Understanding Guitar Chords and the Notes That Make Them Up

guitar chords notes

Knowing the notes that comprise chords can be very helpful when learning them. By understanding which notes make up each chord, this provides insight that will improve your playing and enable you to understand how other chords are constructed.

This structure is known as a triad and comprises three notes separated by an interval.

Major Triads

Most chords consist of three notes arranged as triads. Chord types are assigned according to which intervals they contain, such as major and minor; those constructed on major scale degrees I-IV-V are considered major while those built on degree II are minor while any built on degree III are known as diminished chords.

Each triad has a distinctive sound quality. As a general guideline, major triads tend to sound brighter and happier while minor ones can sound melancholic and low. Of course this is an overly simplistic view; nonetheless it’s essential that we know this fact.

To accurately analyze a triad, observe its root note as well as those a third and fifth above it on a staff, counting half steps between each note – major triads have thirds that are four half steps higher while diminished ones feature fifths six half steps lower than its root note.

Minor Triads

As you’ve probably observed, major and minor chords produce distinct sounds. Minor key chords often have more of a melancholic tone, yet can also be soothing (George Gershwin’s “Summertime”) or upbeat and rocking (“Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits).

Minor chords require three distinct notes in order to form, making minor triads the go-to chord for beginner guitarists.

Minor triads consist of the root note, a minor third and perfect fifth notes. A minor third occurs between the bottom and middle notes in a scale; seven half-steps above its root note constitutes perfect fifth note.

How Can I Form A Minor Chord? To form a minor chord, simply lower one of the scale pitches by one fret and move any other two scale notes up or down by an octave; it will still be considered a minor chord.

Major Sevenths

Recognizing chord diagrams on guitar chord charts is essential to becoming a proficient guitar player. These diagrams illustrate which strings and frets make up each chord as well as which fingers should be used on which fret. Before trying out chords on individual notes/strings, it’s wise to play each note/string individually before trying a chord – this will prevent muffled notes while simultaneously placing your fingers correctly.

As a general guideline, major seventh chords can be constructed from the first, third and fifth scale degrees in your key. This makes them straightforward to create and memorize once you understand their various types.

Minor Sevenths

Minor seventh chords, which contain a 7th note, are called minor seventh chords. Similar to major triads but featuring an altered fifth note that produces a distinctive sound often associated with jazz music, minor seventh chords have an uncommon sound that gives these chords their name.

As with major triads, minor triads can also be expanded with extensions. This gives the chord more of a jazzy sound and is frequently employed by guitarists.

Once you know all of these chord names, finding them on the fretboard should be simple. Just keep in mind that an octave of notes extends one string down and five frets to either side of you.

Certain chords require special tuning in order to play, such as the minor7 flat 5 chord (sometimes known as half-diminished seventh chord). This chord uses the 1st, flat 3rd, and 5th of the major scale and adds great harmony progressions; popular bands including My Bloody Valentine and The Who have used this chord successfully.