Creating Chords from a Major Scale | Andrew Booth | Skillshare

Creating Chords from a Major Scale

Andrew Booth

Creating Chords from a Major Scale

Andrew Booth

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14 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Harmonising a Major Scale Introduction

    • 2. Principals of Chord Building and Triads

    • 3. Defining the Qualities of Major and Minor

    • 4. Harmonising our 2nd chord of the Major Scale

    • 5. Harmonising the 2nd Chord of the Major Scale Continued

    • 6. Harmonising Chords Three and Four of the Major Scale

    • 7. Harmonising Chords Five Six and Seven of the Major Scale

    • 8. Listening for Major and Minor Intervals

    • 9. Listening to Major and Minor Examples

    • 10. Exercise Learning to Hear Major and Minor Intervals 1 5

    • 11. Exercise Learning to Hear Major and Minor Intervals 6 10

    • 12. Exercise Harmonising Major Scales

    • 13. Generating Chords From a Major Scale What You Have Learnt

    • 14. Generating Chords From a Major Scale Index

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About This Class

This video is not an ‘instrumental lesson’ it is not about technique.  It is a way to think about melody and harmony that gives you the method and the tools, whatever instrument you play, or even if you don’t play at all to confidently be able to create your own music.  Maybe you have an interest in music and you want to understand more?  Maybe you’re a D.J who wants to get a grip on creating and using chords and harmony?  This video is for you!

It’s so important to have a really good handle on Major Scales, because it is the foundation for you to build chords!  This is the cornerstone of our musical system!  Once you’ve got chords down, you can confidently write great chord progressions, and great catchy melodies to go with them!

Meet Your Teacher

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Andrew Booth


I have been involved in music for nearly twenty five years. I have pursued interests in live performance, concert organisation, recording, mixing, production, label management, and directing. My ability to conceptualise clearly and communicate concisely both musically and socially, allow me to work alone, or in concert with others very effectively. I have worked on recording and live music projects with Kenwyn House (Reef) Mitch Glover (Kosheen) and Gary Shaw (Sherman Robertson + Jimmy Witherspoon) and Jim Shaw and Ben Baxter (Cranes)

I have been playing live and recording for the past twenty three years. I have playing experience with lots of different styles of music - rock, pop, folk, country, musical theatre, r+b, prog, metal, disco, punk, world, acoustic, blues, reggae, jaz... See full profile

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1. Harmonising a Major Scale Introduction: Hello. Welcome. This video is not an instrumental lesson. It's not about take me. It is, however, a way to think about melody and harmony that gives you the method and tools whatever instrument, or even if you don't Plato to confidently be able to understand and create your own music. Maybe you have an interest in music and you want to understand more. Maybe you're a teacher, and you want to get to grips with creating and using chords and harmony. Then this video is for you. It's so important to have a really good handle on major scales, because is the foundation for you to build cords? This is the cornerstone of our musical system. Once you've got these cords down, you could confidently right great chord progressions and catchy melodies to go with them, harmony or any notes, play together and melody. Any note played one after another, completely dependent on the both inform each other. Harmony is like a comfortable bed for melody to lie down, and melody reflects the nature of the harmony that it comes from. Now don't forget to watch my other video generating and using major scales before you watch this video they're says all the information you need to generate your major scale, which we will be using to generate power chords in this video. Now, if you remember, all you needed was your tone row and your major scan intervals. Now, using the interval system, we navigate the tone road and generate our major scale. This works for any major scale. So that's any of the 12 notes that you can find on our people using the interval system, navigate the tone robe and generate your major scale. 2. Principals of Chord Building and Triads: Now you have the notes in the major school you were looking for. You can start to think about one of the most important aspects of our musical system Building cords, cords or a combination of notes played at the same time, making calls. It's so simple. All you need is a major scale on the magic number. Right now you can choose any major scale on right out all the seven notes for this example we're gonna be using C Now, start from the first degree of the scale. We're gonna move along to the third degree, skipping the second degree. Remember, a degree just refers to the no order in the scale. So in C. Major sees you First degree Easy. Second, an easy third. Now we're gonna move along to the fifth degree, which in C major, is it g at this to the other two notes in the court. So in C major, you're called now contains a note, see, okay, and G, and you have the first called now the technical name for this type of called is a triad. Because it's got three notes. It is really good for you to play these chords for yourself on a piano or come back any instrument to help you understand this method. The beauty of this is that you'll never need help to find a called again. Even if you don't play an instrument, you now have the ability to always work out these calls for yourself. 3. Defining the Qualities of Major and Minor : called two given names that deformed their qualities. The major called Above, is generally agreed to contain a collection of notes that make the chord sound brighter. Although this is still hotly debated, some calls could be described as being brought. Er, another's darker, and this is somewhat subjective. Certainly one of my lecturers, the university, was horrified that we would describe the major called us happy on a minor called us, and he pulls wrong. It is completely ridiculous to attribute those qualities to these cords. To say that sad more on the sounding chords can only be interpreted in that way as sad. And so, for example, you wouldn't use them in an upbeat, happy song is definitely not true. You've got to think of chords in a way that a painter reduced paints. You need both light and dark as a painter, and it's the combination of these two. Contrast in a broad palette allow such a depth of creativity. Certainly the distance between the notes in a major third interval, that is to say, see the room and a the major third. A distance of two tones to me sounds brighter than the morning cooled. The interval of mourning. Third, which is slightly closer tone and 1/2 away sounds darker than the interval of Major. We can confidently say that the closer that an interval of the third is to the room, Dr It will sound. I guess I've just been conditioned to culturally to hear it that way. 4. Harmonising our 2nd chord of the Major Scale: Now we can build cords from any of the notes in our C major scale. You need to use the same method to find the rest of the cords as we did when we built our C major chord above. Now a change of perspective is required here as we will be building accord from the second degree of R C major scale, which is day. Have a look at the chart and you can see that even though D is the second degree of our major scope, we can treat it as the root or first note of a new chord we can build just to reiterate. We have everything we need to create and build these courts in our major scale. The's seven notes will create four different core types, all with slightly different characterised now. Piano wasn't my first instrument. As I've said in my previous video, it's so important to be able to use a PM because they are the default way in which we musically communicate to a computer. I noticed when I first started that a lot for the cause that you will be playing all come in the same shape if you're a visual learner. This could go a long way to helping you digest all of this information on the piano. We can classify the basic triads for most cords in a couple of different shapes. Number one All the white case number two. Why not see the side with a black note in the middle? Number three black note. See the side with the water in the middle? Number four or black? Essentially all you're doing when you build cords is miss every other note out from the major scale, which you built them from in C major. This is easy to illustrate is the scale that uses all the white notes on the piano. 5. Harmonising the 2nd Chord of the Major Scale Continued: remember, we're still using the notes in C major, which is started from day. He now becomes the root of the new chord or first position. It often helps to think of these in a vertical way as your stack and notes on top of each other, because we're building called or harmony. So they're always notes that play together. Now just repeat the process you a ploy to see. Day two F is 1/3 in this case is a minor third. So unlike C T E, which, as we said above its a brighter note d two f as a darker quality, then from it well, maybe to a which is our fifth. 6. Harmonising Chords Three and Four of the Major Scale: So now I would like to take you through harmonizing the rest of the C major scope. Really simple. All we do is what we've already done. So we're gonna take our necks? No, e and we're gonna add 1/3. I'm gonna add 1/5 degree, just like we did with C and D. So he is now our number one note now 1/3 from a his G s. We're gonna add that as our third, 1/5 from a is bay. We add that to our e called when we get and a mall in a cool as we discussed above the third. Which is the note really deformed, sir? Quality of this court. It's slightly closer to the root. No, it's a tone and 1/2 away, thus giving it that darker sound. Now we're gonna move on to f, So f is now, from our perspective, our root note for our new court. Okay, so from F, we're gonna find our third, so we miss g and go straight to a So is our third for our F course. Now we're gonna move along from a I'm gonna go move to see eyes the fifth degree about court. So again, we're just doing what we did. See Danny before. We start with our root note, which you effectively call one and then you count in secret so long till you formed your third and then you're fit. Now if and I our major third in this case, it's two tones away from RS, therefore to brighter interval. And it's a major cool, Locker said before the middle just defines this more than reading the route and more than the fifth gives it a quality that is even brought toe dark. 7. Harmonising Chords Five Six and Seven of the Major Scale : Now we're gonna move on to G, so G is on the root note and we're gonna find our third. So we're going to skip over the A and go to the be. So now be is our third for our geek. Now let's find our fifth. So from B, we can move along today and that is 1/5 of our called she G two B. It's a major third, like in F. The distance between GMB is two whole tones. Therefore, it's a broader interval, so it's gonna be another major cool again. It's very much like our SI called on r F chord. It's major on Breuder. Now let's move along, toe. So he's now we're gonna find 1/3 of a so we're gonna miss B Go to see now this form the fish. So we're gonna move from see past day T now. Oh, to see is a darker third. It's a minor third tone and 1/2 away, Slightly darker sound. Let's move on to pay So from bay we're gonna phoned our third. So we're skip, see and go too deep. Now that's found off. So from day go through a t f that be here in this instance, is quarter excruciating sounding courts very dark. And the reason for that is because the distance from B to D turn and 1/2 on the distance from Deter F is also a tone and 1/2. So it's only made up of minor intervals. So which gives it extremely dark time, the only called in this harmonised major scale that sounds this way. 8. Listening for Major and Minor Intervals: so we've harmonized our C major scale. I just want you to sit and reflect for a second on how far you've come. So we've strewn out our tone road. We've pulled out a major scale from it, and now we've built cords from that major scale. This is monumental. You could do practically anything in terms of writing music or analyze in other people's music, both of which are really, really useful skills when you're a musician. So we've discussed three different types of chords within our major scope. We've got major morna on the peculiar sounding half diminished. Now, I'd really like to concentrate on the sound that these different cords made. Now I alluded to the fact that the third is the note that really makes these chords. So what I'd like to do next is we go through each of the cools we've created on we really listen quite hard, told the sound like my So, as I've said before, major chords are gonna sound brighter. Monocled are gonna sound darker now if we just concentrate on playing the root note of each called on the third, you can really focus in on what the interval sounds. I think this is really important because eventually you'll learn to hear these chords in other people's music on. Of course she right. 9. Listening to Major and Minor Examples: So let's start with C. So let's hear. See unknown A. Now let's hear those together. So we've got that bright sound so we know this called. It's a major cool. Now let's move on today So we've got a the root note andan f third. Now let's hear those together darker. Interval closer to the root note. Now let's move on to E. Now this is another mourner called We've gotten e note and Jeanne again. Like the decor, the G is closer to the so it's another mourner. Now this movinto that CBF I'm here now, like the sea called F in a two tones apart gives it that brighter sound. So this is a major chord. Now let's have a listen to G and together again Droid to sound major cold. Now let's be able to I I and see together game darker minor cooled. Now let's move on to pay now. Now together, Ken Morning rentable darker called, so you can see that all of these root notes and all of these thirds really only come in two flavors. We've got major and more dirigibles 10. Exercise Learning to Hear Major and Minor Intervals 1 5: Okay, so I wanted to present a little listening exercise for everyone on. This is a good, really good practice for you to be able to detect whether a record is made to reminder when you go out and do this yourself in the real world. So Assad was also something I like to do with my students at work. So I often begin in music theory class with a little listening exercise. Keep them on their toes. But also you only get better at this sort of thing by practicing it over and over. So please don't be too disappointed if you don't score highly at first. Certainly could do the more of these. You do, the better. You get your fund, I'd like to say, uh, in the first video. It's very good to diversify the way you digest all this information. So we've talked about the intervals being different for major Mourners, so you distance from your route to a major. Third is two tones in the distance in a minor third route to a minor. Third is a tone and 1/2. That's all very well, but it's quite abstract still, So it's good. Teoh, come on. Do some actual listening on you've heard the notes a few times played over in the video so far is it's gonna be or you can do is improve, and I'm sure you'll get some of these. So what we're gonna do is we're going to play. I'll play a single note. I'll follow it with another and then operate both notes together and we can have a go at naming the interval. So good thing to do now would be to get yourself perhaps, um, traditional pen and paper and jot down 1 to 10. Andi. Then you ready? Teoh, listen to what notes I play and have a guess. Charter. Hear what the interval is? Remember? It can only be one of two. It's either major or minor. So remember, if you think it's a Bryant herbal, then right major down. If you think it's a dark interval, then right, mourner down locus I. These intervals are so important it determined whether accord is major or minor, so it's a really pivotal listening experience, but so here we go. Let's play the first note. The second note. So have a little think about how close or far away. You think those two intervals I'll play them together for you? So, is that bright or is that dark? You write your own. Sit down. That's number one Now number two. Now our second. Now, uh, do we think that's darker or lighter? Let's play them together. Is that Docker? Is that roids? Write down your answer for number two now a three a second. Play them together bright or dark, Major or minor. What do you think? Okay, good. Now Number four. Another second? No. Which is I don't play them together. Talk light, Major. A minor? No, I'm a foid. Last night now referred Playing together Royal Dark matrimony. What do you think? 11. Exercise Learning to Hear Major and Minor Intervals 6 10: it. Number six. First note. How the second note? Uh, no. Together, Breuer. Dark major or minor? Right around. Sit down Now. Number seven. Our first note on our second. I understand together brighter or darker. Major. A minor. Now I'm bite. First note now. Second. So listen to those together, Dr Mate. What? Your own. Sit down for number. Right? I get to the last two now I'm annoying. Uh, fast night. Second note together. And now for ah, for no in civil number 10. First note. Second note. Not together. A little dog. Get your answers down, pulls the video, maybe go back and have another listen. And I'm going to reveal now. Beyonce is suppose the video here if you want to go back. Okay, so here we go. Reveal for number one Major for number two. Minor number three. Major on before major number five. Morning number six Major number seven, Minor number eight. Minor number nine Major a number 10 Minor. Now add up. I dont be score. I see what you got. Hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised, but look and say you always get better in these. The more you do them on. If your musical anyway. And you watching this video. Then chances are you're you're going to be listening to all sorts of music, so just give yourself I a little practice every now and then and test yourself with this listening exercise. Thank you. 12. Exercise Harmonising Major Scales: Okay, now we've mapped out all the notes and we've discussed the deformed and characteristics of each type of cord. I want to take another moment to consider what it is you're able to do now. You can use the time row a Siris of intervals to generate a major scale you can take. That may just go and harmonize it. That is to say, you can take the major's going use it to generate courts. This is really achievement, and I want to be the first congratulate you well done. Now we can use the chart like a on on screen to describe ALS, the elements of a harmonised major scale. Once you've harmonized to make just go, you have a serious of chords you could start to talk about and use the word key. He can be an ambiguous term, but we really need to remember is that the cords you've just generated have a specific relationship to one another. It is significantly close, much like a family, although this is for another video cords have specific functions they do perform on. This very much depends on their position within a key. The chart above helps us to define and see this. The courts have Roman numerals written about the Roman numeral relates to the court that lives there. You're noticed that they're in the same order is the degrees of the scale were when we generated out major scale earlier. These numbers are useful when you were referring to chords of music. Help differentiate between degrees of the scale, which we express his numbers and cords, which we expresses Roman numerals. Capital letters used to describe major chords on lower case are used for minor. We will be developing our knowledge of Roman numerals later on in another video, and it is helpful to know a little bit about them now to help with our focus on court building. So we will find when you want to take this next exercise of harmonizing the rest of the majors. Girls for yourself is that for all other major scales, you will need to use accidental either flats or sharps. C Major is the only scale where we use just the white notes. Whenever you harmonize any major scale, the cords were always be the same type in the same order, that is to say, called one in a harmonized major scale is always major. Court to is always minor, called three is always more enough called four is was major called five Is Always Major. Court six is always minor. Call seven. The final chord in the sequence is always half diminished, so you can use the pdf self included with this exercise, and the major scales have already generated in the last video to harmonize all the rest of the major skills that we've got. Remember, you may need to work out the notes in the school using the tone row in the interval system at the beginning of this book. But if you have watched more video generating and using major scales, then you will already have all 12 major scales written out on ready to harmonize for this exercise. Either way, it's great practice. Okay, so before you go often, attempt the final exercise on your own. I like to give you just one more piece of advice, uh, pretty central voice, which accidental is to use for each major scale. So this is really specific because if you use the wrong ones, it but a lot come out roll, so there's no way for you to know this unless I tell you. And so here we are. So generally the clue is in the title. Okay, So keys that are expressed using sharps tend to be white notes on the keyboard. So edgy D a major e major and be major always expressed those using Sharp case. There were expressed using flats B flat, even a flight. So anything with a flat after the initial letter. And also, if you need to use flats when you're expressing the accidental is in. So with that, I'm gonna wish you good luck. 13. Generating Chords From a Major Scale What You Have Learnt: Okay, so let's sum up by looking at what you've learned. Now that you've gone through this process, you can take the tone row and extract any major scale from you could take a major scale and harmonize it, creating a series of chords. And you can tell the difference between the bright sound of a magical and the sound of a darker morning cooled. This is a serious amount of work you've done. It's really impressive, basically going from nothing to be able to harmonize an entire major scale on. If you complete the last exercise, you've done it multiple times. So you really well practice now on you can go out into the world. Perhaps you're composing music, your deejay. Perhaps you're just interested in how other people compose music. Either way, you can know under start to understand from a standpoint of cords where these things are grouped so you can see that San called belong to certain groups of other scales, and you can see these interacting and other people's music, and you can also experiment with the way they interact yourself. We will certainly be looking at more of these examples and exploring how we use these on their relationships to each other in future videos, so I look forward to seeing you all back then. 14. Generating Chords From a Major Scale Index: So I wanted to finish with an index just to go over the definitions again for some of the times we've been using in this video. And it's here for you to refer to whenever you feel like you're not sure what they are so called a group of notes that sounded to get Try it. Now that's a three note chord, and that's what we've specifically been dealing with here today. Magic. This comprises a route no or first degree, from which the court takes its name. 1/3 degree, which is the interval of two taint, if you remember from the root, making it brighter on a major third. This is the note that gives it called its particular Flavor Locker, say, and a foreign or fifth degree morning. Now this called comprises of a route now well, first degree from which the court also takes its name. 1/3 degree, which is the interval of a tone and 1/2 from the root, making it slightly closer and darker. So it's a model offered. This is the note that gives this called its particular flavor, as in the major as well, and a formal fifth degree minor third. This is the interval distance between the 1st 2 notes in our chords. No first degree root note will first degree and the third degree. This interval is considered to be darker than a major major. Third, this is the interval distance between the 1st 2 notes in a chord again, same as before en route. Local first degree and the third degree. This interval is considered to be brought up in the morning and finally your half diminished. This is the symbol used to describe the final chord in a harmonized major scale. The distance between the root and third and the third and fifth degrees are both mourner thirds in this court, this makes it especially dark in sound.