Question about C Major Scale Triad

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bmb73, May 20, 2012.

  1. So, the I V IV are major, ii vi, and vi are minor. The vii is diminished(minor also, correct?). Why is the augmented triad not included in this scale?

    Thanks in advance, I'm sure the answer is self-explanatory but the help is much appreciated...
  2. Basshoofd


    Jan 14, 2009
    Removed post
  3. ACalbass


    Dec 16, 2011
    Because you are starting with a scale that has no alterations.
    You take the scale and make the triads from it,and that is what's coming up.
    Is not that something should be "included" or implied.
    In any case,you can alter a note of the C major scale (which won;t be named only C major anymore) to fulfill your request.
  4. Good question. How do the chords get into the key? Answer, they use the notes of the scale. The C major scale does not make any augmented chord or + 5 chords.

    Lets take this one step more and look at how the chords get into any key.

    C Major scale – notes and chords
    Note	 ScaleTone 	Chord	spelling	        function
    C		1	Cmaj 7	CEGB R-3-5-7 		I	(tonic)
    D		2	Dmin 7	DFAC R-b3-5-b7		ii
    E		3	Emin 7	EGBD R-b3-5-b7		iii
    F		4	Fmaj 7	FACE R-3-5-7		IV	(subdominant)
    G		5	G7	GBDF R-3-5-b7		V	(dominant)
    A		6	Amin 7	ACEG R-b3-5-b7		iv	
    B		7	Bmin7b5	BDFA R-b3-b5-b7		viidim  (1/2 diminished)
    Why is the D chord a Dm7?  Answer. Your stack has the DFAC notes and when 
    you compare those to the D major scale the D major scale has a F# and a C# 
    so in your stack you flatted the 3 and 7 and in doing got a spelling of R-b3-5-b7 
    and that spelling makes a minor seven chord.
    Take the notes of the scale and stack them in 3rds - use every other one and you get the chords made from that scale. Notice the chord spelling - R-3-5-7, or R-b3-5-b7, that's kinda important for a bassists - those are the notes that can be used in our bass line. See a C7 chord and know that R-3-5-b7 will work in our bass line. Now the song may only allow you room for the R or the R-5, but, if you have room that 3 and b7 will fit nicely.

    Learn how to stack scale notes in 3rds and you will be able to know what chords are in any key. For grins stack the natural minor scale Am. It's notes are A, B, C, D, E, F, G see what chords you get. That fish thing.

    Have fun.
  5. Wow, instant lightbulb moment!

    Thanks for the explanation, that cleared it up completely.
  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Yes, learning how things work- e.g. stacking thirds to get chords is vital. Instead of merely knowing THAT I, IV, and V are major triads, that ii, iii, and vi are minor triads and that vii is a diminished triad, if you instead learn HOW and WHY, then you'll always be able to figure out for yourself the WHAT.

    Here's how I teach the stacked thirds. But YOU gotta do the work!

    Write out the C major scale once (I'm serious, get a pencil and some paper and write it out- leave yourself plenty of room to write ABOVE it.

    C D E F G A B C

    Then write it again, only start with the third note (and no, it's NOT about modes!!!).

    E F G A B C D E
    C D E F G A B C

    ... and again....
    G A B C D E F G
    E F G A B C D E
    C D E F G A B C

    Those are the triads in the key of C. You took a note, went up two notes, and another two notes. Analyze those three-note chords and you'll see that the first, fourth, and fifth stacks are major chords (A major third with a minor third on top- as C to E is major and E to G is minor), that the second, third, and sixth stacks are minor triads, and the seventh one is a diminished triad.

    Now to be complete (and I believe understanding the 7th chords is fundamental to understanding how basic harmony works!) add one more line with the next set of thirds...
    B C D E F G A B
    G A B C D E F G
    E F G A B C D E
    C D E F G A B C

    Now you have C E G B stack- that's a major 7th. Same intervals for the one starting on F. But see how the fifth stack is different? Instead of being Major/minor/major thirds (e.g. C to E is major, E to G is minor, and G to B is major), it's a major/minor/minor- that minor third on top of the major triad changes the chord totally. That's the dominant 7 chord and its sound pulls your ear to something other than itself. It sounds unsettled and needs to resolve.

    See how the second stack (D F A C) is a minor7? Same relationship between notes on the A stack (A C E G). Those are minor 7th chords- minor/major/minor as D to F is a minor third, F to A is major, and A to C is minor.

    Now let's look at that seventh stack in there. It's different from any of the others because it's got a minor third (B to D), then ANOTHER minor third (D to F) and then a MAJOR third in F to A. That's why the 7th chord built on the seventh tone of the diatonic major scale is NOT a diminished chord. It's a minor 7 flat 5 (m7b5) or a half-diminished chord. A full diminished chord is all minor thirds so a Bdim is B D F Ab, not B D F A.

    What you want to see to answer your original question, and as very clearly outlined by Malcom again, is that all the notes in those chords come from the C major scale.

  7. Works great, thanks for taking the time to write it out.. (Not to nitpick but looks like there is a typo as far as the 3rd in the 7th and 8th) Writing it out really helped to cement it.

    Great forum, thanks again for all the help.
  8. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Yep fat fingers strike again... I'll fix the post.

  9. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    You have an error in your post. You have two 4's listed - one IV and one iv - the iv should be vi.
  10. Oops, Thanks.
  11. Thanks for the wonderful, succinct, and informing posts JTE and Malcom!

    This thread was just what I needed to get out of my slump of not practicing enough!

  12. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC

    The vii, as a triad, IS diminished (BDF). Half-diminished refers to a four-note chord which contains a root, b3, b5, and b7 (as in BDFA).
  13. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    Every statement in this post is wrong. Disregard.
  14. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    :confused: Care to explain why?
  15. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    I'll take a stab at it...let's consider the vii of C amjor : BDF

    the triad BDF is diminished, the 4 note version of the chord, BDFA, is a m7b5, aka half diminished.

    m7b5 yes, diminished triad no.

    Patently false. C major contains BDF: a diminished triad.

    there is no such thing as " Half diminished triad."
    half-diminished chords must have a flat 7th.
    (instead of the double flatted, diminished 7th of a full dim7 chord. -hence 'half diminished')


    What the post is confused on is the fucntional difference between a simple diminished triad and a minor7b5 chord as applied to chord progressions and jazz improv. The common jazz wisdom is that the m7b5 is not functionally used as a dimished chord , but as the ii in a minor ii- V7-i jazz progression. Thus the misguided instance that the vii is "not diminished"
  16. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I see. Well done. Thanks. :)
  17. Basshoofd


    Jan 14, 2009
    Removed my post to avoid confusion, I was completely wrong and mambo4 explained exactly why. Thanks
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