So there you are, walking along, when suddenly you come to a big wall, and written all over it are ideas - ideas for songwriters.

Along the way, most songwriters have some questions. Many of the questions have easy answers, but sometimes you meet one that looks like a mountain in your path.

One of the biggest mountains can be described this way. Let's say we're writing a song. First we choose a key. Now here comes the mountain. Which chords are available in this key, and how do they flow from one to another in ways that sound good?

These questions are easy to ask, but it took me years to understand what I wanted to know. Now, some of what seemed mysterious to me then has grown clearer. If you are asking questions like these, this web site may help you to understand more quickly. Have fun!

Table of Contents

Section 1

Part One - Scales, Note Numbers, Roman Numerals
Part Two - I, IV, and V Chords, Keys, Chords in D
Part Three - ii, iii, and vi Chords, The Simple Map
Part Four - Chord Variations, Complex Chords
Part Five - Secondary Chords and the Big Map
Chord Charts and Maps - Chord Maps for Major Keys
             Plus 24 Pages of Keyboard Chord Diagrams
Part Six - Major Scales - I
Part Seven - Major Scales - II
Part Eight - Major Scales - III
Part Nine - The Circle of Fifths
Part Ten - Understanding Modes
Part Eleven - Minor Keys - I
Part Twelve - Minor Keys - II

Section 2

Part Thirteen - Revisiting the Modes

Part Fourteen - Minor Keys - Three Exercises to Get Started

Part Fifteen - A Simple Map for Minor Keys

Part Sixteen - A Big Map for C Minor

Minor Key Charts and Maps - Chord Maps for Minor Keys


The original large print version of

Chordmaps is archived here.

Copyright 1998 - 2018 Stephen Mugglin

Permission is given to make not-for-profit copies of this material.

The material in Section 1 (Parts 1-12),
with the (Major Key) Chord Charts and
Maps, is available as a PDF eBook.
Click here for details.

Read offline on your computer or tablet.

Designed for iPhone, this Midi Controller
app allows you to explore chord
progressions by tapping with one
or two fingers... play power chords,
and 3-note triads in both major
and minor keys.

Other Resources

Designed for iPad, this Midi Controller 
app allows you to play and explore 
melody lines, bass lines, simple and
complex chord progressions, in major 
and minor keys, all by tapping with 
just one or two fingers.

Video Review by Doug at 

(iPad 9.7” or larger recommended)
First Steps in Keyboard
Learn to play chords.
Downloadable PDF eBook Series 
Click here for details.

Our Other Apps


(Play Christmas Carols and Hymns)


(Play Basic Drum Patterns)


(Play Power Chords by Aiming

the iPhone in Different Directions)

Music Tools for People
An Interactive, Playable Version of 
The Big Map (for Windows computers)

Allows you to hear and see the chords
presented in The Big Map.

Free Trial available to test on your computer.
When buying the Full Version, choose your own price.