Guitar Friendly Keys

Guitar Friendly Keys

In a lot of church bands, the pianist/keyboard player picks out the music for the band. Most digital web-based music suppliers offer their arrangements in a variety of keys. The best way to select the right key for your band is to base the choice on your vocal abilities, but sometimes taking your instrumentalists capabilities into account is also a consideration. On behalf of most guitarists, this is the order of keys that we like:


Favorites: A, Am, C, D, Dm, Em, G and Gm

Acceptable: E, F

Can Struggle Through: Bb

Avoid if Possible: Eb, F#m

Say what? Ab, B, Bbm, C#m, Db, Ebm, Fm, F#, G#m


The above list is also helpful when it comes to transposing music, because a difficult key signature can become easily played if transposed into a friendlier key. Usually the guitarist will transpose down and then use a capo to bring it back into the original key.

Here’s some examples:

Transpose a song in the key of: Into the key of: And Capo at:
E D 2
F D 3
Bb A 1
Eb D 1
F#m Em 2
Ab G 1
B A 2
Bbm Am 1
C#m Am 4
Db C 1
Ebm Dm 1
Fm Em 1
F# E 2
G#m Em 4
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