Music Theory Lesson

Diatonic Major Chords

Difficulty: beginner

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To understand the Nashville Number System, it's important to first understand the likely chords to appear in a major key.

1: Major

2: Minor

3: Minor

4: Major

5: Major

6: Minor

7: min7b5 (half-diminished seventh)

In Nashville Number Charts, "-" is used to denote minor. We'll use that notation below and in the quiz. Let's examine all of the diatonic chords, starting from each scale tone, in the key of G.

G Major

2134

1. G Major is the first chord in the key of G Major.

A Minor

231

2-. A Minor is the second chord in the key of G Major.

B Minor

13421

3-. B Minor is the third chord in the key of G Major.

C Major

321

4. C Major is the fourth chord in the key of G Major.

D Major

132

5. D Major is the fifth chord in the key of G Major.

E Minor

23

6-. E Minor is the sixth chord in the key of G Major.

F#min7b5

2341

7-7b5. F#min7b5 (half-diminished seventh) is the seventh chord in the key of G Major.

In popular music, it is much more common to see a D/F# chord played when F# is in the bass position, but for theoretical purposes, we'll use the min7b5 chord instead.