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Difference between a Major and Minor Chords - 2 Minute Lesson.

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Keeping the theory as simple as I can, a major chord is the 1st, 3rd and 5th note of a Major scale. The best way to start with music theory is to use numbers. There are 7 notes in a Major scale = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1(8)

8 being the starting note again an octave higher

First 5 notes of the A major scale

If we talk in intervals (distance between two notes) we can expand this a little further but it’s easier to think in plain numbers at the start.

1 = Unison

2 = Major 2nd

3 = Major 3rd

4 = Perfect 4th

5 = Perfect 5th

7 = Major 7th

8/1 = Perfect Octave

So again a Major chord is 1 3 5, If we take the 3 and lower it by 1 semitone* it becomes a b3 or a minor 3rd. This makes the chord minor.

*A semitone is the closest note to another note, a 1 fret movement on the guitar.

The first 5 notes of the A minor chord

Major chords have a “bright” or happy sound

Minor chords have a “darker” or sad sound

Major chords are written with just the letter so A = A Major sometimes people write it with a capital M so CM = C major

Minor chord are written with a lowercase m after the chord so Am = A minor


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