Overview of note

You can do many contexts for a note, depending on how you look at it. There are different scales and modes for each note, but there are also many chords you can play with C. Here is an overview for the "C" note.

Scales for C

Scales are the foundation of lead guitar and make it easy for you to crank out inspiring melodies. When people start to learn the fretboard they unwittingly improve and start understanding music theory. This makes you a outstandingly better guitarist because it helps to actually understand the instrument.

Here is an overview of different C scales:

Scale nameChromatic intervalScale degreeStepsNotes
C major scale1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 121, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7w-w-h-w-w-w-h C, D, E, F, G, A, B
C minor scale1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 111, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, ♭7w-h-w-w-h-w-w C, D, D♯, F, G, G♯, A♯
C melodic minor scale1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 121, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, 6, 7w-h-w-w-w-w-h C, D, D♯, F, G, A, B
C harmonic minor scale1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 121, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, 7w-h-w-w-h-wh-h C, D, D♯, F, G, G♯, B
C blues scale1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 111, ♭3, 4, ♭5, 5, ♭7wh-w-h-h-wh-w C, D♯, F, F♯, G, A♯
C minor pentatonic scale1, 4, 6, 8, 111, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭7wh-w-w-wh-w C, D♯, F, G, A♯
C major pentatonic scale1, 3, 5, 8, 101, 2, 3, 5, 6w-w-wh-w-wh C, D, E, G, A
Scale degree
♭=half step down, ♯=half step up
Steps
w=whole step, h=half step, w=whole and half step

Modes for C

Modes can be derived from the major scale and contain the same exact notes. You might ask why you would learn a new name for the same set of notes? The reason is to focus more on the tonal center of the chord instead of the tonal center of the scale. This helps you shift your thinking and might unlock new sounds. It will also help you play over any chord, even the lesser known ones.

The reasons to play the modes can be if you want to be able to improvise over any chord or if your improvisational ideas sound the same and you want to sound more refreshing and different.

Here is an overview of different C modes:

Scale nameChromatic intervalScale degreeStepsNotes
C ionian scale mode1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 121, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7w-w-h-w-w-w-h C, D, E, F, G, A, B
C dorian scale mode1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 111, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, 6, ♭7w-h-w-w-w-h-w C, D, D♯, F, G, A, A♯
C phrygian scale mode1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 111, ♭2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, ♭7h-w-w-w-h-w-w C, C♯, D♯, F, G, G♯, A♯
C lydian scale mode1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 121, 2, 3, ♯4, 5, 6, 7w-w-w-h-w-w-h C, D, E, F♯, G, A, B
C mixolydian scale mode1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 111, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ♭7w-w-h-w-w-h-w C, D, E, F, G, A, A♯
C aeolian scale mode1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 111, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, ♭7w-h-w-w-h-w-w C, D, D♯, F, G, G♯, A♯
C locrian scale mode1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 111, ♭2, ♭3, 4, ♭5, ♭6, ♭7h-w-w-h-w-w-w C, C♯, D♯, F, F♯, G♯, A♯

C chords

Chords are built off of one note, called the root note. When people say a chord is a C chord, that means the root note of the chord is a “C”. While there are only two notes needed for a chord, most chords will have at least three. Chords with three note chords are called triads.

A chord is a combination of two or more unique notes. There are several different chord types, and each chord type has a particular sound. There are 9 common chord qualities that you should be aware of. Some of these aren’t used often, while others are used extensively:

  • Major (sound happy, simple)
  • Minor (sounds sad, serious)
  • Diminished (sounds tense, unpleasant)
  • Major Seventh (sounds thoughtful, soft)
  • Minor Seventh (sounds moody, contemplative)
  • Dominant Seventh (sounds strong, restless)
  • Suspended (sounds bright, nervous)
  • Augmented (sounds anxious, suspenseful)
  • Extended

Here is an overview of different C chords:

Chord nameChromatic intervalScale degreeNotes
C maj1, 5, 81, 3, 5C, E, G
C min1, 4, 81, ♭3, 5C, D♯, G
C aug1, 5, 91, ♯3, 5C, E, G♯
C dim1, 4, 71, ♭3, ♭5C, D♯, F♯
C sus21, 3, 81, 2, 5C, D, G
C sus41, 6, 81, 4, 5C, F, G
C 71, 5, 8, 111, 3, 5, ♭7C, E, G, A♯
C 7sus21, 3, 8, 111, 2, 5, ♭7C, D, G, A♯
C 7sus41, 6, 8, 111, 4, 5, ♭7C, F, G, A♯
C maj71, 5, 8, 121, 3, 5, 7C, E, G, B
C min71, 4, 8, 111, ♭3, 5, 7C, D♯, G, A♯
C maj7sus21, 3, 8, 121, 2, 5, 7C, D, G, B
C maj7sus41, 6, 8, 121, 4, 5, 7C, F, G, B
C min maj71, 4, 8, 12C, D♯, G, B
C dim71, 4, 7, 101, ♭3, ♭5, 7C, D♯, F♯, A
C half dim71, 4, 7, 11C, D♯, F♯, A♯
C aug maj71, 5, 9, 121, ♯3, 5, 7C, E, G♯, B
C 91, 5, 8, 11, 15C, E, G, A♯, D
C add91, 5, 15C, E, D
C 51, 81, 5C, G
C 61, 5, 8, 10C, E, G, A
C 6/91, 5, 8, 10, 15C, E, G, A, D
C 7/91, 5, 8, 11, 15C, E, G, A♯, D
C maj7/91, 5, 8, 12, 15C, E, G, B, D