Building Chords – Major, Minor, Seventh, & Minor Seventh

Here is the Chart I’m going to explain below

Kalani's Chord Formation Chart Final

  • In the above Chart I made, you’ll notice I, IV, & V (1, 4, & 5.. or first, fourth, & fifth) are capitalized, these positions are always Major Chords (A, Ab, B, Bb, C, D, Db, E, Eb, F, F#, G)
    • The I position is also the Key Name, and everything to the Right of the I position in the same row are chords found in that Key
    • So its easy to find out which key your song is in if you already know the chords to play, simply find out which row has the most of the chords in your song, and thats likely it.
    • If you have chords like Em7, Am7, Fm7 etc, you can just drop the 7 and find the chord like that
  • ii, iii, & vi (2, 3, & 6) are always Minor Chords (Am, Bm, Bbm, Cm, C#m, Dm, D#m, Em E#m, Fm, F#m, Gm, G#m)
  • vii (7) is for the Diminished Chords (Adim, Bdim, C#dim, Edim, F#dim, Gdim, G#dim), though they can sometimes be used as a major

Major Chords:

  • Major Chords are Built using positions I, iii, & V (1, 3, & 5.. or first, third, & fifth)
  • If the note in the iii (3) position is a Minor, just drop the minor, but keep any flats & sharps
  • You can also simply count up 3 whole steps (2 half-steps) on the scale
  • So Major Chords are built as follows:
    • C = C, E, G
    • D = D, F#/Gb, A
    • E = E, G#/Ab, B
    • F = F, A, C,
    • G = G, B, D,
    • A = A, C#/Bb, E
    • B = B, D#/Eb, F#/Gb

Minor Chords:

  • Minor Chords are built the same as major Chords, only flattening the iii position one half step, or: I, iii flat, & V , in other words, I, iii b, & V (1, 3flat, 5 – or – 1, 3b, 5)
  • So Minor Chords are built as follows:
    • Cm = C,D#/Eb,G
    • Dm = D, F, A
    • Em = E, G, B
    • Fm = F, G#/Ab, C
    • Gm = G, A#/Bb, D
    • Am = A, C, E
    • Bm = B, D, F#/Gb

Seventh Chords:

  • Seventh Chords are built the same as Major Chords, except using also using a flattened vii position (flattened 7 position), or: I, iii, V, & vii flat… in other words, I, iii, V, & vii b (1, 3, 5, 7flat – or – 1, 3, 5, 7b)
  • So Seventh Chords are built as follows:
    • C7 = C, E, G, Bb
    • D7 = D, F#/Gb, A, C
    • E7 = E, G#/Ab, B, D
    • F7 = F, A, C, Eb/D#
    • G7 = G, B, D, F
    • A7 = A, C#/Db, E, G
    • B7 = B, D#/Eb, F#/Gb, A

Minor Seventh Chords:

  • Seventh Chords are built by Combining the flattened Seventh in Seventh Chords, with the Flattened third in Minor Chords .. or: I, iii flat, V, & vii flat… in other words, I, iii b, V, & vii b (1, 3flat, 5, 7flat – or – 1, 3b, 5, 7b)
  • So Minor Seventh Chords are built as follows:
    • Cm7 = C,D#/Eb,G, Bb
    • Dm7 = D, F, A, C
    • Em7 = E, G, B, D
    • Fm7 = F, G#/Ab, C, Eb/D#
    • Gm7 = G, A#/Bb, D, F
    • Am7 = A, C, E, G
    • Bm7 = B, D, F#/Gb, A

Here’s a Complete Chart I made

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