Chords are constructed using triads of the major scale.. So the G major scale notes are G. A. B. C. D. E. F#

So take the notes A. C. E. this makes an A minor chord,

My question is how do we know wich A. C. E note to play? There is a c note at the 1st fret B string another 3rd fret A string and so on and so on. I'm lost here
Any of them. As long as the chord you're playing contains those notes and only those notes it's an A minor. Fewer notes and it's not technically a chord (chords consist of three notes), any more and it has a different name depending on what the notes are.

That's the thing about theory, it doesn't really take pitch in to account; only really intervals, that is the space between notes.
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well chords can have different voicings. FYI i'm pretty shitty with theory but i know this question.

As long as you have JUST the A,C,E notes, it's an A minor. Doesn't matter how many of them there are, just as long as you don't change the note. Some chords for instance have a couple different shapes, but they're all the same chord.

If we analyze the A minor chord for instance..

e|-0 E note
B|-1 C note
G|-2 A note
D|-2 E note
A|-0 A note
E|-X

So the A minor chord has 2 E's, and 2 A's, but it's still only comprised of the A,C and E, so therefore it's an A minor.

THEORETICALLY the A minor chord could be still something as ridiculous as this..

e|-5 - Still an A note
B|-1 - C
G|-2 - A
D|-2 -E
A|-0 -A
E|-X

That's called a voicing. Still made of exactly the same notes as an A minor, but if you have more than 1 of the same note... We can just change one of the duplicates.

You just HAVE to remember.. ALWAYS have at least one of the notes that make up the chord and DON'T change notes.. The moment you make it anything but A,C and E it's no longer an A minor.

I hope that makes a bit of sense. As i said i'm not too sharp on my theory so i'm sure if that didn't help much someone has a much better explanation
Ok I don't quit get it cause I could play A. C. E on the low e string 12 th fret the A string 12 th fret and D string 10th fret... That would also be an Am chord? It sounds very off
Quote by vayne92
well chords can have different voicings. FYI i'm pretty shitty with theory but i know this question.

As long as you have JUST the A,C,E notes, it's an A minor. Doesn't matter how many of them there are, just as long as you don't change the note. Some chords for instance have a couple different shapes, but they're all the same chord.

If we analyze the A minor chord for instance..

e|-0 E note
B|-1 C note
G|-2 A note
D|-2 E note
A|-0 A note
E|-X

So the A minor chord has 2 E's, and 2 A's, but it's still only comprised of the A,C and E, so therefore it's an A minor.

THEORETICALLY the A minor chord could be still something as ridiculous as this..

e|-5 - Still an A note
B|-1 - C
G|-2 - A
D|-2 -E
A|-0 -A
E|-X

That's called a voicing. Still made of exactly the same notes as an A minor, but if you have more than 1 of the same note... We can just change one of the duplicates.

You just HAVE to remember.. ALWAYS have at least one of the notes that make up the chord and DON'T change notes.. The moment you make it anything but A,C and E it's no longer an A minor.

I hope that makes a bit of sense. As i said i'm not too sharp on my theory so i'm sure if that didn't help much someone has a much better explanation
Quote by iwannaplay2
Ok I don't quit get it cause I could play A. C. E on the low e string 12 th fret the A string 12 th fret and D string 10th fret... That would also be an Am chord? It sounds very off
That's because it's a different voicing. Specifically, this is considered a 2nd inversion A minor chord (or Am/E for short).

Root position means the note that the chord is named after is the lowest note played. A root position Am chord could be A C E, A E A C E A, or anything else, as long as A is the bottom note and it includes all three notes.

First inversion means the third of the chord is the lowest note. The third in A is C. You can figure this out by counting through the alphabet. Starting on A, C will be the third letter you count. So a first inversion (Am/C), could be C E A, C E A C E, or anything of the sort.

Second inversion means the fifth of the chord (E in this case) is the lowest note. This would be Am/E, or anything like E A C or E A C E A C or something along those lines.

By the way, post theory questions in Musician Talk, rather than Guitar Techniques. You'll get much better answers there.
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Last edited by food1010 at Mar 5, 2013,
That's the way it goes. You could play the the bottom three strings in open position & have a buddy play the top three strings around the highest frets, but so long as the notes are A, C, & E then it's an Am chord. Doesn't matter where on the fretboard. Like the other guy said, playing the chord using different fingerings just changes the voicing of the chord, but not what it is. Some voicings will sound a little off compared to others. For instance(of course this is easier to demonstrate on a piano) if you play a chord all in the same octave it tends to sound "worse" than if you spread the notes out. Usually with guitar though, different fingerings sound closer or further out because of the intonation issues associated with the instrument rather than being a theoretical thing.

Quote by food1010
By the way, post theory questions in Musician Talk, rather than Guitar Techniques. You'll get much better answers there.

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Last edited by J-Dawg158 at Mar 5, 2013,