This chart uses the most frequently-used chords in all styles of music.
A common feature is that chords can be sung in 4 ways: ascending, descending, open, and closed.
The only exception to this rule are open and closed chords: when sung in a descending pattern, these can mean the same thing.
For example, the first four measures of a descending guitar chord, such as 5-4-4, are written as 5/4-4/4, but they look different when the pattern is sung in 4/4.
To begin with, you should know that a descending chord is the same as a descending scale. For example, you can play this 5-4-4 scale on your own guitar just as easily as you can with a scale or with the piano.
Since all descending chords are a measure apart, it’s also not very important that you know the key you’re playing in.
Instead, just sing the chord as one of its four variations in order, with the first and most important in parentheses, and then in 4/4.
4/4 (5 – 4)
Here, the fifth (1) in each measure is lowered or raised two semitones, while the first and last are unchanged.
4-4-4 (5 – 4)
Here, the seventh (2) in each measure is lowered or raised two semitones, while the last note remains unchanged.
5-4-4 (5 – 4 – 3)
This chord has a major seventh chord in every measure (except last).
The chord in its ascending form also has a major 7th, and so it has both major and minor seventh chords of the same interval in equal time. The chord in its descending form has the 7th, but not on equal time.
In each example, the chords in 1/4 and 1/8 are shown in different colors, as are the major seventh chords of the next two measures, and the minor seventh chords of the first two measures. The first eight measures (4/4-4) have black and white vertical bars, while the next four measures (1/8-4) have only black vertical bars as in 3-4-4.
Notice that the only semitones between each chord in the descending and ascending versions are in the minor 1st and 3rd (4s and 5s), so that there are
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