Chords Construction: Triads

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How chords are constructed?

In this lesson you will learn everything about chords construction, by the end of this lesson you will know how major, minor, augmented and diminished chords are constructed. 

To build chords you need to know your major scale.  If you’re not familiar with major scales I highly recommend you to read my other lesson on “Major Scales”. If you know your major scale pretty well, this lesson is for you. To get the most from this lesson I recommend you to learn  your fretboard as well. If you ever need to learn or refresh your knowledge of the fretboard check out my lesson “The guitar fretboard”

Building your first chords

C Major (C)

Let let the take a C major scale to build a C Major chord.

C major scale

The C Major Chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd and 5th note of the C Major Scale.

Major chord formula 1 – 3 – 5

On the guitar the c major triad would look like

C Major triad C Major triad

 

In a chord there are usually more than 3 notes. Just follow your chord formula and  you can add as many  notes as you need.  

This is what a C major chord (with open strings) looks like in most chord books you may find.

C Major chord

C Minor Chord (Cm)

The C Minor Chord is made up of the 1st, b3rd and 5th note of the C Major Scale.

C Minor in a scale

Minor chords formula 1 – b3 – 5

On the guitar the c minor triad would look like:

C Minor triadC Minor triad



C Augmented Chord (Caug/c+)

The C Augmented Chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd and #5th note of the C Major Scale.

C Augmented in a scale

Augmented chords formula 1 – 3 – #5

On the guitar the c augmented triad would look like:

C augmented triad C augmented triad

Diminished chords formula 1 – b3 – b5

The C Diminished Chord is made up of the 1st, b3rd and b5th note of the C Major Scale.

C diminished in a scale

Diminished chords formula 1 – b3 – b5

On the guitar the c diminished triad would look like

C diminished triadC diminished triad

Even if you know how to form a chord, it is still useful to memorize chord shapes which sound good, ignore the the ones that don’t sound good. Out of thousands of chord forms you could find in many guitar chord books, I have tried to handpick for you, only the chords shapes which sound good.

Here they are

C Major Chords, C Minor Chords, C Augmented Chords, C Major 7 Chords(More chords forms coming soon)




In the next lesson we’re going to make use of these new chords forms you just learned.

If you like this lesson, please leave a comment.

I’d appreciate it 🙂

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4 Responses

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