I'm starting to get learn theory, but I don't understand certain things still. This chord has E B E G D E which are all major notes from a C scale yet it is so 'not major' sounding. Obviously it's not going to sound major and I know but why does it sound the way it does with all major notes?

Also fingers are you supposed to use to shape it? Is it second, third, and fourth?
G is a MINOR third in relation to E. This is why it doesn't sound (and isn't) major

You have to consider notes in relation to the key - but also in relation to the root of the chord you're playing. So when you're playing a chord with an E root then to find out if the chord is major or minor you have to consider the notes in relation to the E root.

So E B G D in relation to E is B=5 G=b3 D=b7 = chord = Em7

These notes are all in the C major scale so when in C major you can play an Em7 and it will be "diatonic". Which simply means the notes match up.

So they are all major and perfect in relation to C. But they are minor and perfect in relation to the chords root E.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Nov 27, 2008,
You're confusing "Natural" notes with "major/minor". If it doesnt have a sharp or flat, then it is called a natural note (this is what your thinking of). But major and minor only refer to the third note from the bass note in a chord.

What 20Tigers said is correct. Key of Em has these notes...E, F#, G, A, B, C, D. Therefore you number the notes respectively 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Any major chord consists of the "1,3,5" chords and any minor chord consists of the "1,b3,5". Like 20Tiger said, the G is a b3 but for arguments sake, if the G was replaced with G#, this chord would be E7 which consists of "1,3,5,b7". This may be slightly off...but the general idea of this chord is there, any theory experts can help out on this one. But the first half is correct about chords. Hopefully it helps clear things up.
That chord has nothing to do with C major. The root note is E, and it contains a minor third above the root.
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Quote by Archeo Avis
That chord has nothing to do with C major. The root note is E, and it contains a minor third above the root.

it could be in the key of C major, so how does it have NOTHING to do with C major?
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Quote by musicTHEORYnerd
it could be in the key of C major, so how does it have NOTHING to do with C major?

He's exaggerating.
^^ I think it depends on where the TS is caught up. If he is in the key of C and wondering why Em7 sounds minor since it contains major notes in relation to the main key then that's one thing.

If he is caught up on thinking intervals are major and minor because of whether they are in the c major scale or not, then there are much deeper issues that need to be addressed the C major scale becomes irrelevant.

I think we could help the TS if he explained a little about what he knows about the major scale and the relationship between Em7 and the C major scale.
Si
Quote by musicTHEORYnerd
it could be in the key of C major, so how does it have NOTHING to do with C major?

It's in a lot of keys. The fact that it's in the key of C major has nothing to do with why it sounds the way it does.
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Quote by Archeo Avis
It's in a lot of keys. The fact that it's in the key of C major has nothing to do with why it sounds the way it does.

yes but you didnt specify in your first post.
what you said didnt help the TS at all.

EDIT: nevermind, you win, i dont want to argue.
im just here to learn some more music theory and try and help other people learn music theory.
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To answer the second part of your question - It doesn't really matter - most people I know normally use the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers. (for the first position of the chord - there are other ways to play it in different positions on the fretboard)

Just as you'd form an E chord - then lift your 1st finger and use your fourth for the extra note (2nd string, 3rd fret). You should be able to go from E to Em to Em7 without even moving your 2nd and 3rd fingers.

But, if you're more comfortable using your 1st, 2nd and 4th fingers - you can do it that way also. It doesn't really matter.
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Last edited by Guitartist at Nov 28, 2008,
yes but you didnt specify in your first post.

what you said didnt help the TS at all.

He was confused because he thought that Em7 has some sort of inherent connection with C major. It doesn't, which is exactly what I told him.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
There's so many ways to play it. You can do it with just one finger...

0
0
0
0
2
0

or you could play it
4
3
4
2
2
0

or any other voicing of those notes anywhere on the fretboard.

I assume you mean this way though...
0
3
0
2
2
0
In which case the fingers you use might depend on what chord you're coming from or going to next. I usually use the 2nd 3rd and 4th fingers.
Si