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Thread: Learning Chords

  1. #1
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    Learning Chords

    Hi All

    I'm looking for a way to learn chords. Mainly what I'm looking for is a way to be able to tell what the notes would be in a given chord. For example, if I am in the key of "C", I would like to learn what chord triads I can play in that particular key. I know this gets more complex when you're in keys that have sharps or flats.

    Is there a book or video that does a good job at breaking this down and explaining it? I've been looking at the 7 modes trying to understand this
    (Major | minor | minor | Major | Major |minor | Diminished) but that just made things worse.

    Thanks for any input gang.

  2. #2
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    You might try the lessons at this site, starting at the beginning and going through them in order:

    http://www.musictheory.net/lessons

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
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    That's what I'm looking for!!! Much appreciated Walter. Now to find the time to sit down and hammer this out. Thanks again ....

  4. #4
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Here's a chart for C major that might help (alongside the above website) explain the maj/min/dim thing:
    Code:
     Half-steps: |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | 
                 |     |     |  |     |     |     |  | 
    Major scale: C     D     E  F     G     A     B  C     D     E  F 
    CHORDS:
      I = C      C  .  .  .  E  .  .  G
     ii = Dm           D  .  .  F  .  .  .  A
    iii = Em                 E  .  .  G  .  .  .  B
     IV = F                     F  .  .  .  A  .  .  C
      V = G                           G  .  .  .  B  .  .  D
     vi = Am                                A  .  .  C  .  .  .  E
    vii = Bdim                                    B  .  .  D  .  .  F
    We build chords by taking each note of the scale as a root, and adding alternate scale notes counted from there (1st-3rd-5th, where 1st = root).
    The irregular scale structure (WWHWWWH) is what produces the different chord types.
    The major chords have 4 half-steps between root and 3rd, while the minors have just 3 half-steps - that's what defines the difference. ("Major" and "minor" just mean "bigger" and "smaller", referring to the size of that interval in particular.)
    Both major and minor triads have a "perfect 5th" - 7 half steps from root to 5th.
    The exception is the dim triad, whose 5th is only 6 half-steps from the root. This is known as a "diminished 5th", hence the name of the triad.

    Other major scales/keys work exactly the same way. But to fit the major scale formula, WWHWWWH, we need to raise or lower one or more of the natural notes; hence sharps or flats.
    E.g., if we lay out the C major scale starting from G, against the WWHWWWH formula, we get:
    Code:
     Half-steps: |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
    Major scale: 1     2     3  4     5     6     7  8
                 G     A     B  C     D     E  F     G
    You can see the F doesn't fit; we need to raise it to F# to follow the formula.
    Now if we form chords as before, any chord that had an F in it in C major will now have an F#. So we have D instead of Dm, Bm instead of Bdim, and F#dim instead of F. The rest will be the same:
    G - Am - Bm - C - D - Em - F#dim

  5. #5
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    Thanks JonR. That really helps get a grasp on understanding this. I really appreciate the help....

  6. #6
    Registered User westenra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    You might try the lessons at this site, starting at the beginning and going through them in order:

    http://www.musictheory.net/lessons

    Hope this helps!
    Shoot walter that link is also what I've been looking for! Great

  7. #7
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    Yea this site has helped me out ALOT!!! Thanks again Walter

  8. #8
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    I'm looking for a way to learn chords. Mainly what I'm looking for is a way to be able to tell what the notes would be in a given chord. For example, if I am in the key of "C", I would like to learn what chord triads I can play in that particular key. I know this gets more complex when you're in keys that have sharps or flats.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2015
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    Hi,
    Maybe you could start studying chord families.
    Take a look to some tips:
    http://www.guitarplayerbox.com/theoryChordFamilies.aspx
    https://www.guitartricks.com/blog/10...Chord-Families

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liyres View Post
    Hi,
    Maybe you could start studying chord families.
    Take a look to some tips:
    http://www.guitarplayerbox.com/theoryChordFamilies.aspx
    https://www.guitartricks.com/blog/10...Chord-Families

    Good luck!
    Like most; this is an old post. The OP started it back in 2014.

  11. #11
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    Thank you JonR, your information is very helpful in learning chords.

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