Guitar chord formulas chart

Chord symbols and notation explained

When approaching for the first time harmony and chords, often guitar players are overwhelmed by strange symbols and formulas. Chord symbols, and especially Jazz chord symbols, at first are not easy to digest.

Chords are basically a set of intervals stacked one on the top of another. And what's an interval? An interval is a distance between two notes. Depending on the qualities of those intervals, we can have different kinds of chords, and then different chords formulas. Showing the intervals composing a chord in table form is a great aid for understanding chord formulas and structure. On this page, you find a useful chord formula chart that will help you understand what's behind chord notation.

To learn how chords are constructed on the fretboard, check also our guitar music theory tutorial.

Chord Symbols and Formulas

In the following charts, for each chord you find its symbol (major, minor, 7, 9 etc) and the intervals composing the chord (1,3,5,6, etc). The number between parenthesis are optional tones that you can use in the chord. Then you see a chart composed of colored boxes. Each box corresponds to one of the semitones (half-steps) composing the octave, starting from the root. In case of extended chords (those with 9th, 11th or 13th) there is another boxes chart, that represents the upper octave.

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
11
#11
13

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
bb7
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

1
b2
2
b3
3
4
b5
5
#5
6
b7
7

Chord Formula Intervals Chart

Interval NotationInterval NameSemitones
1Tonic (Root)0
b2Minor Second1
2Major Second2
b3Minor Third3
3Major Third4
4Perfect Fourth5
b5Diminished Fifth6
5Perfect Fifth7
#5Augmented Fifth8
6Sixth9
bb7Diminished Seventh9
b7Minor Seventh10
7Major Seventh11
8Octave12
b9Minor Ninth13
9Major Ninth14
#9Augmented Ninth15
11Eleventh17
#11Sharp Eleventh18
13Thirtheen21

Chord Formulas and Symbols: Further Resources

Well, hope that now all these chord formulas and symbols are a bit clearer. If you have any questions or comments drop some lines in the comments section below. To learn more about chords formulas, symbols, construction and progressions, check the following links:

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