1, 4, 5, and minor 6 chords

Greeting guitarists!,

Lets talk about some of the most basic and most important chord Theory. There is really only one musical concept you need to know if order for this to make sense, and that is the musical alphabet. It starts out just like the regular alphabet, only it repeats itself after G (i.e. A B C D E F G A B C D E F G). In fact, there is no specific beginning or ending the alphabet, we could also start on C (i.e. C D E F G A B). For our purposes today, whatever letter you start out on is the Key that you are in. Now, before you music theory buffs jump all over me about accidentals and major and minor chords, realize that this is a simplified trick to help guitarists new to music theory.

Here is our simplified Key of C: C D E F G A B

The most common chords are 1st. 4th, and 5th chords in any key. In the Key of C, this would be C,F, and G. The 4th most common chord is the minor 6 chord, in this case A minor. So, here is a little guided practice:

In order to find the 1,4,5 and minor 6 in the key of G, all we have to do is write out the musical alphabet beginning with G: G A B C D E F. Then simply label each chord with the number and make the 6th chord minor. In this case, 1 is G, 4 is C, 5 is D, and 6 is Em. Now this will get slightly more complicated when we begin adding sharps and flats, so for the time being, I will provide the most common 1,4,5, and 6 chords in their respective keys.


C: C, G, D. Am

A: A, D, E, F#m

G: G, C, D, Em

E: E, A, B. C#m

D: D, G, A. Bm

Look at some of the music you play and see if you can tell that some of your favorite artists are using 1, 4, 5, and minor 6 chords. Also, pick a key that you are comfortable with and try making your own chord progression!


All for now,



Farr Guitar Studio