Song writing: the 3 easy steps to naming any chord in a given key

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In the previous lesson "Song writing" we've seen how to to harmonize or extract chords in a given key from the major scale. This lesson is about identifying and naming our chords in order to be able to play them.

You can check "Intervals", "Modes of the major scale" and "Pentatonic guitar scales", to have a better understanding of the music theory.

Let's take a look at the previous chart (the key of C):

C - D - E - F - G - A -B - C - D - E - F - G - A -B
C   -     E   -     G                     (C major)
      D    -    F    -    A                  (D minor)
            E   -     G   -    B                (E minor)   
                  F    -    A   -    C             (F major)
                        G    -   B   -     D          (G major)
                              A   -    C    -    E       (A minor)
                                   B    -    D     -   F    (B diminished)

Note: The fun part in all this is that this formula applies in all major keys (major - minor - minor - major - major - minor - diminished)!

I'm sure that now you're asking yourself: how the hell i know which chord is major and which chord is minor, here is the answer:

Let's follow these 3 easy steps:

1- In the first case, we take the notes succession of the first chord C - E - G.
2- We play the C major scale.
3- We see what these 3 notes represent to the major scale, if it's (Root, 3rd and 5th) it's a major chord, if it's (Root, b3 and 5th) it's a minor chord and if it's (Root, b3 and b5) it's a diminished chord

To make sure you understand this well let's have a look at the second chord: (D - F - A), we play the D major scale and obviously we can see that the note F represents a b3 to our major scale because the D major scale have (D - E - F# - G - A - B - C# - D), and that's why it is a minor chord.

To practice this and memorize it, make sure to apply these 3 easy steps to all the chords in our C major key.

If you have any question, put it in comment.

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