Intro to Music Theory part 2

For your next lesson we will switch keys. For your intro we used the Key of C Major Chord Progression chart, but now we switch to key of G major:

Guitar Key of G chord theory-03

The key of G major has a relative minor, represented by the lowercase roman numeral six or “vi”. All major keys have a relative minor key, I like to think of them as twin brothers, one is always in a good mood (major) and the other one is kind of a goth who wears black all the time (minor).

Any time that you want to use the G chord in your songwriting, try switching it at some point with the E minor and the mood of the song will change right away. You can do the same thing with a song that ends on a major chord, end it on the relative minor chord instead and you will leave the listeners with a completely different feeling.

Now lets talk some technical stuff. All of the chords in the chart above all called triads. Except for the vii° chord which technically should be a triad, but guitar players rarely use diminished triads when a diminished seventh is one finger away and sounds so much better.

So, besides that pesky diminished chord, we have major triads and minor triads. A triad is a chord built from 3 notes. So when you play a G chord in the open position and hit all 6 strings, you are still only hitting 3 notes, just some of them are doubled.

The notes of a G major chord are as follows:

G – root (the base of the chord)
B – the major third
D- the fifth

So all triads are made up of a root, third, and fifth (we will discuss this more in depth later)

To make a G major (triad) into a G minor chord, we flat the third. On a guitar, this means going back one note (to the left as you are holding the guitar).

So a G minor chord has the following notes:

G – root
B flat – the minor third
D – the fifth

Confused yet? We will talk more about this and the entire concept of intervals (musical spaces) in our next lesson!

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