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This is a prepatory exercise for Ch11 Using Major triads in basslines
(Click the image for full size)
Since most western music harmony is based on the 7 steps of major scale, and that the chords built on the major scale are VERY common and should be memorized and transposed since they cover the foundation of MOST songs you will ever play.
And most pop and classic rock is composed either on a guitar or piano playing simple chords (often by a non guitarist or non pianist), hence the “easy” keys and chords (C, G, D, Am, Em…) that are VERY common.
So if we take the 7 steps of the major scale and build a simple chord on each step, in this case a triad (a three note chord):
To build a triad from a scale, you play every other scale note, ie the C Major triad is the 1st, 3rd and 5th step of the C major scale, the D minor triad is the 2nd, 4th and 6th step, the E minor triad is the 3rd, 5th and 7th step….
So we have:
C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim
and if you look it as scale steps from the C major scale, it translates to:
1, 2m, 3m, 4, 5, 6m, 7dim
If we only use the Major chords we get :
C, F, G or the scale steps 1, 4 ,5
Which is a very common progression – ie Blues, Rock ‘n’ roll (Chuck Berry, Elvis…)
| C | C | C | C |
| F | F | C | C |
| G | F | C | G |
Or written as numbers (the scale steps) as the Nashville studio musicians do:
| 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |
| 4 | 4 | 1 | 1 |
| 5 | 4 | 1 | 5 |
A very wise thing to do since you can transpose to all keys more easy just thinking in scale steps
| 1 | 4 | 5 | 1 | in C is
| C | F | G | C |
And transposed to G is
| 1 | 4 | 5 | 1 |
| G | C | D | G |
Go to next chapter of this tutorial with a song built on the 1st, 4th and 5th step ogf the major scale using the triads you have learnt in the video