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We Love Your Songs.com


26th Apr

Creating Chords


music chords


Chords are a fundamental element of music.   Without them, music would be very boring.   Chords often set the mood or feeling of the music, while the melody of the music is the bit you will often end up whistling on your way back home.

There are four basic triads that you should really be aware of: Major, minor, augmented and diminished.  These are written above in traditional notation.  Don’t worry if you can’t read music notation.  All you need to understand is the basic principles.

Even if you know nothing about chords or music notation you can still create them easily.  For this you will need a computer with a music program that has a MIDI Piano Roll section.  

The Piano Roll allows you to draw in notes one by one.  If you are not a virtuoso MIDI keyboard player – and let’s face it, not many of us are these days!  This is going to be your “go to” section of your music software program (DAW) for creating chords and melodies. 

If you scribble in a few notes in this section and then play them back with a MIDI instrument assigned to the channel, you will find that some sections sound good, but most of it will probably sound pretty bad.  This is because when you scribble the notes in there will be harmonically clashing notes.

If you now try and copy the chord below, which is a C Major chord in root position held for one bar, you will find that this should produce a cheery sounding C Chord.  If you wanted to make this a minor chord all you have to do is move the middle red bar down one space.  Now that same chord is C Minor.  For an augmented chord, all you have to do is move the middle bar back to where it was originally, and move the top bar, (G), up one space.  Now the chord is augmented.

After you understand the basic principles of creating chords, the next stage is to start making chord patterns and chord inversions.

chord root position

By Chris Haines

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