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What's a 'Major Chord' Made Of?


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The Happy Anatomy of a Major Chord

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In a nutshell, a 'chord' is a bunch of notes, all played at once.

The notes harmonize with one another, and create an overall sound, a blend.

A ‘Major Chord’ is made up of a very specific, and very simple recipe. It’s got just three ingredients. That’s all!

To learn about the ingredients in that simple recipe of what makes up a major chord, let’s go back to the C major scale for a moment.

So, let’s start on the C, and take note ‘one’ (the root note, or tonic, of your major scale), plus note ‘three’, plus note ‘five’ from the scale, and play them all at once.

Let’s find those notes in the context of the C major chord. These three notes (#1, #3, and #5, or in this case, C, E, and G), when played together, are called a Major Triad. (Tri meaning 3, as in tricycle).

The major triad is the building block, the basic recipe, for the Major Chord.
Next, lets look at how that works in the context of a full chord.
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