Introduction To Families Of Chords

Welcome! I am a Graduate from the Atlanta Institute of Music, & In this lesson we will start with reviewing the major scale and finding out how to name the intervals and learn how to construct and properly name chords.

Ultimate Guitar
before you can get into the heavy areas and theory behind chords you will need a solid base to understanding what makes a chord. so let's take a look into the major scale, and how it's intervals are named and numbered.
                  1   2/9   3   4/11   5   6/13   7
(C Major Scale)   C   D     E   F      G   A      B
Basically the 1st, 3rd, 5th, & 7th notes of the major scales are the chord tones. The 2nd, 4th, and 6th are chord extensions. depending on how these extension are applied they can be named differently. A 2nd could also be known as a 9th. a 4th can be considered an 11th, and a 6th can be considered a 13th. this is all dependent upon how you welcome the interval into the chord. So from here we will diagram the chord types and chord families and add extensions as they should be so properly named.

Major Triad          1 3 5    -->  C E G

Minor Triad          1 b3 5   -->  C Eb G

Augmented Triad      1 3 #5   -->  C E G#

Diminished Triad     1 b3 b5  -->  C Eb Gb


Major   Minor   Dominant
135     1b35    135b7


1 3 5 6     -->  CMaj6, CM6, C6

1 3 5 7     -->  CMaj7, CM7
C E G B 

1 3 5 7 9   -->  CMaj9, CM9

1 3 5 7 13  -->  CMaj13, CM13
C E G B A   

1 3 5 9     -->  CMAJadd9

****Minor Triad Extension****

1 b3 5 6    -->  Cmin6, Cm6, C-6
C Eb G A

1 b3 5 b7   -->  Cmin7, Cm7, C-7
C Eb G Bb

1 b3 5 b7 9 -->  Cmin9, Cm9, C-9
C Eb G Bb D

1 b3 5 b7 11 ->  Cmin11, Cm11, C-11

1 b3 5 b7 13 ->  Cmin13, Cm13, C-13
C Eb G Bb A

****Dominant 7 Extensions****

1 3 5 b7       -->   Cdom7, C7
C E G Bb

1 3 5 b7 9     -->   Cdom9, C7
C E G Bb D

1 3 5 b7 13    -->   Cdom13, C13
C E G Bb A

1 3 5 b7 b9 13 -->   Cdom13(b9), C13(b9), C13(-9)
C E G Bb Db A

1 3 #5 b7      -->   Cdom7#5, Cdom7+5, C7#5, C7+5
C E G# Bb

1 3 #5 b7 b9   -->   C7#5(b9), C7+5(b9)
C E G# Bb Db

1 3 5 b7 #9    -->   C7#9, C7+9, C7Aug9
C E G Bb D#
****Major and Dom Add 4(11) and Suspensions**** you created a beautiful sound by suspending the 3rd of a major or dominant chord. suspending meaning removing the 3rd and replacing it with a 4th
1 4 5        -->  Csus4 

1 4 5 b7     -->  C7sus4
C F G Bb

1 4 5 b7 11  -->  C11
C F G Bb F

when adding 4 or 11 to a min chord keep the b3

1 b3 5 11    --> Cmin11, Cm11, C-11
C Eb G F

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    If you have trouble with this, check out lessons on intervals, and Major and minor scales. It will help.
    sorry guys, i'll toss up a lesson on intervals and basic major a minor scale ideas to help clarify soon.
    El Canabero
    Forget what's been said, the lesson is great, the only demand is not to be a complete musical analphabet. Keep on ROck pal'
    yea , just everything name is based on intervals. although i learned a lot but if someone told me to strum the Caddsus49 in a jam, il probably smash the guitar on his face cuz i wont be able to think that much at that time