Insight 8: Types of Chords

In this edition of Insight we talk about the 3 most important types of chords we need to learn and how they differ.  The first chord that most of learn is the C chord.  This is the easiest open Major chord to play because we only need to fret one of the strings.  Open chords refer to chords that have open strings in them, like the C chord which has 3 open strings.  So how does this chord sound to you?  So many times when we are learning music we forget that listening is one of the most important skill that we need to develop!  So take some time and play some major chords that you know and see if you can hear how they all sound or feel major.   Use some words to describe the sound or feeling.  It might be easier if you have something to contrast it like an am chord.  Like C, am is the easiest open minor chord with only one string fretted.  Now try playing some minor chords you know and really listen to them and try and describe how they sound and feel.  Also pay attention to how they differ from major chords.  If I had to choose one word to describe each it would be happy for major and sad for minor.  The third chord we need to know is 7 chords.  Play a G7 and try and describe the feel of this chord.  Do you notice a certain tension in the sound?  7 chords are what are called tendency chords because they tend to want to move to other chords in order to resolve that tension.  Try playing G7 a number of times then moving to the C.  Can you you hear and feel that resolution?

     Remember these 3 types of chords are the most important, as a matter of fact if you can play all of them then you can play ANY song so try adding some Major, minor, and 7 chords to your left hand arsenal.