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
- Learning Triads
- Learning Leadsheets
- 4 – Note Chords (Close Position)
- 5 + Note Chords (Open Position)
- Advanced chord voicings