Lesson 8 – 12 Notes: A Few Basic Chords


Lesson 8:  A few basic chords.

Chords.  More than just three notes to toss a solo over.  The textbook definition is :  A combination of three or more pitches sounded simultaneously.  Since all songs with guitars in them (at least all the ones I listen to) have chords in them, they warrant a great deal of attention. So to start off, the basics.   All of these will be E chords, just for ease of playing.

Maj    min        Maj7th        min7th              6th               Maj7b5         7sus4

-0 – – – -0 – – – – – -4 – – – – – -3 – – – – – – -4 – – – – – – – – -4 – – – – – – – -5 – – – – – – – – – – –
-0 – – – -0 – – – – – -4 – – – – – -3 – – – – – – -5 – – – – – – – – -4 – – – – – – – -3 – – – – – – – – – – –
-1 – – – -0 – – – – – – 4- – – – – -4 – – – – – – – 4- – – – – – – – – 3- – – – – – – – 4- – – – – – – – – – –
-2 – – – -2 – – – – – – 2- – – – – -2 – – – – – – – 6- – – – – – – – – 2- – – – – – – – 2- – – – – – – – – – –
-2 – – – -2 – – – – – – x- – – – – -x – – – – – – – x- – – – – – – – – x- – – – – – – – x- – – – – – – – – – –
-0 – – – -0 – – – – – -x – – – – – -x – – – – – – -x – – – – – – – – -x – – – – – – – -x – – – – – – – – – – –

Aug       Dim        5th         Sus4         Sus2         Maj13th        min6thadd9

-6 – – – – – x- – – – -x – – – – – -5 – – – – – -2 – – – – – – -9 – – – – – – – – – x- – – – – – – – – – –
-5 – – – – – 8- – – – -x – – – – – -5 – – – – – -5 – – – – – – -9 – – – – – – – – – 7- – – – – – – – – – –
-5 – – – – – 9- – – – -9 – – – – – -4 – – – – – -4 – – – – – – -8 – – – – – – – – – 6- – – – – – – – – – –
-4 – – – – – 8- – – – -9 – – – – – -2 – – – – – -2 – – – – – – -x – – – – – – – – – 5- – – – – – – – – – –
-x – – – – – 7- – – – -7 – – – – – -x – – – – – -x – – – – – – -7 – – – – – – – – -7 – – – – – – – – – – –
-x – – – – – x- – – – -x – – – – – – x- – – – – – x- – – – – – – x- – – – – – – – – x- – – – – – – – – – –

Just an FYI, the x’s there are to let you know there is no note played on that string.

If you move any of these chords up one fret, then you now playing F chords, two frets above the stated examples makes them F#’s, etc, etc.  Obvious, yes, but necessary for those who do not yet know.  And these are not only not the only types of chords there are, but are not even close to the only variations of the chords given.  An excellent place to learn some of the other variants of these chords is chordbook.com and all-guitar-chords.com
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Next up, a harmonized Major scale.  What that is is a chord scale, in this case in the key of G major, and building the proper chords for that particular key. In the key of G, building a major chord, you use the Root note, the third and the fifth, those notes being G, B and D. Now the next note up in the G Major scale… 

A note about the scale.  Chords are built using the first, third, and fifth notes of the scale for the first chord, and moving up one note within the scale while using the same 1-3-5 structure. 

I’ll explain.  

G major is G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G.  The first step, the G harmonization is 1-3-5(GBD) that would make the second 2-4-6(ACE), the third 3-5-7 (BDF#), the fourth 4-6-1 (CEG) the fifth 5-7-2 (DF#A) the sixth 6-1-3 (EGB) the seventh 7-2-4 (F#AC).  If you take a look at the structure here, you’ll see that the first, fourth, and fifth are major chords, the second, third, and sixth are minor chords, and the 7th is diminished.

The chords, in order of playing are G Major, A min, B min, C Maj, D maj, E min, F#Dim, G maj.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -1 – -3 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – -0 – -2 – -4 – -2 – -4 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
-0 – -2 – -4 – -2 – -4 – -5 – -4 – -5 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
-2 – -3 – -5 – -3 – -5 – -7 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
-3 – -5 – -7 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now I have to tell you that I am leaving a lot of theory basics out here. I did not touch the minor harmonized scale, or modes.  I did not touch the Roman numeral system that is generally used, and other things beyond that.  But I have to leave something for later lessons, don’t I? I believe that the next lesson may well pick up where this one leaves off.  Should be fun! 

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Thanks for reading, and keep on playing!

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