Most Common Variations on the Minor Chord

Description of triadsImage via Wikipedia
 Where do chords come from? We know that chords come from scales. 

Here's the most common variations on the Major Chord:

Cmaj7 = C E G B

C6 =  C E G A

Cmaj9 = C E G B D

C6/9 = C E G A D


* All chords contain 1,3,5, the basic major triad.
* Five note chords can be handled by spreading the notes between both hands. Usually the left hand gets the root (1) with an optional addition of the 5 or the 7. Eliminate non-essential notes in the chord (usually 5, perhaps 1).

 Most Common Variations on the Minor Chord

Cm7 = C Eb G Bb

Cm9 = C Eb G Bb D

Cm6 = C Eb G A

Cm maj7 = C Eb G B


* All these chords contain 1 b3 5, the basic minor triad.
* The last 2 examples (Cm6 and Cm maj7) would work best in songs in minor keys where the chord is tonic. In other words Cm6 works best as a substitution for the Cm chord in the key of C minor. The minor major seventh could be used in the same situation. However, it is very dissonant and should be used with care.

Right now HearandPlay is offering a sale on their great Theory Book called the 300 page course book. There is lots of information on Major and Minor chords in the book. You might want to check it out: 300 Page Course Book

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