viernes, 9 de enero de 2015

http://www.seymourduncan.com/Breaking Down the Barriers: Chords in Every Key

http://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/uncategorized/breaking-down-the-barriers-chords-in-every-key/

Songwriters and improvisers usually pick chords and scales based in the 12 keys we use in music. This time we will focus on triads, or 3 note chords. These are the basis of Western harmony.The guitar is capable of playing in all of the 12 keys, but for some reason, many guitarists are stuck playing and writing in the basic ‘guitar keys’ of E, A, C, G, & D. But understanding keys isn’t difficult- no more than understanding how to select a pickup on Seymour Duncan’s Tone Chart. Knowing about keys will help you get your ideas across to non-guitarist musicians as well as understand what they are talking about when they say ‘This is in the key of Eb”. And you won’t have to bring a separate guitar tuned down a half-step. Your standard-tuned guitar can play in that key just fine. So lets get busy sharpin’ and flattin’!

The first step is to look at the following charts:

Key Name
No. of Sharps
Which
letters
are
Sharped?



C
0#







G
1#
F#






D
2#
F#
C#





A
3#
F#
C#
G#




E
4#
F#
C#
G#
D#



B
5#
F#
C#
G#
D#
A#


F#
6#
F#
C#
G#
D#
A#
E#

C#
7#
F#
C#
G#
D#
A#
E#
B#


Key Name
No. of Flats
Which
letters
are
Flatted?


C
0b







F
1b
Bb






Bb
2b
Bb
Eb





Eb
3b
Bb
Eb
Ab




Ab
4b
Bb
Eb
Ab
Db



Db
5b
Bb
Eb
Ab
Db
Gb


Gb
6b
Bb
Eb
Ab
Db
Gb
Cb

Cb
7b
Bb
Eb
Ab
Db
Gb
Cb
Fb


Determining the chords in any key is easy.  There are 7 basic chords in every key, and we must determine the quality (major, minor or diminished) of each chord.
  • Write out the numbers I ii iii IV IV vi vii in a column on a piece of paper.  We use Roman numerals in music to determine the chords.
  • The ‘capital’ Roman numerals are always major. The ‘lower case’ Roman numerals are either minor or diminished.
 
  • Let’s say you wanted to figure out the chords to the key of A.
  • Write out the letters of the musical alphabet starting with A:
A    B   C   D   E   F   G

According to the chart above, the key of A has 3 sharps. They are for the F, C, & G notes. Fill them in next to the letters:
A   B   C#   D   E   F#   G#

  • In every key, the order of chords is exactly the same.  In other words,
I is always major.
ii is always minor.
iii is always minor.
IV is always major.
V is always major.
vi is always minor.
vii is always diminished.

So:
I=A
ii=B
iii=C#
IV=D
V=E
vi=F#
vii=G#

Now fill in the qualities of the chords:
I=A
ii=Bm
iii=C#m
IV=D
V=E
vi=F#m
vii=G#dim
This gives you the 7 chords in the key of A, which you can use in any order to construct a song or chord progression. If there are chords you do not know, you can either ask about them, look them up in a chord book, or look them up online.  Coming up with voicings that are unusual will help set your music apart. Remember, these are triads- 3 note chords. You don’t have to use all 6 strings, but you generally have to use at least 3, although they don’t have to be adjacent. If you are playing with a larger band, you can even spread the chords out among the band members- have the bassist play the root, one guitarist play the 3rd and the other play the 5th. They can be in varying octaves as well.

Learning the chords in a key is as easy as picking the right pickup.
 Learning about chords in every key isn’t difficult, and after awhile it is second nature, just like learning to read tab or understanding the difference between an LP or a Strat.