The notes in a C Major scale are:

C – D – E – F – G – A – B

The C Major scale the unofficial ‘default scale’ in all of music. This is because the scale contains no sharps or flats, which gives it a sense of simplicity and purity.

The relative minor of C Major is A minor

If you are interested in learning about modes and guitar scales, it should be pointed out that the C major scale is effectively the same scale as the C ionian scale. For the purpose of the series of lessons on guitar modes, we are going to treat C ionian and C major as an identical scale.

If you are unsure of what a major scale or ionian mode is, click on the link to the lessons.

Let’s look at the 5 CAGED positions for the C Major scale, as well as the open position.

C Major Scale in the Open Position

The C Major scale in the open position looks like this:

C Major Scale Open Position Frets
C Major Scale Open Position Notes

C Major Scale CAGED Positions

Here are the 5 CAGED positions for the C Major scale on the guitar (notes and tabs).

C Major Scale in the 1st Position (lowest fret is 1)

C Major Scale 1st Position Frets
C Major Scale 1st Position Notes

C Major Scale in the 4th Position (lowest fret is 4)

C Major Scale 4th Position Frets
C Major Scale 4th Position Notes

C Major Scale in the 7th Position (lowest fret is 7)

C Major Scale 7th Position Frets
C Major Scale 7th Position Notes

C Major Scale in the 8th Position (lowest fret is 8)

C Major Scale 8th Position Frets
C Major Scale 8th Position Notes

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C Major Scale in the 12th Position (lowest fret is 12)

C Major Scale 12th Position Frets
C Major Scale 12th Position Notes

How To Practise The C Major Scale

The best way to practise the A Major scale is to memorise the positions along the fretboard and be able to play them in time, with a metronome.

Which Chords Work With the C Major Scale?

For the purpose of improvising, the C Major scale can be used over the C Major chord, the C Major 7 chord, as well as other chords within the key of C Major:

Modes Of The C Major Scale

There are 7 modes in the key of C. We can produce these modes by playing the notes of the C Major scale, while starting on different notes of the scale. For example, to play the D dorian mode, we start on the note D and then play the notes of the C Major scale. To play the F lydian mode, we start on the note F and then play through the notes of the C Major scale.

Here are the 7 modes in the key of C Major:

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