Friday, December 15, 2006

Forming Chords From a Scale

This is an important lesson, as many beginning guitarists have no clue how chords are formed, and I believe it’s a very important aspect of guitar playing. So, don’t skip this lesson, although it’s a theoretical one and I know you are anxious to learn fast soloing licks. Well, you will do that, but take it one step at a time. Read this carefully, as having a solid theoretical foundation is often underestimated. Here we go.
First of all, what is a chord? A chord is simply 3 notes played together. Well, at least 3 notes, I meant. You can also have 4-notes or even more notes chords.
As you should already know by now, the C Major scale has the following notes:
It is the only major scale that has no flats or sharps, you should always keep that in mind. So, let’s build the chords from the C Major scale. The way to do this is simple. We start from each note of the scale, adding every other note to the root, until we get a basic 3-notes chord. So, what do we get?
Starting from C : C + E + G = C Major chord
Starting from D : D + F + A = D minor chord
Starting from E : E + G + B = E minor chord
Starting from F : F + A + C = F Major chord
Starting from G : B + B + D = G Major chord
Starting from A : A + C + E = A minor chord
Starting from B : B + D + F = B diminished chord
The nature of the chord, major or minor that is, is given by the number of semitones the first and second notes are apart. If the first and second notes of the chords are 4 semitones apart, the chord is major. If they are 3 semitones apart, the chord is minor.