Basic Chord & Scale Construction. The most important aspect of music is the Major (ionian) Scale. Everything is derived from this, all chords, all scales, everything. They can be traced back to the Major Scale. The Major scale is constructed of a repeating patteron of Whole steps and half steps, Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole,Whole, Half. When you start it on C, it is C D E F G A B C. For the majority of this lesson, i'll be using C Major since its the best for explaining, with no sharps and flats. Now once you this know this, the concept of modes is really basic. A Mode is just a major scale with a different altered note to give it a different sound. In C Major, your modes are: C Ionian - Major D Dorian - Minor E Phrygian - Minor F Lydian - Major G Mixolydian-Major A Aeolian - Natural Minor B Locrian - Half Dimished That's pretty simple. If you know a C Major scale and emphasize a different note, you get that respective mode. If you play a C major scale from E TO E, You get a phrygian mode, which is minor and pretty egyptian sounding, so its cool. You can also apply a Formula to make modes from the major scale, to see how each mode relates to each other. The FORMULAS for modes are: Ionian - Straight Major Dorian - 1, 2, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7b Phrygian - 1, 2b, 3b, 4, 5, 6b, 7b Lydian - 1, 2, 3, 4#, 5, 6, 7 Mixolydian - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7b Aeolian - 1, 2, 3b, 4, 5, 6b, 7b locrian - 1, 2b, 3b, 4, 5b, 6b, 7b Now what this means is if you take a major scale and apply that chart to the above notes you'll get that scale, For example, you start out with an A Major scale: A B C# D E F# G# A Now you take the Aeolian formula, which you flatten the 3rd,6th and 7th notes. In The A Major scale, those are C#, F# & G#. So You flatten those notes. What do you get? A B C D E F G A. Thats an A Aeolian/Natural Minor scale! Now for the chords. Once again, as with scales, Major is the basis for all of our chord construction. The most basic chord you can have is a Major triad. A Triad is simply 3 notes (And a Dyiad is a harmonic relation, like a power'chord'). A triad is the smallest possible chord. A Major triad is simply the 1st, 3rd and 5th note of any major scale. For example: A C Major triad is simply the first, third and fifth note of a C Major scale, So: Our Major Scale: C D E F G A B 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Our chord will be 1-3-5, so: 1(C)-3(E)-5(G). On guitar that looks like: E---- B---- G-0-- D-2-- A-3-- E---- B---- The Minor Triad/Chord formula is ALMOST the same as the Major, except you take the 1st, FLAT 3rd and 5th of the major scale. So for A Minor, you have your major scale: A B C# D E F# G# 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Our Chord is 1-3b-5, so: 1(A)-3b(C)-5(E). The C# becomes a C Natural. On guitar that looks like E---- B---- G---- D-2-- A-3-- E-5-- B---- Extended chords are just as simple. A Seventh chord is just the 1st,3rd,5th, and SEVENTH note of a major scale. So lets take a look at a C Major 7th chord. Our Major Scale: C D E F G A B 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Our chord will be 1-3-5-7, so: 1(C)-3(E)-5(G)-7(B). On guitar that looks like: E---- B-0-- G-0-- D-2-- A-3-- E---- B---- So here's some chord formulas: Chord Type Formula Major - 1, 3, 5 Major7th - 1, 3, 5, 7 Major9th - 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 Major11th- 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 Major13th- 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 Minor - 1, b3, 5 Minor7th - 1, b3, 5, b7 Minor9th - 1, b3, 5, b7, 9 Minor11th - 1, b3, 5, b7, 9, 11 Minor13th - 1, b3, 5, b7, 9, 11, 13 Later on if anyone wants, i can write about Augmented, Dimished,suspended & Dominant Chords. this is just a brief skim over the stuff i did up by request of Goliath, so i hope he enjoys if no one else. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.