By Morten Gjermundsen (

If we play 3 or more notes together we play what we call a chord. If you know how a major scale looks like and what intervals are you can easily build some simple chords.The chords we will look at here use 3 different notes and they are called triads.First we will see how to build a major chord,then we will see how the minor chord are build.

Major chords
Letīs take a look at the C major chord.

|---------------|        |-------0-------|
|---------------|        |-------1-------|
|-------0-------|        |-------0-------|
|-------2-------|        |-------2-------|
|-------3-------|        |-------3-------|
|---------------|        |---------------|

They look different but itīs the same chord.The two extra notes you see
on the second chord is just the two lower notes played an octave higher.

As i said in the beginning triads are three note chords meaning they use
three different notes.The notes we use are the root a major third and the 
fifth.The root note in C major chord is C.The major third is the E note and 
the fifth is G.If you donīt understand what i am talking about maybe this 
will help.Here we will look at these intervals(third and fifth).But before
we do so,we will look at the major scale.Here is the C major scale.



Or like this(same thing)

The first note is the root the third note is the major third and the fifth note 
is the fifth.That wasnīt so hard was it?Here is how the intervals looks like.

Listen                  Listen

|-------------------|   |-------------------|
|-------------------|   |-------------------|
|-------------------|   |----------0--------|
|----------2--------|   |-------------------|
|----------3--------|   |----------3--------|
|-------------------|   |-------------------|

If you put them together you have a simple major chord.

Thereīs lots of ways to play a C major chord,you can play it allmost everywhere
 on your guitar.Here are two more ways to play the C major too we use the root,
the third and the fifth.The other notes are the same notes played an octave higher.

|------8-------------|    |------3------------|
|------8-------------|    |------5------------|
|------9-------------|    |------5------------|
|------10------------|    |------5------------|
|------10------------|    |------3------------|
|------8-------------|    |-------------------|

Hereīs the intervals i useīd for the chord at the 8 fret.
(fifth,octave,third,fifth,octave)then the chord again.



And here is the intervals i used for the other C major chord.
(fifth,octave,third,fifth)then the C major chord.


hopefully you understand what im talking about now,if not try reading
 this again.You canīt learn everything in a snap take your time with it.

Now we will take a look at the minor chord.
As you know the major chord is build by adding the third and the fifth to the
 root note.To build a minor chord we the same thing only this time we will use
 the minor scale.listen to the C minor scale.

|--------------------------|    |--------------------------|
|--------------------------|    |-----------------------1--|
|--------------------3--5--|    |--------------0--1--3-----|
|-----------3--5--6--------|    |--------1--3--------------|
|--3--5--6-----------------|    |--3--5--------------------|
|--------------------------|    |--------------------------|

We take the root note and add the third and the fifth to form the minor chord.

Here is how a simple C minor chord looks like.

By adding some octaves to these notes the minor chord can look like this. 


Here are the intervals for that chord.
(fifth,octave,third,octave)Then the chord.


The C minor chord can also be played lots of places on the guitar.Just 
use the root,third and the fifth from the minor scale to form the chord.

To play chords in different keys you do the same thing(add third and fifth from the scale)
Here is an example of the E major chord.We use the E major scale to form the chord. 

If we look at this scale we can see that itīs impossible to play the root note and 
the third note from the low E string at the same time.So to form a E major chord we 
take the root note from the 6th string(low E),the fifth from the 5th string(B note
 on the A string),octave from the 4th string(E note on the D string),and the third
 from the 3rd string(G# note on the G string).Then we can add an open 2nd string
(B note)and then an open E(high E string).The intervals will look like this.
(fifth,octave,third,fifth,octave)Then the chord.


I could go on with every major and minor chord but hopefully you get the idea
 on how to form chords now.To build a major chord use the root,the third and the 
fifth from major scale.And to build a minor chord use the root,the third and the 
fifth from the minor scale.Good luck with the chords.And be sure to check out my other lessons.