Chord formulas chart - Building chords - Music theory

Chord formulasWhat are chord formulas ? Chord formulas show all the notes which constitute a chord. They reveal the structure of chords. Knowing them will make your guitar playing more interesting. It allows you to make the link between scales, arpeggios and chords. You will be able to build your own chords, to find any chord position on the guitar when you only have the name of a chord, to make the difference between major, minor or diminished chords, to turn quickly a chord into any variation. Learning chord formulas is necessary for anyone who wants to expand its musical knowledge. Here is a chart that lists the main chord formulas.

CHORD FAMILY

CHORD DEGREES

CHORD TONES

MAJOR CHORDS

 

   

C (or Ctriad)

1 3 5

C E G

C6

1 3 5 6

C E G A

C6/9

1 3 5 6 9

C E G A D

Cmaj7

1 3 5 7

C E G B

Cmaj9

1 3 5 7 9

C E G B D

Cmaj7#11

1 3 5 7 #11

C E G B F#

Cmaj7#5

1 3 #5 7

C E G# B

MINOR CHORDS

 

 

C- (or Cmin or Cm)

1 b3 5

C Eb G

C-6

1 b3 5 6

C Eb G A

C-6/9

1 b3 5 6

C Eb G A D

C-7

1 b3 5 b7

C Eb G Bb

C-7#5

1 b3 #5 b7

C Eb G# Bb

C-9

1 b3 5 b7 9

C Eb G Bb D

C-11

1 b3 5 b7 (9) 11

C Eb G Bb (D) F

C-∆7

1 b3 5 7

C Eb G B

C-∆9

1 b3 5 7 9

C Eb G B D

DOMINANT SEVENTH CHORDS

 

 

C7

1 3 5 b7

C E G Bb

C7b5

1 3 b5 b7

C E Gb Bb

C7#5

1 3 #5 b7

C E G# Bb

C7b9

1 3 5 b7 b9

C E G Bb Db

C7#9

1 3 5 b7

C E G Bb D#

C7#11

1 3 5 b7

C E G Bb F#

C9

1 3 5 b7 9

C E G Bb D

C11

1 (3) 5 b7 9 11

C (E) G Bb D F

C13

1 3 5 b7

C E G Bb D (F) A

C7b5b9

1 3 b5 b7 b9

C E Gb Bb Db

C7#5#9

1 3 #5 b7 #9 C E G# Bb D#

C7b5#9

1 3 b5 b7 #9 C E G# Bb D#

C7#5b9

1 3 #5 b7 b9 C E G# Bb Db

C7alt

any C7 with both fifth and ninth altered   

C7/4

1 (3) 5 b7 11 C (E) G Bb F

C7sus4

1 4 5 b7 C F G Bb

C7susb9

1 4 5 b7 b9 1 4 5 b7 b9

HALF DIMINISHED CHORDS

   

C-7b5 (or Cmin7b5 or CØ)

1 b3 b5 b7 C Eb Gb Bb

C-7b5/#2 (or Cmin7b5/#2 or CØ #2)

1 b3 b5 b7 9 Eb Gb Bb D

(or Cmin7b5/#2 or CØ #2)

C-11b5 (or Cmin11b5) C Eb Gb Bb (D) F

DIMINISHED CHORDS

   

Cdim (or C°)

1 b3 b5 C Eb Gb

Cdim7 (or C°7 or simply C°)

1 b3 b5 bb7 C Eb Gb Bbb

 

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