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Chord construction...confusion

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Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: Chord construction...confusion Reply with quote

I just learned about the use of scales in construction of chords & now wanna go about doin it, but i'm confused what's the right way to go about it.

1) Should i do all the chords from 1 scale. Like all the variants of C(eg. major, suspended, 7 etc) using the C scale.

2)Go with the type of chord rather than the scale, like first do all the majors & then suspended and so on across all scales.

Please tell me which is the right way to go.

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Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 191
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are no true 'right' ways to do things in music imo but I would suggest starting from the ground up and harmonize the Major scale (which I assume you have already done) and take it further.

Triad based chords are like the bedrock of just about all chords ( ignoring suspended chords for a second Wink ). The topsoil on top of that is the 7ths chords and then on out grows all the other chords such as 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, etc.

hmm beginning to sound like a Gardening programme...

Anyway... The reason for this, imo, is the nice logical step on seeing how the triads are expanded upon to create extended chords, also it helps to see and hear where all these extended chords come from and also how to break them down to the very basic core for improvisational sake. e.g stripping a Cmaj9 to C major or whatever. (the classic Joe Pass chords are either Major, Minor or tension ) Or using the knowledge of the harmonized major and minor scales for chord progression theory etc.

Then you can look at variants on the triads (add9ths, suspended chords ( may actually been seen when looking at 11ths ), 6ths, 6/9ths etc. ) inversions, other chords that pop out by harmonizing other scales and modes etc. Look into altered chords, diminished 7ths, Modal chords blah blah.

Then you will have 'all teh chords'

I'd also suggest looking into visualising intervals on the neck, extremly handy for 'seeing' chords on the neck as well as arpeggios and note targeting. Essentially you can create chords on the fly, see how they are related to one another when you know how they are constructed.

Time is the best Teacher, unfortunately it kills all its students :
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