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Chord Theory

This section is all about getting to grips with understanding how chords are put together. If you're the sort of person who likes to figure things out for yourself, this area is for you! It shows you how to work out any major or minor chord, or more advanced chords like D (D diminished) or the awesome eleventh chords like Em11.

Character of the chord
Each time this comes up you'll find a brief description about the kind of sound the chord makes. E.g. happy or sad, moody or light etc.

Here there is a representation of what the chord looks like when it is scored out for the right hand to play on a keyboard or piano.

For example, Bb major notated

Bb major chord

Theory - in this section you'll find a technical overview of how each chord is constructed.

Example of the keyboard diagram

E.g. C# minor chord

C sharp major chord

This section gives methods for working out each chord if your unfamilar with technical terms such as "tonic" or "dominant" etc. Each time the chord is displayed as keyboard diagram (see opposite).

The theory section also deals with common misunderstandings about chords, such as the term "flat chords", and, when appropriate, gives more detailed analysis and examples, such as in the page on chord inversions. Chords can be "inverted" (e.g. the bass position of the note moved around) to create a different feel to the chord. Ever wondered what it means when you see two letters together like this - C/E ? or a E/G# chord ? Then this section is for you.

Another type of chord explored in more detail is the ninth chord, with it's varients such as "add9"'s and "b9"'s. "Add9"'s are great for adding subtle light and shade to chord, and are really worth checking out. The three popular seventh chords are also explored, being the dominant sevenths, the jazzy minor sevenths, and the laid-back major seventh chords. Each of these seventh pages have some fun chord sequences to get you into the groove of the chord.


Look out for the "top tip" section in the chord theory pages. They contain lot's of useful hints and ideas for working with the chords in question. For example, in the ninth chords there's a great chord sequence to try out based in C major. If improvising is more your bag, then check out the minor seventh page, which has a simple two chord sequence with a neat pentatonic scale to play with for the right hand. And if you fancy your hand at boogie-woogie, then there's a walking bass to play in your left hand as you jive with the sixth chords!

Piano Keys

chord theory
major chords (eg. A, A major) minor chords (eg. Em. E minor or E min) 2 chords (eg. C2 or Csus2) 4 chords (eg. E4 or Esus4) 5 chords (eg. F5, power or open chords) 6 chords (eg. C6) 7 chords (eg. G7) m7 chords (eg. Gmin7) maj7 chords (eg. Gmaj7)



9 chords (eg. C9 or Cadd9) 11 chords (eg. B11 or Badd11) augmented chords (eg. Faug or F+) diminished chords (eg. Ddim or D°) flat chords (eg. Eb or Gb) sharp chords (eg. F# or C#) chord inversions (eg. E/B or E/G#)

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