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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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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.



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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