As I continue on my journey to expand my music theory, I have come up with a question to ask.

I would like to know where chords such as the A Maj. 7 or D Sus. 4 are used. I don't mean those chords specifically, but chords that are not simply Major or Minor triads.

I know that the fifth degree chord of the Major Scale can be either a Major or Diminished Seventh chord (ex. the fifth degree in C is G, so the G Chord could either be a G Maj. or G Dim.7).

However, I do not understand where these other chords come in, and would appreciate an explanation.

when you say other chords if you mean the fifth being major or a diminished seventh, the interval chords have notes in the that are also in the key your playing in, if that helps.

As for using exotic-ish chords, you can use them whenever you want, although they are often used for creating a certain type of feeling for a song or a section of a song. Also when you use weird chords sometimes you should use different scales or modes to solo over them.
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Ok, well, chords are stacked in 3rds (usually) and we build them by leap frogging.


Thats the C major scale. To build a C major triad we jump over a note. Now we have the notes in a C major chord: C E G. But, if we wanted a 7 type chord, we would jump one more. Now we would have: C E G B, that would make it a Cmaj7 chord. (formula= 1 3 5 7)

But, if we wanted a D in the key of C, we would do the same thing starting on D. Then we would get a D F A (D minor triad) and then we jump one more to get: D F A E. Wait a second! A D major chord is D F# G, and if we leaped one more using the D major scale (D E F# G A B C#), we would have: D F# A C#. That means this chord is minor7. (formula 1 b3 5 b7)

The the fifth (G) is almost the same as the Cmaj7, but it has a b7, which would make it a dominant 7th, or G7 (G B D F). (1 3 5 b7)

So, if we wanted 7ths, a major scale/chord formula is: Imaj7 - iim7 - iiim7 - IVmaj7 - V7 - vim7 - viim7b5.

Really, take a look at the scale, and jump over notes to get your chords. Sus chords are almost the same except you replace the 3rd with either the 2nd or 4th.

Quote by kevinm4435 to some guy
hey d00d i herd u dont like shred u r a genius 4 thinkin dat. all shred is fukin lame wit no soul u no wat im sayin??
Well, it's not that I don't know how to build these chords, it's more that I don't know when you would use them.

I think you guys were beating around the bush with what I was trying to understand, so I read what you put and believe I know what I wanted to, but to be sure...

In C Maj., we know that the C chord is a Maj. chord, so I can either play the C triad (C, E, G), or I can play another Maj. chord such as the C Maj.7 (C, E, G, B).
--Maj7 chords are often used in jazz, but can be used to give the chord a more major-y feeling.

--Sus4 (alternatively, if used as the V chord, to give a stronger resolution to the I or back to the V, use a 7Sus4 (called "sus" for short))chords are used for resolving to the major (moving the 4th down to the 3rd), or to minor (moving 4th down to the m3rd.)

--Sus2 chords are used the same as sus4, but (i think) not seen as often.

--m7b5 (viiº chords almost always resolve to the I chord.

those are just some basic ones i can think of off the top of my head


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Actually, Sus2 resolve to Minors better.

Quote by kevinm4435 to some guy
hey d00d i herd u dont like shred u r a genius 4 thinkin dat. all shred is fukin lame wit no soul u no wat im sayin??
here some

I............maj7, 6, maj9, 6/9, add4, 6/9maj7



IV........6, maj7, maj9, maj7#11, 6/9, 6,7, maj9#11, 6/9 maj 7

V.........sus4, 6,7, 9, 11, 13, 6/9, 6/7

VI........min7, min9, min11

VII.......min7b5, min11b5

I can't say what resolves to what is better, theres other veriable.
and it depends what you like or preference is.

There's other ways of coloring chords. You can also alter the Bass (root) note.

I'm sure you've seen E/Cmaj, F/Cmaj, G/Amin, F/Amin on music sheets .
Last edited by Ordinary at Mar 24, 2007,
not sure if you know this, but in your common I IV V Rock/Blues progressions, you can replace this V with a V7(dominant 7th)... and mix, so if you have 4 beats of V, you play 2 beats V and 2 V7, really creates a lot of tension at the end to bring it around to the top...