• Major Triad = R-3-5
• Minor Triad = R-b3-5
• Diminished Chord = R-b3-b5
• Maj7 = R-3-5-7
• Minor 7 = R-b3-5-b7
• Dominant 7 = R-3-5-b7
• ½ diminished = R-b3-b5-b7
• Full diminished = R-b3-b5-bb7
• Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 Home base
• Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 Leave out the 4 & 7
• Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 flatted.
• Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Leave out the 2 & 6.
• Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note b5 added.
• Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor with a natural 7.
• Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.
Let the major scale be your home base then change a few notes and you have something different. No need to memorize a zillion patterns. Let the major scale pattern be your go to pattern - then adapt/adjust from there.
I think your first thing to work on should be what chords get in each scale/key. If you learn how to stack 3rds you will understand chords and chord progressions better. It may be Jell-O right now, if you need help with stacking 3rds just ask. Here is the A scale stacked. Why did I pick the A scale? Wanted some sharps in the mix so you could see how they effect the chords.
Purpose of this paper is to call attention to the skip-a-note method
of harmonizing a scale. Take the scale then by skipping a note you build
the chords for that scale. Skip a note is an easy way to identify the notes
within the chords of that scale. From that you can then using the chord’s
spelling to name the chord, i.e. 3 = major, b3 = minor, 7 = maj7,
b7 = dominant seventh or minor seventh, m7b5 = ½ diminished, b5 bb7 =
a full Diminished, etc. From there you can identify that specific chord’s
function within the key, i.e. I-IV-V, etc. This chart can be used as a study
of how chords are formed.
A Major Scale
Note Chord Spelling Chord Name Function
A A-C#-E-G# R-3-5-7 Amaj7 I Tonic
B B-D-F#-A R-b3-5-b7 Bm7 ii
C# C#-E-G#-B R-b3-5-b7 C#m7 iii
D D-F#-A-C# R-3-5-7 Dmaj7 IV Sub dominant
E E-G#-B-D R-3-5-b7 E7 V Dominant
F# F#-A-C#-E R-b3-5-b7 F#m7 iv
G# G#-B-D-F# R-b3-b5-b7 G#m7b5 vii ½ diminished
Question -- Why is the B chord minor? Were did that b3 come from? Well
the B major scale has a D# and an A# in it's scale so when you ended up with
B-D-F#-A for the chord tones you flatted the 3rd and the 7th - and a
flatted 3rd and 7th gives a Bm7 chord -- Drum Roll!! Get a clean sheet of paper and
stack 3rds for the C scale. Use the above as your Rosetta stone. Once you've
stacked one scale you can stack any scale.