Chord Formula Chart - How Chords Are Built - Music Theory

Chord formulasHow Chords Are Built?

Chord formulas show all the notes which constitute a chord. They reveal the structure of chords. They provide a link between scales and arpeggios. Knowing the structure of chords will help you find any chord position on the guitar when you only have the name. Learning chord formulas will make it easier to understand the difference between the many types of chords. Learning chord formulas is necessary for anyone who wants to expand their musical knowledge and increase their guitar playing skills.

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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