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Banjo Lessons: Theory - Major Chords

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[MUSIC]
Let's get back to the major chord.
And again, if you're getting a little
blown out just listening to this,
you could stop and come back later.
I've found that sometimes it helps me if
I'm trying to learn some theoretical
concept, if I start glazing over, I'll
just wait and come back to it later and
then it makes a little more sense the next
time.
[MUSIC]
'Kay, so we're back in G major.
[MUSIC]
So we have the first, third, and
fifth notes of the scale right now.
[MUSIC]
Okay, so bear with me here.
Now when you wanna talk about bluegrass
music,
how many chords are you usually talking
about?
Most of the time, you're talking about
three chords.
And in the key of G and
we found this out with Boil them Cabbage
Down and many other tunes that we played.
There is G, and the next chord is what?
C.
[MUSIC]
And then D seventh or D.
It's the same kind of a chord.
[MUSIC]
So,
G is built on the first note of the scale,
G.
And you build a chord off of that by going
to the third note of the scale.
Do, re, mi.
That's the second note of the chord.
And then from that note.
One, two, three, then three, four, five.
The fifth note of the scale gives you the
last note of your chord.
[MUSIC]
So there's G.
Now, C is what note of the G scale?
Here's C right here.
You're first fret of the second string.
If you go do, re, mi, fa.
One, two, three four.
A C note, besides being a hundred dollar
bill,
is also the fourth note of the set, the
fourth note of the G scale.
One, two three, four.
Now if you build a chord off C, it has the
same formula.
Here's C.
Let's play a C scale.
Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do.
And again, your going whole step, whole
step, half step, whole step, whole step.
[MUSIC]
Whole step.
Half step.
Two whole steps, half steps.
Three whole steps and a half step.
[MUSIC]
Okay, to get a C chord we need to know,
we have to add the third note of the C
scale.
Do, re, mi, one, two three.
Which is an E note.
[MUSIC]
Which is right here at the second fret of
the first string.
You know your C chord,.
[MUSIC]
So here's C,
that's the first note of the C scale.
E on the second fret of the first string.
Do, re, mi, one, two, three, is the third
note of the C scale.
And G, which is your fifth string in this
case.
One, two, three, four, five.
Since all major chords are made up of the
first, third, and
fifth notes of the scale of that chord.
One, two, three, four, five.
There's your C chord.
[MUSIC]
Now, so you have G, which is the one
chord, C is the four chord, and the other
chord you use a lot of the time and
most of the time in bluegrass, is D when
you're in the key of G.
D is the fifth note of the G scale.
One, two, three, four.
I'm sorry.
One, two, three, four, five.
Starting on the third string.
One, two, three, four, five.
There's D.
All of this is to say, if you've ever
heard of the one, four,
five chord progression, it's talking about
chords built up the first,
fourth and fifth notes of the scale of the
key you're in.
So you're in the key of G.
G is the one chord.
C is the four chord.
One, two, three, four.
And D.
One, two, three, four, five, is the five
chord.
And you build a chord off of each of these
notes of the scale.
Now what if you're in the key of C?
The four chord is gonna be, C is the one
chord,
whatever key you're in, that chord will be
the one chord.
So one, two, three, four, two, three,
four.
As you're going up the scale, the fourth
note of the scale happens to be F.
One, two, three, four.
So there's F.
[MUSIC]
And then the fifth,
the five chord would be one, two, three,
four, five.
There's your G note.
[MUSIC]
Or open G.
So the one, four, five progression in C is
C, F, G, C.
Now whenever you're talking about a 1, 4,
5 chord progression.
There's a relative, there's a relativity
between the two of them, in other words,
let's say Boil them Cabbage Down goes.
[MUSIC]
Sorry.
[MUSIC]
So you're going G, G, C, C, G, G, D, D.
So, let's say you're trying to sing that G
and
you can't because it's not in your range.
[MUSIC]
So let's figure out what these chords are.
In G, you have the one chord G.
C is your four chords.
Cuz we already determined one, two, three,
four C.
So four chord G is one.
And D or D seventh is the five chord.
One, two, three, four, five D.
So it's one, one, four, four, one, one,
five, five.
Okay, now let's say, as I was mentioning
earlier,
let's say you can't sing it in G and C is
much more in your range.
You say okay, I wanna sing this in C, but
you're not sure what the chords are.
Well since in G it's one, one, four, four,
one, one, five, five.
It's one, four, one, five.
So in the key of C, what's one?
C is one.
And what is the four chord?
One, two, three, four, it's F.
And five is G.
Remember, we talked about that just a
little while ago.
So, since Boil them Cabbage Down in G,
instead of saying G, C, and D,
we'll just say one, one, four, four, one,
one, five.
[MUSIC]
So, the same will be true in the key of C.
So, in C, in the key of C, one is C.
So, C, C.
Then you go to the four chord, which is F.
[MUSIC]
Back to C which is a one chord to G.
So now you have the exact same
relationship be,
between the between the chords.
Except how you're doing in C instead of G.
But it's still the same one-four, one-five
progression.
[MUSIC]
And you can do this in any key.
The key of D.
D is one, G is four, A is five and so
forth.
Let's leave it at that for now in terms of
the one four five progression.
But it's very handy to understand the one
four five progression.
It might take you a couple of listenings
to really get this cemented in your brain
cuz there's a little confusion between
scales and chords and one for
five progressions.
But, if you just go through it again, I
think it'll start making sense.
[MUSIC]