Creating chords from scales

Let me know if you have any questions!  You can download the pdf and print it out so you can see it better.

Remember to practice it with a metronome! I recommend starting at 60 bpm.  Also here’s the link to the Noteflight page where I wrote the chords.

Transcript of video

I used SpeechPad to transcribe this video. It is interesting and educational to read word-for-word what ones spoken word. Hope this helps folks out as well! Remember to follow along with the video or the sheet music.


Hey everyone, how’s it going? This is my lesson on how to create chords from the diatonic scale, specifically from a major scale. I’m going to show you a demo for each of the strings one form and then show you also how to stack fourths, which is really cool. And then a little bit about how you can integrate it into your playing.

5th string – Bb flat

First, we start on the fifth string. I’m going to use a metronome. I recommend you practice with your metronome, it will help your timing. It will also help you solidify the chords. Here we go, that’s the B flat major scale. C minor 7th, D minor, E flat major 7th, F dominant, G minor 7th, A F diminished, E flat major 7th.

4th string – Eb flat

Now we’re going to go to the fourth string. If you think about it it’s actually the same chord but it sounds a little different because of the strings (each string sounds a little different because of the difference in size even if you play the same note).

E flat major 7th, F minor 7th, G minor 7th, A flat major 7th, B flat dominant. Woops, I’ll have to do that again. One, two, three, four. E flat major 7th, F minor 7th, G minor 7th, A flat major 7th, B flat dominant, C minor 7th, D half diminished, E flat major 7th. Woops, that was a little bit off but cool.

6th string – F major

Now we go to the sixth string. This is almost the same form. If you go down it would have been this. But it’s kind of muddy so we bring the note on the 5th string up an octave to the 2nd string. F major 7th, G minor 7th, A minor 7th, D flat major 7th, C dominant, E minor 7th, E half diminished, F major 7th.

Also, if you tuned up and you’re guitar’s not quite in tune with mine, it’s because of intonation issues. My strings are a little old. Guitars just have intonation issues – especially once you move higher up the neck.

1st string – F major

This is the same thing, but instead of the root being on the sixth string it will be on the first string. It’s still F. Half diminished. F major 7th.

2nd string – C major

Now we go to the second string. The roots going to be on the second string. Play it like that. It’s kind of cool with the root’s in the middle instead of the top or the bottom. C major 7th, G major 7th, D minor 7th, E…Woops I’m going to start and do it again. It’s hard for me to talk and do it for me. Three, four. C major 7th, D minor 7th, E minor 7th, F major 7th, G dominant, A minor 7th, B half diminished, and C major 7th.

3rd string – Bb major

Cool, that leaves us with one string left, the third string. We’re playing in B flat major. So, it’s like this one right. Not quite, but it has some similarities. Here’s the C minor 7th, from the last one, and this is going to be the C minor 7th from this one. You can see how they’re related. I hope, because I hope my video is at the right angle. Okay. Three, four. B major 7th, C minor 7th, G minor 7th, E flat major 7th, F [rooted], G minor 7th, sorry I kind of lost track of the names there.

Stacked fourths

The stacked fourths are still going to be in this scale. We start on the 5th strings, so it’s going to be the first fret, first string is going to be flat, so we’re going to everything in B flat major. The first chord is going to be B flat, E flat, A, D. Right, there’s going to be a tritone in everything. That’s from here to here. It’s not as perfect as just a dominant chord or a half diminished chord. That’s the scale we’re using to create the thing. That scale we’re just stacking fourths.

If you see the notation you’ll see that everything is within there, there are no sharps or flats. There’s flats within the key signature, but when the actual notation is written it’s all within that key. It’s just every fourth note. It’s kind of cool to see it. If you played it on piano it would be very simple to see, but on a guitar it’s a different kind of story.

There’s a dominant chord here, there’s a major 7th from the Lydian scale. Here’s the root. Now we’re going to add the same thing, we’re going to stack one more fourth on the first string. This one’s a little tough. Got it. That one’s like a double [bark] where it’s kind of cool. This one we’re going to move up to the next string. So it’s going to be E flat, and that would be on the fourth string. Actually, if you did it the same as…because of the whole thing we were talking about. By the way, on the sixth string, it’s kind of an easy way. It just sounds kind of crazy.

[Here you] had a different kind of guitar maybe. The fourth string, this is all in E flat, so it goes E flat, A, D, G. There’s a tritone sound that sounds cool Three, four. Remember we have A flat, here’s that tritone at the bottom. It’s not really a tritone, it’s a sharp fourth.

As an aside, I’d like to show you to remember the major scale for this one, it’s this, just like the tonic. That’s the same chord basically. Here it is with the minor 7th and the stacked fourth. So you can actually…

If you’re playing really fast you can stack the fourths, that’s a lot easier. I haven’t practiced that so much. It just hits fast. It’s a lot easier and it’s less fingers. It’s a little more modern, so if you’re going for a more old school sound, you probably shouldn’t stack fourths too much.

That’s that. There’s one more thing, there’s a little chord melody. It’s just based in C minor, different C minor chords that we threw in just going up the first string of a Dorian. There’s two versions: one where you play a chord each note, and one where you skip notes. One, two, three. And this I’m going to do real chords. I almost forgot that one.

Here’s where you do a chord every other beat. Some of them, it’s nice, they really ring through. This one obviously doesn’t. For future reference, say you’re coming down here. That’s a note, you can use a harmonic minor to figure out those new types of scales. That’s the E flat. So you can create scales from that chord. Here’s the first scale. Here’s the second.

I’m not doing it justice. That’s something to check out, you would probably learn a lot from doing that too. Thanks a lot. If you have any questions let me know. Contact me on YouTube, or my website, remember there’s stuff on my website, the written version which will help a lot if you’re into that kind of thing.

Please, just practice with the metronome and just have patience with it, it will come around. You will get it in your ears and your fingers. It’s good practice for your fingers. There’s all sorts of stuff, what ever you feel like doing just go for it. That’s about it. Take care. Peace. All right. Bye.

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