HEADER IMAGE

Home : Theory and Patterns : Chord Formulas
The program at http://gui-tar.com/guitar_chords.exe creates guitar chord diagram charts for songs.  It was written to help students in high school jazz band quickly play all of the common extended, altered, and complex chord types.  It can also be used to create chord charts for any other type of music (with simpler chords):  folk, rock, blues, pop, etc.

To select chords for your song, click the root note (letter name:  A, Bb, C#, etc.), and then the sonority (major, minor, 7(#5b9), etc.) of each chord.  The list of chords you've selected will be shown in the text area below.  When you've added all the chords needed to play your song, click the "Create Chart" button.  Your browser will open, with a complete graphic rendering of all chords in your song.  You can use our browser's page settings to print charts at different sizes.

Two versions of each chord are presented:  1 with the root note on the 6th string, and another with the root note on the 5th string.  Chord lists can be saved and reloaded with the "Save" and "Load" buttons. The rendered images and the HTML that displays them are all saved to the "./chords" folder (a subfolder of wherever this script is run).
You can create a zip file of all the contents of that folder to play your song later, upload it to a web server to share with the world, etc.


-- THEORY --

Read http://gui-tar.com/Music_Theory--7-30-07.pdf to get a full understanding of everything having to do with how chords (and scales) are constucted.  Here are the formulas and fingering patterns used to create chords in thE program above:


6th string notes:               5th string notes:


0  1  3  5  7  8  10  12        0  2  3  5  7  8  10  12
E  F  G  A  B  C  D   E         A  B  C  D  E  F  G   A

The sharp symbol ("#") moves notes UP    one fret
The flat  symbol ("b") moves notes DOWN  one fret


Root 6 interval shapes:         Root 5 interval shapes:     
___________                     ___________
| | | | 4 |                     | | | | | |
| 3 6 9 | 7                     | | | | | |
1 | | | 5 1                     | | | | 1 4
| | 7 3 | |                     | | 3 6 | |
| 5 1 4 6 9                     5 1 4 | 9 5
| | | | | |                     | | | 7 | |
| | 9 | 7 |                     | | 5 1 3 6


To create any chord, slide either shape up the fretboard until the
number "1" is on the correct root note (i.e., for a "G" chord, slide
the root 6 shape up to the 3rd fret, or the root 5 shape up to the
10th fret).  Then pick out the required intervals:


CHORD TYPE:           INTERVALS:           SYMBOLS:

Power Chord           1    5                5
Major Triad           1    3    5           none  (just a root noot)
Minor Triad           1   b3    5           m, min, mi, -
Dominant 7            1    3   (5)  b7      7
Major 7               1    3   (5)   7      maj7, M7, (triangle) 7
Minor 7               1   b3   (5)  b7      m7, min7, mi7, -7
Half Diminished 7     1   b3   b5   b7      m7b5, (circle with line) 7
Diminished 7          1   b3   b5  bb7 (6)  dim7, (circle) 7
Augmented 7           1    3   #5   b7      7aug, 7(#5), 7(+5)


Add these intervals to the above 7th chords to create extended chords:

9 (is same as 2)   11 (is same as 4)   13 (is same as 6)   

Examples:              9          =    1   3  (5)  b7    9
                       min9       =    1  b3  (5)  b7    9
                       13         =    1   3   5   b7   13
                       9(+5)      =    1   3  #5   b7    9
                       maj9(#11)  =    1   3  (5)   7    9  #11


Here are some more common chord types:

"sus"       =  change 3 to 4
"sus2"      =  change 3 to 2
"add9"      =  1 3 5 9  (same as "add2", there's no 7 in "add" chords)
"6,  maj6"  =  1 3 5 6
"m6, min6"  =  1 b3 5 6
"6/9"       =  1 3 5 6 9
11          =  1 b7 9 11
"/"         =  Bassist plays the note after the slash




Chords to the song "Laura":
|  E7(b9)  |  Am9  |  Am7/D  D7(b9#5)  |  Gmaj7 Am7  |  Bbdim7 Bm(b6)  |  Gm7  |  Db7(#5) C7(b9#5)  |
Fmaj7 Bb7  |  F6/9   |  Fm Fm(maj7)  |  Dm7(b5) G7(b9b5) |  Cmaj7 Dm7  |  Em7 Am7  |  D7(-9+5)  |
G9sus4 G9  |  F#07 Fm7  |  Em7 Eb7sus4  |  Dm7 Dbmaj7  |  Cmaj9(#11)  ||
     E7(b9)           Am9            Am7/D          D7(b9#5)         Gmaj7            Am7
  1 3 5 b7 b9     1 b3 5 b7 9     1 b3 5 b7 D   1 3 #5 b7 b9      1 3 5 7        1 b3 5 b7
    C shape         E shape         E shape         C shape         E shape         E shape
  1=7th fret (E)  1=5th fret (A)  1=5th fret (A)  1=5th fret (D)  1=3rd fret (G)  1=5th fret (A)
  x__________     ___________     x__________     x__________     ___________     ___________
  | | 3 |b9 |     1 |b7b3 5 |     | Db7b3 5 1     | | 3 |b9 |     1 | | | 5 1     1 |b7b3 5 1
  | 1 |b7 | 5     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | 1 |b7 | |     | | 7 3 | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | 5 | | | 9     | | | | | |     | | | | |#5     | 5 | | | |     | 5 | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________
     Bbdim7          Bm(b6)           Gm7           Db7(#5)         C7(b9#5)         Fmaj7
   1 b3 b5 6       1 b3 5 b6       1 b3 5 b7       1 3 #5 7      1 3 #5 b7 b9       1 3 5 7
    E shape         E shape         D shape         C shape         C shape         D shape
  1=6th fret (Bb) 1=7th fret (B)  1=5th fret (G)  1=4th fret (Db) 1=3rd fret (C)  1=3rd fret (F)
  ___________     ___________     x__________     x_______x__     x__________     x__________
  1 | | b3| 1     1 | |b3 | 1     |(5)1 | | |     | | 3 | | |     | | 3 |b9 |     |(5)1 | | |
  |b5 | | | |     | | | |b6 |     | | | |b7b3     | 1 |b7 | |     | 1 |b7 | |     | | | | | |
  | | 1 | 6 |     | 5 1 | | |     | | | 5 | |     | | | | |#5     | | | | |#5     | | | 5 7 3
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________
      Bb7            F6/9             Fm            Fm(maj7)        Dm7(b5)         G7(b9b5)
    1 3 5 b7       1 3 5 6 9        1 b3 5         1 b3 5 7        1 b3 b5 b7     1 3 b5 7 b9
    E shape         C shape         D shape         D shape         A shape         E shape
  1=6th fret (Bb) 1=8th fret (F)  1=3rd fret (F)  1=3rd fret (F)  1=5th fret (D)  1=3rd fret (G)
  ___________     x__________     x__________     x__________     x_________x     ___________
  1 |b7 | | 1     | | 3 6 | |     |(5)1 | | |     |(5)1 | | |     | 1 |b7 | |     1 |b7 | 5 |
  | | | 3 | |     | 1 | | 9 5     | | | | |b3     | | | | |b3     | |b5 |b3 |     |b5 | 3 |b9
  | 5 | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | 5 | |     | | | 5 7 |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | |b7 |     | | | | | |     | | | | 1 |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________
     Cmaj7            Dm7             Em7             Am7           D7(-9+5)        G9sus4
    1 3 5 7        1 b3 5 b7       1 b3 5 b7       1 b3 5 b7      1 3 #5 b7 b9    1 4 5 b7 9
    A shape         A shape         A shape         E shape         C shape         E shape
  1=3rd fret (C)  1=5th fret (D)  1=7th fret (E)  1=5th fret (A)  1=5rd fret (D)  1=3rd fret (G)
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     x__________     ___________
 (5)1 | | | 5    (5)1 |b7 | 5    (5)1 |b7 | 5     1 |b7b3 | 1     | | 3 |b9 |     1 |b7 | 5 |
  | | | 7 | |     | | | |b3 |     | | | |b3 |     | | | | | |     | 1 |b7 | |     | | | | | |
  | | 5 | 3 |     | | 5 | | |     | 5 | | | |     | 5 | | | |     | | | | |#5     | 5 | 4 | 9
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | |b7 |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________      G9             F#07             Fm7             Em7           Eb7sus4           Dm7
  1 3 5 b7 9      1 b3 b5 b7       1 b3 5 b7       1 b3 5 b7       1 4 5 b7        1 b3 5 b7
    E shape         D shape         D shape         D shape         A shape         A shape
  1=3rd fret (G)  1=4th fret (F#) 1=3rd fret (F)  1=2nd fret (E)  1=6th fret (Eb) 1=5th fret (D)
  ___________     x_x________     x__________     x__________     ___________     ___________
  1 |b7 | 5 |     | | 1 | | |     |(5)1 | | |     |(5)1 | | |    (5)1 |b7 | 5    (5)1 |b7 | 5
  | | | 3 | |     | | |b5b7b3     | | | |b7b3     | | | |b7b3     | | | | | |     | | | |b3 |
  | 5 | | | 9     | | | | | |     | | | 5 | |     | | | 5 | |     | | 5 | | |     | | 5 | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | 4 |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________
     Dbmaj7        Cmaj9(#11)
    1 3 5 7      1 3 5 7 9 #11
    A shape         C shape   
  1=4th fret (Db) 1=3rd fret (C)
  ___________     x__________    
 (5)1 | | | 5     | | 3 | |#11 
  | | | 7 | |     | 1 | | 9 |  
  | | 5 | 3 |     | | | 7 | |  
  | | | | | |     | | | | | | 
  | | | | | |     | | | | | | 
  | | | | | |     | | | | | | 
  ___________     ___________ 



A Blues Progression:

|  A13 A9  |  D13 D9  |  A9 A7  |  A7 A+  | 
|  D9 D7(b9)  |  Adim7 D#dim7  |  Amaj7 Bmin7  |  C#min9 Cmin9  |
|  Bmin9 Bmin13  |  E9 E7#9  |  C#07 F#7(#9) |  B9sus4 Bm7 E9sus E7(b5#9)  |  A6/9 A6 A6/9 Amaj9(#11)  |
  (rootless)


      A13             A9              D13             D9              A9              A7
 1 3 5 b7 (9) 13  1 3 5 b7 9     1 3 5 b7 (9) 13  1 3 5 b7 9      1 3 5 b7 9       1 3 5 b7
    E shape         G shape        C/A shape         C shape         E shape         D shape
  1=5th fret (A)  1=5th fret (A)  1=5th fret (D)  1=5th fret (D)  1=5th fret (A)  1=7th fret (A)
  x__________     x_________x     x__________     x__________     ___________     x__________
  1 |b7 | | 5     | 3 | 9 | |     | | 3 | | |     | | 3 | | |     1 |b7 | 5 |     |(5)1 | | |
  | | | 3 | |    (1)|b7 | 5 |     | 1 |b7 | |     | 1 |b7 9 5     | | | 3 | |     | | | |b7 |
  | 5 | |13(9)    | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | 5 | | | 9     | | | 5 | 3
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | 313     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________
       (major triad, #5)
      A7               A+             D9             D7(b9)          Adim7           D#dim7
   1 3 5 b7         1 3 #5        1 3 5 b7 9      1 3 5 b7 b9      1 b3 b5 6       1 b3 b5 b7
    C shape         C shape         E shape         E shape         D shape         C/A shape
  1=12th fret (A) 1=12th fret (A) 1=10th fret (D) 1=10th fret (D) 1=7th fret (A)  1=6th fret (D#)
  x_________x     x_________x     ___________     __x________     x_x________     ___________
  | | | | 1 |     | | |#5 1 |     1 |b7 | 5 |     1 |b7 | 5 |     | | 1 | 6 |    b5 | | 6 |b5
  | | 3 | | |     | | 3 | | |     | | | 3 | |     | | | 3 |b9     | | |b5 |b3     | 1 | | | |
  | 1 |b7 | |     | 1 | | | |     | 5 | | | 9     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | |b5 |b3 |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     Amaj7            Bm7            C#m9             Cm9             Bm9            Bm13
    1 3 5 7        1 b3 5 b7      1 b3 5 b7 9     1 b3 5 b7 9     1 b3 5 b7 9   1 b3 5 b7 (9) 13
    E shape         E shape         E shape         E shape         E shape         E shape
  1=5th fret (A)  1=7th fret (B)  1=9th fret (C#) 1=8th fret (C)  1=7th fret (B)  1=7th fret (B)
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________
  1 | | | 5 1     1 |b7b3 | 1     1 |b7b3 5 |     1 |b7b3 5 |     1 |b7b3 5 |     1 |b7b3 | 1
  | | 7 3 | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | 5 | | | |     | 5 | | | |     | 5 | | | 9     | 5 | | | 9     | 5 | | | 9     | 5 | |13 |
  | | | | | |     | | | |b7 |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________
      E9             E7(#9)          C#07           F#7(#9)         B9sus4            Bm7
   1 3 5 b7 9     1 3 5 b7 #9      1 b3 b5 6      1 3 5 b7 #9     1 4 5 b7 9       1 b3 5 b7
    C shape         C shape         G shape         C shape         E shape         E shape
  1=7th fret (E)  1=7th fret (E)  1=9th fret (C#) 1=9th fret (F#) 1=7rd fret (B)  1=7th fret (B)
  x__________     x__________     __x_______x     x_________x     ___________     ___________
  | | 3 | | |     | | 3 | | |     | | | |b5 |     | | 3 | | |     1 |b7 | 5 |     1 |b7b3 5 1
  | 1 |b7 9 5     | 1 |b7 | |     1 |b7b3 | |     | 1 |b7 | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | |#9 |     | | | | | |     | | | |#9 |     | 5 | 4 | 9     | 5 | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________
     E9sus          E7(b5#9)         A6/9             A6             A6/9          Amaj9(#11)
  1 4 5 b7 9      1 3 b5 b7 #9     1 3 5 6 9        1 b3 5 6       1 3 5 6 9      1 3 5 7 9 #11
    C shape         C shape         G shape         D shape         C shape         C shape
  1=7th fret (E)  1=7th fret (E)  1=5th fret (A)  1=7th fret (A)  1=12th fret (A) 1=12th fret (A)
  x__________     x__________     ___________     x__________     x__________     x__________
  | | | | | |     | | 3 | |b5     | 3 6 9 | |     |(5)1 | 6 |     | | 3 6 | |     | | 3 | |#11
  | 1 4b7 9 5     | 1 |b7 | |     1 | | | 5 1     | | | | | |     | 1 | | 9 5     | 1 | | 9 |
  | | | | | |     | | | |#9 |     | | | | | |     | | | 5 | 3     | | | | | |     | | | 7 | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |     | | | | | |
  ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________     ___________

Copyright 2004-2013 Nick Antonaccio, all rights reserved.