Triads: Now that we understand the major scale, and intervals, we can build triads.

Tria ds are the simplest form of chords and are formed of 3 notes. Triads are built from stacking thirds. For example, i f we are in CMaj, and we want to build a triad from the Root note, C, we start by adding a third in the scale, wh ich brings us to E. Next, we add a third to that, to get G. Thus our triad is C-E-G. A triad is always built from a Root note, a third, and a fifth. Because the third in this chord, E is a M3rd from C, this is a Major triad. You may notice when you play Open C Major on the guitar, you are playing C, E, G, C, E. Let's take a look at the next note in the scale, D. When we build a triad from D with the 3rd and the 5th, we get D F A. Because D to F is a m3rd, this is a Minor triad. Let's take a look at the quality(Major or Minor) of the triads for all the notes in th e C Major scale 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 C D E F G A B E F G A B C D G A B C D E F Major minor minor Major Major minor ???

This last chord does not fit into the category major or minor. That is because i nstead of a perfect fifth, there is a diminished fifth, B to F. For this reason we call this triad a Diminished t riad. Don't worry about being able to play this chord, just be aware that the seventh degree of a Major Key will fo rm a diminished triad. Dominant & Harmonic Flow: As you can see, each number, or DEGREE in the scale has its own quality. In fac t, there is a specific name for each degree of the scale. The only ones you really need to know are TONIC, whic h is 1, or C in this case, and the DOMINANT, which is 5, or G. The dominant is considered the strongest of all the degrees of the scale, and often signifies the end of a phrase. Try playing a chord progression like: CM am FM GM or CM am dm GM

Notice how the GMaj chord drives the harmonic flow back to our tonic, C. Both of these progressions are very good examples of traditional harmonic flow. Both of these progressions are also what we would call DIATONIC, which means that all of the chords stay in one key: Cmaj in this case. The concept of harmonic flow is somewhat abstract, but I feel that it is very easy to hear. This is because we are so use d to hearing music that follows certain rules, and our ears instantly tell us that we want the GM to go to a CM, even if one doesn't know anything about harmony; it is intuitive. Now look at the first chord progressions above. What degrees of the scale are used in this first progression? Answer: 1,6,4,5. For this reason, we call this a 1-6-4-5 progression. Try playin g it in GMaj, DMaj, and AMaj

Try different rhythms of it as well, particularly playing it slowly. Sound fami liar? It should--there are at least a million pop songs that use this progression. Now let's look at the chords in the a minor scale 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 A B C D E F G C D E F G A B E F G A B C D minor diminished Major Minor minor Major Major

Notice how the dominant, e is naturally minor in this key. For this reason, ofte ntimes we borrow from what is called the Harmonic Minor scale, which is a regular, or Natural Minor scale with a raised seventh degree. For example: a b c d e f g# a So we borrow the g# from the a harmonic minor scale to make an E Major chord. T his E Major chord is a stronger chord and leads us back to a minor. Now try and figure out the 1-6-4-5 progression in the a minor key. This one shou ld sound familiar as well.

SEVENTH CHORDS We can take the same method of stacking thirds that we used to make triads, and add on one more third on top. Thus you have a root, a third, a fifth, and now a seventh. This creates a wider varie ty of possibilities of different kinds of chords. These are the most common and most important to know for now. A Major 7th chord is a Major triad with a M7th. A minor 7th chord is a minor triad with a m7th. A Dominant 7th chord (often just called a 7th chord, as in E7 or B7) is a Major triad with a m7th. Let's take a look at the diatonic seventh chords in C Major for each degree. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 C D E F G A B E F G A B C D G A B C D E F B C D E F G A M7th m7th m7th M7th Dominant 7th m7th Half-diminished 7th: Don't worry about this one

Dominant Seventh The dominant seventh is the most common seventh chord. notice that it contains B D F, a diminished chord. This gives the dominant much more tension and wants to return more towards C Maj. Try your 1-6-4-5 progression with a G7 instead of a G.

Often the dominant seventh is played without a 5th, which isn't really necessary for the basic sound of the chord. We can see this on the guitar with chords like: B G D A E G7 or C7 1 4 3 3 2 3 3

These chord shapes can easily be slid around to play 7th chords at any place on the guitar. Well that's all for now. Enjoy.

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