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Constructing minor Chords

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

  1. okay i know a major chord is the same as a tonic triad...

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

    ps i did a search.. dint find anything about this particular subject......
  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. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    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. 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

    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. 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. I'm with you and ChronicPain on that. I'd like to know if the other method has an advantage to it.

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