All Chord Types and How to Make Them (shapes, notes, colors)

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Did you ever wake up one day and realized you don’t know much about the chords you are playing? I mean, you know the shapes, you know how to put the chords together, but you don’t know what they are. 

Well, it happened to me once, and I worked hard to fix that. 

In this lesson, I am going to show you all the chord types we can play on the guitar and how to make them so that you don’t have to work as hard as I did. 

When my teacher taught me this, it changed the way I saw chords. In fact, it added two more elements to the chord shapes: The notes (which I didn’t consider at that time), and the colors. 

I like to break-down the chords in four big categories 
The basic chords without extensions.  

.Power chords.
.Major chord. (Happy). 
.Minor chord. (Sad).
.Sus2 chord. (Bright).
.Sus4 chord. (Unresolved).

The chords with one extension:
.Major seventh chord. (Jazzy).
.Minor seventh chord. (Folk).
.Dominant seventh chord. (Bluesy).
.Add9 chord. (Romantic).
.Minor add9 chord. (Emotional).
.Add11 chord.
.Minor add11 chord.
.Major 6 chord. (Latin)
.Minor 6 chord

The chords with two or more extensions: 

.Major ninth chord (Maj9). 
.Minor ninth chord (Min9).
.Dominant ninth (9).
.Major eleventh (Maj11).
.Minor eleventh (Min11).
.Dominant eleventh chord (11).
.Major thirteenth (Maj13).
.Minor thirteenth (Min13).
.Dominant thirteenth (13).

Altered Chords (Chords that have one or more altered notes)
.Augmented chords. (Uneasy).
.Diminished chords (Tense).
.Half-Dinished
.7#9
.7b9
.7b13

Such a big list, right! We better get started. 

We will talk a lot about the major scale, scale degrees, and intervals. All you have to know for now is that chords come from the scale. It could be the major, minor, melodic minor, harmonic minor, etc. 

We will be using numbers to identify the notes of the chords, so when I say 1 3 5, it means that the chord is built using the first, third, and fifth degree of the scale. 

The secret is to learn the formula to build the chord in each category.

Quick disclaimer! One video can’t teach it all. Make sure you do your research and learn more about chords from other teachers, too, as everyone can tell you a little more about it.  

Enjoy this lesson.

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I started playing guitar when I was 10 years old, so it has been more than 20 years. I have always loved fingerpicking guitar, so this is why all my tutorials focus on this topic.

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