Chord systems
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Chord Systems. Types of chords. There are five different types of chords with 3 of the types being the most used. You should get to the point where you hear each type. Major chords Minor chords Dominant chords Diminished chords Augmented chords. Chords relate to scales.

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Chord Systems

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Chord systems

Chord Systems


Types of chords

Types of chords

  • There are five different types of chords with 3 of the types being the most used.

  • You should get to the point where you hear each type.

    • Major chords

    • Minor chords

    • Dominant chords

    • Diminished chords

    • Augmented chords


Chords relate to scales

Chords relate to scales

  • In order to cover this we must first go over the major scales.

  • There are a total of 15 major scales in western music.

  • To figure out a major scale use the chromatic scale.

  • A ½ step is 1 place (or 1 fret) and a whole step is 2 places (or 2 frets).

  • All major scales have the same formula.


Pattern of the major scale

Pattern of the major scale

  • Background – a ½ step is 1 fret and a whole step is 2 – ½ steps.

  • For a major scale the pattern is as follows – whole, whole, ½, whole, whole, whole, ½

  • You always go alphabetically. So there will always be some type of C, D etc.

  • Let’s do one scale as an example:C Major – start on the C then a whole step is D, another whole step is E, a ½ step is F, a whole step is G, a whole step is A, a whole step is B and a ½ step ends on C.

  • Let’s do G, G WS (whole step), A WS, B ½, C WS, D WS, E WS, F#, ½ G.

  • Try a few yourself – A, E and B.

  • Do one scale at a time. Use your ear to hear the sound. Best if you sing what you are playing.

  • All scales have patterns but they can all be related or derived from the major scale.


Now chord

Now chord

  • You always use the major scale.

  • Chords are built off of the odd numbers:

  • Major is the 1 3 and 5th notes of the scale.

  • Minor is 1 lowered 3 (1 fret) and 5.

  • Dominant is 1 3 5 and lowered 7.


Now in any key the chords

Now in any key the chords

  • If we build chords off of a major scale they will be as follows:

  • The I chord is always major

  • The II chord is always minor

  • The III chord is always minor

  • The IV chord is always major

  • The V chord is always dominant

  • The VI chord is always minor

  • The VII chord is diminished


Now key of c

Now key of C

  • If we build chords off of a major scale they will be as follows:

  • The I chord is always C major

  • The II chord is always D minor

  • The III chord is always E minor

  • The IV chord is always F major

  • The V chord is always G7 dominant

  • The VI chord is always A minor

  • The VII chord is B diminished


Now key of g

Now key of G

  • If we build chords off of a major scale they will be as follows:

  • The I chord is always G major

  • The II chord is always A minor

  • The III chord is always B minor

  • The IV chord is always C major

  • The V chord is always D7 dominant

  • The VI chord is always E minor

  • The VII chord is F# diminished


Chord movement

Chord movement

  • In any key the chords want to go back to the I chord. Any movement can be back to the I chord.

  • The V chord in particular will go to the I chord. For example, in the key of G the V chord is a D7 it wants to resolve or move to the I or G chord.

  • Chords also can move scalewise: For example in the key of G it would be common to go G to Am to Bm to C.


Other movement

Other movement

  • The II chord wants to go to the V chord (in G Am to D7).

  • The III chord wants to go to the VI chord (in G the Bm to the Em chord).

  • The VI wants to go to the III chord (in G the Em to the Am chord).

  • Very common for the IV to go to the V (in G the C to D7 chord).


Use this to figure songs out

Use this to figure songs out

  • This information takes a little time but once learned can really help in figuring out the chord changes.

  • There are also some types of music that have variations. As and example in country music the II chord is usually a dominant rather than a minor chord (for you theory buffs this is called a secondary dominant). The movement would still be to the V chord though. Look at Hey Good Looking by Hank Williams Sr.


Chord systems

Transpose to G to play!


Summary

Summary

  • Scales are derived from the chord forms. You should know the forms before the chords. The scales all have the same whole – ½ step form.

  • The scales always go up the neck in the same order (CAGED).

  • Learn all the scale forms in every key.

  • Once they are mastered try the other scales. They are all derived from the major scale.

  • Chords are built off of the scales.

  • Chords move in some set ways.


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