Welcome to Musical Scales and Chords

This site is geared to playing musicians and composers. We developed some tools while playing and composing that helped us in our work. At first the tools were just a list of relationships that we used to help us find scales and chords. After a while, the lists became too long, so we implemented some macros in Excel to find more chord relationships.

We decided to share our tools with you. We hope you find them useful.

Why Scales Are Important if You Want to Learn Music

There are reasons that learning scales has traditionally been a part of learning to make music. With any instrument, practicing them regularly will increase fluidity of motion and connection with the instrument. Being able to move through different scales with little effort makes it much easier to pick up musical material in any key and play it. Understanding the idea of keys and how they are built makes it easier to transpose music, and allows an artist a sense of useful structure when trying to compose music.

Why Learn The Violin?

If you're thinking of learning an instrument, consider the good, old, traditional violin. Take a minute to reflect on the unique combination of qualities this beautiful instrument has to offer. Some people will tell you the violin is hard to learn and will sound like a shrieking cat for the first year, and others may warn of high costs. But no instrument will sound marvelous in your first week of learning, and most can be hired at affordable prices, so don't be put off by such negative comments. Here are some of the many great reasons for ...

Learn To Play Slide Guitar

Slide guitar is a way to play guitar using what is known as a slide. This object is generally made of glass or metal, and each type creates a different tone. Get a slide at a music store to get started. You can also use a lipstick cover, straight razor or even, cigarette lighters. Either way, when you have one, use this advice to help you use it to play.

The Acoustic Guitar Buyer’s Guide

Whether you’re a beginning guitarist or a long-time expert, shopping for a new instrument is likely to inspire giddiness that can’t be replicated anywhere else in life. The difference between a novice’s shopping habits and those of a two-decade-long player is that the new guitarist might not know exactly what to look for. You’re still trying to figure out your style and preferences, so getting the best instrument for your tastes might be more challenging. These tips and suggestions will help you pick a guitar that will make joyful ...

Why Scales are Important

Many piano students question the wisdom of practising scales and arpeggios. Practice sessions begin with what seems to be a frustrating waste of time, a reluctant run through mechanical, repetitive and frankly boring exercises which appear to be designed to stop them getting to the interesting part of practice - the repertoire. However, scales can offer the pianist so much more. Intelligent and focused practice of scales can have an impressive impact on performance, technique and overall musicianship.

Learning the Guitar: The Eclectic Approach

The guitar is a cultural icon in American music. It helped free African American slaves and end the Vietnam War. You've decided to add your name to the hall of fame of great musicians, and become a legendary guitarist. The great news is, you can definitely do it. But first, you must learn to play guitar. Here is some indispensable, expert advice on how to learn the craft.

Blazing Pentatonic Guitar Licks

The minor pentatonic scale is extremely common. It is used extensively in American blues music and other cultures around the world employ it frequently as well. Personally, the minor pentatonic is one of my favorite scales and probably the one I rely on most for live improvisations. Here is the minor pentatonic in the key of G:

Use Songs You Know to Learn Your Musical Intervals

One of the most difficult elements of both sight reading and ear training in music is the mastery of intervals. Once you know your intervals, almost no piece of music is out of your ability, and you will soon be able to sight read or transcribe any piece you hear. The best way to learn your intervals is to think of them in the context of songs that you already know. Once you associate a Perfect 4th, for instance, with the first interval in “Here Comes the Bride,” you’ll never forget it. Here are a few mnemonic devices you can use to ...

Buying a Piano: How to Choose the Right Model for You

The piano is a beautiful instrument with a long history. First developed in Italy by inventor Bartolomeo Cristofori in the early 18th century, the pianoforte was a keyboard instrument based on the older harpsichord. The pianoforte was unique for its ability to play notes at different volumes, something earlier keyboard instruments could not do - hence its name, from the Italian words for "soft" (piano) and "strong" (forte.)

Do You Need A Thumb Pick To Play Acoustic Blues Guitar ?

A thumb pick is a plastic plectrum that a guitarist fits onto the thumb rather than holding a flat pick between thumb and forefinger. This gives the player freedom to use the forefinger to pluck the strings in unison with, or separately from the thumb without losing control of the plectrum. Some music historians say that the use of the thumb pick originated with the early blues artists who played the banjo in preference to the guitar.

A Free Acoustic Guitar Lesson

Here are some tips that will help you to begin playing acoustic guitar using a plectrum. This guide is for the novice guitar player who wants to achieve both emotional fluency and technical precision.

How to Write a Children's Song

If you think writing songs for children is an easy option, think again. Children’s songs may not contain the sophistication of other forms of music, but they still present many challenges to the composer. In fact, their simplicity is one of the main factors to overcome. The writer needs to inject humour, fun, memorable words and catchy melodies in a limited space, using basic musical material. However, by keeping a few key ideas in mind, composing a children’s song can be a successful and enjoyable project.

How to Tune a Bass Guitar

Tuning is a very simple process, but a requirement for any rehearsal, show or recording that - believe it or not - can often be overlooked. Depending on your instrument, you may even need to tune between songs at a show.

Harmonization of 7th Chords

Learn the scale and chord patterns for harmonizing 7th chords over the major scale and melodic, harmonic and natural minor scales.

A Brief History of Heavy Metal

While his vivid and manic description of the effect of Heavy Metal music looks somewhat disturbing, there is no doubt that when Halford emphatically answers his own rhetoric question, “What do you want?” with “Heavy metal!” he is not alone. According to research cited by Walser, some 10 million Americans would join that chorus. However, that same research suggests nearly twice as many would blanch at the prospect. Such is the power, and divisiveness of this broad and provocative genre of rock music.

The Advantages of Taking Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Many young people dream of learning to play the guitar but delay it off because they have not decided on the style they want to learn. There are so many great guitar players, so much wonderful music. How do you go about choosing a particular genre to study seriously? One way is to take acoustic guitar lessons so that you can learn what guitar playing feels like for you, as an individual. That way, you will not be wasting your time looking for a convenient opportunity to make a final decision on your preferred genre before you start playing ...

Chord Harmonization over Minor Scales

If you need to remember what chord harmonization is visit our page on harmonizing chords over major scales. Although there is only one Natural Minor scale, there are two other Minor scales that are also widely used: The Harmonic Minor scale and the Melodic Minor scale. These scales exist for historical reasons and we will leave its explanation for another time. For now you need to know is how to construct these scales.

Chord Harmonization over major scales

Chord harmonization over a scale is a fundamental tool to understand the correct use of harmony in a theme. It is a concept that many hobbyists do not know, but they are doing it unconsciously when they are "searching" for a chord that "sounds good" over a certain progression. So we can say that "harmonizing" a scale of chords is the process of identifying what are the chords that "sound good" over a particular scale.

Acoustic Blues Guitar Basics

Despite the inroads made by the electric guitar into every area of modern music, acoustic blues guitar playing still has the power to stimulate the interest of audiences all over the world. The origins of this style of music lie in church gatherings of rural America in the early 1900’s. From these modest beginnings, Reverend Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy and other self-taught masters improvised their way into the hearts and minds of blues fans all over the world.

4 Tips to Make Your Guitar Amp Sound Great

A good guitar amplifier is one of the most important parts of making your instrument sound great. However, it is not enough to just have a good amp. You must also know how to get the best possible sound out of your amp. Let's take a look at some ways to make your guitar amp sound great.

How to tune your Guitar

OK, so you’ve bought your first guitar and already your mind is dreaming about rock superstardom. Pretty soon you’ll be joining the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Page and Jack White in the pantheon of all-time rock gods. There’s just one problem though: you’re not entirely sure how to get your shiny new music-box in tune.

Pentatonic Scales - Tips and Tricks

The pentatonic scales are the most important scales to learn for evolving guitar steps. The pentatonic scales are used in all styles of music, especially pop & rock. They serve particularly as a special gift for amateur guitarists with less experience. They are very easy to remember and apply to almost any music style with a little time to practice.

This article gives some tips on how to memorize them and use them.

12 Tips for the Self Taught Guitar Player

Whether it's around the campfire, with family, or a personal jam session, playing the guitar is a fun and wonderful hobby to invest in. As a beginner, however, you'll need some tips to help you get started. Use these to help prevent the many pitfalls that can cause trouble for the new guitar player.

How to Read a Guitar Chord Diagram

Guitar chord diagrams show you how play chords. At first they can look like confusing grids of lines, numbers, and circles. Soon, though, they become useful tools for learning and writing down finger positions.

This article provides some basic hints on how to read guitar chord diagrams.

5 Tips to Make Your First Tour Work

First, the cold, hard truth: your first tour is not going to make you famous. Your first tour should not be six weeks of hardcore driving and shows. Your first tour will probably break up your band--that is, if you don't do it right. Touring is not an easy thing to embark upon initially, especially when you and your bandmates are doing all the work yourself, from booking to driving to promotion to playing the show. However, with a few tips from seasoned industry veterans, you can avoid some common mistakes and make it a little less pai ...

Musicians Christmas Gifts

Musicians can sometimes be difficult to buy for when the holidays roll around. People will avoid buying any kind of musical gift for fear of getting something the musician will not like or be able to use. But there are certain gifts that you can get for any artist that will be a big hit during the holidays.

Let's Learn to Play Rock Band Guitar on Medium

Playing Rock Band on easy difficulty just isn't as difficult as it used to be. Impossible songs like "Caprici di Diablo" and "The Trooper" are more of a yawn than they are a challenge. And let's not get started on the easier songs. In fact, you've scored a perfect 100% completion rating on more than a few easy songs and even some that aren't so easy.

Learning to Play Rock Band

That was a cool party you were at yesterday. All of your work buddies and friends gathering together to share a couple of drinks and have a good time. Then someone mentioned playing Rock Band. That didn't sound so bad. Except when the guitar was passed to you, you sucked and that cute girl or guy you had your eye on wasn't as impressed in your "epic level shredding" as you would've hoped.

Scale Navigator

Enables you to browse our Musical Scale Database. The database provides information about scale structure, harmonized chords and related scales.

Chord Identifier

Searches the chord database for chords that have a specific set of notes. It allows flexibility on the key tone of the chord or on the complexity of the chord.

Chord Progression Analyser

Analyses your song or chord to progression. It allows you to identify underlying scales to the progression and suggests new chords to resolve your song.

Ultimate Chord Finder for Guitar and Piano

Put together a "soup" of notes, scales and chords that sound well together, to get a list of chords that fit your requirements.


The tools on this website are useful for almost any instrument. We developed chord chart images for guitar and piano. You can also hear the chord sounds in guitar voicing or piano voicing.

Chords and their relationship with scales are universal. If you understand these relationships you can use them on any instrument.

Major updates:

Oct/2015: Chord database expanded to 84.000+ chords for guitar and piano.

Sep/2015: Scales-chords.com presents the Chord Namer. Give the chord right name for any combination of notes.

Apr/2015: Scales-chords.com presents the Mic chord finder. Play a chord to your device and our app will try to find out what chord you are playing.

Mar/2015: Scales-chords.com presents the Auto Guitar Chord Shapes Calculator

Feb/2015: Scales-chords.com presents the Chord Finder for Guitar and Piano

Jul/2014: Chord information now show what scales the chord fits.

Feb/2014: New responsive design to improve the usability on mobile phones or tablets.

Copyright © 2007-2016 scales-chords.com
All rights reserved 

Tools Map

Chord Namer

NEW Find the right name for ANY chord. Input the notes and optionally the key and lowest pitch (for inversions) and get the right name for that chord.

Live Chord Finder (Mic)

Beta Online chord finder using your device mic. Play the chord to your device and our app will try to name the chord. No external plugins required. Real time graph of played notes.

Live Guitar Tuner (Mic)

Beta Online live guitar tuner with no external plugins required.
Note spectrum real time sketch.
Tunning resolution of 1/17th of a halftone and range from D2 to F4.

Guitar Chord Calculator

Guitar Chord Calculator

NEW The Chord Calculator lets you find all reasonable combinations of a chord voicing/shape on the guitar frets. You may specify your own chord (notes) or select a standard chord.

Chord Finder

NEW Our chord finder for guitar and piano lets you search chords that fit a set of notes, go well together with other chords and fit the music scales you want.

Scale Finder

Helps you find the scales that fit a particular melody or chord progression. Use this tool to complete your song or to identify the correct scales to solo.

Chord Progression Analyser

Analyses your song or chord to progression. It allows you to identify underlying scales to the progression and suggests new chords to resolve your song.

Chord Identifier

Searches the chord database for chords that have a specific set of notes. It allows flexibility on the key tone of the chord or on the complexity of the chord.

Scale Navigator

Enables you to browse our Musical Scale Database. The database provides information about scale structure, harmonized chords and related scales.

Chord Database

Our chord database has all types of chords, alternative designations and alternative charts. Piano chord charts also available!

Copyright © 2007-2016 scales-chords.com
All rights reserved