The Essential Chords

Composer Charles Ives chose the chord above as...Image via Wikipedia
 The Essential Chords


Minor Chords


To make any minor chord just lower the middle note of the corresponding major chord one half-step. (This assumes that the major chord is constructed so that the root is the lowest note of the chord.)


* The Twelve Major Chords


C = CEG
Db = DbFAb
D = DF#A
Eb = EbGBb
E = EG#B
F = FAC
Gb = GbBbDb
G = GBD
Ab = Ab C Eb
A = AC#E
Bb = BbDF
B = BD#F#


* The Twelve Minor Chords


Cm = CEbG
Dbm = DbEAb
Dm = DFA
Ebm = EbGbBb
Em = EGB
Fm = FAbC
Gbm = GbADb
Gm = GBbD
Abm = AbBEb
Am = ACE
Bbm = BbDbF
Bm = BDF#


* Seventh Chords


To make any seventh chord take the corresponding major chord and add a fourth note to it. The note that you add is one whole-step (two half-steps) below the root. The seventh chord will sound better if you place this extra note at the top of the chord, leaving the root at the bottom.


This is a C seventh (C7) chord ... C E G Bb


* The Twelve Seventh Chords


C7 = CEGBb


Db7 = DbFAbB


D7 = DF#AC


Eb7 = EbGGBbDb


E7 = EG#BD


F7 = FACEb


Gb7 = GbBbDbE


G7 = GBDF


Ab7 = AbCEbGb


A7 = AC#EG


Bb7 = BbDFAb


B7 = B#D#F#A


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