Basic Chord Scales

author: hdpeng date: 09/02/2014 category: scales

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Basic Chord Scales
Here is a table of chord scales which can be referenced back to the "Nashville Chord System" of numbering chord scales (1-7), where "1" is the root chord (and note) of the scale. The scales are read from left to right.

This comes in very handy for songwriters. If you're writing a song and you're not sure what that next "elusive" chord is that would fit into your verse, chorus, or bridge progression, just reference this chart. Any chord within a given scale would work if your intent is to stay in the same key. This, of course, is just the basic chords in each chord scale. For more complex chords you simply have to noodle around and find what's most pleasing to your ears.

NOTE: Minor chord scales are derived from these same patterns. The "6" minor scale is the same as the "1" major scale, except the minor scale begins and ends on the "6" chord. For example, the "Am" scale contains the same chords as the "C" major scale.

LEGEND: "#" = Sharp; "b" = Flat; "0" = Dim.; "m" = Minor

  1  |   2  |   3  |  4  |  5  |   6   | 7
========================================= 
     |      |      |     |     |       |
C | Dm | Em | F | G | Am | B0
| | | | | |
========================================= 
     |      |      |     |      |      |
C# | D#m | Fm | F# | G# | A#m | C0
(Db) | (Ebm)| | (Gb)| (Ab) | (Bbm)|
=========================================
     |      |      |     |      |      |
D | Em | F#m | G | A | Bm | C#0
| | (Gbm)| | | | (Db0)
=========================================
     |      |      |     |      |      |
D# | Fm | Gm | G# | A# | Cm | D0
(Eb)| | | (Ab)| (Bb)| |
=========================================
     |      |      |     |      |      |
E | F#m | G#m | A | B | C#m | D#0
| (Gbm)| (Abm)| | | (Dbm)| (Eb0)
=========================================
     |      |      |      |     |      |
F | Gm | Am | A# | C | Dm | E0
| | | (Bb) | | |
=========================================
     |      |      |      |     |      |
F# | G#m | A#m | B | C# | D#m | F0
(Gb) | (Abm)| (Bbm)| | (Db)| (Ebm)|
=========================================
     |      |      |      |     |      |
G | Am | Bm | C | D | Em | F#0
| | | | | | (Gb0)
=========================================
     |      |      |      |     |      |
G# | A#m | Cm | C# | D# | Fm | G0
(Ab) | (Bbm)| | (Db) | (Eb)| |
=========================================
     |      |      |      |     |      |
A | Bm | C#m | D | E | F#m | G#0
| | (Dbm)| | | (Gbm)| (Ab0)
=========================================
     |      |      |      |     |      |
A# | Cm | Dm | D# | F | Gm | A0
(Bb) | | | (Eb) | | |
=========================================
     |      |      |      |     |      |
B | C#m | D#m | E | F# | G#m | A#0
| (Dbm)| (Ebm)| | (Gb)| (Abm)| (Bb0)
=========================================

Hint: Diminished chords ("Dim." or "0") can be substituted for with the root chord's "5" chord with a "7" chord root bass note. For example, if the key is in "G," the substituted chord for "F#0" would be "D/F#." Or, if the key is in "C," the substituted chord for "B0" would be "G/B."

By Zack Oxford
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