I'm using the chord wheel by Jim Fleser to try figure out some chords that would go well with a baseline I played.

But, I don't understand how minor progressions work with this chord wheel. Where would I find the progressions for Am for example?

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3 Answers 3


Chord wheels are quite a nice idea - extensions of the cycle of fourths/fifths.

It's far better, though, to have a lot of that information in your head. Get to know the cycle, also get to know what chord families consist of, and you've pretty well got the question answered, but in all keys, not just Am.

A simple way to find the chords that immediately fit into Am is to find the relative major, which is C. Then the six main chords in that key are C, F, G, Am, Dm, and Em. E major also works often in Am, being the dominant.

  • 1
    Honestly I'm finding the chord a bit of a pain. Someone suggested it as a good idea and while I can see it's use I certainly find it easier to write music the old fashion way. Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 20:37

Here’s what you do: put the minor Key you want in the square directly above And to the right of the KEY Square.

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For example if you want the chords for the key of Aminor, place Am in the square I mentioned. As you can see C is in the KEY square and the chords are the same as C major



Follow @Tim's advice and get "that information into your head" without the Chord Wheel.

@Alvaro GV is correct about how the Chord Wheel works.


The Quick Start Guide for the Chord Wheel focuses almost entirely on major keys. Minor (and other modes) are discussed on the last page in very little detail. The explanation for minor is that it "uses the same chords" as the relative major, and that you can figure out the minor scale and corresponding chords by treating the vi chord from major as the i chord in minor, and renumbering the remaining chords correspondingly. This is true as far as it goes, but a) puts all the work on the user and b) entirely ignores how chords typically work in minor keys: specifically, the raised seventh. According to the Chord Wheel, the v chord in A minor is E minor, which is true, except that in practice it's very often E Major.

The official site for the Chord Wheel contains much the same information.

IMO, the Chord Wheel is useless for understanding anything other than major keys.

  • Imagine being at a gig with a scratch band. 'Next number's in F#.' 'Wait while I set my wheel, please...'
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 16:10
  • @Tim If someone calls a tune in F#, I'm leaving anyway, wheel or no. :-)
    – Aaron
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 16:29
  • You must know what some of the singers are like - 'that's the only key I can sing that song in...' Or better still - 'I know where to put the capo for that one...'
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 16:56
  • @Tim When I used to play in pit orchestras, we trumpets were forever transposing down to F#, because the lead actor/actress was a half-step shy of the high note.
    – Aaron
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 17:22
  • I've never understood why peple have to drop just that semitone. Go down a tone, and you're in a more friendly key, often. Like guys who have to sing a song in key B. If C's too high, drop it to A..?
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 17:40

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