Hello again and welcome to Part IV of my article on the CAGED System. In this part we are going to explore what can make a Shape pattern Major or Minor. First though a bit of music theory.
In every Major Scale there is a relative minor chord. The minor chord can be found by building a chord starting on the VI degree ( 6th note ) of the major scale. Lets take C Major Scale because it has no sharps or flats and is the easiest scale to look at. The Stating note of the Major Scale is obviously a C note. From now on we will refer to the starting note as the ROOT NOTE. This is the root note of the scale – the starting note.
The Scale of C Major is as follows
C D E F G A B C
It starts on the root note and ends on the root note. This is one octave or more simply one group of 8 notes.
Now lets look at the degrees of the scale itself. As I mentioned a scale of one octave has 8 notes so lets number them 1 – 7 because the 8th note is the same a s the I Root Note we go back to one. This note is a higher pitched version of the I Root note.
I II III IV V VI VII I
C D E F G A B C
this is where chord building starts to take place
To build chords we use these scale degrees. In general a major Chord uses a Root and a major 3rd and then a 5th. A Minor chord uses a Root and flat 3rd (bIII) and a 5th to build a chord.
Chords can be built from the parent scale like the scale of C above. A scale will determine whether the chords built from it are major or minor.
So looking at the C Scale above i am going to show you which chords are major and which are minor. Because this is a Major Scale the Root note will always be associated with a major chord. So I= C= Major = C major. I will use shorthand maj=Major and min=minor.
C Major I
D min II
E min III
F maj IV
G maj V
A min VI
B min VII
C maj I
So these are the Chords of a Cmajor Scale
There is quite a lot more detail to go into with Chord building but all we need to know is that a series of Chords can be built from a Major scale. the Scale has 8 notes and separate chords can be built from this scale resulting in 7 different chords 3 of which are major chords and 3 of which are minor. I will cover chord building in detail at a later date but for this lesson this is really all you need to be aware of.
Lets Pay special attention to the Chord built on the VI
In C major this chord is A minor. This is the relative minor and is an important concept in my version of the CAGED system. Lets find out exactly why.
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