The Difference Between Major and Minor Chords

Have you ever wondered what makes a minor chord different from a major chord? The difference boils down to a single note, which is the 3rd. The other two notes we put in every chord – EVERY chord – are the root note and the fifth. Those two notes are the same regardless of whether we’re talking about a major chord or a minor chord.

There are two types of thirds, major thirds and minor thirds. So, if you’ve got a minor third in between the root note and the fifth, you end up with a minor chord.

Major and minor thirds are the color notes, and they make great harmonies. Learning to use those thirds can really help your guitar playing, and that’s part of what this lesson is about.

If you’re not familiar with the scale degrees, and how they can be used like numbers, you might want to checkout my lesson on Unlocking I IV V, as it explains that in detail.

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  1. Richard
    3 years ago

    I am confused on the 1 3 5 and 145. When I am playing I use the 145. when and why would I use the 135 ?


  2. Jonathan
    3 years ago

    Hi Richard, 135 refers to the structure of the notes within the chord… 145 refers to the three major chords in a given key. I explain this in detail in the course…


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