Basic Chords Cheat List


Basic Chord Cheat List (top secret!)

Already I did show you each of the basic chords (triads) and how to get them.


You can remember these for easy reference :

  1. Major Chord = Root + Major 3rd + Perfect 5th
  2. Minor Chord = Root + minor 3rd + Perfect 5th
  3. Diminished Chord = Root + minor 3rd + Diminished 5th


Now you can really get any basic chord (triad) of your choice with those three formulas but to help you assimilate better you should…


  1. Know your major chords in all keys.
  2. Know that to get a minor chord you will simply reduce the middle note of a Major chord by a semitone, hence turning the major 3rd to a minor 3rd and that changes the whole chord to minor chord.
  3. Know also that anytime you reduce the Perfect 5th of a minor chord by a semitone you will get a diminished chord.


Were they not easy?  Please read over and over again and experiment with your piano to get the point.


But here is something that will blow your mind…


**Chord = note combination


1 chord = 135


2 chord = 246


3 chord = 357


4 chord = 461


5 chord = 572


6 chord = 613


7 chord = 724


This chords cheat list works for chords in all keys.


Let me illustrate with key F here…


From the cheat list if you check:

1 chord = 135 (which is F major chord in key F)


Now simply pick the keys (letters) that coincides with the numbers.

1=F   3=A   5=C

Hence our F Major chord is FAC.


This works like a topic in verbal reasoning in primary school if I could remember.

Now try to verify using the formula for getting major chords.

Are we correct? I guess so…


Let’s get the “3 chord” which is A minor chord in key F.


Remember we always follow the rules.

1, 4 and 5 chords are majors


2, 3 and 6 chords are minors


While the 7 chord is diminished triad.


To get our “3 chord ” from the cheat list…


3 chord = 357


Hence, 3=A 5=C 7=E


“3 chord” which is A minor then is = ACE


Simple isn’t it?


Finally, let’s get the 7 chord (E diminished triad)


7 chord = 724


7=E 2=G 4=Bb


Hence, 7 chord (E diminished triad) = EGBb


You can see how this cheat list worked for all the 7 triads in our major scale.


Now here are all our 12 major chords, 12 minor chords as well as our 12 diminished triads

major chords

minor chords


Trust me!  This works for all 12 keys, so please try and keep experimenting using the cheat but don’t forget the basic foundational rules.


Do this drill before we go to the next lesson…


Use the cheat list to form your:


  1. “3 chord” in the key of C major


  1. “5 chord” in the key of Db major


  1. “7 chord” in key B major


Next we will be discussing on how to use chords for songs.

Don’t miss that…


Check it out!

Leave a Reply