Overall Rating: 3.7 (of 5)
Rating Votes %
2 67 ||
0 0 ||
0 0 ||
0 0 ||
1 33 ||
From 3 votes total
Rate This Lesson
Rate from 1 (poor) to 5 (best)
Send Feedback

The 3 Chord Trick

Dave Ratcliffe (289) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 70
Pages: 1 2 3

THE THREE CHORD TRICK Let's start with the Major Scale--'C Major'

C D EF G A BC--Start on string 5, Fret 3

1 2 34 5 6 71

C Major


* The numbers are the notes of the scale, known as Tonic Degrees. By using them, we can find the famous Three Chords: 1, 4, 5. In C, that's C F G.

Okay, but why are these three the big, fancy "Primary Chords"? And who says so?

Not me--I'm just yore average plucker. It's the Rules of the Diatonic as laid down in the 17th century. The 3 Primary chords are Major; the other notes in the scale are roots of different chords. Think of the others as 'Support Chords'.

The Step Pattern

A Scale is built with 'bricks' called 2nds--gaps between the notes called Intervals.

A Major 2nd interval = 2 frets = a Tone---------------- A minor 2nd interval = 1 fret = 1/2 a Tone.

Scales have a pattern of full and 1/2 tones called a Step Pattern. In C Major, the step pattern is:

|-C-|---|-D-|---|-E-|-F-|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|

The Step Pattern of 2nd Intervals give Scales their character, but what of Chords...?