Find more Quick Tips and lessons by Vi Wickam and other teachers at https://www.myTalentForge.com.
Hi I’m Vi Wickam, and this is your myTalentForge Quick Tip of the Week!
I’m going to tell you what a chord is!
Now, some of you may be like, “I know that already!” Well, for those of you who already know about how you make a chord, that’s fantastic!
For the rest of you, you may be wondering what makes a chord.
Now the simplest answer to this is a chord is a stack of thirds.
A third is an interval where you skip a note in between 2 notes. So […]- that’s a third. Those would be the notes that make up that interval.
We are skipping the first finger, or the A note between the G and B. If we play a low B, or Bb, that’s still a third.
So we do 2 of those […], or G-B-D. That’s a chord. Those are the notes of the chord. If we play those together, that becomes the chord.
So those are the notes would be the 1st degree, the 3rd degree, and the 5th degree of the scale […]. 1 is G, 3 is B, 5 is D… 1-3-5.
Now, in any chord, 1, 3, and 5 are the notes of that chord. Now this may be a little confusing to you if you haven’t thought about numbering chords before. But I’ll talk about that in far more detail in my music theory discussion, where we talk about how we get from letters to numbers, and why that matters and how it’s useful.
But, we have 2 types of thirds- we have a major third and a minor third.
A major third, followed by a minor third, makes a major chord. A minor third lower and a major third above, makes a minor chord […].
So you hear the difference between a major and minor chord.
Now, we can also have an augmented chord, which would be 2 major thirds […]. Or a diminished third, or a diminished chord, which would be 2 minor thirds […].
You notice that each of these chords has a different character- that a major chord sounds a little bit happy, and the minor chord might be considered a little sad.
There are other characterizations depending on the context.
The diminished chord almost always is […]- sounds like trouble is on its way!
So if you want to know what a chord is, stack 2 thirds and you will find a chord there.
That may be a little technical for some of you, and it may be a little easy for others of you.
But that’s your Quick Tip of the day! I hope you have a fantastic week, and I will see you next time!
PS. For more information on Music Theory from a Practical perspective, checkout my series on Practical Music Theory.