hey guys

I was just wondering... you can base all chords off the major scale right? like, a major chord is (1-3-5) in the major scale, and a 7th chord will be (1-3-5-b7) from the scale right? for the minor 7th chord all you do is take the notes from a major scale and add (1-b3-5-b7), right? and with 9th, 11th, and 13th chords you are taking the 7th chord and then adding in notes an octave up? the 9th, 11th, and 13th notes from the scale are the 2nd (ii), 4th (IV) and 6th (vi) notes from the scale correct?

sorry for the wall-o-text i just need to solidify this before i write my own notes
Yep, that's pretty much how it works.
Actually called Mark!

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Tbh, I don't really know what you mean.

I think you might be getting two concepts confused - how chords relate to the major scale (ie. how to notate chord, for example a major triad is 1 3 5) and how to derive chords from the major scale to give you the chords that are diatonic to that key.

I'll start with how chords relate to the major scale. The numbering system we use to write chord formulas is based on the major scale. Each number represents the corresponding note in the major scale of the key you are in. For example, in C major (the numbers are above the notes they represent):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (8) 9 (10) 11 (12) 13
C D E F G A B (C) D (E)  F  (G)  A

The reason I have put 8, 10 and 12 in brackets is because you will never see these numbers in a chord forumla. You will also rarely see a number larger than 13.

Now we can use this and the formula of the chord to work out the notes in the specific chord. Using the C major scale will give you chords where C is the root, however, they will not necessarily be diatonic to C major. If I wanted the root of my chord to be E then I would use E major ect.

So you choose your chord, to demostrate say you want to find the notes in a Cm7 chord. Take the formula of a minor 7th chord:

1 b3 5 b7

Now find the corresponding letters to the numbers (ignore the flat signs for now). This gives you:


Now look at where the flat signs are. The flat sign next to the 3 shows that you need to flatten the 3rd note by one semitone:

C Eb G B

The flat before the 7 means you also have to flatten the 7 by one semitone.

C Eb G Bb

This gives you the notes in a C minor 7th chord.

Take another example, what about an E augmented triad. The formula for an augmented triad is 1 3 #5. So first we take the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes from the E major scale:

E G# B

Now we have to sharpen the 5. This gives us:

E G# B#

Which is the formula for an augmented chord.

Hopefully this answers your question, if you need to know about deriving chords from the major scale just ask.
yah i was asking about how to relate chords to the major scale, primarily construction-wise. i know not every wacky augmented chord derived from a major scale will actually sound good with the basic major scale haha. right now i am just focusing on building chords from the major scale and seeing how to relate notes. thanks for your post though it was nice and thorough!!
thanks sean! i can go with confidence knowing my train of thought is goin in the right direction hahah