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#2056163 - 03/29/13 11:03 AM C Major Scale Question
kent2012 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 45
I've read on two different sites different explanations.

http://www.pianoclues.com/2008/01/11/how-to-construct-chords/

says 1-3-5 would = C-E-G

but http://www.cuug.ab.ca/~lukivr/KeyChd.html says

1-3-5 would = C-Em-G

which is it please?

I thought the chord formula for a major chord is M m m M M m o M like the second site says, if so shouldn't C Em G be the right 1-3-5 ?

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#2056167 - 03/29/13 11:12 AM Re: C Major Scale Question [Re: kent2012]
LarryShone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 1250
Loc: England
Cmajor, 1-3-5 , is C E G
If the scale went C Em G that would be Cminor


Edited by LarryShone (03/29/13 11:13 AM)
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#2056172 - 03/29/13 11:18 AM Re: C Major Scale Question [Re: kent2012]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Australia
The third note of the C Major scale, is E, therefore the C Major chord comprises the 1st,3rd and 5th notes of the scale. (C, E, G)
All major chords follow this formula.
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#2056175 - 03/29/13 11:22 AM Re: C Major Scale Question [Re: kent2012]
LarryShone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 1250
Loc: England
Yea, try it at the piano, hear the difference.
CMajor (CEG) has a positive, happy sound.
CMinor however (CEbG) has a slightly melancholy sound.
The pic in my avatar is me playing Cmajor


Edited by LarryShone (03/29/13 11:35 AM)
Edit Reason: oops
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If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.


My Piano Group

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#2056180 - 03/29/13 11:28 AM Re: C Major Scale Question [Re: kent2012]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3833
Loc: Maine
The two sites are talking about two different things.

Originally Posted By: kent2012
I've read on two different sites different explanations.

http://www.pianoclues.com/2008/01/11/how-to-construct-chords/

says 1-3-5 would = C-E-G

The letters are being used as note names.

Quote:
but http://www.cuug.ab.ca/~lukivr/KeyChd.html says

1-3-5 would = C-Em-G

The letters are being used as chord names.

Quote:
which is it please?

The first site is using the numbers to specify which notes of the scale are included in the chord. So, given notes 1-3-5 of the C major scale, those are C E G, which gives you a C major chord.

The second site is using the numbers to specify which is the starting note of the chord. So, in the C major scale, start on note 1 and build a triad. The notes are C E G. That's a C major chord. Start on note 3 and build a triad. The notes are E G B. That's an E minor chord. Start on note 5 and build a triad. The notes are G B D. That's a G major chord. In shorthand: start on note 1, C. Start on note 3, Em. Start on note 5, G.

The second site points out the pattern for starting on each note of the major scale in turn and building a triad. In the C major scale, you get the chords C Dm Em F G Am Bdim, which gives you the pattern M m m M M m dim corresponding to starting on notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 in turn.

Quote:
I thought the chord formula for a major chord is M m m M M m o M like the second site says, if so shouldn't C Em G be the right 1-3-5 ?

M m m M M m o M is not the formula for a major chord. It is the pattern for triads built on successive notes of a major scale. Three are major triads, three are minor triads, and one is a diminished triad. The letters M and m refer to the type of CHORD: major or minor.

The formula for a major chord, if you want to use this language, is M m, where the letters stand for the type of THIRD: major or minor. A major triad in root position is a major third and a minor third stacked on top of each other.
_________________________
Elie Wiesel, 1928-2016.

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#2056198 - 03/29/13 11:52 AM Re: C Major Scale Question [Re: kent2012]
kent2012 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 45
thank you so much for the quick replies, this place is so helpful I really appreciate it, I'm sorry for the confusion frown

so when someone says that their song is played in the key of say Bminor how do we find out what chord progression was used? or is that just a matter of listening to the piece and figuring it out for yourself?
I'm aware I am nowhere near this level but it's just something that I've always wanted to know from you experienced pros out there.

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#2056206 - 03/29/13 11:58 AM Re: C Major Scale Question [Re: kent2012]
LarryShone Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 1250
Loc: England
Originally Posted By: kent2012
thank you so much for the quick replies, this place is so helpful I really appreciate it, I'm sorry for the confusion frown

so when someone says that their song is played in the key of say Bminor how do we find out what chord progression was used? or is that just a matter of listening to the piece and figuring it out for yourself?
I'm aware I am nowhere near this level but it's just something that I've always wanted to know from you experienced pros out there.

Ah now that's beyond my ken, but Im sure there's a chord wheel that, like the colour wheel, shows complimentary chords.
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If the piano is the King of instruments then I am its loyal servant.


My Piano Group

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#2056237 - 03/29/13 01:07 PM Re: C Major Scale Question [Re: kent2012]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 887
Loc: Chicago
Kent: Figuring out a chord progression, assuming you don't have the music, is just a matter of listening and piecing it together. However, if you study songs of any style (jazz, blues, pop) for a while, you'll see certain common chord progressions that are used a lot in that style. This makes figuring out a chord progression by listening to a tune easier because you learn to hear the common chord progressions.

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