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Music Chord Theory Part I


Nov 21, 2017 Beginning, General Comments are off

I am often asked how many chords there are? Roughly about fifty that are used often.

The main or “Garden Variety” chords there are about thirty.

Lets look at the three most common chords.


This example will be in the key of C. Once learned you should transpose to all other keys. (More on this later)

R = root or key note. In this example the root note is C.


C major = R,  3rd,  5th    =   C – E – G


C minor = R, b3rd, 5th    =   C – Eb – G


b = flat one half step lower in tone (on guitar this is one fret distance towards the head of the guitar).


C diminished R, b3rd, b5th = C – Eb – Gb


Now written on musical staff left to right – C major, C minor and C diminished:

Remember to memorize the names and the number formulas for each chord

so later you can easily transpose to all other keys.


More chords later!




Vince Lauria


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Vince Lauria Sun and Earth Music