I have tried do study some chords lately but I can't understand all of it. My question is mainly about a 1 3 5 chord (major). The C major is a 1 3 5. 3. fret 5. string, 2. fret 4. string and open 3. string (also 1 3 5). But how do I figure out the rest of the chord?. And if I look at an A major. Is it 1 3 5 for ALL major chords? Because I can't understand this :s Because the A major starts with an open 5. string, 2. fret 4. string and 2. fret 3. string. Is it still 1 3 5? Because from the open 5. string to the 2. fret at the 4. string there are 1 5. Am I right? :P

Do you understand what I mean? I just couldn't figure out how the 1 3 5 system works.

Hi

All major chords are compromised of a major third followed by a minor third
All minor chords are compromised of a minor third followed by a major third.

So if we take your example.

C major

C -> E which is 4 semitones or a major 3rd
E -> G which is 3 semitones or a minor 3rd

So if you want ANY major chord. Take your root and count 4 semi tones, then 3 semitones.
learn the notes of the frets on each string, then break down major chords you already know and figure out their notes and how they work with the formula. then figure out what makes similar minor chords different.

ex: x02220 being A major. what are the notes?
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I think your confusion is caused by the different voicing of the chords.

An A major chord consists of the notes A (1) C# (3) and E (5).

So long as the A (the 1, or root) is the lowest note in the chord, this is an A major NO MATTER what order the rest of the notes appear in. (If one of the other notes is the lowest note, then it's an A/C# or and A/E).

This is, I think, the source of your confusion. Because an open position C-major chord goes 1-3-5-1-3.

But and open A major chord goes 1-5-1-3-5.

But the order (except for the lowest note) doesn't matter. It's still an A major. The notes themselves are what matters and for purposes of talking about the 1, 3, and 5, octave is irrelevant.

Experienced guitarists used different voicings to add variety and complexity to their play without changing the harmony.
Last edited by HotspurJr at Jan 14, 2012,
To me it sounds like you atre confused on intervals.

Do you know how to construct the major scale?
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I have no idea what you're actually talking about. How you voice a chord on guitar has nothing to do with what the chord actually is, if you catch my drift. A major chord is 1 3 5 regardless of how you actually fret the notes on the instrument. 1 3 5 is basically referring to the major scale. A major chord is made up of the first degree of the major scale, the third degree of the major scale and the fifth degree of the major scale. Most chords you'll find are built up in thirds, so there's four basic triad types, major 1 3 5, minor 1 b3 5, diminished 1 b3 b5, and augmented 1 3 #5. All of those numbers refer to scale degrees of the major scale.
I don't know what music theory is.

Quote by Metal-pro

Do you understand what I mean? I just couldn't figure out how the 1 3 5 system works.

To understand "1, 3, 5", you first have to relate it to the key in question.

If you have a diagram of the key in front of you, you can pull the notes of every triad in the key simply by picking a letter, (note name), then skipping over the next letter, adding this note, skipping the next letter, then adding the next note to our chord We should have 3 notes now, and that's our triad.

Let's try it in C Major, OK?

The notes of C major.....C, D, E, F, G, A, B, & C again. (The octave note)

We "skip a note", "use a note" to pull the chord out of the key.

C Major scale, a C Major chord: [ C 1st ], D, [ E 3rd], F, [ G 5th], A, B (We''ll ignore the octave C for now)

Skipping over D & F gives us the 1, 3, 5 interval, and our C major Chord.

We can start on ANY note of the key, and still come up with the "1, 3, 5" relationship to form a chord, because this term applies ONLY to the ROOT note of the chord, NOT the tonic (1st) note of the key.

Let's form "A minor", which is the chord formed by starting on the 6th note of the C Major scale. This needs to be diagrammed across 2 octaves.

C, D, E, F, G, [ A 1st], B, [ C 3rd], D, [E 5th], F, G....etc,.

So, the A minor chord is A (1st), C (3rd), & E (5th)..! It's minor chord now, because there are only 3 semi-tones from A to C. This was discussed above.

You can do this in any major or minor key, and develop all the chords in that key.

As was pointed out above, the notes of the chord can be played in any order. In other words G + C + E would still be C Major.

What you must do before you start, is to learn what the "Chromatic Scale" is, and how to derive a major or minor scale from it.

The Chromatic Scale is 12 notes, ALL semi-tones, (half steps). A major scale,(7 tones + the octave), is developed from it, using this formula (in semi-tones):

2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2 ,1

You can start at any point of the chromatic scale, and the note you start on, becomes the name of the key.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 14, 2012,
Major chord: 1 3 5
Minor chord: 1 b3 5
Diminished chord:1 b3 b5
Augumented chord:1 3 #5
1 is the root. 0 half steps from the root.
3 is the third. 4 half steps from the root.
5 is the fifth. 7 half steps from the root.
b means half step lower # means half step above.
Quote by Metal-pro
I have tried do study some chords lately but I can't understand all of it. My question is mainly about a 1 3 5 chord (major). The C major is a 1 3 5. 3. fret 5. string, 2. fret 4. string and open 3. string (also 1 3 5). But how do I figure out the rest of the chord?. And if I look at an A major. Is it 1 3 5 for ALL major chords? Because I can't understand this :s Because the A major starts with an open 5. string, 2. fret 4. string and 2. fret 3. string. Is it still 1 3 5? Because from the open 5. string to the 2. fret at the 4. string there are 1 5. Am I right? :P

Do you understand what I mean? I just couldn't figure out how the 1 3 5 system works.

Yes you are right, though you did write it in a very confusing way

The major chord is constructed with 1 3 5. The chord you are talking about is:

``````
-0-  = E = 5th
-2-  = C#= 3rd
-2-  = A = 1st (root)
-2-  = E = 5th
-0-  = A = 1st (root)
---  not played``````
Note if you write out the notes here you are still playing 1 3 5 (A C# E)

hotspurjr's response should cover it for you.

Si
Quote by Metal-pro
I have tried do study some chords lately but I can't understand all of it. My question is mainly about a 1 3 5 chord (major). The C major is a 1 3 5. 3. fret 5. string, 2. fret 4. string and open 3. string (also 1 3 5). But how do I figure out the rest of the chord?. And if I look at an A major. Is it 1 3 5 for ALL major chords? Because I can't understand this :s Because the A major starts with an open 5. string, 2. fret 4. string and 2. fret 3. string. Is it still 1 3 5? Because from the open 5. string to the 2. fret at the 4. string there are 1 5. Am I right? :P

Do you understand what I mean? I just couldn't figure out how the 1 3 5 system works.

There are voicings known as closed and open voicings. In general, closed ones are very difficult to voice on the guitar because of the way it's laid out. Hence open is much more common.

It doesn't matter if you can't play the notes in "order" of 1 3 5. As long as your voicing contains all those notes, you'll have it down. It's also fine to have the same notes repeated.

If you want some voicings that strictly adhere to 1 3 5, then...
``````-------0
--5----2
--6-9--2
2-7-11-
4---12-
5---``````
Last edited by mdc at Jan 14, 2012,
Thanks for all the great response! I really appreciate it