Which 5 Music Chords in the Key of C Are Most Important?
Whether you are learning chords on the piano or on any other musical instrument you will be able to learn how to create 60 chords instantly with this information.
Armed with just a few music facts any beginner music student can learn how to create a major chord, minor chord, diminished chord, augmented chord or seventh chord. All of the piano chord notes which are involved are explained very simply within this music article.
Major chords are used to express happy emotions and are created using a very simple formula. Begin with any note in the musical alphabet (a, b, c, d, e, f or g) and call it the root of the major chord. Let’s use the letter C to build our major chord. From C count up 4 half steps (see Hint below) and add the letter E. From E count up 3 half steps and add the letter G. Now you have a C major chord which includes the notes C, E and G. Repeat this same process on any note on the piano and you will have another major chord such as D, F sharp and A for a D major chord OR B flat, D and F for the B flat major chord.
The 5 music chords in the key of C which are most important are the following:
- C Major Chord
- C Minor Chord
- C Diminished Chord
- C Augmented Chord
- C Major Seventh Chord
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C Major Chord
The C Major Chord is the FOUNDATION for all of the other C chords listed below. C, E, G.
C Augmented Chord
The C Augmented chord raises or sharps the G. So the chord is spelled C, E, G#.
C Seventh Chord
The C Seventh Chord uses the C Major Chord as its base. Spelled: C, E, G, Bb.
C Minor Chord
The C Minor Chord simply lowers or flats the middle note of the C Major Chord. Spelled: C, Eb, G.
C Diminished Chord
The C Diminished Chord uses the C Minor Chord as its base. Spelled: C, Eb, Gb.
In order to visualize this go to your piano or keyboard now and count up 4 half steps from C to reach E, followed by counting 3 half steps up from E to reach G.
HINT: An example of a half step would be from C to C sharp or from C sharp to D or from E to F. A half step is the shortest possible distance you can travel on the piano keyboard. The same principle applies to any musical instrument and to music theory in general.
Minor chords create a sad or mysterious emotional impact to the listener and are created by first starting with your hand position on a major chord such as a C major chord described in the previous paragraph on major chords. Simply lower the 3rd note of C major from E to E flat and then play the C minor chord which is spelled C, E flat and G. Another example would be starting with the D major chord of D, F sharp and A, then lowering the F sharp to plain old F to create the D minor chord spelled D, F and A.
Diminished chords are often used to create a feeling of suspense in music and are created by starting with a minor chord such as c minor which includes the notes C, E flat and G. By simply lowering the 5th note of this minor chord by one half step (lower G to G flat) you have created the c minor diminished chord spelled C, E flat and G flat.
Augmented chords are also used to create dissonance or suspense in music and are created using the major chord as a starting point. For example, begin with the C major chord of C, E and G and raise (or sharp) the 5th note of G up to G sharp. Voila! You now have created the C augmented chord spelled, C, E and G sharp. Of all the chord forms discussed in this piano post, the augmented chord is used the least often.
The final chord you are learning to spell is the seventh chord. To do this begin with ANY MAJOR CHORD and add a minor third on top of it. An example of this would be to begin with C major spelled C, E and G and add a B flat to create a C Major Seventh Chord. Remember, a minor third is made up of 3 half steps so three half steps above G on the piano keyboard is B flat.
Now you have learned how to create major chords, minor chords, diminished chords, augmented chords and seventh chords on any instrument. You will have the best results in understanding the content of this article if you read it again while following all of the chord building instructions on your keyboard as you read this. Then simply apply this knowledge to your own musical instrument. By acquiring this knowledge about how to build your own chords you will be head and shoulders above many other “musicians” out there in your knowledge of music theory and chord building.