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Forum Home > Chorded Songs > Chord Symbols (Basics)

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Ok guys. Here are the basics of chord symbols. Hope this helps you guys understand how to read them.

The first thing you must understand when trying to do chord cymbals is the number system/scales. We are going to do this in the key of C.

C Major Scale is as follows:

C(1) D(2) E(3) F(4) G(5) A(6) B(7) C(8,1) & so on 

So the first chord we will cover is the Major Chord

Major Chords are described as having a "happy" tone

A Major Chord is composed of the numbers 1, 3, 5

So C Major would be Chorded out as : C, E, G

The symbol for C Major is: C

Second, we will cover a Minor Chord.

Minor Chords are usually described as having a "sad" tone

A Minor Chord is composed of the:  1, b3, & 5

So we know our 1 = C, our 5 = G, but what about the b3?

When we look on our C Major scale, E is our 3. How do we get the b3?

Just go to the 3 which is E & move it down a half step.

When we move E down a half step, it becomes Eb.

 So our C Minor Chord is: C, Eb, G

The chord symbol will be: Cm(lowercase m for minor)

Third we will cover Augmented Chords

An Augmented Chord is composed of the: 1, 3, #5

In this case, we know our 1 & we know our 3, but what about the #5?

Let's go to the 5 which we know in the key of C Major is G. 

In order to get the #5(sharp 5) we must sharp the 5th note of the C Major scale.

G turns into G#

So our C Augmented chord is: C, E, G#

The Chord symbol is: C+ or Caug

Fourth, We will discuss the Diminished Chord

The Diminished Chord is composed of the 1, b3, b5

Ok so we know our 1= C, our b3= Eb our of course we flat(b) the 5 which is G to Gb

So our C Diminished Chord is: C, Eb, Gb

The Chord symbol for the C diminished is: Cdim 

Next set of Chords will be our Seven Chords

Our first Chord is a Major 7

A major 7 chord is composed of: 1, 3, 5, & 7

A C Major 7 Chord is: C, E, G, B

C Major 7 symbol: C7 

Next chord is the C Minor 7

C Dominant 7 is composed of the 1, 3, 5, b7

C Dominant 7 is: C, E, G, Bb

Chord symbol: Cdom7

Next we have the Minor 7 chord

The Minor 7 is composed of: 1, b3, 5, b7

C Minor 7 Chord is: C, Eb, G, Bb

Chord symbol: Cm7

Next chord is the Half Diminished

Half Diminished is composed of the: 1, b3, b5, & b7

C Half Diminished is: C, Eb, Gb, Bb

Chord symbol: Cø

Next is the Fully Diminished Chord

A Fully Diminished Chord is composed of: 1, b3, b5, bb7(6)

C Fully Diminished is: C, Eb, Gb, Bbb(A)

Chord symbol: Cº or Cdim

As for 9 Chords all you do is add the 2

so a C9 is: C, E, G, B, D

or for us gospel pianists: C, D, E, G

For 11 Chords add the 4

C11 is: C, E, G, B, D, F

Hope this helps


Psalm 100

December 12, 2014 at 12:30 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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