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The Happy Anatomy of a Major Chord

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Do all major chords work the same way? Yes.

There is one caveat, however, to the idea that it doesn’t matter at this point in which order the notes of the triad appear. And that is, we always want the lowest note of the chord, otherwise known as the 'bass note', to be Note #1.

Why? That helps anchor the chord’s sound, tells your ear what the most important note is, the note from which the rest of the triad is derived.

This is referred to as a 'chord voicing', and for our purposes at this point in your studies, we will always put the root note at the bottom end of the chord.

That is a rule that can be bent in more advanced studies down the line. All the other notes in the chord, as long as their letter names match up with what the triad dictates, it’s all good.

Let’s check out this principle with some of the major chord you know how to play. Notice the quality of the sound of the major chord. It is bold, stable, not moody, happy. Notice the Bass Note, and how it anchors the chord.

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The Happy Anatomy of a Major Chord