My interval song examples chart

These are the familiar songs I use to remember intervals.  To create your own list check out the Interval Song Chart Generator from EarMaster.

Interval Ascending Descending
Minor 2nd White Christmas (Irving Berlin) For Whom The Bell Tolls (Metallica)
Major 2nd Silent Night (Christmas) Three Blind Mice
Minor 3rd Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes) Hey Jude (Beatles)
Major 3rd Ob-la-di Ob-la-da (The Beatles) Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Perfect 4th We Wish You a Merry Christmas I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
Tritone Simpsons theme Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath)
Perfect 5th Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Feelings (Richard Clayderman)
Minor 6th The Entertainer (Scott Joplin) Love Story theme
Major 6th My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen
Minor 7th Star Trek theme (Original) Lady Jane; Chorus (Rolling Stones)
Major 7th Take on Me (A-Ha) I Love You (Cole Porter)
Octave Over the Rainbow (Wizard of Oz theme) Willow Weep for Me
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My interval song examples chart

Chord Construction – Part 1 – Triads (Inversions)

[EDITORS NOTE: If you don’t read music (“notes” on the staff) and if you’ve never encountered any music theory in the past, this is a good place to start. Go slow, read on and don’t be afraid to ask questions!]

In the course of this series about chord construction, you’ll find some music theory info about triads and sevenths chords, how to add extensions, chord equivalents, diatonic chords and finally a neat theoretical process to understand what extensions are “allowed” on chords.

The goal here is to have you realize that you already know thousands of chords. (that is, if you already play a little bit) Why? Since any single chord can be put to use in many different contexts, it’s not a matter of learning more chords… it’s a matter of finding more USES for the ones you already know!

triads-chord-inversions

Generalities

  • “Chord” means that all the notes are sounded together, at the same time.
  • The major scale serves as reference when identifying chords by scale degrees… and that’s exactly what numbers mean on this page.For instance, 1 3 5 means to play the first, third and fifth notes of the major scale. It goes for any chord found on this page. Degrees are raised by a sharp symbol (#) and lowered by the flat symbol (b).
  • Chords are built in intervals of ascending THIRDS (2 or more)This works 99% of the time. A third is the space (called “interval”) between two non-consecutive scale notes, up or down. For instance C-E is an ascending third (say “C D E” in your mind). Same thing works descending: C-A is a third (say “C B A” in your mind) but with chords, we won’t deal with descending intervals.
  • So, a chord will usually contain ODD numbers like this 1 3 5 7 9 11 13, up to a maximum of 7 notes (on this website at least)

Triads (Chord Inversions)

Triads are built of three notes. This is like the prequel to chord construction theory. There exists four main types of triads: major, minor, augmented and diminished. The reason behind this is simple: triads are three notes stacked up and between each note lies the interval of a third.

Triads construction:
1st NOTE -[space]- 2nd NOTE -[space]- 3rd NOTE

The [space] is the interval of a third. This interval can be qualified to be either major or minor.

Since there only exists two “types” of third interval, we are left with only four possible combinations of triads.

  • MAJOR TRIAD: 1 3 5
    Intervals : maj3rd then min3rd (as in C-E-G)
  • MINOR TRIAD: 1 b3 5
    Intervals : min3rd then maj3rd (as in C-Eb-G)
  • DIMINISHED TRIAD: 1 b3 b5
    Intervals : min3rd and min3rd (as in C-Eb-Gb)
  • AUGMENTED TRIAD: 1 3 #5
    Intervals : maj3rd and maj3rd (as in C-E-G#)

Other types of triads also exist such as SUS4: 1 4 5 and SUS2: 1 2 5. You can expect to see those two quite a lot in popular songs. The “SUS” means suspended, and in fact the note replacing the “3” in both cases is said to be a suspension of that “3”.

The two oddballs that I personally wish to leave with no names for now are 1 3 b5 and 1 b3 #5 … these are not common at all.

36 Triad (Chord Inversion) Shapes

To help you get started in taking these shapes to the fretboard, here are 36 chord inversions for major and minor shapes on the fretboard, all written out in C or Cm.

Closed Major Triads

To begin, here are closed shapes for major inversions. Closed guitar chords are those where the root position, and all inversions, fit within the space of one octave.

closed-major-inversions

Closed Minor Triads

We’ll now move on to the minor closed position inversions on three different string sets to experiment with during your practice routine.

close-minor-inversions

Major Triad Spread Voicings

You can now move on to exploring major chord inversions with spread voicings, which are shapes that expand beyond an octave but keep the same 1-3-5 construction.

major-inversions-spread-voicings

Minor Triad Spread Voicings

Lastly, here are those same spread shapes but written for minor chord inversions.

minor-inversions-spread-voicings

Last Words

As you can see, having a strong understanding of chord inversions will allow you to play any major or minor triad, in any area of the fretboard, and on any string set, which will open up your knowledge of the fretboard and of chord construction at the same time.

Chord inversions also play an important role in harmonizing melodies, as the root position of a chord is not always in the immediate area of the melody note, which is where chord inversions come to the rescue.

If reading and seeing fretboard examples is you’re preferred way learning, check out Gianca’s post at FaChords.com.  It explains triad construction in a simple, although different, manner that also includes fretboard visualizations.  Be sure to check out his online guitar games while you’re there, as well. I’ve found them to be excellent training aids and use them in my practice routine nearly every day now.

For further experimentation on the fretboard, see these excellent triad building videos:

Easy Triads By String Sets

Triads On Guitar

For eager beavers, here’s a huge hi-def chart of *all* of the triad voicings that you can have blown up and hang on a wall.  Just right-click to save it to your computer or device.:

Triad Chords Chart

Next we’ll discuss adding sevenths into our triads. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Chord Construction – Part 1 – Triads (Inversions)

JamPlay Review

JamPlay is $19.95 a month, with 7-day money back guarantee. It really should only take a few days to know whether you like a lesson site or not. It is always best to start a new website trial on a weekend or a point where you will have some time off. After all, if you are serious about learning guitar, you need to make sure all your money is well spent.

The Jamplay Forum

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As usual the first place I head is to the forum, and the first thing I notice is that the forum isn’t very active anymore. There are some recent responses, however it is clear their focus here is not on the forum. For some students this may not be a big deal, but I happen to be a more social guitar player. lol  If you look through the Stickies in each of the Topics, though, you’ll find a plethora of info written over the years by both members and staff of Jamplay. All in all, if you have questions about lessons, songwriting, general guitar points, even promoting your own band, the forum of JamPlay will probably suit your needs.

Lessons for All Levels

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While JamPlay has its share of beginner lessons, it does seem to be a little more geared towards intermediate and advanced players. This is really not such a bad thing, as many players out there have gone over some of the basics before and sometimes need a nudge into something a little more challenging. This site is certainly not lacking on challenging lessons. They show you all the basics if necessary, but you quickly move into more complicated lessons.

Live Lessons is a cool and unique feature

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On their homepage they have a list of live lessons, and a schedule listing upcoming live lessons. What caught my eye immediately were the live lessons titled “Pentatonic Precision” and “Melodic Magic.” These lessons sounded pretty cool and they give a time when they will start so you can mark it in your schedule. Below live lessons they also have a news and updates section on some of the more specific lessons to come. I noticed they had many upcoming tutorials on specific Beatles guitar solos, and I just might be the biggest Beatles fan ever… so I have plans to check them out in the future, too. You can stream all lessons free on the website, but to download lessons to your computer or device you have to pay a small fee.

Live chats with instructors

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The member chat is typically lively and social.  Several instructors are scheduled throughout each day to teach and answer questions in a semi-organized environment. Topics are chosen by the members, depending on what everyone wants to talk about. Most of these discussions tend to be more advanced, although beginners and intermediate players are also encouraged to attend and ask questions.

Software tools and games

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Diving a little deeper into the site we find a tool section that has a number of useful items such as a chord library, scale finder, metronome, and the usual tools for guitar players. In this same tools section JamPlay also has music theory quizzes and games. Most musicians have trouble with music theory so it is a great attempt to put some fun into the learning process. Of course, points are kept track of so you can see where you stand with other players.

Earn points and badges (practice practice practice)

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Along with the points for the games they keep track of your past lessons; JamPlay has aa badge and point system for each lesson completed. Apparently the JamPlay points will be used in the future for special access and privileges. They even have individual progress reports to keep track of all lessons, playlists, and progress. If you are the type who likes keeping track of scores and achievements, then JamPlay provides you plenty of opportunities during your online courses. They even offer a referral service of one free month for every other person you get to sign up, which is a great deal!

Professional video quality and multi-angles

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The video lessons on JamPlay are great, most provide close-ups at multiple angles. This is a huge plus and one of the best things about the site. There are times where you just can’t tell where the instructors fingers are with online video lessons, but not on JamPlay. The video lessons are professional, with a lot of video editing, and a variety of angles.

Want to learn Hawaiian, Flamenco, Gospel, Celtic, Rock, Jazz, Country?

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The real treat on this site happens to be when you get into the intermediate and more advanced lessons. I always love unique styles, and they have lessons for genres like Hawaiian slack key, Flamenco, Celtic, Gospel, and of course the usual genres you see on most other sites. I decided to immediately try out some reggae lessons, and even learned a few new tricks. Variety is the spice of life and this site clearly has a lot to choose from. As you advance further into lessons they phase into specific songs. Of course these songs are mostly all rock, pop, country, and metal, but they seem to have the most popular ones that most students ask for. And you can also request future songs.

Learn how to write your own songs (mostly acoustic)

The final phase of advanced JamPlay lessons focuses on songwriting, using all the skills you have learned. Unfortunately for me, there are way more acoustic songwriting lessons and very few electric-centric pieces. It would be great if they had more of a balance so electric guitarists would get the same push to create their own music. Nevertheless they have more than enough lessons to get you started on songwriting.

Free Sample Video Lessons:

Sound Like a Pro Guitarist (2:05:07)  Join Will Ripley, a professional guitarist and teacher, on a journey through useful guitar techniques that can elevate your playing from amateur level to sounding like a pro in no time.  Go to the video

Pentatonic Precision Week 1 (1:01:35)  This is the first week of the “Pentatonic Precision” workshop on JamPlay.com with Chris Liepe. In this course we are going to learn a single scale pattern and explore EVERYTHING you can do with that pattern over 10 weeks. It’s time to get creative, have fun, and realize how little you need to know to actually play music. Go to the video

Useful links:

  • For more information about Jamplay click here
  • To get a free trial week of Jamplay click here
  • You can get 25% off first month by entering at the checkout the coupon code “1BA1E2“. After the first month be sure to cancel if you don’t want to continue.
JamPlay Review