Here's how to turn the chord symbols you see just above the sheet music bars into their component notes: You need to practice these till you don't have to think about em. I've got a waaays to go... Basic chords: Chords start with a root note, then 2 extra notes are played at the same time Which extra notes? Depends on the chord type:
Major (C) root +4 +3 - so C E G Minor (Cm or C- or Cmin) root +3 +4 - so C Eb G Diminished (Co or Cdim) root +3 +3 - so C Eb Gb Augmented (C+ or Caug) root +4 +4 - so C E G#
Chords can start on any root note. But you just skip the exact same number of halfsteps (keys) to make the same interval pattern. Changing octaves (Inversions): When you play a c major in a really low octave, the notes sound "muddy", sort of overlapping each other - unclean... Turns out, the ear can easily hear the intervals as the SAME even if the octaves are popped up or down an octave. (or two, or three, etc) So feel free to rearrange the component notes into any octave you want. (That sounds good, of course.) That's the basis of most song "arrangements": picking chords and good inversions for them. Adding notes: Some people just CAN'T be satisfied. 3 Notes? Not enough for them. So we've got the 6th and 7th chords and other variations... For an extra (4th note) in the chord, well, pick an extra note that sounds good :) But now we gotta name that extra note :(
Intervals are how we name a certain number of halfstep's distance distance interval name 0 halfsteps - unison - same dang note 1 halfstep - minor 2nd 2 - major 2nd 3 - minor 3rd 4 - major 3rd 5 - perfect 4th 6 - tritone (minor 5th, but we're not "allowed" to call it that) 7 - perfect 5th 8 - minor 6th 9 - major 6th 10 - minor 7th 11 - major 7th 12 - octave (sounds REALLY close to unison)
Usually, you've got a major chord with an extra minor 7th note. It's called a "dominant 7th chord" I think just cuz it's used SO much. A really handy chord since it MAKES your brain WANT to hear the root chord next. (Called a cadence. Really, you're gonna have to read up at other music theory sites. This is a simple intro.) So... C Dominant7 (C7) works out to a Major chord + minor 7th note root + 4 + 3 + 3 C Minor7 (Cmin7 or C-7) Minor chord + minor 7th note root + 3 + 4 + 3 C Major7 (Cmaj7 usually) Major chord + major 7th note root + 4 + 3 + 4 leaving, umm, the rarely used... C Minor Maj7 (CminMaj7) Minor chord + major 7th note root + 3 + 4 + 4 And... there are 6th chords with a minor 6th or major 6th note tacked on And... there are augmented and diminished chords with this 4th added note And... you can tack on even MORE than one extra note... As you can see, naming these dang things turns out to be troublesome...:( Taking away/changing notes (Suspensions): ALSO, you can flat one of the notes (altered) or take OUT one of the notes (suspended) It's a freakin' mess I tell ya !! Jazz is big into naming ALL of these dang chords. Pop just kind of says "who cares what it's called - it sounds GOOD" and tacks extra notes on via the "slash chord": So C/D means play a C major and add a D note for the bass note. Is the D the actual chord root or is the C??? Who knows??? But it's a good chord that sounds good! Play the dang thing. Leave categorizin' it to the jazz dudes...:p ________________________________________________________________________________ Next up, Keeping your repertoire organized...