Minor Triads – Chords
Minor Chord Formula:
A minor chord is made up of notes based on the intervals of the natural minor scale.
The minor chord formula is 1-b3-5 (i.e. the Root, b3rd and 5th notes of the major scale).
An inversion is simply a way of identifying when the notes of a chord have been ‘inverted’ i.e. when the root (1st) note of the chord is not in the lowest (bass) position.
The C minor triad chord consists of 3 notes, C, Eb, G (1st–b3rd–5th).
When the lowest note of the chord is C (1st) then it is in the ‘root position‘.
When the note E (b3rd) is in the lowest position then the chord is known as a ‘1st inversion‘.
When the note G (5th) is in the lowest position then the chord is known as a ‘2nd inversion‘.
The inversion is determined only by the note in the lowest (bass) position, it does not matter what order the other notes are in.
The CAGED System
The CAGED system is simply a way of taking common ‘open’ chord shapes that are moveable and therefore can be played in other locations up and down the fretboard.
It is based on the open chord shapes of the ‘C’ chord, ‘A’ chord, ‘G’ chord, ‘E’ chord and ‘D’ chord hence the name ‘CAGED’.
It is a significant stepping stone to unlocking chords all over the fretboard and once you understand it, it will supercharge your ability to play/create music.
To play moveable chords, it is necessary to create a ‘barre‘ across part or all of the fretboard.
This is done by placing your index finger across 5 or 6 strings at the relevant fret thus creating a new ‘nut’.
This can be particularly difficult for new guitarists, it will take time to build up the strength in all of your fingers.
The diagrams below show the generic CAGED shapes for minor chords.
The indigo note is the root note of the chord, for example:
– if you wish to play the D minor chord then the indigo root note will be the note of D, for example, the ‘E’ shape for D minor is at the 10th fret, the ‘A’ shape for D minor is at the 5th fret.
– if you wish to play the F minor chord then the indigo root note will be the note of F, for example, the ‘E’ shape for F minor is at the 1st fret, the ‘A’ shape for F minor is at the 8th fret.