Dissecting a G Major Chord

Have you ever wondered why a chord is what it is?

In this video I’ll teach you the notes that go into a G major chord, as well as C major. You’ll see that major chords are built on the I, III, and V notes out of the scale. One of the things to watch out for is that when you change chords, you change root notes. What I mean by this is on the G major chord, the G is the I, and on the C major chord, the C is the I.

I explain all of this in a lot more detail in the Unlocking I IV V course, however hopefully you’ll be able to learn something from this video too.

Let me know your thoughts on this kind of teaching video – it is my first experiment using a tablet to relate guitar theory, and I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it!

Check it out:

Click here for the Unlocking I IV V Course

9 thoughts on “Dissecting a G Major Chord

  1. Rob

    The use of the tablet was helpful. However, when I played the lesson I heard 2 voice tracks, one a few seconds delayed. A bit distracting!

  2. Jonathan Post author

    Hi Fred, that’s a great point. The course is called I IV V because those are the three main CHORDS in every key, however they are derived from the number system for scales.

    With I, III, V, those represent the NOTES that are needed in the chords.

    The course is really about learning how the number system controls the notes in the chords, the chords in the keys, the scales in the keys – basically everything is wrapped up in the number system, and understanding it is the key to understanding your guitar.

  3. dave swanson

    Jonathan I’m not newbe but this a very interesting way to visually explain it Thanks. Swany from Wisconsin

  4. Glo

    .. On the piano it is easy but the fretboard throws me a curve. When do I know to move up a string or along it to count the intervals?

  5. Jonathan Post author

    Hi Glo, think of the fretboard as 6 keyboards laid out one in front of the other, arranged so each is a fourth further away from the center point. Each string is like the keyboard, flattened out so there aren’t any black or white keys… all the white keys are a fret, and the black keys are also a fret, in the same order.

    So when you want a G note, pick a string, and count up from the open note in the same way you normally would, but according to semitones. For instance, on the 6th string, start on E, then F, then F#, then G on the 3rd fret.

    In the example in the video, I showed how to build a G major chord, using essentially this technique. The chord comes out of the notes in the scale, so that reduces the options available in that key, which is handy.

    Hope that helps…

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