How Many Chords Are There, Anyway?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Since chords (the capital basic of harmony) are one of the three a lot of basic elements of music - the others getting melody and accent - it would be advantageous to apperceive how abounding chords there are. And it doesn't amount whether you play piano or guitar or some added apparatus - chords are chords.

It's actually not all-important to apprentice all the chords in the accomplished advanced world, but it is all-important to apprentice some of them - at atomic abundant to acquiesce you to accord the songs you would like to play.

But meanwhile, there are 3 chords -- just 3 -- that you absolutely, absolutely accept to know. If you don't apperceive these three, there's hardly a song in the accomplished apple that you could play. But by alive just 3 chords, you can play hundreds, if not bags of songs! And those chords are artlessly the primary chords in any accustomed key:

?The I ambit (the ambit congenital on the 1st amount of the scale)

?The IV ambit (the ambit congenital on the 4th amount of the scale)

?The V ambit (the ambit congenital on the 5th amount of the scale)

For example, if you were arena in the Key of C, the I ambit would be C (c, e, g), the IV ambit would be F (f, a, c), and the V ambit would be G (g, b, d).

But as you apparently know, there are bags of added chords, so it would be accessible to at atomic apperceive of their actuality and maybe anytime apprentice them.

So actuality goes:

Since there are 12 above keys one can play in (not counting enharmonic keys - keys that complete the aforementioned but are accounting differently), there are:

*12 above triads (a accord is a 3 agenda chord)

*12 accessory triads

*12 beneath triads

*12 aggrandized triads

*12 beneath 7th chords (4 agenda chords)

*12 above 6th chords

*12 accessory 6th chords

*12 ascendant 7th chords

*12 above 7th chords

*12 accessory 7th chords

*12 half-diminished chords

*12 9th chords

*12 collapsed 9th chords

*12 9th/major 7th chords

*12 9th/minor 7th chords

*12 11th chords

*12 13th chords

*12 suspensions

*12 collapsed 5th chords

*12 collapsed 5th maj 7th chords

If that's not abundant chords for you, bethink that anniversary ambit can be astern - angry upside down. So accumulate all the accord chords by 3, and all the 4 agenda chords by 4, and all the 5 agenda chords by 5....

Then there are:

? poly-chords - chords that amalgamate two or added added chords, and

? voicings - the way chords are positioned on the piano keyboard

And that's just in one octave. A accepted piano has 7 octaves, so accumulate all that by 7 and you get the acknowledgment to how abounding chords there absolutely are:

More than you can count.

But again, you don't charge to apperceive them all. Just adept abundant so that you can play the songs you wish to play, again gradually over time apprentice added and added chords. Your agreeable apple will abide to abound and ability as a artist will become accessible to others.


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