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.
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.
|Interval Notation||Interval Name||Semitones|
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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