Guitar Chords Chart--Major and Minor Open Chords
Major and Minor Chords in Theory
Major Chord Formula
The formula for a major triad is 1 3 5. Simple, right? What it means is that to build a major chord, play the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes in major scale.
EXAMPLE: You want to play a "G major" chord so use G B E. What if you want to play an "E major" chord? Remember that the key of "E major" has 4 sharps. One of them, "G#", falls on the 3rd note of the scale so the major chord is E G# B.
Do you see why it is important to know the key signatures? If you practice building the major triads for all twelve keys using ONLY your knowledge of this formula, you will be glad that you made the effort!
Minor Chord Formula
Once you are familiar with the major triads, you are ready for minor. The formula for a minor triad is 1 b3 5. In other words, you move the middle note of the major triad down 1/2 step.
EXAMPLE: If you want to play a "C minor" chord, start with the major triad (C E G) and move the "E" down to "Eb".
What if you want to play an "A minor" chord? The "A major" triad is A C# E so you move the "C#" down 1/2 step to "C". Just remember that if the middle note in the major is a natural(or white key) then the middle note in the minor triad is a flat(or black key) and vice versa.
Practice building these chords in the same manner as you did the major triads. Remember, you are investing in your musical future.
Printable Guitar Chords Chart
Here is the link to a free printable pdf chart of the open position for Major and Minor Chords: Major and Minor Guitar Chords. Remember to expand it to 100% in the viewer. You will need the Adobe Reader to view and print it. You can download the reader free on the Adobe web site.
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