How Do You Know How To Change Chords In Music

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One of the most frequently asked questions by beginning and even intermediate guitarist and musicians is how do you know when to change chords and how do you hear chord changes.

That is a very important subject not just for guitarist but for all musicians.

The best way to hear chord changes is to recognize chord progressions.

It helps to understand a little bit of chord theory and the Nashville Numbering System. Without going
into great detail or a full explanation of the Nashville Numbering System here is a general overview.

The Nashville Number System is a chord charting system that makes charting music and transposing keys easier and quicker. With this system, the scale degrees of the major diatonic scale, the do, re, me scale that every musician has heard of is represented by numbers.

This is a movable do system in the sense that whatever key you are starting in becomes the root or the do or in the case of the Nashville Numbering System the 1. The Nashville Numbering System or NNS as it is sometimes referred to uses numbers to represent the different letters in the scale. The major scale using the Nashville Number System would be 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1.

The key that you are in will determine the position of the 1 thus dictating what the 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are for that particular key.

Take for instance the scale or key of C which has no flats or sharps, the C scale is C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. In the NNS we would simply change these letters to the numbers 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1.

C is the first scale degree of the diatonic scale for the key of C. The first tone of the scale is also called the tonic because it is the tonal center or final resolution tone. The tonic tone is the pitch upon which all other pitches in a specified key are referenced.

So in the Nashville Numbering System our Tonic tone or the first note of any given key becomes the 1.

Looking at the key of C, the notes in order are C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. Since C is the first tone in the C scale, the second tone would be D which is the 2, E the third tone is the 3, F the 4, G the 5, A the 6 and B the 7. In most cases the 1, 4, 5 and are major chords, the 2, 3 and 6 are minor chords and the 7 is a diminished chord.

Most songs utilize 3 main chords, the 1, the 4 and the 5. The 6 of the key is usually a minor chord and is also the relative minor. Every major key has a relative minor and it is always the 6 of the scale. For instance the key of G which has 1 sharp, F#, the G scale would be G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G. The 6 or relative minor of the key of G would be Emin.

Now on to the subject of chord changes and chord progressions. A chord progression of 1 - 4 - 5 in the key of C is going to use the C chord which is our 1, the F chord which is our 4 (because it is the 4th tone of the scale C D E F) and G which is our 5.

Now listen to that progression or chord change from the 1 to the 4 in the key of C. Now listen to that same progression or chord change from the 1 to the 4 in the key of G. Hear that the interval is the same from 1 to 4 in both keys. You will find that a 1 - 4 progression will sound the same as far as the interval from 1 to 4 in every key.

Guitar players have an advantage over piano players we can use a little device called a capo, so if you learn the 7 chords in the key of C and the 7 chords in the key of G you can play any song in any given key.

The 2, 3 and the 6 chord you will need to know the minor chord so for D, A, E and B you need to learn the minor chords. E and A are the 3 and 6 respectively for the key of C and B and E are the 3 and 6 respectively for the key of G.

So how do you know when to change chords and how do you hear chord changes? You listen. Study those progressions, learn what a 1 to a 4 progression sounds like. The key is not important at first, just learn to identify those intervals from a 1 to a 4, 1 to a 5, 1 to a 2 passing to the 5 and so on.

If you will learn and study those intervals, those progressions then you can sit down and listen to a song that you have never heard before and chart that song using the Nashville Numbering System and turn around with very little practice and play that song like you've played it all your life.


For Free Guitar lessons and get 10 high quality video lessons that teach you step-by-step how to play some of the most impressive skills on guitar.

Simply go to

http://jamorama.churchchoirmusic.com

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