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Basic Guitar Chords – How to Make Minor, Major and Major 7th Chords

In earlier articles, I have discussed the basis of Guitar chords, minor and major, and now I feel it is time to show you how to create chords using some very simple methods. The main reason why I am showing you how to create your own guitar chords is because it’s the most imperative part of learning guitar chords; you need to fully understand where chords come from, and why you play them so often. This lesson will give you the essential tools to understand basic guitar chords.

For each chord, minor, major or major 7th, all you must do to create a chord is to take certain notes out of each of their notes scale. For example, if you were using A to make an A minor chord, then you would take notes from the A major scale.

Major Chord

The first chord I’m going to show you how to make is an A major Chord. It’s constructed from the A major scale, which is:
e——————————- B——————————- G————————–4–7- D——————4–7——– A———–4–7————— E—-5–7———————-

The second step is to take the 1st, 3rd and 5th steps from this scale, and place them in chord formation. Like so:
e——— B——– G——– D—-4— A—-4— E—-5—

Minor Chord

Now to construct an A minor chord, it’s just as easy. All you need to do is take the 1st, a flatted 3rd and 5th step from the A major scale. To create a flatted step or note, all you do is drop the note a semitone, or one fret. In this case, the 4th fret on the second string is lowered to the 3rd fret.
e———- B——— G——— D—-4—- A—-3—- E—-5—-

Major 7th Chord

To some, even to me, this chord sounds really complicated; but in fact, the major 7th chord is actually quite simple. The only main difference between this chord and the other is that it contains 4 notes instead of 3. They are constructed using the root (1), 3rd, 5th, and a flat 7th. A major 7th chord in A would look similar to this.
e——– B——– G—-3– D—-4– A—-4– E—-5—

The main thing to learn about Acoustic guitar chords is that their placement isn’t set in stone. You can make this A major 7th chord pretty much anywhere you would like on the fret board, as long as you can use the 1st (root), 3rd, 5th and flat 7th. Also, if you want a louder or stronger sounding chord, you can double up on notes by playing the chord open. To double up on notes, all you have to do is find the exact same note somewhere else on the fretboard. This is most easily done by playing open strings, unless you have more than 5 fingers.

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