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“the chop shop” - material for the acoustic guitarist |ffrroom

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Chord Types

The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

They said, ‘You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.’
The man replied, ‘Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar.

- The Man with the Blue Guitar, Wallace Stevens

Chord type: Intervals: Example: Name:

Major 1 3 5 CEG C major
Minor 1 b3 5 ACE A minor
th
Dominant 1 3 5 b7 GBDF G dominant 7
Augmented 1 3 #5 CEG# C augmented
Diminished 1 b3 b5 DFAb D diminished
Suspended 125 CDG Csus2
145 CFG Csus4

1. Major Chords

Extensions consist of tones from the same scale as the original chord
(‘diatonic’ = inside the key).

Alterations are tones from the given scale which are raised or lowered (# or b);
or can be seen as chromatic, or colour tones from outside the given scale.

Enharmonically, 9=2, 11=4, 13=6.
For example, Cmaj7/#11 is enharmonically equivalent to Cmaj7b5 (CEGBGb).
These extensions’ higher denomination points to them often being added an octave above the original interval.

‘Add’ chords consist of the chord outlined in their denomination plus an added interval, e.g Cmaj7add9 = CEGB plus D.

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2 . but a chord like this has far-reaching and useful implications in the field of advanced substitution. Cmaj7/b13 and/or alterations 1 3 5 7 #11 CEGBF# Cmaj7/#11 1 3 5 9 #11 CEGDF# Cadd9/#11 1 3 5 7 9 #11 CEGBDF# Cmaj7/9/#11 Other major chords are various combinations of the above. Cadd13 1357 CEGB C maj7 1359 CEGD Cadd9 1 3 5 11 CEGF C add11 13569 CEGAD C 6/9 13579 CEGBD C maj 9 1 3 5 7 11 CEGBF C maj7/add11 1 3 5 7 9 11 CEGBDF Cmaj7/9/11 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 CEGBDFA Cmaj7/9/11/13 Passing note: You may have noticed that a Cmaj7/9/11/13 chord contains all the tones of the C major scale. also the root. It is not very likely you will ever encounter one. Passing note: On the guitar it is neither always possible nor desirable to fully voice complex chords. See the chapter about guide tones and shell voicings in Voicings. Chord form: Structure: Example: Name: Major triad with extensions 1 3 #5 7 CEG#B C maj7/#5.Chord form: Structure: Example: Name: Major triad 135 CEG C (major) Major triad with extensions 1356 CEGA C (maj) 6. or another instrument to share harmonies with. Economical voicings often omit the fifth. particularly if there is a bass player present.

x----- ||||1| |||||| VII 111111 ||2||| ||1||| ||||2| |||||3 |2||3| |||||| |||4|| |||4|| ||4||| |||||| |||||| |||||| Cmaj7 Cmaj9(no5) Cmaj9 EBCG CEBD ECDGB 3715 1379 31957 EADgbe EADgbe EADgbe ----0. -----0 ------ III |1|||| X |12||| XI |||1|| |||||| |||3|| ||2||| 2|3||| ||||4| |3||4| |||||| |||||| |||||| |||4|| |||||| |||||| Cmaj9/add13 Cmaj7#11 Cmaj7#5 ACGDB(E) GCF#BE G#CEB 61597 51#1173 2.1. -----.a Some major chord voicings EADgbe EADGgbe EADgbe xx---. Minor Chords Chord form: Structure: Example: Name: Minor triad 1 b3 5 ACE A minor Minor triad with extensions 1 b3 5 b7 ACEG Amin7 1 b3 5 9 ACEB Amin9 1 b3 5 11 ACED Amin11 1 b3 5 b7 9 ACEGB Amin7/9 1 b3 5 b7 11 ACEGD Amin7/11 1 b3 5 9 11 ACEBD Amin9/11 Minor triad with extensions 1 b3 5 6 ACEF# Amin6 and/or alterations 1 b3 5 7 ACEG# Amin/maj7 1 b3 5 6 9 ACEF#B Amin6/9 1 b3 5 b7 #5 ACEGF Amin7/#5 (or b13) 1 b3 5 b7 b9 ACEGBb Amin7/b9 3 .

Amin/maj7 is an altered chord when derived from a C major scale.a Some minor chord voicings EADgbe EADgbe EADgbe -0---. --0--. and often in dominant chords. #5 = b6 = b13. these can be simplified. A #11 is a b5 one octave higher. Dominant Seventh Chords Chord form: Structure: Example: Name: Dominant seventh chord 1 3 5 b7 GBDF G7 Dominant seventh chord 1 3 5 b7 9 GBDFA G7/9 (11/13) with extensions (11/13) and combinations th Dom7 chord with extensions 1 3 5 b7 b5 GBDFDb G7b5 and/or alterations 1 3 5 b7 #5 GBDFD# G7b5 1 3 5 b7 b9 GBDFAb G7b9 1 3 5 b7 #9 GBDFA# G7#9 1 3 5 b7 #5 b9 GBDFD#Ab G7#5/b9 and other combinations Passing note: There are many chords with “big” names. Alterations occur in raised (#) or lowered (b) notes. Enharmonically. b9. there are four useful alterations of dominant chords: b5. and b13. Unless specifically called for. b9. but native to the A harmonic minor scale. b5 = #11. In practical application such as improvisation. enharmonics become more difficult to navigate. There are seven frequent alterations: b5. #11. #9. #5. #5. As a four-note chords’ extensions get further up the scale. and often confusing extensions and alterations. Simplification is useful here. b6. 4 . -x---0 III ||||1| ||||11 V ||1||| |||||| |||||| |||2|| ||23|| |||||| 3|||4| |||||| |||4|| |||||| |||||4 |||||| |||||| Aminadd9/11 Dmin7/add13 Emin6/9 AGCDB DBCF BGC#F#E 1/b7/b3/11/9 1/13/b7/b3 53691 3. A b13 is a #5 one octave higher. #9. For instance. Passing note: Chords can be derived from any scale containing the respective chord tones. 2.

a Some dominant seventh chord voicings (and possible resolutions) There are literally hundreds of possible dominant 7th voicings. As with all other examples shown here. and their fingerings in these positions. EADgbe EADgbe 0----0 -0--0- X |||1|| IIX |||||| |2|||| |||1|| ||3||| ||2||3 ||||4| |||||| |||||| |||||| E7#5b9 Amin9/add11 1/3/b7/b9/#5/1 1/b3/5/9/11 EADgbe EADgbe ---0-0 ------ VII ||||1| VII 1111xx ||2||| |||||| 34|||| |3|||| |||||| |||||| |||||| ||4||| F#7b9 Bmin9 5/1/3/b9/1/b7 1/5/9/b3(5/1) EADgbe EADgbe -x---. -0---- III |||||| III ||||1| |||||| ||2||| ||1||| |||||3 2||333 |||4|| |||||| |||||| A7#5b9 Dmaj7 b9/b7/#5/b9 53715 5 . and different avenues of ‘dominant’ thinking as applied to the guitar.3. these were just chosen to give you an idea of different chord forms. sounds. It is useful to seek out the scales and arpeggios that relate to the chords above. voicing and fingering possibilities.

Stretch alert! EADgbe EADgbe x----. --0--- V ||1||| |||||| |||||| |||||| |||||| |||2|3 |||||| |11111 ||||11 1||2|| ||||4| |||1(1) ||||2| ||(2)| |||||| |||||| |2|||| |||||| |||3|| |4|||| |||||| |||||4 ||4||| ||4||| |||||| © 2002 by Nick Naffin. --x--. 0--0-- (1)1||| |||||| |2|3|| |1|||| ||||44 ||||2| |||||| ||3||| |||||| |||||4 B7#5/#9(b5) Emin11 (b5)/1/3/b7/#9/#5 1/5/9/b3/b7/11 4. -----. 6 . Just an idea e|-6-------|-5-----3-|-2-------|-2-----0-|---------0-|| b|-7-----7-|---------|-3-------|-2-------|-2---------|| g|-6---6---|-----3---|-2-----2-|-4---3---|-----------|| D|-5-5-----|---------|-5-------|-5-5-----|-------0---|| A|-0-------|---4-----|-2---2---|-0-------|-----4-----|| E|---------|---------|---0-----|---------|---2-------|| Freely. x----- VII ||||11 |||1|| |||||| |||||| |||||| |2|||| |||||| ||||3| ||3||| ||4||| |||4|| |||||| A9/13 Dmaj7(9) 3/b7/13/9 3715(9) EADgbe EADgbe -----. -----. Let ring throughout.| Dmaj7/add9 A7/b9 EADgbe EADgbe EADgbe EADgbe EADgbe -0---. A7b9/13 | A7b9 | Emin7/9/11 | A7/9/13 .

which is to create tension and resolve to a tonic (for a table of intervals and their harmonic function.5. Augmented chords are often abbreviated with a + sign instead of the ‘aug’.a Examples for suspended chord voicings EADgbe EADgbe --00-. a sus4 in 1-4-5. for example CEG# = Caug. for example DFAb = Ddim. harmonic situations where their typical ‘suspended’ feel is desired. and add a new root a semitone below the diminished root. such as CFG = Csus4. There are two kinds of suspended chords. there are only three real diminished (or ‘dim7’) chords. and are frequently substituted for dominant seventh chords. A sus2 is built in 1-2-5 intervals. it often appears in the same function. See the chapter on Fretboard Organization for more on this principle. C+ = Caug An augmented triad does not include a b7 like a dominant seventh chord. G. sus2 and sus4. they often appear in a dominant function. Suspended Chords Suspended triads feature a different interval instead of a minor or major third. such as CDG = Csus2. Therefore. see Intervals). in general. and hence substituted for G7in a dominant function. and. 7 . Since the chromatic scale consists of twelve notes. Being neither major nor minor. Augmented and Diminished Chords Augmented chords feature a raised fifth. Passing note: Take a diminished chord. in this case. Abdim may be changed to a form of. Diminished triads are built in consecutive minor thirds. or they lead to a modulation (temporary or permanent change of key). practical applications of suspended chords include modal improvisations. however. or G7b9. The new chord spells GBFAb. say Abdim (AbBDF). 5. ---0-- ||||1| ||||1| |||||| |||||| |3|||| |34||| |||||| |||||| |||||| |||||| Csus2 Csus4 6. Again. as in DFAbB = Ddim. A full diminished four-note chord (diminished seventh chord) has four consecutive minor thirds.

6. A voicing like BGCE (7x555x) may appear like a slash chord. 7a. for example. they are often constructed from triads instead. derived from triads native to a given key and featuring a chromatic root. In slash chord nomenclature. and feature major and minor thirds respectively. the first letter represents the triad. For harmonic purposes.While augmented and diminished chords may be derived from scales. Examples for slash chord voicings EADgbe EADgbe -x---x ------ VI 2||||| IIX |1|||| ||333| |||2|3 |||||| ||||4| |||||| |||||| |||||| |||||| D/Bb A/F 8 . see Voicings. slash chords are most often nondiatonic. For more on 9-for-1. here: Amin7/9. Slash Chords Slash chords are triads over different roots.a Examples for augmented and diminished chord voicings EADgbe EADgbe -----. but is more often seen as a 9-for-1 substitution inside a given chord. a D/Bb slash chord features a D major triad (DF#A) over a Bb root or bass note. and thus regarded as their own entities. the second the root or bass note. ------ |||11| ||1|2| ||2||| |||3|4 |3|||| |||||| |||||| |||||| |||||| |||||| C+5 Cdim7 7.

8. is built from the Bminor’s root and minor third (BD) and an Eb major triad (EbGBb). On the web: www. 9 . Bm|Eb. minor. with the B doing “double duty” as both the Cmajor7’s seventh. not possible) to voice both full chords to obtain a polychordal sound. For example. the second. suggestions and comments to chops@takenotepromotion. The chord forms most often used to construct polychords are major. and add a certain vagueness to a harmonic environment. Pivot chords are chords containing chord tones native to two different keys. Polychords often appear as pivot chords before modulations. Amin7 (ACEG) can be built from both a C major and an F major scale. on the guitar.nicknaffin.com This document may be freely distributed as long as content is maintained ‘as is’. Cmaj7|Ab. established by the simultaneous sounding of two or more distinct areas of tonality. © 2002 by Nick Naffin. dominant.a Examples for polychords EADgbe EADgbe -----x x----- V |1|||| III |1|||| |||||| |||23| 3||||| |||||| ||444| ||4||| |||||| |||||| Bmin Cmaj7 Eb Abmin BDBbEbG CAbBEb Note the inherent and intended ambiguity in these voicings. and major seventh.com Please send questions.8. Often it is not necessary (and. The first example. and the copyright notice is not removed. and are generally used to make a harmonic movement less directional or obvious. Polychords Polychords are voicings constructed from two or more chords with distinct roots. as in: Dmin7 – G7 -C – <Amin7> – Bbmaj7 – Gmin7 – F. for example F|Em: EADgbe ------ V ||1111 ||||2| 34|||| |||||| |||||| F Em BEGCFA Polytonality is the temporary or permanent presence of more than one key center. and therefore lead from one key to the other. features Cmaj7’s root and an Ab minor’s root and fifth (AbEb).