Ok, so my teacher (geetar teacher that is) was talking about stacking triads on one another. I kind of got lost before my time was up. So I had a unanswered questions. When in a key, lets say C for the sake of ease, how do you know what other notes are with in that key? Also what notes change when the key is minor, major or diminished? One more thing how do you "Stack" them together. I think i have an idea but I?m not 100% sure so just go all out on the answers. Thanx for the help.

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Okay, let's talk about the C cord.
Major : C, E, G
Minor : C, Eb, G

To make a diminished chord, you must have a minor-third, and a diminished fifth, above the base or root note. (in this case C)

So, a C diminished would be:
C, Eb, Gb

PM if you need more.
I'd love to help

A recent study shows that 92% of all teenagers have moved on to rap music.
Put this in your signature if you are one of the 8% who stayed with the real music.
ya, if you can understand intervals, then you can make chords, and triads are basically that...chords!
Bele, learn teh major scale shape, for the key of C (like you had) ill show you:

well actually ill type: 3rd fret A, 5th fret A, 2nd fret D, 3rd fret D, 5th fret D, 2nd fret G, 4th fret G, 5th fret G

Now take this shape, start on any fret, and you have a different key! (the major scale, but with a different root note)

this is the basic start everyone should learn, from then on, as you asked about "how to make it into a minor", the minor has a b3, b6, and b7, so take the 3rd, 6th, and 7th notes of the major scale, and flatten them. then organize it into a shape thats easy to play for you.

most people use:


(this time i was a little less lazy :P)
How can you tell what notes are in what key?

Learn the major scale. It is the basis of all music. Everything is based off of the major scale

Since I am sort of bored and want to have something for further use.

The Major Scale

Music is based off of the major scale. As you can see, it is important to know. The major scale follows a basic series of whole steps (two frets on guitar) and half steps (one fret on the guitar). Using these intervals off of a certain starting point, we can find the major scale! It follows this pattern: Whole Whole Half Whole Whole Whole Half (WWHWWWH).

I will use C major as an example, because it has no sharps or flats.

C is the root note.
One whole step (two frets) from C is D
One whole from D is E
One half step from E is F
One whole step from F is G
One whole step from G is A
One whole step from A is B
And one half step from B is C (our starting note).

So the notes in C major are C D E F G A and B.

Let's try one more.

F major!


F major is: F G A Bb C D and E.

Wait a minute...why can't you write F major using sharps? Likewise, why can't you write any of the sharp/flat keys using flats/sharps?

If you did this, it would look like this (using F major as an example):

F G A A# C D E

One thing about major scales and scales in general is to make sure that you only use one of each letter per scale.


You can alter these notes, but only one of each letter per scale. The scale has to be diatonic.

The Circle of Fifths

This is a device used to determine the notes of each key in the major scale. Here is a lovely picture of it. Take it, hold it, and love it.

Now, as you can see, C is up at the top and is in the middle. That is because it has no sharps or flats. As you move clockwise, you will move into the sharp keys. As you move left, you will run through the flat keys. By sharp and flat keys, I mean that is how you would write the scales.

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

I've bolded every new sharp written in each key, progressing clockwise through the circle of fifihs. As you can see, the sharps are added in this order:


This can be remembered with the acronym:


This is where the sharp keys end.

Now for the flat keys, going counter-clockwise.

F major: F G A Bb C D E
Bb major: Bb C D Eb F G A
Eb major: Eb F G A Bb C D Eb
Ab major: Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
Db major: Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
Gb major: Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb
Cb major: Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb

I've bolded the new flats this time. the order is reverse of the order that you add sharps, B E A D G C F. Which can be remembered with the acronym:


I know this is hard to take in at first, but give it time and don't rush into it. It'll come. It's like a language. The more you use it, the easier it'll come eventually.

The Minor Scale

Here is the minor scale. While the major scale has a happy sort of feel to it, the minor scale sounds a bit more saddening.

The minor scale formula is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7. The way these scale formulas work is that you take the major scale and you line up each scale degree with the coresponding degree in the formula. You then modify the appropriate degrees.

So, let's try this with A minor. This is the relative minor (more on this in a bit) of C major, so it has no sharps or flats either.

So, taking the A major scale and lining it up with the minor scale formula...

A   B   C#   D   E   F#   G#
1   2   b3   4   5   b6   b7

Modifying the appropriate degrees...

A   B   [b]C[/b]   D   E   [b]F[/b]   [b]G[/b]
1   2   b3  4   5   b6   b7

And now that that is done...we have our result, the A minor scale!


Harmonic Minor Scale and Melodic Minor Scale

This is simply a variation of the minor scale. To turn the minor scale into the harmonic minor scale, you just raise the seventh degree of that minor scale a half step/semitone.

The A harmonic minor scale: A B C D E F G#.

To turn a minor scale into a Melodic Minor scale, you raise both the seventh and sixth degrees of the minor scale by a half step/semitone.

The A Melodic Minor Scale: A B C D E F# G#.

Many people tend to only use the Melodic minor scale while ascending and the [natural] minor scale when descending.


For your other question about finding the chords in the key...