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.
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 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 in the 4th Position (lowest fret is 4)
C Major Scale in the 7th Position (lowest fret is 7)
C Major Scale in the 8th Position (lowest fret is 8)
C Major Scale in the 12th Position (lowest fret is 12)
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?
- C Major/C Major 7
- D minor/D minor 7
- E Minor/E minor 7
- F Major/F Major 7
- G Major/G Dominant 7
- A minor/A minor 7
- B diminished/B half diminished
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: