Understand how to construct diatonic chords and identify diatonic chords. Understand the location of specific diatonic chords.
Scales combined with the notion of tertian harmony (harmony constructed with thirds) leads to a set of “chords” that can be constructed from a particular scale. Any chord that can be made with only notes from that scale is considered diatonic. Another way to think of it is that accidentals are not required for a diatonic chord.
On the surface they are very easy to construct. Simply write out a scale, then fill in the thirds.
If you use a key signature you don’t even need to worry about accidentals.
Before we move on let's make sure you can construct them.
Construct the D major, G major, F minor, and G minor diatonic chords.
The significance of the chords
These chords form the backbone of a lot of harmony. They are named after their position in the scale. The first is called the “one” chord, the second is called the “two” etc…
For each scale type the diatonic chord qualities are always the same. For example here is the C major diatonic chords:
You will find that if you make the D major diatonic chords that they will also have the same patterns, the two chord will be minor, the seven chord will be major etc… This pattern hold for the minor scales as well.
This will lead to form the backbone of diatonic chord progressions, for now we should get familiar with identifying them and constructing them.
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