The harmonic series in the guitar, where a chord is added or subtracted, has 10 chords. Some people refer to it as seven.
However, there are a few other, smaller series. Here’s how it looks like on the guitar, without counting the two chord patterns:
Notice that a chord has a lower harmonically strong tone than a single note
If you want to know more about this concept, check out this article on the basics of string chords. Or you can simply Google “harmonicity”.
The guitar is a tonal instrument, so I’m sure you’re more than capable of understanding something like this.
The Harmonic Series – how to use them
A harmonic series on the guitar consists of a number of notes, which make up one major scale.
These intervals can be either major or minor, so it’s possible to have a number of minor harmonics that make up a minor scale.
The number of notes in each major scale is dependent on the harmony of that particular chord, which will determine the scale length.
Major chords are based on just 3 notes – the first, third, and fifth.
Minor harmonic series can be built on a similar scale and have 4 notes.
So, in the example above, the 5 notes of the major chord are: C; G; A; D.
You probably already understand the concepts behind these scales, now you can go get some tunes and see for yourselves how these scales are used in your favourite songs.
So, lets see how the four-note harmony of that particular chord will affect the note’s pitch.
C Major (3 frets on the guitar). C A D F#
When you have a minor chord, the 5th chord is the same as what you had in the above example.
C D F# E B D
These 2 chords are the same pitch and so will always share the same harmonic content.
How the Harmonic Series Work in Practice
Now that you’ve gotten used to the guitar’s harmonic series for a few weeks, time to play some tunes that have different chords, and see how the notes sound.
I’ll start with an example of a major and minor chord.
This chord is shown for reference as ‘E’ above.
The 6 notes of the harmonic series make up the root chord – the dominant chord.
There are 4
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