7 Diatonic Chords

Each Scale or Key has 7 different notes.  The key of C Major consists of  C, D, E, F, G, A, and B.  We can build a chord on each of these 7 tones of the C Major scale.

We do this by starting on any note of the scale and adding the note 2 letter names above the starting note.

So in the key of C Major , we start on the “ C “ note/key and add the “ E” note/key and the “ G” note/key and come up with the C major triad.  This is the so called  “ I chord” in the key of C Major.

Then we build a chord in the second note of the C major scale.  Starting on a “ D” key we add the “ F” and “A “ keys.  This gives us a D minor chord so we say “ the ii chord in the key of C major” is D minor.

This is a hard concept to teach by just using text, but suffice it to say that each of the 7 chords in any major key have a unique quality or chord type.  The “ I chord is always major”, the “ ii chord is always minor “, etc..

Once you know the type of chord built on the 7  notes of a scale you are quickly on your way to analyzing songs for what is called “ Roman Numerals”.

When you analyze a song for Roman Numerals, you begin to see that many many songs use the pattern   I , vi, ii V7.   Of course , by practicing  and mastering the 7 diatonic chord drill you will  know that the I chord is major , ii is minor , V is dominant and therefore by remembering the pattern, I , vi, ii, V7,  you actually get the quality, i.e. major, minor , dominant , or diminished  of each chord!

This above mentioned chord pattern is in hundreds if not thousands of songs

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Harmonic Patterns