SMG Guitar Lesson #9: Why Chords Sound the Way They Do


For example, the three Major chords in the key of C are C Major, F Major, and G Major. Turning the wheel so that the root of each chord is at the top,  reveals that all three chords have a parallel structure and share the same intervals.


Anywhere where these three notes are found grouped together upon the guitar neck, and as long as your fingers can reach them, a chord can be played in at least one inversion. For learning purposes, we’ll only take a look at the chords in the “open range” of the guitar, (within the first four frets).

Using your musical compass, you can find the notes in any major chord by turning the dial to the desired root note and selecting the intervals root, 3, and 5. – And just to be clear, that’s ANY major chord regardless of which key were talking about.

Major Chord = Root + 3 + 5th


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