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Guitar Chord And Scale Translator

Guitar Chord And Scale Translator

Working out chord and scale transpositions can be a bit frustrating. You could learn all the chords and scales in every fret position for each string, you could use a book of scales and chords, or you could try this Guitar Chord and Scale Translator.

Guitar Neck - Fretboard
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Table of Contents

It names the notes by their position relative to a root note, placed on a fretboard, and uses the named notes along with either a chord or scale formulae chart.

A brief description of the diagrams is provided below, followed by some examples.

Fretboard Diagram

Our fretboard diagram is a useful reference for working out where to put your fingers on the fretboard when using either the chord or scale formulae.

Fretboard
Fretboard

R corresponds to the Root note of a scale or chord.

Chord Chart

The chart below contains the basic chord formulae. Each row is a separate chord, showing the individual notes that make up each chord.

Chord Chart
Chord Chart

Use the note names relevant to the type of chord you want to play, work out where those notes are on the fretboard. Make sure a note from the formula for a particular chord is assigned to each played string.

Scale Chart

The chart below contains the basic scale formulae. Each row is a separate scale, showing the individual notes that make up each scale.

Music Scale Formula
Music Scale Formula

Use the note names relevant to the type of scale you want to play, work out where those notes are on the fretboard, easily giving you the guitar chord options.

Example: Major Chord

Use the Major Chord formula from the Chord Formulae Diagram to find the notes of the root guitar chord:

Major Chord Formula
Major Chord Formula

Work out where those notes lie on the fretboard using the Fretboard Diagram. If the chord in question is an E Major, then the Root Note is an E, which is also an open string on a guitar. The bottom of the fretboard diagram corresponds to a low E on the Guitar (The 6th string).

E Major Guitar Chord

The notes for an E major, where the root note is on the sixth string could look like this.

Major Guitar Chord
Major Guitar Chord

Try the same E Major Chord in different positions on the neck giving you a different voicing of the guitar chord.

Major Guitar Chord
Major Guitar Chord

Example: Major Scale

Use the Major Scale formula from the Scale Formulae Diagram:

Major Scale Formula
Major Scale Formula

Ionian (Major) Guitar Scale

Work out where those notes lie on the fretboard using the Fretboard Diagram. The bottom of the fretboard diagram corresponds to a low E on the Guitar (The 6th string).

Major Guitar Scale
Major Guitar Scale

Try the different fingering options for the same scale.

Major Guitar Scale
Major Guitar Scale

Several times…

Major Guitar Scale
Major Guitar Scale

Hopefully you will have found these charts useful. Apply them to your study off the guitar to help you to understand the theory behind the music and particularly how it applies to the guitar. Use the Guitar Chord and Scale translator regularly to aid your practice and understanding.

The Guitar Chord Chart is particularly useful when it comes to figuring out chord shapes. It will help you plan the most appropriate chords and the best alternatives available, including different voicing of the guitar chords.

Meanwhile the Scale Chart will help you to map out the different scales, and scale positions, on the neck of the guitar.

As ever, if you have any requests or suggestions for additions or edits of this article, or for the creation of entirely new articles, then please contact us. You can submit ideas using our “Contact Us” page or by posting suggestions to our music community.

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Related Articles

If you want to find out more about playing or maintaining the guitar? If so, you can find articles and tutorials on our Guitar Articles page.

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