Learn to Derive Different Types of Minor Chords on Guitar

In the previous lesson, we learned how to derive different types of Major Chords. As a continuation to that, in this lesson you will learn how to build different types of Minor Chords, starting with the basic Minor Chord to a Minor 9th Chord.

I am using the same C Major Scale (that we used for deriving the Major Chords) here for explaining the Minor Chords as well.

Major Chords Explanation

Minor Chord

The minor chord is built by combining the Root (1st) + Flattened 3rd (denoted as ‘b’ after the note)  + 5th degrees or notes of the Major Scale, In this case – the C Major Scale.

Note: Flattening a note means lowering it a half step or a half tone.

So we get the C Minor Chord notes as C-Eb-G

C Minor Chord on Guitar

  • Minor Third – The interval from C to Eb is 1 ½ Tones and is known as a Minor Third.
  • Major Third – And the interval from Eb to G is 2 Whole Tones, which is known as a Major Third.

When we combine the Minor Third and Major Third together, we get a Minor Triad or a Minor Chord.

Minor Chord Formula

Hence, the formula for building a Minor Chord is 1-b3-5 or stacking together a Minor Third + Major Third, which is exactly the opposite of a Major Chord formula where we combine a Major Third and Minor Third to build a Major Chord.

Minor Chord can be denoted as C minor or C min Or Cm.

Click the link to learn 12 Different Chord Voicings for C Minor Chord.

Minor 6th Chord

The Minor 6th Chord is built by adding the 6th degree or note of the Major Scale to the Minor Triad or the Minor Chord.

In the case of C Major Scale, we just need to add the 6th note (A) along with C-Eb-G (minor triad or minor chord) to build the C Minor 6th Chord as C-Eb-G-A.

C Minor 6 Chord on Guitar

So we derived the formula for building a Major 6th Chord as 1-b3-5-6

Minor 6th Chord can be denoted as Cm6, Cmin6, or C minor 6.

Minor 7th Chord

The Minor 7th Chord is built by adding the flattened 7th degree or note of the Major Scale to the Minor Triad or the Minor Chord.

In C Major Scale, we just need to add the Flattened 7th note (Bb) to C-Eb-G and we get the C Minor 7th Chord as C-Eb-G-Bb.

C Minor 7th Chord on Guitar

So the formula for building a Minor 7th Chord is 1-b3-5-b7

Minor 7th Chord can be denoted as Cmin7, C minor 7, or Cm7.

Minor 9th Chord

The Minor 9th Chord is built by adding the 9th degree or note of the Major Scale to the Minor 7th Chord.

In C Major Scale, we just need to add the 9th note (D) along with C-Eb-G-Bb, which is the C min 7 chord and we get the C Minor 9th Chord as C-Eb-G-Bb-D.

C minor 9th Chord on Guitar

So the formula for building a Major 9th Chord is 1-b3-5-b7-9

The Major 9th Chord can be denoted as Cmin9, Cm9, or C Minor 9

In the next lesson we will check out the Dominant chords.

Please do leave your valuable feedback or doubts as a comment.

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