A Guide To Guitar Chords

Guitar Music Theory 4

 

Here's a list of all common chords and their formula's:

Chord Type Chord Formula
Major Triad 1     3     5
Minor Triad 1    b3     5
Diminished Triad 1    b3    b5
Augmented Triad 1     3    #5
Major 7 1     3     5     7
Minor 7 1    b3     5    b7
Dominant 7 1     3     5    b7
Half Diminished 7 1    b3    b5    b7
Diminished 7 1    b3    b5   bb7
Augmented 7 1    3     #5    b7
Suspended 4 1    4      5    b7
minor/major 7 1    b3     5     7


On guitar music theory page 2 we learned the first system to construct chords.
Here's the second system:
  1. Memorize the chord names, chord notes and chord formula's of all the chords (7) in the C major scale:

    Cmaj7 C    E    G    B
    Dm7 D    F    A    C
    Em7 E    G    B    D
    Fmaj7 F    A    C    E
    G7 G    B    D    F
    Am7 A    C    E    G
    Bm7b5 B    D    F    A


  2. Once you know the chords of C major it's easy to find other chords.

    Example: how to find the chord tones of Emaj7:

    1. You already know the chord tones of Em7 : E G B D
    2. You know the chord formula of minor chords: 1 b3 5 b7
    3. You know the chord formula of major chords : 1 3 5 7
    4. Adapt the chord tones of Em7 to the chord formula of major chords: bring the 3 and the 7 a half step up
    5. The chord tones of Emaj7 are : E G# B D#


    Example 2: Adim7:

    1. You already know the chord tones of Am7 : A C E G
    2. You know the formula of minor chords: 1 b3 5 b7
    3. You know the formula of diminished chords : 1 b3 b5 bb7
    4. Adapt the chord tones of Am7 to the chord formula of diminished chords : bring the 5 and the 7 a half step down
    5. The chord tones of Adim7 are : A C Eb Gb


    Example 3: C#7:

    1. You already know the chord tones of Cmaj7 : C E G B
    2. Now we have to add a step: we have to find the chord tones of C#maj7. To find these we just have to raise each chord tone with a half note: C# E# G# B#
    3. You already know the formula of major chords : 1 3 5 7
    4. You know the formula of dominant chords : 1 3 5 b7
    5. Adapt the chord tones of C#maj7 to the chord formula of dominant chords : bring the 7 a half step down
    6. The chord tones of C#7 are : C# E# G# B


The following step in this music theory instruction is applying the theory to the guitar.

Guitar music theory part 3  Next page: part 5 of guitar music theory