Discover Music Chords


Music chords are one of the major building blocks of music. Chords belong to a group of musical elements called Harmony

Music Chords

Harmony in music is created when two or more notes are played together, a chord is created when three or more notes are played simultaneously.

With these basic music theory lessons you will learn from scratch how a chord is built, modified, inverted, and analyzed.

There is also an introduction to the study of Harmony, where you will see some confidence boosting results of what a humble little chord, or even better; a progression of chords can do!

Music chords are so useful that, simply put, with your own little melody and some chords that fit; there is no limit to the kind of compositions you could make!

Types of Music Chords


Triads are three note chords. There are four types of triads. They all have a very individual color and expressive quality. And you need only change one note a half step up or down! 

The four types of triads are:

  1. Major 
  2. Minor 
  3. Diminished 
  4. Augmented 

Triads are built with intervals of thirds stacked on top of each other. The different types of triads are built in this order (from bottom up):

  • Major Triad: Major third-Minor third
  • Minor Triad: Minor third-Major third
  • Augmented Triad: Major third-Major third
  • Diminished Triad: Minor third- Minor third

Extended Chords

Adding more notes to the basic triad gives you many beautiful harmonies to play with (!). By adding more thirds on top we get:

  • The 7th chord is a 4 note chord. 
  • The 9th chord is a 5 note chord.
  • The 11th chord is a 6 note chord.
  • The 13th chord is a 7 note chord.

And since we have only 7 different pitches in a major or minor scale- the 13th chord is using all the notes possible in a scale!

Chord Inversions

Now the fun starts! Let’s twist and turn those chords into new shapes! Inversions simply use the same notes as the basic chord in root position, but in a different order.

Go to Chord Inversions >>

Analyzing Chords

Functional Analysis

Here we will look at the relationships between the chords. Yes! Actually, when chords are played together they start sounding different than when they are played alone. A very fascinating subject indeed…

Go to Understanding Diatonic Harmony >>

Adding Chords to a Melody

Did you ever wonder how to put chords to a melody? Here is a very easy lesson on how to add great sounding harmonies to a little tune. Ah, did I mention it is easy? Have a look:

Go to How to Add a Chord Sequence to a Melody >>

Putting It All Together...

Introduction to Four Part Harmony

This is fun! Find or write a melody. Add some suitable chords. Now write the concoction for four or more instruments….

You will begin to feel the power of being able to compose your own music!

Go to 4 Part Harmony for Beginners >>