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Chords built in 4ths

The Jazz Guitar Lessons

Chords built in 4ths sound really hip. I clearly remember being shown them by a piano player friend and loved the sound and the 'open tonality' that allows you to move between the chords within the harmony. 

Video Lesson

Further Reading...

Chords are most commonly built using 'stacked 3rds', a series of 3rd intervals stacked from a root note, for example a C Major 7th chord is built:

C Major Scale: C D E F G A B C (giving the notes C, E, G, B)

To build chords in 4ths, a series of diatonic 4th intervals are stacked from a scale degree - shown here built from the 1st degree.

C Major Scale: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C (giving the notes C, F, B, E)

Of course just like with chords built in 3rds you can build chords from each scale degree, here highlighted are the notes built from the 2nd degree.

C Major Scale: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C

Because of their 'open' sound you can move between all the diatonic grips over any one chord. The series I show in the video lesson is in C Major, all the notes in all the chords belong to the C Major scale. All the grips will work over all the Diatonic Chords in the Key Of C, of course some will sound better than others - you have to use your ears too!

There are only really 4 grips, so I have labeled them diatonically, I would strongly recommend that you practice playing them in order so you get use to how they link together, I should hope that you know your diatonic chords (if you don't then you are probably not ready for this lesson yet - check out Practical Music Theory!!)

Hope you enjoy using them!


Chords Built in 4ths
Chords Built in 4ths
Chords Built in 4ths

Chords Built in 4ths
Chords Built in 4ths
Chords Built in 4ths

Chords Built in 4ths





Lesson ID: JA-033