Registered User
Join date: Mar 2013
1,121 IQ
Refresh my memory please.

I want to play chords in B minor.
How do you personally know which chords are in that key?
Did you memorize that Minor/Aeolian intervals are W H W W H W W ?
And did you also memorize: i ii(dim) III iv v VI VII?
Do you use these 2 to then come up with: Bm C#m(dim) D Em F#m G A ?
If I had to do this in a middle of a jam, I'd have to stop playing for a few mins.
How do you do it?

The main problem I am having is knowing the sharps and flats.
Like if I want to play a "i - VI - VII - i" for B minor,

I know i = Bm.

But, what does VI equal?
1 2 3 4 5 6
Ok, so is it G or G# ???

Likewise, is VII an A or A#?

Is this where the Circle of 5ths and "Father Charles" comes into play?
Is that how its done? Christ, there is so much to memorize it's unreal.
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Last edited by MissingSomethin at Jun 26, 2013,
Join date: Oct 2009
5,710 IQ
Quote by MissingSomethin
And did you also memorize: i ii(dim) III iv v VI VII?
Do you use these 2 to then come up with: Bm C#m(dim) D Em F#m G A ?
There is no such thing as a minor diminished chord. (That would be an oxymoron.) "ii(dim)" simply means it's a diminished chord. So, in Bminor, we have C#dim. Simple enough, right?

Your VI is Gmajor here. VII is Amajor. The chord names will change, but the intervals of any minor key are always: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, & b7. You chords will therefore be built with this in mind, resulting in: i, ii(dim), III, iv, v, VI, & VII. I suggest you learn a bit about chord construction.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Jun 26, 2013,
MattyBoy 1337
Registered Re-user
Join date: Aug 2009
21 IQ
Meh, don't worry about it too much. Once you memorize the harmonizations of the scales it's not too hard. I can do it pretty much on the fly without thinking too much about it. If there's a chord I need to actually think about, then I can usually get enough time to think about it as I'm playing the chord 1 or 2 measures in advance. Just do the drills. over and over. You will eventually internalize the fact that G# is not diatonic to Bm.
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Godin's Resident Groupie
Join date: Aug 2008
1,703 IQ
You're missingsomething. Use the notes of Bm in the key of Bm.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
UG's Mr Chord Man
Join date: Feb 2008
722 IQ
Quote by MissingSomethin
Is this where the Circle of 5ths and "Father Charles" comes into play?

Meikle Treikle
Registered User
Join date: May 2011
163 IQ
The way I'd quickly come up with the chords is realise that Bm is the relative minor of D major (because I'm more intuitive with the major intervals) and then just use the shapes based around that. E.g. one step up is a minor chord, another step is another minor (Em and F#m) and so on. Works for me.
Carl LOG
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2011
142 IQ
1 simple tip... best thing is to just learn the piano keyboard.. don't even need to learn to play or anything but you can clearly see all sharps/flats and natural notes .. you just shift keys about then! thats the way i imagine it usually xP or just memorize notes on the guitar which you should do anyway.. piano could make few things a bit easier though.. + MORE KNOWLEDGE FOR YOU! (cause I dunno how about you but I wanna know everything )
The Asian-Viking Paradox
Join date: Feb 2006
1,540 IQ
Quote by MissingSomethin
Christ, there is so much to memorize it's unreal.

there's a lot to memorize, but only if you're trying to internalize it so you can use it in a jam, on the spot. everything is derived from very simple rules though, and you might be missing some of those simple rules.

do you know key signatures?
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Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
43 IQ
Write out the B minor scale on a piece of paper

Then, below each of those notes, write the note a third higher

And below those, the note yet another third higher (5th from the first note you wrote down).

Those will be your diatonic triads. Doesn't include the many other chords that may be appropriate to play in a song in Bm, but those 7 triads will cover most of them.

Do this for all major and minor keys. On paper, and then on the guitar.