#1
I understand that if you are in a major key, the chords are major minor minor major major minor diminished.
I know you can also use 7th chords and they are also arranged according to what degree of the key scale they are to be either dominant, minor, major, or minor 7 flat 5.
My question is do other chords have a specific order like that?
For example, chords that aren't major or minor such as sus4 chords. Can you only use those chords on a specific degree of the scale or can it be any?
#2
Its a lot easier looking at the notes in a chord and then going by what notes are in the chord compared to the key you are in. Generally, you aren't limited at all by what notes you can use, as long as you think it sounds good. But basing it off a key question. lets see.

Based on the scale degrees of the major scale, your sevenths would be Maj7 Min7 Min7 Maj7 Dom7 (or just 7) Min7 Min7b5(or Halfdiminished)

Now, onto chord extensions and such. It'll be easier if you know chord theory and how to build chords to see how these will fit into a key. I believe sus chords work on almost all chords that are allowed in the key, except on the dimininished7th. But just go by your ear, its a lot more satisfying knowing it sounds good to you, rather than saying... meh, I don't like it, but such and such a theory says it'll be good. Just listen :3
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#3
Quote by Zinnie
Its a lot easier looking at the notes in a chord and then going by what notes are in the chord compared to the key you are in. Generally, you aren't limited at all by what notes you can use, as long as you think it sounds good. But basing it off a key question. lets see.

Based on the scale degrees of the major scale, your sevenths would be Maj7 Min7 Min7 Maj7 Dom7 (or just 7) Min7 Min7b5(or Halfdiminished)

Now, onto chord extensions and such. It'll be easier if you know chord theory and how to build chords to see how these will fit into a key. I believe sus chords work on almost all chords that are allowed in the key, except on the dimininished7th. But just go by your ear, its a lot more satisfying knowing it sounds good to you, rather than saying... meh, I don't like it, but such and such a theory says it'll be good. Just listen :3

Yeah I know it's better to use your ear but I just wanted to know the theory behind it.
I understand the basics of chord construction, im just confused about whether or not all the notes in a chord have to be in the key scale. I know nothing HAS to be anything, and it just has to sound good, I was just hoping to learn the rules and then break them later or whatever lol.
#4
Ok, the major scale is

C D E F G A B C

To make the chords build thirds, so a C chord with this scale would be

C E G

Now this chord's root is C, a G is a perfect 5th, and the E is a major third to the root note, so the chord is a C major.

You can do this with all of the notes in the chords. For example, the E chord would be E G B. E is the root, B is the 5th, and G is a minor third.

You figure out what the chord is by looking at the root note and figuring out what the relationship of the other notes are (the third is the most important).

Now to make the 7th chord, just add another third from the scale, you'll notice that the C and F are major 7 because they have a major 7th interval in it. Now the difference with the G is that its 7th interval is a minor 7, so this chord is different and that is why it is a G7.

As far as sus4 chords, they are just root + 4th + 5th. I'm pretty sure all the chords will have the same sound if you were to use that formula on all of the scale notes omitting F because its 4th is augmented.
Last edited by Pepin at Aug 11, 2010,
#5
Okay, however, I don't see much of a problem using the sus chords on anything but the Diminished chord *7th degree of major scale* because of the b5, which would make it quite dissonant. Other chords I'm not sure, but sus's should be okay
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#6
Quote by Zinnie
Okay, however, I don't see much of a problem using the sus chords on anything but the Diminished chord *7th degree of major scale* because of the b5, which would make it quite dissonant. Other chords I'm not sure, but sus's should be okay

I think i get it now, thanks for your help. I was looking at sus4 chords as an entirely different entity than regular major/minor chords but now i understand that you have to think of them as triads first, so it makes sense that it would work for the first 6 degrees of the scale since their majors and minors but it wouldn't for the 7th since its diminished.
#7
Yes, you can find out yourself. Take D Major for example:

D E F# G A B C#

and maybe you want to find out what kind of diatonic 9th chord you can build off of each one. First take D, and find its basic triad.

The third of D is always an F of some sort, and the F is sharp in the D Major scale, so it must be D F#.

The fifth of D is always an A of some sort, so D F# A because the A in D Major is natural.

The seventh of D is always a C of some sort, and the C is the D Major scale is a C#, so D F# A C#.

The 9th of D is always an E, and the E in the D Major scale is natural, so D F# A C# E. You can look at the intervals between the notes to determine that it's a Dmaj9 chord. This is the most basic way of doing it, but it's not the most efficient.
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#8
Quote by cal1fub3ralle5
I think i get it now, thanks for your help. I was looking at sus4 chords as an entirely different entity than regular major/minor chords but now i understand that you have to think of them as triads first, so it makes sense that it would work for the first 6 degrees of the scale since their majors and minors but it wouldn't for the 7th since its diminished.
Correct. Although it is useful to look at how the 4 of a sus4 chord fits into the key.

For example, a IVsus4 chord uses a note that's out of key. The 4 of the IV is a b7, which is out of key. It's definitely usable, but it's good to note that it's out of key.

Also, take Eastwinn's advice.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea