#1
Hello All,

i need a bit of help, im trying to learn guitar theory but hit a lil stump.


Im trying to see if i can take a chord and workout what notes make that chord. To work out a major chord you have to use 1-3-5 but each key uses either natural key, shark key, enharmonic key, Flat keys.

Is there any way to tell which key uses which one or do you have to learn each formula? (below)


Natural Key
C major: C D E F G A B

Sharp Keys
G major: G A B C D E F# G
D major: D E F# G A B C#
A major: A B C# D E F# G#
E major: E F# G# A B C# D#

Enharmonic Keys
B/Cb major: B C# D# E F# G# A# / Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb
F#/Gb major: F# G# A# B C# D# E# / Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
C#/Db major: C# D# E# F# G# A# B# / Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C

Flat Keys
Ab major: Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
Eb major: Eb F G Ab Bb C D
Bb major: Bb C D Eb F G A
F major: F G A Bb C D E
#3
Erase those so-called "enharmonic keys" from memory. A key has one root note, (the note it resolves to) not two. It can be written on the Circle of Fifths like that but a song in the key of C# major should not be said to be in the key of Db major.

I think the easiest way to work out the notes in a chord is a 3 step process:

1. Identify the chord
2. Identify the scale of origin
3. Build chord


For example:

1. E major
2. E major scale

Using the formula WWhWWWh you find the notes in the scale are: E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#

3. Major chords are built with a 1, 3, and 5 intervals of the scale

so

E, G#, B are the notes in the chord.


Memorizing all the keys shouldn't be as much of your priority as learning how to build the chords.

Major: 1, 3, 5
minor: 1, b3, 5
augmented: 1, 3, #5
diminished: 1, b3, b5


I don't know. Hope that helps.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
Last edited by metal4all at Aug 13, 2010,
#4
"Using the formula WWhWWWh you find the notes in the scale are: E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#"

Thats exactly what i needed, but how did you use the formula to get the notes in the scale? sorry if this a really amateur question.

Thanks for the quick responses!
#5
Don't use brute force memorization when you can just apply patterns. Any triad of the major/minor/augmented/diminished sort is made up of one of only seven sets of letters. But you don't even need to memorize those. You take the root note, skip a letter for the third and skip another for fifth. So the only seven groups of letters end up being...

C E G
D F A
E G B
F A C
G B D
A C E
B D F

Then add sharps and flats to make everything work. Learn intervals (there are a bunch of tutorials out there), know the intervallic relationship between all of the natural notes (C major scale) and then you pretty much know how to modify those seven triad letter groups.

Say we want an Ab major chord, so we have the letters A, C and E. We (should) know that A to C is a minor third, so flattening the A to Ab widens it to a major third, so the C can stay as it is. A to E is a perfect fifth, so in flattening the A to Ab, the E has to follow and become an Eb to keep the same relationship. We end up with Ab, C, Eb. Not sure if that's a great example, but it's something.
Last edited by Dodeka at Aug 13, 2010,
#6
heres a trick

in the scale the chord progressions are (in 7th chords)

1=major 7th 2= minor 7th 3=minor 7th 4=major 7th 5=dominant 7th
6 = minor 7th 7=m7thb5

this is true no matter the notes or scale (keeping within the major scale) and is called diatomic harmonisation

build the chords in accordance to metal4all or look up how they are structured and everything should be fine
Last edited by '93 at Aug 13, 2010,
#7
Quote by '93
heres a trick

in the scale the chord progressions are (in 7th chords)

1=major 7th 2= minor 7th 3=minor 7th 4=major 7th 5=dominant 7th
6 = minor 7th 7=diminished 5th

this is true no matter the notes or scale (keeping within the major scale) and is called diatomic harmonisation

build the chords in accordance to metal4all or look up how they are structured and everything should be fine


Correct only the seventh chord is a min7b5 or half-diminished chord. Diminished 5th is an interval.
#8
while it is the name of the interval it canbe used as the chords name (even though the proper name is min7b5 chord)

if you tell someone dim 5 chord they should know what it is (although ill change it anyway)
#9
Quote by '93
while it is the name of the interval it canbe used as the chords name (even though the proper name is min7b5 chord)

if you tell someone dim 5 chord they should know what it is (although ill change it anyway)


Could be I suppose, but the technical name is still min7b5 as it describes the chord more fully than "dim5 chord". A min7 chord is (I think) R b3 5 b7, so referring to it as a min7b5 means it's a R b3 5 b7 with a flat 5, or R b3 b5 b7. Hate to be pedantic about it but I suppose you could say it's a flat-five/diminished-five chord relatively speaking, as it really is only a min7 chord, but with a diminished 5th interval instead of a perfect fifth (I think). I still think it's a bit sketchy.
#10
Quote by metal4all
Erase those so-called "enharmonic keys" from memory. A key has one root note, (the note it resolves to) not two. It can be written on the Circle of Fifths like that but a song in the key of C# major should not be said to be in the key of Db major.

The enharmonic keys use the exact same notes, they're just named differently. They're the exact same keys.
#11
Quote by '93
while it is the name of the interval it canbe used as the chords name (even though the proper name is min7b5 chord)

if you tell someone dim 5 chord they should know what it is (although ill change it anyway)
No, not really.

If someone says "play a diminished fifth chord" I assume they mean a diminished fifth interval/dyad. If they mean a half-diminished seventh chord, then they're wrong, simple as that.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#12
Quote by Andy81
"Using the formula WWhWWWh you find the notes in the scale are: E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#"

Thats exactly what i needed, but how did you use the formula to get the notes in the scale? sorry if this a really amateur question.

Thanks for the quick responses!

Find you root note. Lets say it's D.
Go up a whole step and we have D, E,
Another whole step, and then a half step and we get D, E, F#, G,
Keep following that formula up there and we get D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#. The notes of the D major scale.

As for deciphering what the numbers mean, read this:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1349622
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Who's going to stop you? The music police?
#13
@FacetOfChaos Thanks for the help i get it now, I thought It was going up a whole letter instead of going up a whole step. Cheers
#14
Quote by metal4all
Erase those so-called "enharmonic keys" from memory. A key has one root note, (the note it resolves to) not two. It can be written on the Circle of Fifths like that but a song in the key of C# major should not be said to be in the key of Db major.


Um, why not?

TS: This guide I wrote my clarify some things about those formulas: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1349622
i don't know why i feel so dry
#15
Quote by Eastwinn
Um, why not?

TS: This guide I wrote my clarify some things about those formulas: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1349622
1. Simplicity
2. Db is gay.


1. In a basic music theory learner's mind (basing this on my own experience) stuff gets confusing quick. One without a teacher might ration to his/her self: "A C# major is the same key as Db major so if enharmonic notes are interchangeable with keys, why not chords (chords come from scales and scales make keys) ? I'll write a C# major chord as Db, F, Ab.

2. If I was jamming with someone and asked them to play a C#5 and after playing the chord, he/she responded with, "I could play Db5 all day." I would call them gay.


Sorry for bump.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
Last edited by metal4all at Aug 15, 2010,