View Full Version : How to make a chord??

02-28-2003, 05:56 PM
Ok....i wanna learn this....but i dont have to much knowledge about theory so please dont begin with all those alien language things:)
I do know a bit theory..but not much. I do know intervals, i think they are important in making chords, right?

I would really like to know how to build and make up chords??

02-28-2003, 06:25 PM
OK, an easy example.

Consider the key of C Major:


Now, we start on the first note, C.
Then, we skip the D and get to E, which is the THIRD of E. From E, we skip another note and end on G, which is the third of E.

So you have 3 notes: C-E-G

Look at your C Major-chord... all the notes you´ll find in there are either C, E, or G. That means, you build a chord for your six strings from those three notes.

The interval between the first two notes of the chord ( example above: C and E ) tells you what kind of chord it is: major or minor.

Take a look at the second note... D. This shall be the root of our next chord.
The third of D is F, the third of F is A ( we´re still in the key of C Major, by the way ! :) )
So you have D-F-A. A D minor triad.

In the C Maj chord, the interval between the first two notes ( C and E ) is a major third ( 4 halftone steps / 2 whole tone steps ), in the D Minor, the interval between the first two notes ( D and F ) is a minor third ( 3 halftone-steps )

Now, build the other chords of the C Maj. Start on E, "extract" those thirds, and look at whether its a minor or a major chord.

Also, try to play i.e. a C major triad in different areas of the neck and in different inversions ( order of notes... C-E-G, E-G-C etc. )

Check out Guni´s article about chord scales, he explains all this stuff way better than I do:

Hope this helps

02-28-2003, 08:20 PM
i will eric....i understand more now already....its root,major third and perfect fifth right?? C E G

02-28-2003, 08:58 PM
Right, and for the Dmin-triad ( second chord of C Major ), it´s root-minor third-p5 ( D-F-A ).

The triads of C Major:

Cmaj-Dmin-Emin-Fmaj-Gmaj-Amin-Bdim-Cmaj ( Bdim= 1-b3-b5 )

All this is explained nicely in Gunis article. And once you read that one and understood the information inside, check out his article about 7th chords... the next step


NP: Greg Howe- Uncertain Terms

03-10-2003, 11:18 PM
As already mentioned, a major chord consists of a tonic, a major 3rd and a perfect 5th. Wich means that theres the tonic (root) and then you go 2 steps up and the 1,5 up from the major third. Then you have a Major chord Exampel:
C-E-G, C-W-W- E- W-H-G.
To construct a minor chord its just, Tonic-Minor 3rd-Perfect 5th: Tonic 1,5 step 3,5 step.

03-11-2003, 07:28 AM
Hi JEM555,

Did ya read this article by any chance: http://www.ibreathemusic.com/learn/article/56

If yes, I'd like to know more about why it doesn't answer your question. Too much theory? too technical? ...



03-11-2003, 04:29 PM
Hey Guni!!

No no, i dont find your Triads article to diffucult, but its difficult if you dont know any sight reading. I know a bit and then its getting better. When i first saw those first excersises i just put away that article because i didnt understand a thing.
I printed it out a month ago, but didnt start lookin at before now, and ive done the first excersises now, im taking it bit by bit.
The article is perfect, not TOO difficult, and not TOO easy, thats great. allthough its a bit more difficult than easy.

I think every article written by Eric, James and you are so great, because you dont believe that everyone on this board know a lot of theory, so you beginn with easy examples and you manage to write downeverything in a very understanding way.
Like in John Petrucci`s book, he says something like " just about everyone knows that you can play "these and that" chords over "these and that" scale, well i dont know. so he expects everone one to know that, but i guess that half the people that buy the book dont have any clue what it means.
You`re articles are the best.

03-11-2003, 05:22 PM
ok, way cool :D - thanks JEM555.

I think what you say is very true. In the beginning, I also worked through a lot of books, took classes, etc ... and carried bits and pieces of this with me - It was a long process to finally being able to see the big picture.

This was a valuable and important process - well, now I'm thinking I have my own view of theory and this is what I'm trying to bring across, next to the plain facts of course. Well, if this view gets you guys into the right direction, or even maybe saves you some time with gaining the theory knowledge you need, then the articles have served their purpose real well.

Again, thanks for your feedback.


PS: a while ago I got a response to the triads article saying that the person didn't understand a thing because of music notation. Now, I try to make a point of keeping the use of notation to an absolute minimum if it's not really required. My recommendation was to first learn some basic notation before taking on more advanced topics. The response was something like "Well, I don't wanna learn music notation - I think it's boring and ancient stuff. I just wanna know what to play with which chord." Well, go figure ...