The way in which chords are named

 

 

 

All chords are named with respect to the Major Scale. The simplest major scale is C because it contains no sharps or flats, so the following examples will all have a root of C. For chords with other roots you would have to use the major scale with that root.

 

Start with a 2-octave template for your major scale:

 

C     D     E     F     G     A     B     C     D     E     F     G     A     B     C

1      2      3      4     5      6      7      8     9      10    11    12   13    14    15

 

The numbers are the degree of the major scale and the notes which appear in the following chords:

 

Major                                     1           3       5

Minor (m)                              1         b3       5

Sus2                                        1           2        5

Sus4                                        1           4        5  

Major 6th (6)                         1           3        5       6

Minor 6th (m6)                      1          b3       5       6*

Major 7th (maj7)                1           3        5       7

Minor 7th (m7)                      1          b3       5       b7

Dominant 7th (7)                   1           3        5       b7

Diminished (dim, o)               1          b3      b5 

Diminished 7th (dim7, Ө )     1          b3      b5     bb7

Augmented (aug, + )             1           3       #5 

Major 9th (maj9)                  1           3         5       7         9

Minor 9th (m9)                      1          b3        5       b7       9

Dominant 9th (9)                  1           3         5       b7       9

Major 11th (11)                     1           3         5        7        9       11

Minor 11th (m11)                  1          b3        5       b7       9       11

Dominant 11th (11)              1           3         5       b7       9       11 

Major 13th (maj13)              1           3         5        7        9       11       13

Minor 13th (m13)                  1          b3        5       b7       9       11       13

Dominant 13th (13)              1           3         5       b7       9       11       13

 

 

In addition to these, any chord can have a # and/or b 5th, 9th, 11th and/or 13th

 

 

A chord can have an altered bass note, for example C7/E is a C7 with an E in the bass. In this case the chord itself comes before the slash and the bass note after it. This is why they are called “slash chords”

 

*Note that the minor 6th chord is minor but has a major 6th in it