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Okay This Is Driving Me Crazy

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I'm a beginner guitarist and I've been reading the articles and lessons on this site about musical theory. I'm up to the section on chords and where they come from. It has been interesting but somewhat difficult for me to grasp the logic of music theory. For example, this question has been driving me nuts and so I'm turning to the forum for help.

Question: Other than tediously mapping out each of the 7 modes of the Major Scale and extracting the chords from them individually, is there a way to quickly tell from the chord itself what mode or scale it is derived from? For example, an A minor is made up of the notes A, C and E. If I want to find the 7th note of the scale so as to turn the Am into an Am7 I need to know what scale this chord comes from. Again, what's the quickest way of doing that?

Sorry if this is a dumb question.

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Take a look at Kirk's PlantTalk method. It will help you to 1) learn the cord inversions and 2) where the intervals are in the chords. Here is the link:


He has a special going on right now with free shipping when purchasing the full package.

Welcome to the forum!


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Hey there Lovecraftian,

forget about modes for now. The basics 1) what is the major key and 2) it's relative minor (the sixth note in the major scale). Pretty much all chords come from and are made from the major key. So if there's no sharps of flats, the key is C, so Am (A,C,E) when in this key the seventh (counting from the A but using the notes from the key of C) is G.

Hope that helps and welcome.

Kind regards, pH :yes:

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As a beginner, you don't need to know all the basic modes to do chord construction. The only 2 scales you need is major and minor scales. All the basic chords fall into that. Then study the 7th chords within these 2 scales. For example - major scale:

I is major

II is minor

III is minor

IV is major

V is dominant

VI is minor

vii is half diminished

PS also don't just memorize these information. Construct them using the notes in the scale to understand why these chords are major or minor.

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