AP-007 Why are chords major or minor?

Guitar Question about Guitar Chords

Question

Why are chords called major chords or minor chords?

~Tony

Answer

Major and minor chords have a difference in one particular note, the third.  Let’s look at how it gets that name through a simple example.

C major chords are composed of three notes: C E G.  C minor chords have one slight variation: C E♭ G.

Because C to E spans 3 note letters (C D E), its interval is a third.  However, there are two different third intervals in our example.  The major chord has a major third interval.  The minor chord has a minor third interval.

C to E is a major third interval, which is 2 steps in pitch.
C to E♭ is a minor third interval, which is 1.5 steps in pitch.

All major chords have a major third interval from the root to the third.  All minor chords have a minor third interval from the root to the third.

If you are familiar with open chord forms, look at the difference between E major and E minor.  You will notice the third changes by a half step.  A major and A minor show the same difference.  Another example is D major and D minor.  All of these chords are great examples of the 1/2 step difference that separates the major chords from the minor chords.

For more on this topic, I highly recommend my lesson on chord construction and my lesson on intervals.  If you want even more, check out my book, which covers both topics and many more.

~Patmac

Subscribe for Free Content, Tips, and More!

3 Reasons to Subscribe to the GLW Newsletter:

  1. Free Stuff! You'll get free content that is exclusive to my newsletter subscribers!
  2. Content tailored to you. Over time, I'll get to learn more about you and deliver content that motivates you to learn, play and be inspired!
  3. No spam. Just real content that's meant to make a difference in your playing

Enter your name and email, and you're on your way!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
Hello again! You're already subscribed to the GLW newsletter. Thank you for being a part of the GLW community. If you have a question, just send an email using my contact page. I'd be happy to help!

2 Comments on AP-007 Why are chords major or minor?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


how to learn guitar notes for beginners  guitar chord shortcuts  what is the hole in a guitar called  reading sheet music symbols  guitar string tabs  what a difference a day makes chords  how to tell what key a song is written in  different guitar chords  best sounding guitar chords  going away to college chords  what does b mean in tab  harmonics on guitar  4 string bass guitar chords for beginners  chord guitar d#  how to create a chord progression  proper finger names  d 5 chord  bar cords  note names on treble clef  d# cord  you are good guitar tutorial  definition of pentatonic  key of g scale guitar  learn guitar arpeggios  guitar lead songs  the dominant in the scale of b major is  learn all guitar scales  how to play d in guitar  guitar string pattern  in a chord  let it be guitar solo lesson  circle of flats  1 4 5 chords  guitar notes and how to play them  g scale guitar chords  playing lead guitar  picture of guiter  guitar chord h  a blues pentatonic scale  how to play an c chord on guitar  mean guitar chords no capo  e dorian guitar scale  play greensleeves  best guitar for your money  guitar tuning lesson  slow guitar blues  am 7 chord  online guiter  guitar progressions pdf  how to play the notes on a guitar  learning sheet music for guitar  interval music theory  g major 7th chord  jimi hendrix scale  description of guitar parts  easy guitar music notes  guitar notes quiz  g major bar chord  chord progressions for guitar pdf  what musical notes mean  how to ring guitar  a minor chord progression guitar  c m chord progression  12 bar blues bass tab  guitar lessos  how to play c in guitar  beginning guitar theory  guitar starting lesson  12 note scale  e flat chord for guitar  natural harmonics on guitar  guitar string notes sounds  c minor 7 guitar chord  guitar nicknames  diminished 7  more than words plucking tutorial  how to guitar for beginners  resolving dominant 7th chords  lick tagalog  riffs and licks  grow old with you guitar cover  e flat dim 7  diminished guitar licks  how to play e major chord on guitar  1 guitar  how to play for no one on guitar  six string guitar lessons  octaves on guitar  picture of guitar neck  playing guitar by ear  how to read and write sheet music  guitar scales to practice  guitar main chords chart