Tables & Charts
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The mastery and understanding of major scale chords does not have to be a nail biting affair if you followed my tips 1, 2 and 3.
The 2 scale types we talked about in step 2 (The Major and Melodic Minor scales) contain 14 basic chord sounds in each key.
7 inside each Major scale and 7 more involed ones from the Melodic Minor.
My most important Number 1 Tip here is this:
FOCUS ON THE SOUND EACH CHORD GROUP MAKES
Knowing each chord and giving it the right name can be second.
If we point the magnifying glass at the C major scale chords, we discover:
On the musical stave this looks as natural as a green leaf in the Amazon.
All the main basic chord groups except the diminished & augmented are built into each major scale:
Major, Minor, Dominant and Half Diminished.(I'm choosing to place Dimished & Half Diminished into separate groups,
as they have quite individual uses harmonically)
Everything else you will find out on your chordal journey is cream on top.
I'm calling on your imagination again to find ways to utilize this knowledge for ear training purposes. Here are a few starting ideas to help you nail down the diatonic chord progression:
Can you find more chords that have the same close relationship?
To get to know and practice the diminished & augmented chord groups, the only ones not included inside the major scale, we have to, for the first time, add some out of key notes.
For the diminished chord, the easiest way is to slightly alter either the Dominant 7th or Minor 7th b5 chords:
Dominant 7th (in the key of C) = G - B - D - F
G# or Ab diminished = Ab - B - D - F so:
sing G7 then sharpen the G to G#/Ab
Minor 7th b5 (in the key of C) = B - D - F - A
B diminished = B - D - F - Ab so:
sing Bm7b5 and flatten the A to Ab.
Here are some important points to realize about the diminished chord:
The augmented chord can appear as a variation of the Major, Minor & Dominant Chords. You simply sharpen the fifth of each chord by a half step:
C(#5) or CMaj7(#5) = C - E - G# or C - E - G# - B (the triad is quite common, the other is mostly a jazz chord)
Dm(#5) or Dm7(#5) = D - F - A# or D - F - A# - C (not so common, it sounds like a Bb triad or Bb2 chord with a D-bass, but still very usable.
G7(#5) = G - B - D# - F (a very common version of the dominant 7th chord)
May I remind you again that the all important goal is to learn to recognize the SOUND each of the 6 groups makes. (Major / Minor / Dominant / Augmented / Diminished / Half-Diminished)
With a bit of regular practice this becomes very obvious and provides you with another tool to find your way inside the music.
Start making it a habit to listen to your favourite songs differently.
Learn to instantly recognize the tonic (1) chord of the piece
and then relate other harmonies, especially the 2 & 5 to that.
Use simple songs to begin with and gradually expand the range
and you will soon turn into an expert chord name finder.
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