Chord Theory

All the chords you’ll ever need to know and how to construct them

A chord consists of three or more notes played simultaneously, although on the guitar you can play part chords using only two notes (such as the Five Chord).

The name of the chord is determined by the root note; that is, the note on which the chord is built.

The particular sound of the chord is then determined by the intervals between the root note and the other notes. This produces a particular harmony; for example, whether a chord is major, minor, seventh and so on.

In Western music all chords are constructed from the major scale. The formula for each type of chord is set out in the table below.

For example, we can see that a major chord is made up of the first (root), third, and fifth notes of the major scale.

A minor chord is made up of the first (root), flatted third, and fifth notes of the major scale, and so on.

While you can find a chord chart and try to memorise all of the chords in each key, it will be much more beneficial in the long run to gain a solid understanding of how chords are constructed and then experiment by finding these chords for yourself all the way along the neck of the guitar. Start with the major, minor and seveth chords and see how you go.


CHORD FORMULAS - Central Coast Guitar Lessons

New YouTube video

You and Me in a Cemetery is a short instrumental that I wrote and recorded in June 2007. It reached the semi finals in the Instrumental category of the 1233 ABC Newcastle Music Awards that year. The two tracks of Yamaha CN-525E nylon string guitar were recorded via direct input. The only effect added is a little bit of reverb on both guitars.

Hope you enjoy it.