How do you form your Chords?

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How do you form your Chords?

Postby Hugh-AR » 21 Jul 2018 10:12

Chords from Chord Charts

You can find out which notes to press to create a particular chord by consulting a Chord Chart.

Below is an 'on-line' Chord Chart that AndyG has put up elsewhere in this Forum. Click on the link to go there.

http://www.telacommunications.com/nutshell/music/

When you get there, this is what you see ...

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... and by clicking on one of the chord letters on the left you get a display across the top of all the chords with that note as the 'root'.

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Not a good choice of colour (light blue) to show you which notes to press to get the chord.

Every possible Chord Symbol EXPLAINED



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMLdWrZqwLg

And here below is a YouTube video with an analysis of how chords are formed.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1i-cFx7__M

In this video he makes a very interesting comment about C+9. It is often misquoted as C9, which is not the same chord at all!
C+9 can also be written as C+2.

Hugh
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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby Hugh-AR » 21 Jul 2018 10:23

A personal account of forming a chord.

As I see it, there are three main ways you can play a chord you see written on a piece of music.

A.

For the many chords that appear on your sheet music you can look up the notes to play to make up the chord. There are "Chord Charts" that show every chord you could possibly want. A computerised Chord Analyser like the one above is even better as you can click with the mouse and actively take part in your search.

Now for most music there are about ten chords that they may use. I am not talking here about the variety of chords that you may see in a piece, but the chords that can be formed on one particular note. Eg. On C , you could have:

    C MAJOR ( C )
    C MINOR ( Cm )
    C SIXTH ( C6 )
    C MINOR SIXTH ( Cm6 )
    C SEVENTH ( C7 )
    C MAJOR 7th ( Cmaj7 )
    C AUGMENTED (Caug .. often written as C + )
    C DIMINISHED ( Cdim .. sometimes written as C o )
    C SUSPENDED 4th ( Csus4 )
    C NINTH ( C9 )
As there are seven white notes and five black ones, in total there are twelve notes you could form a chord on. So the total number of chords available for a piece of music is 12 x 10 = 120 (in addition to others that are less common). Now you could commit all these chords to memory, or remember the most frequently used ones depending on the key the piece is played in, but to my way of thinking there is no logic in this as there is no indication as to how these chords are formed in the first place. So no thanks, you won't catch me going down this road!

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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby Hugh-AR » 21 Jul 2018 10:43

B.

Next, how the chords are formed from "scales". For this method you would have to know the notes in each scale. Twelve possible notes to start on, so twelve scales to learn. Mind you, each scale is based on "intervals", so you can work a scale out if you don't already know it.

I'm sure we all know what a "scale" is in Tonic Sol-fa. If not from our school days, then from Julie Andrews teaching the children how to sing in The Sound Of Music. "You start at the very beginning .. a very good place to start" .. with Doh. The notes in a scale are doh, ray, me, fah, soh, lah, te, doh (the top 'doh' being one octave above the first). And there are other names for the sharps and flats .. but don't ask me what they are!

If you want more of the history of Tonic Sol-fa then take a look at the entry on the Wikipedia website by clicking the LINK below:

Do a right-click to open this up in a New Tab
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonic_sol-fa

So starting on any note you play the "scale" doh, ray, me, fah, soh, lah, te (I haven't gone right to the end) and from this point on will use numbers to donate the position on the scale. So doh=1, ray=2, me=3, fah=4, soh=5, lah=6 and te=7.

Another way to form a scale is by "intervals", and I use this terminology as this is the basis for Method C. I shall define an interval as one semitone "up" (ie. the next note up, whether it be white or black). The "intervals" for a scale, starting on any note, are as follows:

Root (base note .. the one you are starting with) then (in intervals) 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1.

So starting with C, the "Scale" (doh, ray, me, fah, soh, lah, te, do) .. working it out using the "intervals" above .. is C, D, E, F, G, A, B (and then on to "top C" with the final interval of 1). Now we all know the scale of C, I'm sure .. but you could use this method for working out the notes in the scale of, say, F#.

The idea now is just to use the numbers to represent the scale rather than the tonic sol-fa names. So the scale becomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, x (x being note 8, but being the octave above 1 and having the same letter as 1 it will not be referred to as 8. It is 1 again!).

The chords are described using the numbers in the scale. Which is why I said you would have to know your scales to use this method.

So, in C , 1=C, 2=D, 3=E, 4=F, 5=G, 6=A and 7=B.
And in F , 1=F, 2=G, 3=A, 4=Bb, 5=C, 6=D and 7=E.

A MAJOR chord is 1 - 3 - 5
C MAJOR ( C ) is C - E - G and F MAJOR ( F ) is F - A - C (ie. the first, third and fifth notes of the respective scales).

A MINOR chord is 1 - 3 (flatted) - 5
C MINOR ( C m ) is C - Eb - G and F MINOR ( F m ) is F - Ab - C (ie. the first, third “flatted” and fifth notes of the respective scales).

A SIXTH chord is 1 - 3 - 5 - 6
C SIXTH ( C 6 ) is C - E - G - A and F SIXTH ( F 6 ) is F - A – C - D (ie. the major chord + the sixth note of the respective scales).

A MINOR SIXTH chord is 1 - 3 (flatted) - 5 - 6
C MINOR SIXTH( C m 6 ) is C - Eb - G - A and F MINOR SIXTH ( F m 6 ) is F - Ab - C - D (ie. the minor chord + the sixth note of the respective scales).

A SEVENTH chord is 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 (flatted)
C SEVENTH ( C 7 ) is C - E - G - Bb and F SEVENTH ( F 7 ) is F - A - C - Eb (ie. the major chord + the seventh note “flatted” in the respective scales).

A MAJOR SEVENTH chord is 1 - 3 - 5 - 7
C MAJOR SEVENTH ( C maj 7 ) is C - E - G - B and F MAJOR SEVENTH ( F maj 7 ) is F - A - C - E (ie. the major chord + the seventh note in the respective scales).

An AUGMENTED chord is 1 - 3 - 5 (sharpened)
C AUGMENTED ( C + ) is C - E - G# and F AUGMENTED ( F + ) is F - A - C# (ie. the first, third and fifth note “sharpened” in the respective scales).

A DIMINISHED chord is 1 - 3 (flatted) - 4 (sharpened) - 6
C DIMINISHED ( C dim ) is C - Eb - F# - A and F DIMINISHED ( F dim ) is F - Ab - B - D

A SUSPENDED 4th chord is 1 - 4 - 5
C SUSPENDED 4th ( C sus 4 ) is C - F - G and F SUSPENDED 4th ( F sus 4 ) is F - Bb - C (ie. the major chord with the third note “sharpened” in the respective scales).

A NINTH chord is 1 - 2 - 3 - 5 -7 (flatted)
C NINTH ( C 9 ) is C - D - E - G - Bb and F NINTH ( F 9 ) is F - G - A - C - Eb (ie. the "seventh" chord with the ninth note added, in the respective scales).

Now having written all this out it looks so complicated I think I’ll go back to method A ! Seriously though, if you do know your scales then the “numbers” mentioned above become second nature and it is a fairly simple process to work out the chord from scratch.
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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby Hugh-AR » 21 Jul 2018 10:50

C.

The third way is by starting with any note (I shall call this the Root of the chord) you form the chord using “intervals” from one note to the next, an “interval” being defined as one semitone "up" (ie. the next note up, whether it be white or black). The "intervals" for the various chords are:

A MAJOR chord is Root + 4 + 3
C MAJOR ( C ) is C - E - G and F MAJOR ( F ) is F - A - C

A MINOR chord is Root + 3 + 4
C MINOR ( C m ) is C - Eb - G and F MINOR ( F m ) is F - Ab - C

A SIXTH chord is Root + 4 + 3 + 2
C SIXTH ( C 6 ) is C - E - G - A and F SIXTH ( F 6 ) is F - A – C - D

A MINOR SIXTH chord is Root + 3 + 4 + 2
C MINOR SIXTH( C m 6 ) is C - Eb - G - A and F MINOR SIXTH ( F m 6 ) is F - Ab - C - D

A SEVENTH chord is Root + 4 + 3 + 3. Or, as Peter Anderson said in an email to me .. the “seventh” note is Root minus 2 (Root – 2) and you include this note with the Major chord for eg. C 7 and with the Minor chord for C m 7.
C SEVENTH ( C 7 ) is C - E - G - Bb and F SEVENTH ( F 7 ) is F - A - C - Eb

A MAJOR SEVENTH chord is Root + 4 + 3 + 4 … or, as Peter Anderson would say the “major seventh” note is Root minus 1.
C MAJOR SEVENTH ( C maj 7 ) is C - E - G - B and F MAJOR SEVENTH ( F maj 7 ) is F - A - C - E

An AUGMENTED chord is Root + 4 + 4
C AUGMENTED ( C + ) is C - E - G# and F AUGMENTED ( F + ) is F - A - C#

A DIMINISHED chord is Root + 3 + 3 + 3
C DIMINISHED ( C dim ) is C - Eb - F# - A and F DIMINISHED ( F dim ) is F - Ab - B - D

A SUSPENDED 4th chord is Root + 5 + 3
C SUSPENDED 4th ( C sus 4 ) is C - F - G and F SUSPENDED 4th ( F sus 4 ) is F - Bb - C

A NINTH chord is the SEVENTH chord with the note Root + 2 added.
C NINTH ( C 9 ) is C - D - E - G - Bb and F NINTH ( F 9 ) is F - G - A - C - Eb

Below is a YouTube video showing how to form any MAJOR chord by counting semitones from the ROOT of the chord.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxkKdOYzofo

Doing it this way you don't have to know any of the notes forming a 'scale'.

Hugh
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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby dentyr » 27 Apr 2019 08:41

Hello. Sorry, there is NO easy way to remember chords. You just have to learn them and get them embedded into your - well what have you.

Regards,Den.
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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby dentyr » 29 May 2019 14:56

Hello, All the chords are shown on the Yamaha kbds. Press FUNCTION ...

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... then STYLE SETTING.

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Tab to the page CHORD FINGERING ...

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... and there you have it. Move down/up underneath either column to get the various chords showing.

These show just as the first clip on this thread.

On the 'touch screen' keyboards (eg. PSR-SX700) these chord structures can be found here:

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Regards, Den.
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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby Hugh-AR » 25 Feb 2023 16:49

25/02/2023.

I have updated this topic re: the Major 7th chord. When I started off in my 'teens it was called the 'natural 7th chord'. This is the chord formed by including the 7th note of the scale eg. Cmaj7 = C E G B (or inversions of same). Not to be confused with C 7th = C E G Bb (or inversions of same) = C7. This is why we called it the 'natural 7th' as it included the 'natural' seventh note of the scale and not the 'flatted' seventh.

On our keyboards a 'minor' chord is denoted by a 'lower case' m; and a 'major' variant by an Upper Case M.

C (major) is just C.
C minor = Cm
C minor 7th = Cm7
C major 7th = CM7
C minor major 7th = CmM7

Also note that a 'ninth' chord eg. C9 is the 7th chord plus the ninth note.
So C9 = C E G Bb D (or inversions of same). This is the name of the chord as you would expect to see it on sheet music (C9).
My Tyros 4 denotes the C9 chord as C79. No such chord as C9 as far as my keyboard is concerned. I suppose it emphasises the fact that the 9th chord is adding on the 9th note to the 7th chord.
Not the same as C+9, which is the C major chord plus the ninth note ie. C E G D (or inversions of same). Doesn't have the Bb in it. My Tyros 4 keyboard shows this chord as Cadd9. It can also be called C2.

Hugh
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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby dentyr » 26 Feb 2023 13:13

I have updated my post on where to find the chords on Yamaha keyboards.

Chords (cords) are what ties up your fingers when you try to play! :roll: Keep It Simple See 'No Strings Attached'.

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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby Ron » 28 Feb 2023 15:58

So glad I do not have to search through charts, diagrams etc looking for info on what notes to put into a chord.

10 years of classical piano training and 8 years spent playing bass professionally and making my living by doing so taught me all I need to know about chords. The Yamaha modern keyboard allows the complete novice to get by just by playing chords with one finger. This seems to be a popular method used by some on the forum. Others just seem to be hard of hearing IMO.

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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby Hugh-AR » 28 Feb 2023 16:54

Ron,

I think most of us play by following the dots on the lines and the chord symbols over the top. You, like me, having played in a band don't need to look up (or work out) the 'structure' of a chord. But as for playing the right sounding chord? When I listen to 'jazz' versions of a song I can't relate to the harmonies they use. I wonder sometimes if they are 'tone deaf' (sorry, 'harmony deaf'). But then it's each to his own, and you play what you like to hear.

As you know, I don't read music so have to rely on my hearing to pick up the harmony. It is actually very difficult to pick up the harmony by listening. Take a piece I have played recently .. More. On the 'Busker' version that Den found for us there is a B7 in bar 16. That is obviously significantly different to the harmony I was using at that point .. D7. When I play this piece again I shall definitely be playing a B7 at that point. I only noticed it when I looked at the chords on the sheet music. I wonder how many others would have noticed I had played a 'wrong' chord when I played that piece?

If you want to refer to what I am on about, it's here:

Do a right-click to open this up in a New Tab.
http://www.tierce-de-picardie.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=152&t=11751#p67023

We once had a professional organist come to our Organ & Keyboard club and tell us that if he played Moonlight Serenade just using the chords C, F and G .. nobody would notice. He must have been joking! The whole essence of Moonlight Serenade is the harmony in it.

Are there 'right' and 'wrong' chords to play a piece with? I have put two versions of More, below. Listen to them both and see what you think.

    If an advert appears in either of these, click the X in the top right hand corner of the rectangle to remove it.

Andrea Bocelli - More



More by Andy Williams | Keyboard Cover By Dhakshini De Silva



Hugh
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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby JamesT3 » 26 Apr 2024 09:59

As I play entirely by ear, that is to say that not only from memory but knowing what a note should sound like before I press the key. This is how I discover playing my chords.

Articles like this are invaluable to me as I discover an extensive range of chords that I can pick up on. I don’t need to worry that just because I don’t read music or follow the dots as it were, that I am not confined to playing in the key of C, which some music readers seem to think is the limit to people who play by ear. This is totally incorrect. Being self taught, my first chord started in key of C and over time discovered different chords just by adding or changing one or more keys. As a youth, I mainly played the white keys, until I was told that I need to address the black keys! A whole new window opened when I started configuring the changes of using the entire keyboard as it should be played.

So thank you Hugh, and everyone who has taken the time and effort to highlight these valuable tutorials. Even after playing keyboards for over 50 years, there is always something new to learn.

Best wishes

James.
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Re: How do you form your Chords?

Postby Ron » 26 Apr 2024 10:43

Chords are known as Triads ie composed of 3 notes from the musical scale with added notes as required. The real musical name of C7 is C Dominant 7 (C maj with a b7 ie. a flattened seventh) compared to C Maj 7 ( C Maj with a natural B ). Playing any Triad on your Yamaha keyboard and the chord name is shown on the display. Also remember that every chord has 2 or 3 inversions depending on the number of notes in the chord, so C dom7 which can be played containing 4 notes, has 3 inversions. This enables playing block chords instead of your left hand jumping all over the keyboard. But this is for another day.
So, easy. You also need to learn common chord progressions associated normally with the key you are playing in and here you use Intervals of which there are 8 in every scale to form the chords you will be using. So in Key C, the normal chord progression is 1 4 5 ie chords of C F G. Note that intervals are usually written using Roman numerals ie I IV V. One of the most commonly used chord progressions in modern music is I V vi IV. This formula applies to all chords and you simply start your first interval (triad) from the root note of the key in which you are playing. This is the normal convention of forming chords but of course all the other methods mentioned in this topic are also very useful dependant on the level of your musical knowledge. You might be amazed at how many pop, rock songs can be played using I V vi IV. Have fun.
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