Chords And Scales: That Goes With What? Part 1

A simple article on which chords fit together with which scales.

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Ok, so lets start. Part 1 of this lesson is going to be with Major chords with Major scales. I am covering MAjor chords though 13ths chords. First of all here is the chords construction This is general lesson for beginners and advanced players trying to decide which scales go with which chords. This is theory lesson, so not all the scales are going to match the chords to what your ear is used to, just get through the lesson and then you'll understand. Many of you know that modes are based scale degrees of the major scale itself. For example, Lydian mode is based on the fourth scale degree of a of a major scale, but I show it here as a Major scale raising the fourth scale degree. Your still thinking in fours but differently. This is a better way to look at the modes on paper as opposed to using your guitar to find the appropriate scale degree for a particular mode you want to play. For beginners, please note that Chord and scale formulas below are based on the notes of any given Key signature that is being played. In the example below you can see how the to formulas match up.
Type of ChordChord FormulaScale to useScale Formula
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Major1 3 5 Major Pentatonic1 2 3 4 5 6
Minor Pentatonic1 b3 4 5 b7
Major Scale1 2 3 4 5 6 7
 
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Major 6th1 3 5 6Major Pentatonic1 2 3 4 5 6
 
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Major 7th1 3 5 7Major Scale1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Major 9th1 3 5 7 9
Major 6/91 3 5 6 9OR
major Add91 3 5 9
Major 131 3 5 7 (9) 13Lydian Mode1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
 
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Major sus21 2 5Major Pentatonic add41 2 3 4 5 6
Major sus41 4 5
 
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Major 7b51 3 b5 7Lydian Mode1 2 3 #4 5 6 7

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    Colohue
    No, demonofthenight is right here. You're basing modes off of the major scale, which are two completely different things.
    matthius22
    demonofthenight wrote: Modal music predates tonal music. Modes date from tribal southern europe and the middle east. Each tribe would have special notes they've added onto a seemingly common scale (pentatonics). Modes have almost nothing to do with the major scale as you know it, that is using them in the same way the creators all the way to the Gregorian monks did.
    demonofthenight is telling us that the Gregorian Monks used more than 1 accidental in their music which is completely false. So don't get confused people The Greeks knew what they were doing when they named the "modes" that guitarists currently work with today. Below is a small chart showing modes based on the major scale. Mode Tonic relative to major scale Starting note Interval sequence ----- Ionian I C T-T-s-T-T-T-s Dorian II D T-s-T-T-T-s-T Phrygian III E s-T-T-T-s-T-T Lydian IV F T-T-T-s-T-T-s Mixolydian V G T-T-s-T-T-s-T Aeolian VI A T-s-T-T-s-T-T Locrian VII B s-T-T-s-T-T-T The intervallic sequences are different from the past due to the limited capability of instrumentation. Thanks for your input though "Gregory the Great" would be proud....
    demonofthenight
    Many of you know that modes are based scale degrees of the major scale itself.
    No. Modal music predates tonal music. Modes date from tribal southern europe and the middle east. Each tribe would have special notes they've added onto a seemingly common scale (pentatonics). Modes have almost nothing to do with the major scale as you know it, that is using them in the same way the creators all the way to the Gregorian monks did.
    matthius22
    Well for obvious reasons I left off the 8th scale degree because it is simply the Root of the scale returning. C to C for example. However, lets take the key of C Major as an example and devise a Lydian scale from it. Based on the forth scale degree of any given major scale, you would start this particular Lydian scale from F. Which is four scale degrees from the root of C. Now since we know all the notes in a C Major scale (c d e f g a b and octave c again) the F Lydian scale would be f g a b c d e and return to its Lydian root of F. Side by side Comparison of what I mean: F Major scale and its degrees are as follows F G A Bb C D E (F) F Lydian(based on fourth scale degree of the C Major Key F G A B C D E (F) Thus giving you the raised fourth scale degree (of F Lydian)from Bb to B. Hope that helps!
    arrthor
    Great work man, seriously helpful, but could you explain how your scale formulas work (ie how to read them)if you know a link to a lesson on this site or something.