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Thread: A Chord and its Interval Structures

  1. #1
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    A Chord and its Interval Structures

    I did not know that a Major chord has a major third and a minor third and a Mminor chord has a minor third then a major third. For example in the key of C

    C to E = Major third and E to G = minor third
    D to F = Minor third and F to A = major third

    I wonder how a suspened 2nd and a suspened 4 look like? Lets try

    C to D = a whole step and D to G = I think a perfect fourth???
    C to F = I think a perfect fourth and F to G = a whole step

    I wonder how a maj7 and min7 would look like?

  2. #2
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    Well it's easy enough to work out

    CMaj7 = C E G B

    C-E = M3
    E-G = m3
    G-B = M3 (so a M3 on top of a major triad)

    Cm7 = C Eb G Bb

    C-Eb = m3
    Eb-G = M3
    G-Bb m3 (so a m3 on top of a minor triad)

    As long as you're interested in looking at things this way you should consider the other triad types

    Cdim = C Eb Gb = m3 + m3
    Caug = C E G# = M3 + M3

    Having said all that, while these relationships are certainly there and perhaps interesting, in practice knowing the intervals from the roots that define each of these chord types (as Malcolm laid out in the other thread) is probably more important.

  3. #3
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    The major scale pattern we normally see:


    I rely upon the following scale degrees and the major scale box. Understand I also play bass guitar and with the bass we are playing chord tones one note at a time, we do not strum. Visualizing the scale degree numbers instead of dots in a pattern have opened a few doors for me. Offered for what it's worth.

    Major Scale Box Pattern - with scale degree numbers.
    Code:
    
    E|---7---|--R(8)-|-------|---2---| 1st string
    B|-------|---5---|-------|---6---|
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 
    D|---6---|-------|---7---|--R(8)-|
    A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---| 6th string
     
    Place the R on your fretboard and play the pattern.  C major scale place the R on
    the Big E string 8th fret and the notes of the C major scale await you.
    
    If you want the notes in the C major chord place the R and then play the R-3-5 scale
    degrees.  Those are the notes in the C major chord.  Want the Cm chord, flat the 3.
    That sus2 and 4 are R-2-5 or R-4-5. You asked; "I wonder how a maj7 and min7 
    would look like?  Keep reading, maj7 gets a root, a 5 plus a 3 and 7.  
    The min7 gets a root, a 5 with a b3 and a b7.   It's pretty straight forward once
    you understand how it all fits together. 


    Basic Chords
    Major Triad = R-3-5
    Minor Triad = R-b3-5
    Diminished Chord = R-b3-b5

    7th Chords - or arpeggio patterns.
    Maj7 = R-3-5-7
    Minor 7 = R-b3-5-b7
    Dominant 7 = R-3-5-b7
    diminished = R-b3-b5-b7
    Full diminished = R-b3-b5-bb7

    Scales
    Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7
    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 a flat 3, 6 & 7
    Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Natural minor scale with 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 scale with a natural 7
    Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.

    Major modes
    Ionian same as the Major Scale.
    Lydian use the major scale and sharp the 4 - yes, it’s that simple.
    Mixolydian use the major scale and flat the 7.

    Minor Modes
    Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale.
    Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6.
    Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2.
    Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5.

    Now that may be a paradigm shift from the way you were taught modes. That's parallel modes, do a Google. Check out this video. http://scottsbasslessons.com/welcome-to-the-shed you may have to click the blank screen several times for the video to load. Worth your time. The glove, skin condition don't let it throw you.

    Looks like a lot to memorize, not really. Everything has a root and a 5, true the diminished gets a b5. Major gets a 3, minor gets a b3. A maj7 gets a 7, dominant seven and minor sevens plus the m7b5 will use a b7. The 6 is neutral and adds color, the 2 and 4 are best left as passing notes. Want the natural minor scale, flat the 3, 6 & 7 of the major scale. Want a major pentatonic, visualize the major scale and leave out the 4 & 7.

    It helped me, look it over perhaps you will like it also. This may help. http://www.smithfowler.org/music/Chord_Formulas.htm
    Last edited by Malcolm; 07-09-2012 at 12:23 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    The major scale pattern we normally see:


    I rely upon the following scale degrees and the major scale box. Understand I also play bass guitar and with the bass we are playing chord tones one note at a time, we do not strum. Visualizing the scale degree numbers instead of dots in a pattern have opened a few doors for me. Offered for what it's worth.

    Major Scale Box Pattern - with scale degree numbers.
    Code:
    E|---7---|--R(8)-|-------|---2---| 1st string
    B|-------|---5---|-------|---6---|
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 
    D|---6---|-------|---7---|--R(8)-|
    A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---| 6th string
     
    Place the R on your fretboard and play the pattern.  C major scale place the R on
    the Big E string 8th fret and the notes of the C major scale await you.
     
    If you want the notes in the C major chord place the R and then play the R-3-5 scale
    degrees.  Those are the notes in the C major chord.  Want the Cm chord, flat the 3.
    That sus2 and 4 are R-2-5 or R-4-5. You asked; "I wonder how a maj7 and min7 
    would look like?  Keep reading, maj7 gets a root, a 5 plus a 3 and 7.  
    The min7 gets a root, a 5 with a b3 and a b7.   It's pretty straight forward once
    you understand how it all fits together. 
    Basic Chords
    Major Triad = R-3-5
    Minor Triad = R-b3-5
    Diminished Chord = R-b3-b5

    7th Chords - or arpeggio patterns.
    Maj7 = R-3-5-7
    Minor 7 = R-b3-5-b7
    Dominant 7 = R-3-5-b7
    diminished = R-b3-b5-b7
    Full diminished = R-b3-b5-bb7

    Scales
    Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7
    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 a flat 3, 6 & 7
    Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Natural minor scale with 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 scale with a natural 7
    Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.

    Major modes
    Ionian same as the Major Scale.
    Lydian use the major scale and sharp the 4 - yes, it’s that simple.
    Mixolydian use the major scale and flat the 7.

    Minor Modes
    Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale.
    Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6.
    Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2.
    Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5.

    Now that may be a paradigm shift from the way you were taught modes. That's parallel modes, do a Google. Check out this video. http://scottsbasslessons.com/welcome-to-the-shed you may have to click the blank screen several times for the video to load. Worth your time. The glove, skin condition don't let it throw you.

    Looks like a lot to memorize, not really. Everything has a root and a 5, true the diminished gets a b5. Major gets a 3, minor gets a b3. A maj7 gets a 7, dominant seven and minor sevens plus the m7b5 will use a b7. The 6 is neutral and adds color, the 2 and 4 are best left as passing notes. Want the natural minor scale, flat the 3, 6 & 7 of the major scale. Want a major pentatonic, visualize the major scale and leave out the 4 & 7.

    It helped me, look it over perhaps you will like it also. This may help. http://www.smithfowler.org/music/Chord_Formulas.htm
    The thing I trying to figure out is how this maj7 chord is built intervalic

    Cmaj7 x35453

    Notes x C G B E G

    I tried to analyse the notes

    C to G = Perfect fifth
    G to B = Major third
    B to E = Perfect fourth???
    E to G = Minor third

    Whereas the correct notes in correct order for a Cmaj7 would be C E G B where as creates

    C to E = Major third
    E to G = minor third
    G to B = Major third

    As you can see the difference between a real maj7 chord versus the how the notes are arranged on the guitar fretboard. Am I doing to something because it seems to me its like this for the rest of the chords aswell except triads I think.

  5. #5
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    I can not help you with perfect fifth, minor third, major third, etc. I found that confusing from what I already knew so I did not go there. I understand that way was taught in the distant past, but, like I said I already had a method I knew so I just stayed with my method.

    Instead I rely upon the scale degrees of the scale. Major scale is made of the R-2-3-4-5-6-7 notes of that major scale. If you want to make a major chord you use the R-3-5 notes of that scale. If you want to make the maj7 chord you use the R-3-5-7. If you want to make the m7 chord you use the R-b3-5-b7 notes of that scale. I do not get involved with the notes being perfect or minor, etc. To me a minor 3rd is written as b3. Sorry I can not help you with that.

    This is the way I think.
    C major scale stacked in 3rds (every other note) will give you the chords made from that scale.
    Code:
    C Major scale – notes and chords
    Note	 Scale Degree 	Chord	Spelling	        Function
    C		R	Cmaj 7	CEGB R-3-5-7 		I	(tonic)
    D		2	Dmin 7	DFAC R-b3-5-b7		ii
    E		3	Emin 7	EGBD R-b3-5-b7		iii
    F		4	Fmaj 7	FACE R-3-5-7		IV	(subdominant)
    G		5	G7	GBDF R-3-5-b7		V	(dominant)
    A		6	Amin 7	ACEG R-b3-5-b7		vi	
    B		7	Bmin7b5	BDFA R-b3-b5-b7		viidim  (diminished)
    Why is the D chord minor?  If you compare the DFAC to the notes in the D major scale
     the D major scale will have a F# and a C#.  Your DFAC has the 3 and 7 flatted for a 
    spelling of R-b3-5-b7 and that spelling makes a Dm7 chord.
    Once you learn how to stack 3rds you will be able to come up with the notes for the chords made from any scale.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 07-11-2012 at 04:12 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwest2419 View Post
    As you can see the difference between a real maj7 chord versus the how the notes are arranged on the guitar fretboard.
    Well right, we've been talking about chords in basic root position, stacked in thirds - for example CMaj7 played x3200x.

    However in practice on the guitar there are many ways to play a CMaj7 chord - any combination of C, E, G, and B notes, in any order, with notes doubled or tripled up, in different octaves etc, can be said to be a CMaj7 chord - and they're all equally valid or "correct" or "real".

    As you're finding out these different shapes will not all have the same internal string-to-string interval structure as a basic C-E-G-B stacked in thirds (unless of course the particular shape you're playing does conform to that order - 8755xx or x x 10 9 8 7 would be another couple of examples) - which is why, as said above, in practice looking at chords this way might be of limited value.
    Last edited by walternewton; 07-10-2012 at 07:23 PM.

  7. #7
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    However in practice on the guitar there are many ways to play a CMaj7 chord - any combination of C, E, G, and B notes, in any order, with notes doubled or tripled up, in different octaves etc, can be said to be a CMaj7 chord - and they're all equally valid or "correct" or "real".
    Hint: look for this term: chord inversions

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