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Student NotesLet's look at the chords used in the "Balloon" song. The formula for constructing a major chords is:

4 half steps + 3 half steps

Play the C chord on your keyboard. Now play the F chord and then the G chord. Major chords are this easy. In fact, almost all chords are this easy if you know the formula to construct them. Let's look at some other formulas.

  • minor chords (such as Am, Dm, and Em) - 3 half steps + 4 half steps.
  • dominant (flatted) seventh chords (such as C7, F7, and G7) - 4 half steps + 3 half steps + 3 half steps.
  • minor seventh chords (such as Am7, Dm7, and Em7) - 3 half steps + 4 half steps + 3 half steps.
  • major sixth chords (such as C6, F6, and G6) - 4 half steps + 3 half steps + 2 half steps.
  • major seventh chords such as Cmaj7, Fmaj7, and Gmaj7) - 4 half steps + 3 half steps + 4 half steps.

Play each one of these chords on your keyboard. Use the formulas to construct each chord. Start on the root note (C, F, or G). Then try building some major chords on Sharps or Flats (E flat, A flat, C sharp, F sharp). Then again on sharps or flats, try some of the other chords in the list above. Spend about 15 minutes doing this. 

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