Chapter Eight : Major/minor Chords > Easy Piano by Ear

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Chapter Eight : Major/minor Chords

Major Chords to minor chords and minor chords to Major Chords:

Now that you are familiar with the sound of a major scale and how the tones and semitones play their part in that sound (T,T,st,T,T, T,st) I am going to give you now a quick way to learn more major and minor chords the easy way without having to know the entire associated scale.

All major triads are built with the same distance between keys. The distance (called an interval) between the 1st and 3rd in a major chord is two tones. This interval is called a major third (+3). In C +,  C to E is a +3 interval. From C to G is a perfect 5th (p5). G is the 5th (V) note in the C+ scale.. A major triad consists of a root, +3, p5. this is the basis of every major chord.

C,E,G (C+) = C (root), E (+3 above C), G (perfect 5th above C.

F,A,C (F+) =  F (root), A (+3 above F),  C (p5 above F.

G,B,D (G+) = G (root), B (+3 above B), D (p5 above G.


All minor triad consist of a root, minor 3rd (-3) and perfect 5th. A minor 3rd interval is a tone plus a semitone. So to change a C major chord to a c minor chord we lower the 3rd (make the distance  smaller ) by a semi-tone..  A minor triad consists of a root, -3 , p5 therefore the c minor chord is C,Eb,G. (remember the b here represents a flat sign).

C, Eb, G (C-) = C (root), Eb (-3 above C), G (p5) above C.

F, Ab, C (F-) =  F (root), Ab (-3 above F), C (p5) above F.

G, Bb, D (G-) = G (root), Bb (-3 above G), D (p5) above G.

Study and practice the chords in the chart below, moving from C major to c minor and back to C major, then move on to F major and f minor…how do they differ? the middle key is lowered in the minor chord. How does that affect the sound?  *This is a great exercise to further develop good pedal technique* refer to chapter five.
**THIS IS AN AWESOME CHART!! ……..KEEP THIS PAGE AS A REFERENCE PAGE . These chords are used in many songs of all genres, and are found in a number of different keys, as will be explained in a later chapter. (We can’t always play in C major, right?)

**To convert a major chord to minor : lower the 3rd. a semi-tone                                                                                                                                                     **To convert a minor chord to major : raise the 3rd a semi-tone.


                                                                             All the great players spend time on the bench!!
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