To the guitar student, the list of chords is as much or more complicated than to an abstract musician. But the truth is, it doesn’t seem so.
To help people visualize why it’s so complicated, I created a table called the F-R Chart (a little bit of music notation). I’ve done nothing to it other than copy a chord chart into Word and add a little bit of math and trigonometry.
So, what’s the chart?
The chart shows five sets of four notes, each of which can be found in an English language text or by searching a Google search.
The first note is named C Major, and it’s the root of both the E and D chords. So you’ve got a lot of C’s to find! The second note is named D Major. This is the F chord: The F chord is the root of the A, B, and C chords.
The next note is named G Major. Because that’s a G major chord, which means it doesn’t exist in the English language. You might look it up, but you don’t. So the G chord is F#.
And so on. The key to finding a chord is finding what I call the “harmonic series” of notes.
I didn’t include notes at the end of a series, they didn’t exist. The fifth note in a series can be called G-C#, or a different C# because there are two in a series. These notes are called the first, second, third, and fourth notes.
This table provides a good overview of the first, second, and fourth notes of any chord series.
Here’s the result:
This results isn’t quite as easy as drawing chords on a page by hand. There’s no way to have them all at the same place, or make them go back and forth, or find a key. And this chart isn’t intended to help you figure it out. It’s just a tool to show that the fifth note in a series of chords can be called this chord’s root or that chord, because you don’t know which is which. The same is true for the intervals. But for chords containing only chords, the intervals are easily found by ear.
Why is this important? Well, just think about it—you can find a piano chord or a keyboard chord easily by just listening. But you can’t do the same with guitar.
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