts shows the notes in the Key of C Major (which are the white keys on a piano). These notes are the natural C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. Sharps and flats are represented on a piano with black keys (a single key on a piano equals one fret on a guitar). Note that there is no sharp or flat between a B and a C, and an E and an F (on a guitar this would mean there are no frets between the notes). This fact is easier to learn on piano (where it may seem obvious) than it is on guitar (where frets are neither black nor white, but all a bit grey), so that a pianist many wonder why I point some things out, and the guitarist will say, "Oh, now I understand...", so I repeat myself, but music does repeat itself, over and over again. I hope to teach new guitarists this. When playing guitar, one may play any of the possible notes, but different guitar stings have different sounds. It is you, the guitarist, who must choose which place on a fretboard you like best, which is the easiest and enjoyable for you.


Music Theory - playing other Major keys

Scale Positions can be moved up or down the fretboard, changing the key being played. One of the easiest to use positions is the 7th Position. The root is played with the second finger on the 6th string. The note which the second finger plays is the Key of the position. If the second finger is on the third fret (a G note), then the 7th Position pattern plays the key of G Major. If the second finger is on the fifth fret (an A note), then the 7th Position pattern plays the key of A Major. Learning the scales of one Key (like learning C Major) in twelve frets, learns all Keys. Remember where the roots are in Positions, and you will always know what key you are in when sliding patterns up and down the fretboard. Notice the same pattern of notes in the Open and 12th Positions, this is where the patterns begin to repeat themselves.


Music Theory - Modes of the Major Key

A Major Key is always written out from the root. C Major is always written out as C_D_EF_G_A_BC (with "_" denoting the fret between some notes). When a C Major is played as D_EF_G_A_BC_D, the new scale is called D dorian. When a C Major is played as EF_G_A_BC_D_E, the new scale is called E phrygian. When a C Major is played as F_G_A_BC_D_EF, the new scale is called F lydian. When a C Major is played as G_A_BC_D_EF_G, the new scale is called G mixolydian. When a C Major is played as A_BC_D_EF_G_A, the new scale is called A minor. To play modes, you need to be able to play the Major Key first.

This applies to all Major Keys, any Major scale played from the second note to the ninth note is the dorian scale of the second note. Any key played from the third note to the tenth note is the phrygian scale of the third note. Any key played from the fourth note to the eleventh note is the lydian scale of the fourth note. Any key played from the fifth note to the twelfth note is the mixolydian scale of the fifth note. Any key played from the sixth note to the thirteenth note is the minor scale of the sixth note. The key of E minor has the same notes as the key of G Major, the root of the keys are different, but the notes are the same. Learn a Major key, and you have learned a minor key too.


about author

KarrArikh Tor began teaching bass and guitar to students when he was sixteen. Over the years he has taken less beginner students and has specialised in teaching intermediate guitar and bass guitar students how to use music theory to expand their playing. Many students have had to write out their own charts, but many have been worked out as posters for the walls of KarrArikh Tor's classroom, the Dark World International studios. This darkworld.com area is a reference tool of those posters and print-outs used by KarrArikh Tor in his lessons. The Dark World International Experimental School of Music is the attempt to teach a larger audience of intermediate guitarists about the music theory behind what they play, free of charge, free of cookies. If you find this area informative and helpful, all KarrArikh Tor asks is that you remember Dark World International artists when you are next purchasing music online, give us a listen, and buy your favourite Dark World release from any of the dealers online selling Dark World releases. Or if you want a physical CD or Book, visit our Shop and click on the CreateSpace catalogue, they tell us they ship world-wide.