Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
mementus
KVRist
456 posts since 10 Apr, 2011

Post Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:55 am

Hello guys,

I have two questions about chords and scales, plese.

First one:

If I am on a C major scale (i.e.) does it mean that I can play every major chord for each note in the scale? Dmajor Emajor etc. I mean, instead of the single notes within the scale I can play i.e. major triads of those notes?

Second one:

If the first is ture, does it mean that I can only play major chords within a major scale and minor ones within a minor scale only?

Many thanks :ud:

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Distorted Horizon
KVRian
1341 posts since 17 Jan, 2017

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:58 am

C major scale has 3 major chords, 3 minor chords and one diminished.

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Distorted Horizon
KVRian
1341 posts since 17 Jan, 2017

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:02 am

Answers to both of your questions ;)

C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, and B diminished. You can see that easily when fingering the chord on piano. On major chord there's 3 keys between index and mid finger and 2 keys between middle and ring finger (when playing with right hand).
On the minor key the keys are opposite.. 2 and 3.

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jancivil
KVRAF
16111 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:21 pm

Both major and minor in its 'natural' status have 3 major and 3 minor triads, and one diminished triad.

The easiest way to see this equivalence is examine the relative minor of a major key: A minor vis a vis C major.
C Dm Em F G Am Bdim apply to both.

If you do a major where there is a minor triad by default, you've exceeded the key. EG: D major has an F#, not a member of key of C major.

Minor, however has two other forms in common practice; first of all owing to making the triad on 5 a major triad. E major, for example (for A minor). This is called a dominant harmony, on 'V'.
This move in itself creates a harmonic minor form of minor scale. Then, just out of melodic practice a raised 6 appears so the ascension to the tonic is the same as major. This is the melodic minor. So you have potentially two more triads in minor.

enroe
KVRian
852 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:06 am

First question: No!

Second question: No!

You have to differentiate between (1) a chord and (2) a scale.

(1) A chord is a triade or a quad of tones only. It can be major or minor.
(2) A scale is a quantity of seven chords, which are allowed in this scale.
For the C-major-scale these chords are:
C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, and B diminished
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AsPeeXXXVIII
KVRist
352 posts since 17 Aug, 2015 from Finland

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:31 am

As said above, the chords for C major scale are C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am and Bdim. A scale doesn't determine whether you can only play major or minor chords.
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jancivil
KVRAF
16111 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:37 am

enroe wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:06 am

(1) A chord is a triade or a quad of tones only. It can be major or minor.
(2) A scale is a quantity of seven chords, which are allowed in this scale.
3 or 4 tones is in no way the limit defining 'chord'.
In straight diatonic conception, tertially speaking:
A 'chord of the ninth' has 5 tones;
we continue to the 11th, here's 6;
to the 13th, here's 7.

A scale is a scale; there may be seven triads, or what-have-you vertically constructed from each of seven tones diatonically.
There may be more, as I have indicated. Seven simple triads, + seven seventh chords = 14 chords from a major scale.

Thirds are not the only way to construct chords.

Stamped Records
KVRist
31 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:17 pm

The simple answer is no. I would advise you to read a book on the subject or to research "musical intervals". I warn you that intervals can be a tricky subject but they are fundamental to even a simple understanding of music. I'm not sure anyone here can be of any real help unless you speak a little of the language.

The word "major" refers to a type of musical scale/key, but it also belongs to this family of words called "intervals".

sslyutov
KVRer
12 posts since 6 Dec, 2018

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:30 pm

The answer yes :)
But the major scale chord are C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am and Bdim.

enroe
KVRian
852 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:01 pm

jancivil wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:37 am
enroe wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:06 am

(1) A chord is a triade or a quad of tones only. It can be major or minor.
(2) A scale is a quantity of seven chords, which are allowed in this scale.
3 or 4 tones is in no way the limit defining 'chord'.
In straight diatonic conception, tertially speaking:
A 'chord of the ninth' has 5 tones;
we continue to the 11th, here's 6;
to the 13th, here's 7.

A scale is a scale; there may be seven triads, or what-have-you
vertically constructed from each of seven tones diatonically.
There may be more, as I have indicated. Seven simple triads,
+ seven seventh chords = 14 chords from a major scale.

Thirds are not the only way to construct chords.
Wooohaaaa: You are very veeeery exact! :clap:
But maybe for a newbie a simple answer is the best.
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

enroe
KVRian
852 posts since 19 Mar, 2008 from germany

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:03 pm

sslyutov wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:30 pm
The answer yes :) ...
Hoooh? :o Did you read the question?
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

sslyutov
KVRer
12 posts since 6 Dec, 2018

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:50 am

minor scale:
i – A minor, A minor seventh (Amin, Amin7)
iidim – B diminished, B minor seventh flat five (Bdim, Bm7b5)
III – C major, C major seventh (Cmaj, Cmaj7)
iv – D minor, D minor seventh (Dmin, Dmin7)
v – E minor, E minor seventh (Emin, Emin7)
VI – F major, F major seventh (Fmaj, Fmaj7)
VII – G major, G dominant seventh (Gmaj, G7)

AnalogGuy1
KVRian
552 posts since 6 Mar, 2005 from USA

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:41 am

Your second question is easier to answer: No. You can play a mix of major and minor chords in a song that is in either a major or minor key. For instance, in the key of C, a chord progression that goes C major (CEG), A minor (ACE), D minor (DFA), G major (GBD), C major (CEG) sounds nice. All chords use notes taken from the C major scale.

Your first question is a bit more complicated. The chords that are "diatonic" to a C major key song (meaning they only use notes from the key signature) are indeed C major (CEG), D minor (DFA), E minor (EGB), F major (FAC), G major (GBD), A minor (ACE) and B diminished (BDF). But that does not mean that those are the only chords you can use, nor does it mean you have to use all of them. It's rare to find a Bdim chord in a piece written in the key of C. Conversely, a C maj (CEG) to Bb major (Bb D F) to F major (FAC) back to C major sounds nice.

Mark Harrison: https://www.harrisonmusic.com/store/c1/ ... ducts.html has a great book that teaches music theory; I highly recommend it.

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jancivil
KVRAF
16111 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:46 pm

"It's rare to find a Bdim chord in a piece written in the key of C."

I would advise healthy skepticism when we get to this level, frankly.
The difference in quality between Bº and G7 is so slight: G B D F; B D F. Think about it.

You see, now we're in usages and reasons behind decisions, which is another whole area of questions.

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jancivil
KVRAF
16111 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Very basic two questions about chords and scales, please.

Post Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:55 pm

enroe wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:01 pm
But maybe for a newbie a simple answer is the best.
I just want the most useful statements.

You probably wanted "A scale is a quantity of seven chords, which are allowed in this scale"
to convey a meaning more like '...has a quantity of...', and this is lost in translation. Acknowledging that your English is nearly infinitely better than my German.

I would like to provide even more nuance to what I said, ie., regarding the 7 notes possible in a 13th chord (this isn't rocket science, you continue adding tones a third away *diatonically* - within the limit of the key - to that limit.): You don't need all 7 to have that kind of harmony. You may not have 7 voices to work with but want that effect.

But to be correct and complete: you have 7 notes to work with in a key of 7 notes. The most basic construction of a chord is by thirds; the quality of thirds in a chord (major or minor thirds) simply agrees with the set of 7 notes as thirds occur in construction; as shown several times. Examine that.


Then, people make all sorts of music that exceeds these boundaries. In diatonic, chords built on thirds usage there is more available but this is getting more complicated and subtle.
Last edited by jancivil on Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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