# Scales Chords And Theory Behind Them

author: slowlybilly date: 04/28/2011 category: the basics

### Thanks for subscribing! Check your email soon for some great stories from UG

 rating: 7.4 votes: 12 views: 23,844 vote for this lesson: Vote 1 - bad 2 3 4 5 - average 6 7 8 9 10 - great Tweet
```1-2-3-4-5-6-7
C-D-E-F-G-A-B```
Let me show you what some chords formulas will look like, then show you how to apply them. Say you have a formula for a chord, but not the actual notes. The formulas will look something like this. 1-3-5. What that represents are the first, third, and fifth scale degrees, of the chord. This is the formula for a major triad. A three note major chord, which is very common. To determine what notes you are going to use take your chord formula, 1-3-5, then put those three notes, also called scale degrees, together on your neck. The one is C, the three is E, and the five is G. So like this:
```1-3-5
C-E-G```
That is a C major chord. Let me give you another example to make sure I've explained it well enough. The next chord is called a Major Seventh chord. I love these chords personally. The formula for the chord is 1-3-5-7. Still working in C major. See what you get, then scroll down, and see if you've got it.
```1-3-5-7
C-E-G-B```
Did you get it? Great! Now I'm going to mix it up just a little. The next formula will be a minor chord, and it won't be a C chord, but it will be in the key of C, which will be explained later on in the lesson. Ok, so I just happen to know of the top of my head that C major's relative minor is A minor. Alright, since we are constructing an A chord, we do not use the C major scale for construction at all, but we don't use A minor either. We use the scale of A major, then we apply the minor formula to that scale to construct the chord. I hope I am not confusing anyone. Let me explain, for chord constructions, you always use the major scale, but you always base the major scale you use on your root note, which is A for any A chord, and C for C chords. So to build your A minor chord(Am). The formula for any minor chord is 1-b3-5. The b is representing that the note, or scale degree is flatted. What that means is lower the scale degree on fret, or a half step. Now let's build our A major scale so we can construct our chord. It should look like this:
```1 2 3  4 5 6  7
A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#```
Alright, so now we will apply the formula. The minor triad formula is 1-b3-5. So you have A, C# flatted down to a C, then E. Spells ACE if you build an Am, so it is easy to remember. You remember our C major scale had all three of these notes in it, so that means we are still in the key of C major. We just use the A major scale to construct any A chords. Let's try one more formula just to really drill it in. This time I am going to through a curve ball with a diminished chord. Now the formula for any diminished triad chord is 1-b3-b5. I like these chords. I also happen to know off the top of my head that if we want to stay in C major, we will need a B diminished chord, so let's build our B major scale. Give it a try on your own, then you can peek and see if you got it right. Should look like this.
```1 2  3  4 5  6  7
B-C#-D#-E-F#-G#-A#```
Did ya' get it? Hope so, or I'm doing a terrible job of teaching anything. So, now we apply our formula.
```1-b3-b5
B  D  F```
```1-2-3-4-5-6-7
C-D-E-F-G-A-B```
As I hope you remember, that is the C major scale. Alright, so when I put 1, I am referring to the first scale degree, which will be the first root note, which is C. Here are the corresponding chords. 1-major 2-minor 3-minor 4-major 5-major 6-minor 7-diminished There is also a roman numeral system for this, it looks like this. I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-vii, there is supposed to be a little dot on the seventh. I don't know how to make it on the computer though, sooooo....yea. Anyway, this is how it always works with major keys. The lower case numerals represent minor chords, minus the seventh, which is diminished. Alrighty, so if you follow that you can make all kinds of chord progressions, and you will still be in key. Now as promised, a few simple chord constructions. I will the formula and the actual notes they represent in C major only. Remember these formulas apply to all key signatures, and the root note can always be changed, just like the beginning of the lesson. Not all the chords are in the actual key of C, but the are based on the C major scale as the root is always C.
```Chord type                 Formula        Notes        Abbreviations
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Major                      1-3-5         C-E-G         C
Fifth(power chord)         1-5           C-G           C5
Suspended fourth           1-4-5         C-F-G         Csus4
Suspended Second           1-2-5         C-D-G         Csus2
Sixth                      1-3-5-6       C-E-G-A       C6
Sixth, added ninth         1-3-5-6-9     C-E-G-A-D     C6/9
Major Seventh              1-3-5-7       C-E-G-B       Cmaj7
Major ninth                1-3-5-7-9     C-E-G-B-D     Cmaj9
Major thirteenth           1-3-4-7-9-13  C-E-G-B-D-A   Cmaj13

Minor                      1-b3-5        C-Eb-G        Cm
Minor Sixth                1-b3-5-6      C-Eb-G-A      Cm6
Minor, Flat sixth          1-b3-5-b6     C-Eb-G-Ab     Cmb6
Minor Sixth, added ninth   1-b3-5-6-9    C-Eb-G-A-D    Cm6/9
Minor Seventh              1-b3-5-b7     C-Eb-G-Bb     Cm7
Minor Seventh, Flat fifth  1-b3-b5-b7    C-Eb-Gb-Bb    Cm7b5
Minor, major seventh       1-b3-5-7      C-Eb-G-B      Cm(maj7)
Minor ninth                1-b3-5-b7-9   C-Eb-G-Bb-D   Cm9
Minor ninth, flat fifth    1-b3-b5-b7-9  C-Eb-Gb-Bb-D  Cm9b5

Dominant Seventh           1-3-5-b7      C-E-G-Bb      C7
Seventh, suspended fourth  1-4-5-b7      C-F-G-Bb      C7sus4
Seventh, flat fifth        1-3-b5-b7     C-E-Gb-Bb     C7b5
Ninth                      1-3-5-b7-9    C-E-G-Bb-D    C9
Augmented                  1-3-#5        C-E-G#        Caug
Seventh, flat ninth        1-3-5-b7-b9   C-E-G-Bb-Db   C7b9

Cheeze wiz on crackers...
I can't think of anymore off the top of my head...uhm, there is also.

Diminished Seventh         1-b3-b5-bb7   C-Eb-Gb-Bbb   Cdim7```
Now that one is a little tricky because the double flat, but it's not as bad as it looks. Instead of one half step, go two, or a whole step down, and the note is double flatted. Ok, well I'm tired of writing these, I'm sure you're tired of reading them. Try to incorporate as many different chord types as possible into your playing, while staying in key, and you will pretty much have to gain a great knowledge of your fretboard. If you can form each of these chords anywhere on the neck, and in at least three different places quickly, then you must know your neck fairly well. These are all great chords also to go with my lesson over short melodies over common chords. Just remember to use your scale degrees for accents. For instance if you have a dominant seventh chord being played in the progression, then try to accent that b7th scale degree in your melody to really harmonize well. Anyhow, that's all for now. See ya later pickers and grinners.
More slowlybilly lessons:
 + Every Four Frets Music Styles 09/16/2011 + Really Easy Chord Constructions For Beginners 04/25/2011 + Easy Melodies To Play Over Common Chords For Beginners 04/08/2011
 Comments BIU:) Only "https" links are allowed for pictures, otherwise they won't appear