Guitar Chords Vs Notes

Guitar chords use numbers and letters to represent the notes in a scale or chord. These letters include sharps and flats to indicate whether tones should be raised by half a step or lowered by half step respectively.

A chord is a harmonic set of notes and can consist of any number of notes. Most chords, however, are comprised of major or minor triads which contain the first, third, and fifth notes from any scale.


As previously discussed, chords are composed from scales and have three qualities (major, minor and diminished). A triad is classified by its intervals between notes – major triads sound complete and resolved while minor ones have less “upright” tones while diminished ones sound discordant and unresolved.

Triads, or perfect harmony structures in music, consist of three notes connected by major and minor thirds – two notes on either end separated by an interval that creates a perfect harmonic progression – known as triads. Triads form one of the foundational building blocks of music.

As you start learning guitar chords, the basic triad shapes such as shape 1 and shape 2 will likely become your starting points. Although these triads are the most frequently found on the fretboard, inverting triads – meaning moving the order of their notes around – is also possible; for instance a C major chord could become a first inverted triad by moving its root note one octave higher to E, for instance.


Scales differ from chords in that their shape remains constant across each standard tuning, making it easier for guitarists to memorize. There are various methods or systems used by guitarists for memorizing scale notes – from formulae and patterns to memorizing methods – but first it is important to master chord playing before trying to memorize scale notes.

Once you understand how to construct the basic chords (Major, Minor and Dominant) with triads, you can begin experimenting with fancier chords like Major 7s and Minor 7s. These variations of standard chords add an interval to create new types of chords; their names should provide guidance regarding which interval to add for example C Major 7 chord requires adding two frets between root note and twond fret and D minor 7 needs one fret between root and twond fret added as an addition for instance for making D minor 7 chord.


Intervals are musical distances between notes. Intervals can either be harmonic or melodic in nature. Harmonic intervals create chords while melodic intervals have directions and can also be called by different names like “major third up” or “perfect fifth down.”

An interval’s relative size can be determined by counting how many staff positions it spans; for instance, C to D constitutes one staff position (or diatonic scale degree) above and below C respectively. Any interval which engulfs more than one octave is known as a compound interval.

Accidentals allow us to alter the quality of an interval by manipulating its size or quality; intervals that are half a step larger than perfect or major intervals (augmented), while those half a step smaller ( diminished). For instance, changing its top note’s accidentals could turn an interval from C and D into either an augmented fifth or diminished fourth interval – with C being considered either.

Root note

Unlocking the mysteries of how notes relate to chords is a game-changer for any guitarist. Once you understand these fundamentals, you’ll be able to craft custom voicings for use across a range of musical contexts.

Root notes form the cornerstone of any chord, providing its identity and tonal quality. In general, they’re usually played lowest or include an additional note that serves as bass note – this doesn’t always have to be the case!

Slash chords, formed by stacking major and minor triads, often employ this principle. A C major chord includes its root C along with an upper third above and fifth above; hence its name: this chord’s root serves as the bottom note in its triad formation; however, similar principles also apply when creating minor seventh or major seventh chords.