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Forming Different Chords

Quick Reference Guide

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Using different types of chords will make your music sound fuller and less predictable. Here's a quick reference table on how to form various triads and tetrads.

Forming Chords

Guide to Forming Chords
Type of ChordChord Structure
Major Triad1st (root) + 3rd + 5th notes of a major scale
Minor Triad1st (root) + 3rd + 5th notes of a minor scale
Diminished Triads1st (root) + flatted 3rd (b3) + flatted 5th (b5) notes of a major scale
Augmented Triads1st (root) + 3rd + sharped 5th (#5th) notes of a major scale.
Major 7th Chord 1st (root) + 3rd + 5th + 7th notes of a major scale
Minor 7th Chord1st (root) + flatted 3rd (b3) + 5th + flatted 7th (b7) notes (derived from a major scale)
Dominant 7th Chord1st (root) + 3rd + 5th + flatted 7th (b7) notes of a major scale
Sixth Chord1st (root) + 3rd + 5th + 6th notes of a major or minor scale.
Dominant 9th Chordadd a ninth to a dominant 7th chord (1st + 3rd + 5th + flatted 7th + 9th)
Major 9th Chordadd a ninth to a major 7th chord (1st + 3rd + 5th + 7th + 9th)
Minor 9th Chordadd a ninth to a minor 7th chord (1st + 3rd + 5th + flatted 7th + 9th)
sus2 Chord1st (root) + 2nd + 5th notes of either a major or minor scale
sus4 Chord1st (root) + 4th + 5th notes of either a major or minor scale

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