Major and Minor Chords Chart

Chords are essential elements of music. From relaxing and soulful tracks like George Gershwin’s “Summertime” to funky rock numbers such as the Commodores’ “Brick House”, chord progressions help set different atmospheres to express feelings and communicate emotions through sound.

Each chord is composed of specific notes from a particular scale; here, we’ll use the minor scale.

Major Chords

Major chords are one of the most frequently used chord types, making up an integral component of many songs. Their sound ranges from happy (think “California Girls” by The Beach Boys), sad and melancholy (Bon Iver’s “Comfortably Numb”) or upbeat and catchy (“Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye).

Music theory suggests that both major and minor chords share similar scale notes; however, their placement within any given context determines tonality. For example, C major has all of the same notes as A minor but with different order and slightly altered octaves.

Knowing this enables you to build major and minor chord progressions from different keys by building the same foundation of scale notes from any scale. To do this, start with any scale note and identify its 1st, 3rd and 5th note as major chord components before shifting down its 3rd half step for minor chord creation. Repeat this process for any scale note!

Minor Chords

Minor chords simply refer to any chord where its third note has been flattened (lowered) by one semi-tone or half step, making the chord sound darker or melancholic.

Minor chords feature a perfect fifth (also referred to as major sixth), adding tension and dissonance that many artists utilize to create an eerie sense of drama and tension in their compositions.

The natural minor key is defined as the sixth interval of any major key and can therefore be used for any chord progression that would work in that key, for instance the popular Gotye chord progression used in his song ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ which blends minor and major chords into an engaging soundscape. To find more such examples on Fender Play you’ll find plenty of inspiration when writing with minor chords!

Augmented Chords

Augmented chords (also referred to as “triads with an augmented fifth”) create tension and drama in music, serving as a flashlight in the dark that leads their listeners toward new opportunities outside the realm of familiarity.

These mysterious chords can help bridge between keys or heighten emotional intensity in music composition. A type of scale tone chord, their unique dissonant sound often creates anticipation that is later alleviated with more consonant harmonies following.

One striking example is the opening chord from The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling,” featuring a G aug chord. This simple triad with an augmented fifth transforms an otherwise tense beginning into an intoxicating chorus – showing just how this type of chord can add more drama than standard seventh chords alone.

Sharpened Chords

A chord’s symbol may also include suspension marks, such as in Csus2 (C-D-G). Extended or seventh chords featuring flattened sevenths may be written as sus3, such as Dm7sus3 (D-E-G-C).

Musicians frequently utilize roman numeral analysis as a method for describing scale degrees and chords. With practice comes an understanding of music theory’s rules as well as building chord progressions.

Once you’ve mastered major and minor chords, it’s time to add more advanced chords into your toolkit. These could include augmented and diminished chords as well as exotic seventh chords like m7 or add9. When performing in minor keys you may come across “slash chords”, which are polychords containing multiple chords with bass notes that don’t belong in their original context – for instance a Dm/C chord features one D minor chord with an extra C bass note added underneath it.