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Basic Chord Theory - Major, Minor, Diminished and Augmented Chords.

Some basic but vital chord/music theory. Looking at triads, which form our basic three note chords also know as triads.

These triads/chords are made up of three notes. A root note, a third and a fifth, by altering the 3rd’s and 5th we get our different chords.

Remember we base all chord theory against the major scale. In numbers a major scale is,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Major Chord/Triad

Chord Music Guitar theory Major Chord
Major - 1 3 5

So our first chord is a Major chord, using the 1st, 3rd and 5th note of the major scale.

This gives us the spelling Root, Major 3rd, Perfect 5th.

In numbers this is

1 3 5,


Minor Chord/Triad

Music Guitar Chord Theory - Minor Chord
Minor - 1 b3 5

If we lower the 3rd by a semitone (one fret on the guitar), we get whats called a lower 3rd or a minor 3rd. This gives us the spelling of a Root, minor 3rd (b3) and a 5th. This is a minor chord/triad.

In numbers this is written,

1 b3 5


Diminished Chord//Triad

Music Guitar Chord Theory - Diminished Chord
Diminished 1 b3 b5

Next if we lower the 5th of the minor chord by a semitone we get a diminished 5th. The spelling of this chord is Root, Minor 3rd (b3) and a diminished 5th (b5)

In number this is written,

1 b3 b5


Augmented Chord

Music Guitar Chord Theory - Augmented Chord
Augmented 1 3 #5

Our last triad is augmented. Here we start with Major triad and augment the 5th by raising it up a semitone. The spelling of this is Root note, Major 3rd and an augmented (sharpened) 5th

In numbers this is written,

1 3 #5


Knowing this information and knowing how this chords sound will be hugely beneficial to your musicianship. These are all 3 note chords, adding the next note up in the sequence gives us out 7 chords very commonly used chords to add extra colour and texture to music.


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