Goldenarticles articles

How many chords are there, anyway? - music


Since chords (the main constituent of harmony) are one of the three most vital essentials of music - the others being song and rhythm - it would be constructive to know how many chords there are. And it doesn't be of importance whether you play piano or guitar or some other instrument - chords are chords.

It's definitely not basic to learn all the chords in the whole wide world, but it is crucial to learn some of them - at least an adequate amount of to allow you to complement the songs you would like to play.

But meanwhile, there are 3 chords -- just 3 -- that you absolutely, positively have to know. If you don't know these three, there's by a hair's breadth a song in the whole world that you could play. But by aware just 3 chords, you can play hundreds, if not thousands of songs! And those chords are cleanly the basic chords in any given key:

The I chord (the chord built on the 1st gradation of the scale)

The IV chord (the chord built on the 4th extent of the scale)

The V chord (the chord built on the 5th grade of the scale)

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

But as you doubtless know, there are thousands of other chords, so it would be advantageous to at least know of their life and maybe soon learn them.

So here goes:

Since there are 12 major keys one can play in (not including enharmonic keys - keys that sound the same but are on paper differently), there are:

*12 major triads (a triad is a 3 note chord)

*12 minor triads

*12 diminished triads

*12 amplified triads

*12 diminished 7th chords (4 note chords)

*12 major 6th chords

*12 minor 6th chords

*12 dominant 7th chords

*12 major 7th chords

*12 minor 7th chords

*12 half-diminished chords

*12 9th chords

*12 flat 9th chords

*12 9th/major 7th chords

*12 9th/minor 7th chords

*12 11th chords

*12 13th chords

*12 suspensions

*12 flat 5th chords

*12 flat 5th maj 7th chords

If that's not an adequate amount chords for you, bring to mind that each chord can be inverted - curved upside down. So multiply all the triad chords by 3, and all the 4 note chords by 4, and all the 5 note chords by 5?.

Then there are:

poly-chords - chords that blend two or more other chords, and

voicings - the way chords are positioned on the piano keyboard

And that's just in one octave. A average piano has 7 octaves, so multiply all that by 7 and you get the key to how many chords there especially are:

More than you can count.

But again, you don't need to know them all. Just master adequate so that you can play the songs you want to play, then little by little over time learn more and more chords. Your musical world will carry on to grow and development as a musician will befall noticeable to others.

Duane Shinn is the cause of over 500 music courses for adults. His low-cost CD ROM software aristocratic "Duane Shinn's Instantaneous Piano Chord Finder Chart!" is used by musicians about the world. He is also the cause of the common free 101-week online e-mail newsletter aristocratic "Amazing Secrets Of Exciting Piano Chords & Boiling Chord Progressions" with over 60,000 in progress subscribers.


Lack of music on KAJX creates opportunity for KDNK  Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Casual Music From Zukerman and the BSO  The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Be Local: Live Music  Observer-Reporter

Music festival down a concert

How the Silence Makes the Music  The New York Times

Developed by:
home | site map © 2020