# Constructing minor Chords

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bassist4ever, Apr 16, 2002.

1. ### bassist4ever

Dec 5, 2000
USA, Oklahoma
okay i know a major chord is the same as a tonic triad...

is a minor chord the same?? ye or ne???

2. ### Jeduardo

Apr 15, 2002
Hmmmm . . .

Yes they are all basically triads.

Think of it more like this:

Major triad is constructed of a Major 3rd between the root and middle note and a minor 3rd between the middle note and third note.
ex. G major chord
G (Major3rd) B (minor 3rd) D

Remember that G is the ROOT, then you go up by thirds

Minor triad is contructed of a Minor 3rd between the root and middle note, and a Major 3rd between the middle note and third note
ex. B minor chord
B (minor3rd) D (major3rd) F#

Here B is the ROOT and you always go up by thirds.

Hope I am not preaching the obvious here.

3. ### BlackbirdModeratorSupporting Member

Mar 18, 2000
California
Yes and no.

A major chord is the same as a tonic triad in a major key.

a minor chord is the same as the tonic triad in a minor key.

Still that's an oversimplification. A chord can have more than the three notes of a triad. Just FYI.

To make a major triad into a minor trial, lower the third a half step.

4. ### bassist4ever

Dec 5, 2000
USA, Oklahoma
okay C minors triad would have the formula C + minor 3rd (Eb) + major 3rd (g)??? is this correct or do i have things screwd up again?

5. ### Jeduardo

Apr 15, 2002
That is correct!

6. ### jazzbo

Aug 25, 2000
San Francisco, CA
http://www.talkbass.com/articles/articleview.php?ID=19

It also doesn't hurt to think of all the C triads in relation to another. This helps the ear distinguish between these chords.

For example: YOu know the C major triad. C-E-G. Know that you can simply lower the 3rd to get C minor triad: C-Eb-G. Know that lowering the fifth, (with the third), is diminished: C-Eb-Gb. Etc....

7. ### Richard Lindsey

Mar 25, 2000
SF Bay Area
I always kinda prefer to think of triads, or more complicated chords, as all being defined in relation to the root, rather than the 2nd note being defined as X distance from the 1st, then the 3rd as Y distance from the 2nd. That way always sounds to me as if it's implying that more is changing than actually is. For instance, if you say a major triad is M3-m3, and a minor triad is m3-M3, that almost gives the impression that two things are changing (well, to me at least), when in fact only one thing is changing.

To me, a major chord has always been the way I got it from an old Mel Bay book:

root, maj 3rd (2 whole steps) from root, perfect 5th (3.5 steps) from root. In other words, 1-3-5 of a major scale.

8. ### Bryan_G

Apr 28, 2000
Austin, Texas
Thats the way I always understood it too. To me its seems to make me think the chord changes or something, doing it the other way.

9. ### billp

Mar 1, 2002
Bozeman, Montana USA
I'm with you and ChronicPain on that. I'd like to know if the other method has an advantage to it.