# Fretboard/A slice of chord construction

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benjmc
02-12-2003, 04:34 PM
I'm not exactly a theory wizard, but I'd like to help people know how to formulate basic chords. And then the other intelligent people can add stuff for complex chords (Gar, Cas et cetera)

Fretboard - Notes

0 E A D G B E
1 F A# D# G# C F
2 F# B E A C# F#
3 G C F A# D G
4 G# C# F# B D# G#
5 A D G C E A
6 A# D# G# C# F A#
7 B E A D F# B
8 C F A# D# G C
9 C# F# B E G# C#
10 D G C F A D
11 D# G# C# F# A# D#
12 E A D G B E
13 F A# D# G# C F
14 F# B E A C# F#
15 G C F A# D G
16 G# C# F# B D# G#
17 A D G C E A
18 A# D# G# C# F A#
19 B E A D F# B
20 C F A# D# G C
21 C# F# B E G# C#
22 D G C F A D

Those are all the notes possible on the guitar fret board in standard tuning.

Musical Alphabet

As you can see, the musical alphabet consists of C, D, E, F, G, A, B (as well as all the semi-tones in between).
I chose to start with C because it is the preferable way to explain. The scale for C is C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. The formula for this is I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII. Between the 3rd (E) and the 4th (F) note there is a semi-tone. Between the 7th (B) and 8th/1st (C) there is also a semi-tone. Between the rest of the notes there is a full tone. 1 semi tone = 1 fret?therefore 1 tone = 2 frets.

Applying Principals - G Scale

This knowledge can be applied to make any of the traditional major scales. As G is used to make roughly 75% of all music I will also do it. G ? A ? B ? C ? D ? E ? F# - G. It is helpful if when beginning to use this concept you use your four fingers to compose the scales. 1st finger for root note (the note the scale starts on), 2nd finger for the 2nd note (from root note to 2nd note is 1 tone), 3rd finger for 3rd note (from 2nd note to 3rd note is 1 tone), 4th finger for 4th note (from 3rd to 4th note is one semi-tone). Et cetera.

Chord Construction (using C):

C - C (1st interval), E (3rd interval), G (5th interval)
Dm ? D (2nd interval), F (4th interval), A (6th interval)
Em - E (3rd interval), G (5th interval), B (7th interval)
F - F (4th interval), A (6th interval, C, (root note)
G - G (5th interval), B (7th interval), D (9th/2nd interval)
Am - A (6th interval), C (root note), E (10th/3rd interval)
Bdim - B (7th interval), D (9th/2nd interval), F (11th/4th interval)

If there are two tones contained within the interval you are looking at (e.g. C -> D -> E) then this is a major third. If there is one & ½ tones contained within the interval you are looking at (e.g. D -> E - >F) then this is a minor third. In chord construction there are four basic types of chords.

Major & Minor Thirds - Their Relevance to Chord Construction

Major - Major third, major third
Minor - Major third, minor third
Augmented - minor third, minor third
Diminished - minor third, major third

I guessed some of that...so it may well be wrong.
I will wait until someone corrects this, ;)

benjmc
02-12-2003, 04:48 PM
There was some of that which I didn't explain very well. If anyone has questions then I'll be happy to answer them, or if you don't trust me then ask Cas or Gar

benjmc
02-12-2003, 05:40 PM
Other chords

For a 7th chord...

All you do is add the flat 7th (the 7th interval a semi-tone down)

D major scale- D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D

The 7th there is C#, however when you see D7 it means play the seventh flattened, therefore you play the C. However if it says "maj7" then you do not flatten the seventh.

D7 = D, F#, A, C

E-2-
B-1-
G-2-
D-0-
A---
E---

Dmaj7 = D, F#, A, C#

E-2-
B-2-
G-2-
D-0-
A---
E---

For suspended chords you remove the third (the middle interval used in the chord) and replace it with the designated interval. ie, Dsus2 means use the 2nd interval in D major scale, which is E.
Therefore the notes...

Dsus2 = D, E, A

E-0-
B-3-
G-2-
D-0-
A---
E---

The same applies for Dsus4...the 4th interval is G. So...

Dsus4 = D, G, A

E-3-
B-3-
G-2-
D-0-
A---
E---

For each chord you use the root note as the first note you strike (the 1st bass note played). The 1st inversion would use the 3rd as the bass, and the 2nd interval would use the 5th in the bass.
If the tabber doesn't use the term inversions then they may write a D chord using 1st inversion like this...D/F#...which as most people know looks like this...

E-2-
B-3-
G-2-
D-0-
A-x-
E-2-

RaTm4ever
02-12-2003, 06:07 PM
dude! i dont know if im dumb or if you just dont know how to explain things, but i think im dumb. i think ill need someone to personally teach me how to do all this crap. ive been playing for a yeah and 2 months and what a shame i only know tab. :(

benjmc
02-12-2003, 06:07 PM
Moving chord forms about the neck

If you move all of E up one fret (a semi-tone) then it becomes the F barre chord. As the root is the first note played, it is very easy to identify what barre chord you are playing at any given time.

For example...

E-6-
B-6-
G-7-
D-8-
A-8-
E-6-

Is clearly A# major, because it has the form of E major, and the root note is in the bass...and as seen from the table I created earlier, the 6th fret of the E string is the note A#.

This is easily applied to other barre chords...
I will give you chord forms now...

E--1-1-4-1-3--
B--2-3-1-1-4--
G--1-3-1-2-3--
D--3-3-1-3-2--
A--4-1-3-3----
E------4-1----

C, A, G, E, D respectively. (Actual chord names are C#, A#, G#, F, D# respectively). I showed them in this perhaps confusing manner to show how they are changed into barre chords. These are the 5 basic chord forms (to change them to minor chords, simply flatten the 3rd) which are used in the CAGED sequence. Now, I will show you the benefits of this sequence...

E-0-3-8-8--12--
B-1-5-5-8--13--
G-0-5-5-9--12--
D-2-5-5-10-10--
A-3-3-7-10-----
E-----8-8------

All of these chords are C, using different chord forms, (C, A, G, E, D, respectively). Hopefully you now understand how this can be used to your advantage, as now you know alot of where alot of the notes forming a C chord can be found (C, E, G)

benjmc
02-12-2003, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by RaTm4ever
dude! i dont know if im dumb or if you just dont know how to explain things, but i think im dumb. i think ill need someone to personally teach me how to do all this crap. ive been playing for a yeah and 2 months and what a shame i only know tab. :(

I've been playing for roughly the same amount of time. Anyway...yea I guess I just can't explain it very well. But it's all there...so erm...maybe Cas, or Gar will find the confusing parts and then help you (actually, everyone) out a bit

AltnRockFan
02-12-2003, 06:37 PM
hey, benjmc, sorry to be an @\$\$ pointing crap out, but you messed up your fretboard diagram slightly...

0 E A D G B E
1 F A# D# G# C F
2 F# B E A C# F#
3 G C F A# D G
4 G# C# F# B D# G#
5 A D G C E A
6 A# D# G# C# F A#
7 B E A D F# B
8 C F A# D# G C
9 C# F# B E G# C#
10 D G C F A D
11 D# G# C# F# A# D#
12 E A D G B E
13 F A# D# G# C F
14 F# B E A C# F#
15 G C F A# D G
16 G# C# F# B D# G#
17 A D G C E A
18 A# D# G# C# F A#
19 B E A D F# B
20 C F A# D# G C
21 C# F# B E G# C#
22 D G C F A D

i went ahead and put the fix in, to save you some time

AltnRockFan
02-12-2003, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by RaTm4ever
dude! i dont know if im dumb or if you just dont know how to explain things, but i think im dumb. i think ill need someone to personally teach me how to do all this crap. ive been playing for a yeah and 2 months and what a shame i only know tab. :(

hey if you want, i made a file when i was bored one day that explains the forming of chords with formulas... want a copy?

AltnRockFan
02-12-2003, 06:49 PM
oh and by the way, this is a great thread, benjmc!

benjmc
02-13-2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by AltnRockFan
hey, benjmc, sorry to be an @\$\$ pointing crap out, but you messed up your fretboard diagram slightly...

i went ahead and put the fix in, to save you some time

Thanks. It was late...I also made a slight error in the CAGED sequence when showing how all chords were C...but it's all fixed now.

Oh yea, and I wouldn't mind a copy of that sheet that explains forming chords with formulas. :cheers:

zappp
02-13-2003, 03:48 PM
great lesson!

Berlioz96
02-15-2003, 08:44 PM
Yeah, I knew that already, but that's really useful.....you can make up some really interesting chordsa by expirementing with tritones and such.....

schlepper
02-19-2003, 12:11 PM
and one day in class i just sat there and wrote out all the major keys and constructed the chords for my self, then did the same for minors, the i wen to construct sevenths, sus, and most of the other "basic" chord forms. these simple chord shapes were something i could have easily gotten off tab but i feel it is so much better to internalize it a bit

D~TUNED
02-23-2003, 12:54 AM
E-0-3-8-8--12--
B-1-5-5-8--13--
G-0-5-5-9--12--
D-2-5-5-10-10--
A-3-3-7-10-----
E-----8-8------

All of these chords are C, using different chord forms, (C, A, G, E, D, respectively). Hopefully you now understand how this can be used to your advantage, as now you know alot of where alot of the notes forming a C chord can be found (C, E, G)
[/font] [/B][/QUOTE]

can u explain how all those C chords are evolved from the caged ? and what CAGED does,

Thnx,
Mike

benjmc
02-23-2003, 08:01 AM
Originally posted by D~TUNED

can u explain how all those C chords are evolved from the caged ? and what CAGED does,

Thnx,
Mike

Understanding the CAGED sequence

Because the first chord, quite clearly uses the C chord form. And then the second chord uses the A form (just an A form barre chord which when moved up 3 frets/3 semi-tones becomes C...because A +½ semi-tone=A# + ½ semi-tone=B + ½ semi-tone=C...now that we have added all the semi-tones we can see that A becomes C when you move the whole chord up 3 frets.)

Hopefully, you can understand that this principle is the same throughout the rest of the chords. I do say hopefully though, cos it can be hard to grasp at first. So if you still don't understand then maybe you could outline your problem in more detail.

Manipulating the CAGED sequence

As for understanding what it doesand how it can be manipulated to your advantage...CAGED is just a system designed to help you navigate your way about the neck so that you can play any chord in 5 different places straight away. It is also useful so that you can play little fills which are chord specific (only/mainly use the ntoes that are contained within the chord you are soloing over the top of). Those are really the only two purposes of the CAGED sequence. It coincides with other music theory, which is why it may be hard to understand.

I tried to explain...so if you still don't understand then, like I said, outline your problem in more detail.

NicktheGreek
02-23-2003, 07:12 PM
Also with your seventh chords, not only can you get 7ths but maj7ths which you said, but m7th and a weird one, m(maj7th)s.

For example,

A regular 7th is made from:

1st 3rd 5th then b7th.

and so on a maj 7th is:

1st 3rd 5th 7th

then minor is:

1st b3rd 5th b7th.

Now can you see where the minor and major mix to make m(maj 7th)?

It'll come from a minor Triad with a normal maor seventh. eg:

1st b3rd 5th 7th.

just thought you might want to know.

benjmc
02-24-2003, 04:39 AM
Originally posted by NicktheGreek
Also with your seventh chords, not only can you get 7ths but maj7ths which you said, but m7th and a weird one, m(maj7th)s.

For example,

A regular 7th is made from:

1st 3rd 5th then b7th.

and so on a maj 7th is:

1st 3rd 5th 7th

then minor is:

1st b3rd 5th b7th.

Now can you see where the minor and major mix to make m(maj 7th)?

It'll come from a minor Triad with a normal maor seventh. eg:

1st b3rd 5th 7th.

just thought you might want to know.

Thanks...do you know anything about 9ths et cetera?

D~TUNED
02-24-2003, 06:34 PM
I tried to explain...so if you still don't understand then, like I said, outline your problem in more detail.
[/B][/QUOTE]

I'm gunna re-read the article i just dont understand the overall view of what the CAGED system does....

NicktheGreek
02-25-2003, 07:43 AM
For 9ths, the pattern is based on the 7th eg:

a regular 9th would be

1st 3rd 5th b7th 9th etc.

Now, when you start to get bigger chords (eg a 13th) it will be:

1st 3rd 5th b7th 9th 11th 13th.

But, you may ask, how can you play that chord when there are only 6 strings? The answer to make sure that the important notes are played. eg:

1st - because it's the root of the chord and gives it its name

3rd - because this shows whether it is a minor or not

7th - again shows whether its a maj7, m7, 7, etc.

and then the last note of the chord be it 9th, 11th, or 13th.

I'll give you an example.

You want to know the chord C9.

How do you work this out?

Now the notes in a C9 are: C, E, G, Bb, D.

And we need to make sure that C, E, Bb, and D are included.

Now the root note must ALWAYS be the lowest note played, so we'll play the C on the A string, fret 3.

then, we can play the E on the D string fret 2

the Bb on the G string, fret 3,

and the D on the B string, fret 3.

so the tab for a C9 could look like this : x3233x

we could also add the G if we wanted, fret 3 on the high E, so it could also be:

x32333

But remember, we can't put the G on the low E because the note played would be lower than the root.

benjmc
02-25-2003, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by NicktheGreek

Now the root note must ALWAYS be the lowest note played

Unless of course, you decided that you wanted to invert the chord. 1st inversion has 2nd in bass, 2nd inversion has 3rd in bass...et cetera.

Anyway, thanks for going over that stuff. I think I knew most of it, but yea...it was good to revise stuff that I've mostly forgotten about.

NicktheGreek
02-26-2003, 11:47 AM
Yeah, course. I didnt say coz i didnt want to confuse the poor guy!

Like a D is:

xx0232 but if i played x00232 it would be written as D/A, coz i've included a bass A note.

Wonderboy by Tenacious D has a Progression using this style.

D to D/C to D/B to D/A, which is simply:

xx0232 to x30232 to x20232 to x00232

Simple but looks complicated.

Can also work for wierder chords like A7sus4/E

which is an A7sus4 (x02030) but with the low E played open (003020)

benjmc
03-23-2003, 10:01 AM
Hey man...waddya call a chord where you replace the 5th?

Like B, D#, E

...cos suspendeds replace the 3rd...so I'm asking you what replaces a 5th...

Get back to me at any time, ;)

NicktheGreek
03-24-2003, 09:37 AM
Well, every chord needs a 5th note. Only difference is whether you need to play it. eg. in C13th, you need to make sure that you play the 1st, 3rd, 7th, and13th.

Now using your example of a B, (B, D#, F#), the E is the 4th note. So if you played all of these notes, you will be playing the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

Which equals a Badd4 (or add11 depending on the pitch of the E).

Hope that helps!

garett
04-25-2003, 11:09 AM
Great thread ben. I'm moving to archive forum now so this doesn't get lost in a mass prune.

:cheers: