"Music Theory Chords"
Chords the Musicians Words
explore the element of
music theory chords. Music chords are the
structures that are the words of music and are
constructed with the notes of the scale and in all the key
A lot of things to consider?
It is, however, by taking a step through the process of how various
chords are built you will have the fundamental knowledge
necessary to work with any key signature and any scale you want to
Types of Chords
Guitar and Piano Chords in Parallel
There are several types of chords just as with scales they are
listed here with
Constructing a Music Chord
You can use the 12 notes with
sharps and flats
to build a chord.
This will cause you to also move into a second octave of notes as you reach the set of notes for any one octave.
It is best to start small and build with 3
notes at a time.
Use the keyboard section below and we will build the
different types associated with the key of C.
The music theory chords are developed mathematically using a set number
and half steps and
minor third steps (intervals).
If we assign a numeric value to each note each scale will use the
numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and you will have one of each in the scale.
These are the intervals.
2 3 4 5 6 7
D E F G A
Steps and Intervals Demonstrated
W=whole step - C to D
H=Half Step - C to C#
m3=minor 3rd which is a whole and a half step together. C to Eb
3rd=major 3rd which is two whole steps (4 half steps) - C to E
We will use the S= Start
position then add the steps to construct a scale.
Each of the following ways to make chords is shown with the chord name,
the intervals, the half steps and the chord notes.
the major chord is produced using the following formula.
4 H + 3 H.
1 3 5
S + 4H + 3H
the minor chord is produced using the following
formula. (flat the 3rd)
1 b3 5
S + 3H + 4H
the diminished chord is produced using the following
formula. (flat the 3rd and the 5th) the degree symbol is used to
designate the diminished chord.
diminished - Cº
S + 3H + 3H
the melodic minor chord is produced using the following
formula. (raise the 5th ) the degree symbol is used to designate the
augmented - C+
S + 4H + 4H
the seventh chords add a fourth note and are used to
create some tension that resolves to a root chord such as a major
chord. The most common is the dominant seventh Which is a
major chord with an added b7.
7th - C7
S + 4H + 3H + 3H
E G Bb
Major Seventh chord uses 4 half steps to add the seventh.
7th - CM7
S + 4H + 3H+ 4H
E G B
For more on sevenths learn
you can add any note of the scale and extend your
chords. This takes some explaining but it is as simple as adding 3 or 4
half steps (major or minor 3rds). The example we will use to illustrate
that is a C11 which
uses the 1, 3, 5, b7, 9, 11; the 9 would
likely be dropped to play the 11th, but not necessarily.
3 5 b7
S + 4H + 3H + 3H + 4H + 3H
E G Bb D
So there is just a quick introduction to basics of music theory chords.
will cover more in the other pages of the site and go into detail on
how to learn and