Lesson 8 of 40
In Progress

Relative Keys

25th August 2018


Relative keys have the same key signature (number of sharps or flats). Every major key has a relative minor, and every minor key has a relative major. Both keys share identical notes, they just have a different tonic (root note).

  • The relative minor of a major key is found by starting on the sixth degree.
  • The relative major of a minor key is found by starting on the third degree.

There’s also a much quicker a simpler way of finding relative keys on the guitar than working out the previous bullet points. The minor key starts three semitones below its relative major. For example, Am is three semitones below its relative key of C.

Below is some more examples of some relative keys:

  • G / Em
  • B / G#m
  • F#m / A
  • Abm / B


  1. Quick question the relative minor of B major I thought would be Gmin not G#min? Could you quickly explain that? Is it because there is no sharp in B? Slightly confused

    1. Three semitones below B is G# Ronnie. If we count down from B you’ll have A#, A, G# (there’s your 3 semitones). Relevant to the device in question, relative keys, we can also check to see whether or not both of the keys in question contain the same notes:
      B = B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#.
      G#m = G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E, F#.