The Chord Code – The Secret to Deciphering Chords and Chord Symbols

Decipher any chord from its short name

So many chords. How to make sense of them? How to remember them? How to find chords for songs and ragas? How to improvize? What is the basis of string and vocal arrangements?

What are chords made of?

Instant downloads (pdf)

Chords chords everywhere. If you play music, you find them all over the music field. Ever wondered what chords are made of? If they follow some rules? If there are some patterns and structures that will let you handle chords well?

Here is that easy to understand ‘science’ course you have been waiting for.

Piece together the notes of any chord from its chord name

Decipher the most cryptic chord symbols and play any chord

Why care about chords?

Understanding chords is necessary if you are planning to play an instrument as accompaniment or at times, solo. It is the same base that extends from a single vocal guitar act to the widest symphony with string, woodwind, bass, reed, vocal arrangements.

Chords is what harmony is all about.

How do you place the notes in different layers so that they sound in harmony. Though the definition and taste of harmony will differ with genre and individual, the knowledge of how notes work when played together is essential for anyone planning to play an instrument, make instrument and vocal arrangements or compose.

If you are a melody maker and not keen about accompaniments, remember that good melodies have hidden in them the basic harmony structures that appeal to the human psyche.

This resource is for you, if …

  • if you want to be able to play chords on your own
  • if you want to understand how to form major and minor chords, 7ths, sus 4ths, 11ths, 13ths, added 9ths… any chord you would have come across.
  • if you want to be able to find for yourself, the chords for songs
  • if you want to be able to play chords for songs, once you have the chords. The internet is a vast free resource of chords for almost any song you would want to play. Know how to play the chords, and you are free to use the information without any help.
  • if you want to be able to play chords for indian ragas and raga based songs (introduction to basics)
  • if you want to learn to improvise
  • if you want to arrange and compose. (Chords are the basis of arranging and making full fledged compositions).
  • if you want to be a singer songwriter
  • if you want to be a performer who sings while playing an accompanying instrument like the guitar or keyboard

Guitarist? Here is something extra for you

There is a version of the resource which has extra material for guitarists.

You get images showing you how to build any chord from notes on any string as root. This shows you clearly how you can find chords on the fretboard, by knowing the basic ‘spelling’ of a chord and how to find intervals on the fretboard, which you can comfortably play.

Well, you get the idea. Chords are among the most basic foundations on which whole of music is built on. This easy to understand set of resources will help you gain a very good grasp on the subject and help you become independent with understanding and making music.

See the options below, click to see details.

How to use the resource – based on skill level

If you are already familiar with the structure of 7th, 9th, 11ths etc, maybe you will benefit from the structure of the study material to put things in order, the practice exercises and the advanced jazz chords. Decide for yourself.

If you are a beginner musician, you wiill find the detailed explanation from the basics easy to follow. This course includes an introduction to music theory for beginners. Intervals, note sequence… we start from the very beginning.

If you already have an understanding of the basic triads, then the learning material on sevenths and other chords will be very useful for you.

If you already know what 7th chords are made of, this course will help you with understanding the natural evolution of chords, the hierarchy and teach you all about chords with numbers above 7, specific chord names, advanced chords.

Instrument dependent?

The course explains concepts without the need to use an instrument.

If you don’t play any instrument, you will learn the theory. If you play an instrument, you will see that it is straightforward to apply what you learn on your instrument.

Guitarists There is a version of the resource meant specifically for guitarists.

You get immediate access to downloadable pdfs. Being a digital resource,  you can have it today (no delivery fees or time delay!) and can start mastering chords now.

Click to see available versions

Like learning languages

The root word. The past, present, future tenses from the word.
It is easier to learn the meaning of words in relationship to the root word. Similarly we can derive the different tenses and related words from the main word.

Should be for a reason that languages are this way. Should be an indication to how our brains learn naturally.

Chords in relation

Learn the chords in relation to each other. Have the minor major 7th chord position? How do you change just one note and make it major 7th or minor7th chord.
Learning in relationship is more natural. That is the more efficient way of learning. That is how we learn languages

Changing the seventh note to get the seventh chords is like changing the endings of a word to get the different tenses.

If ‘divide’ is a minor chord, minor 7th chord is like ‘divided’, minor major 7th chord is like ‘dividing’, minor7th flat 5 is like ”undivided’

It’s all Greek to me

Δ Φ # + –

The first two are from Greek, third is Geek, then mathematics.

Do you know what the symbol represents as far as music is concerned? Or what you are supposed to make out of if you want to play music?

You are right, they are chord symbols just like FM7 or C7#11 or AmM7 or B♭7sus4.

If you are interested in learning and playing music, but if GΔ or and other chord symbols look like Greek to you, and I am here to help.

The Chord Code course will help you :

Piece together notes of any chord from its chord name

Decipher the most cryptic chord symbols and play any chord

The course will show you how chords are formed, what they are made of, how they are named, what you have to play when shown a symbol.

You will learn how is another way of writing G major seventh, which is a major seventh note (F#) added to a G major triad (G B D). Next time you see the symbol , you just play the notes G B D F#

Similarly, you will learn that is the short code for the notes F Ab B Eb.

Towards completion, ( +, -, #) will mean musically a lot more.

Chord symbols

Chord symbols are made of shortened names of intervals. At times the chord name can be symbols with no description of what intervals they have.

For example, G minor 7th flat five clearly tells us the interval used in the chord. The same chord can be written as GΦ where the ‘phi’ takes away any disclosure of what the chord intervals could be and instead asks the reader or player to have oneself familiarized with such defined chord symbols.

There are chords like the Lydian dominant, lydian augmented etc, which can be played if you know before hand what those terms mean.

Each chord name hides behind it a formula by which the chord is formed.

Why learn chord names and symbols?

Major part of music – harmony and Chord sheets

Reading chord sheets is important if you want to play chords, understand harmony. Chord sheets use chord symbols. Learn how to decipher them and play what is meant.

Writing down chords

To write down the chords you play, learn the language. Chord symbols is part of the language of music.

Know how the system works

Warning : Proverb / Cliche ahead

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

Cliche, but true.

Know how the chord naming system works. Start from the basic triad or three note chords. Know what is a major and minor. Then learn how the seventh chords are formed. Build the remaining on this basic stable structure.

Once you have this knowledge and skill in place, you will be free from having to learn any chord notes by rote or using any chord charts.

Well, that is a lot of freedom, knowing that chords will be a major part of your life as a musician.

Soon you will start feeling like an insider; someone who knows what is actually behind what seems like an incomprehensible, endless, elusive, overwhelming vastness which one can never get the key to.

Get skilled!

Internet satisfies all your chords for song needs

There are free chord sheets for almost any published song you would want to play the chords for.

Just search, find an appropriate page, look at the chord names, play.

But for each chord, i have to look at the chord diagram …

You won’t have to, if you understand how chords are formed.

In music, complexity is built upon very solid foundation, patterns and logic. You should learn how to understand them, and you are doing it the right way. Learn the grammar, the sentence construction, word formation… You don’t study each situation separately without knowing how they are related, when clear patterns and relations exist.

Click to see available versions

Want to play backing for songs?

Maybe you want to play a guitar or a keyboard while you sing or someone else sings. What do you play on the instrument that sounds congruent with the melody?

How do you find what to play for the songs?

Chords are based on patterns. Starting from three note chords – triads – all the possible chords follow a logic, they are decipherable, behind the specificity of the chords lay common grounds, threads which someone familiar with chord logic understands immediately.

This kind of understanding lets you see what is really happening behind the seemingly disjoint finger changes.

There are unifying rules which will guide you through the vastness.

Want to be able to improvize over chords?

It is just the reverse process. Know what chords are made of, how they are formed from scales. Then when you have a chord, you can trace back to the possible scale options, helping you choose scales based on the dynamics between the chords, beyond the individual chords.

Finding chords for ragas, songs, scales?

It is all the same. Get familiar with how chords are named, how chords are formed from scales. This will unlock your ability to find and play chords for any scale or raga notes.

Even if you get a new chord, a chord you haven’t played before, you will understand what it is made of, because the basics are the same. If it is a chord you haven’t encountered before, chances are it is a variation from one of the 7th or 9th or 11th chords.

Internet – free source of chords to your favourite songs

Internet offers free information on what chords to play for songs.

But… each time you get a chord sheet free from the internet, if you have to go in search for how to play the chords, it is not a very intelligent way of doing things on a long term, right?

Learn the basic principles. Use this course to find out how chords are formed, understand chords in a way that makes sense. It is not as tough as it may seem. Gain your independence.

By the time you finish this course material, you won’t find any chord unfamiliar. Promise.

Online course – immediate access

The chord code is an online course. This means the material is made available to you in manageable chunks so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

In addition to the core course material, updates and supplementary material will be added as they evolve. Any material added to the course over time, will be accessible for you when you buy your access today.

The course material is available for you to download or use online, immediately. Click the button below.

Click to see available versions

1/12th of your time and effort spent

Do 1/12th or less of the work you would otherwise have to do. How?

The dominant 7th chord is usually referred to as the 7th chord.

G7 is G dominant seventh.

As with G, each of the 12 notes will have a corresponding 7th chord.

This means, if you were to learn to play each 7th chord individually, you would have to memorize 12 different sets of 4 notes.
Then you have to worry about the different possible fingerings each time you encounter a 7th chord. (there are three different fingering patterns for each dominant 7th chord on the guitar.)

This may not be time well spent most of us, given the time constraints of real life and available time to live. It would be an immense waste of time and effort. Not the way to go at all.

Instead, if you knew what the seventh chord is made of, you could extend that knowledge to seventh chords on the other pitches or roots and form them as you need.

Each chord name hides behind it a formula by which the chord is formed. Learn the basic music interval naming, learn the basic formulae behind the chords you want to play, and you have freed yourself from rote learning and other inefficient methods.

Learn one chord structure and formation, and you have the information with you to form the chord from any of the 12 pitches. What this means is that you have actually reduced your work by 12.

  • What you would other wise take 12 months could now be done in a month.
  • Chords you could learn in 12 hours are now learnt in an hour.

It is actually better than that…

Learning the patterns behind chords is possible and something we humans can naturally do.

Learning notes of each of the 1000s of chords? Not something most of us can do because we have a limit to one on one memory recalls. It is something we should not do because it is an inefficient path.

Refer to chord sheets each time for the whole of our lives? Life is too short to memorize all the chords or to spend with chord charts, especially when we can do away with such time wasting tactics with a one time effort.

Introduction to Western Music Theory

The chord construction explained in the course is the basis of Western music harmony used through different settings – SATB (vocal arrangement), string arrangement etc.

When you are working with this course, you start understanding the concepts of music theory and harmony. Knowing music theory and harmony as explained in this course makes going further with harmony, accompanying, arranging etc easy.

If you want to make progress with music, be assured, that is time and effort well spent.

Basis of finding chords to any song

There are two main ways you can play chords for a song (both guitar and keys)
The diatonic chords of the scale
Know the diatonic chords of the scale to which the song belongs. Then you can try them even while performing, shifting them as found suitable for the particular melody notes.

Melody note on the instrument

Find out the melody on the string or keys. Then try to fit familiar patterns of chords over the pattern the melody forms.

The second method is very important when you want to find chords accurately without muchs stumbling around. And to do that, one has to be familiar with chords – what chords are made of, what patterns do chords form, what are the possible chord set that will fit over a particular melody pattern.

An example on pattern identification

For example suppose a part of your melody can be played on the same fret of the first and second strings. 1st string 5th fret, 2nd string 5th fret. What chords contain this pattern?
Starting with the triads, if the melody notes are on the 5th fret of the first and second strings, the most obvious triad patterns that fit to it are Am or A major chord.
To decide whether it is minor or major, we need to further find out if the note C is used in the song or if it is a C#.

The starting point is the familiarity with chord patterns, which comes from the understanding of how chords are formed. The chord patterns, the formulae.

The better your relation with chords and patterns, easier it is for you to find chords for songs, melodies and further move towards arranging and composing.

Chord code study is quality time spent with chords, understanding the relationship of notes within chords, and relationship between chords.

Independence and self sufficiency

Later on if i say play the C7sus4th, you won’t be hurrying to get the fastest loading chord chart.

On the keyboard it is straightforward to find the notes that the C7th chord contains.

On the guitar, you can find the chord notes easily, once you are familiar with the basic chord patterns and how the notes on the strings are arranged through the frets.

This leads to chord independence, and a feeling of ability with chords, finding them, identifying parts of them in a melody (important for chord finding and arranging), moving between chords by knowing the relationship of notes between chords.

Interested in arranging and harmonizing Indian music?

When dealing with Indian music, you will be rubbing shoulders with ♭9ths,#5ths, #4ths and the like. Being familiar with chords, knowing how they are formed, what are the options you have given a phrase etc is the basis.

For example, you come across a simple phrase with the notes B♭ and F within a composition based on root C. If you know how to find intervals, you will recognize B♭ and F to be minor 7th and perfect fourth with respect to the root C. If you are familiar with chords you will know that playing the C7th sus4th chord is a very obvious choice. Further you can find out which all chords would possibly fit over the given notes in the phrase.

This course will guide you well.

Introduction to Western Music Theory

What is more, this course works as an introduction to music theory. The intervals and chord construction explained here is the foundation on which whole of western music is constructed.


Table of Contents – Triads and 4 note chords only

Here is the table of contents for the triad chords and four note chords which is the first part of the resource.(Click on image to see larger)

The famous language coach Michael Thomas says that the student should not have to take any notes and that it is the teacher’s job to approach the subject in a way that the student naturally learns.

Each section – sevenths, numbers above sevenths, specific chords, advanced chord names etc – gives details and examples that make your understanding of chords clear, even if all you do is read through.


Chord Code Standard (complete)

The Chord Code Complete

Course content overview

  • Useful music theory. Intervals, note sequence, major and minor scales from chromatic scale.
  • Three note chords – the triads – major, minor, augmented, diminished, relations between them, practical tips, suspended chords.
  • Introduction to Seventh Chords
  • Seventh chords in practice
  • Diminished and half diminished Seventh chords
    Sixth chords – the sixth interval
  • Flat fifth and sharp 4th chords – changing the basic chord name
  • Numbers above 7
  • 9th-11th-13th
  • added 9th – 11th -13th
  • Chords of the melodic minor scale
  • Introduction to finding chords for songs, scales, ragas
  • other specific chords and advanced chords used mainly in jazz
  • example chord progressions
  • how to play chords for any song using just the simple triads
  • finding chords for any exotic scale or indian raga using simple triads or specific chords

You will find detailed explanations with examples and practice questions. Even if you just read through the material, it has been arranged and interlinked in a way that you will start understanding the rules behind chords and relations between them, naturally.

Click on the button below to get immediate access to the resource page. Since it is a digital resource, there is no waiting time. You can download the pdfs instantly and start using them now.


If for some reason you would like a refund, just tell me in 60 days and i will be happy to give your money back 🙂


Guitar Chord Code Complete



The Guitar Chord Code Complete

The Chord Code Complete + Guitar specific instruction to help you practically play the chords and understand them on the guitar fretboard.

This resource has the full content of The chord code Complete with guitar specific instruction.

Explains chords and chord relations on the fretboard, starting from understanding any chord symbol.

Guitar specific instruction on

  • Useful music theory. Intervals, note sequence, major and minor scales from chromatic scale.
  • Three note chords – the triads – major, minor, augmented, diminished, relations between them, practical tips, suspended chords.
  • Introduction to Seventh Chords
  • Seventh chords in practice
  • Diminished and half diminished Seventh chords
    Sixth chords – the sixth interval
  • Flat fifth and sharp 4th chords – changing the basic chord name
  • Numbers above 7
  • 9th-11th-13th
  • added 9th – 11th -13th
  • Chords of the melodic minor scale
  • Introduction to finding chords for songs, scales, ragas

This resource includes the valuable information about the only 3 chord fingering positions you need to learn,  based on which you can play any chord on the guitar.

Example of changing between major and minor chord

Position 1 (click on image)

Position 2 (click on image)


e.g.  The 4 sevenths

We get 4 seventh chords by using combinations of minor and major 3rds and 7ths.

same-seventh-different-thir same-third-different-sevent

The below figure is an exact representation of the above, on the guitar.


Mix and match the thirds and 7ths to be able to play all the 4 sevenths comfortably with root on the 4th string anywhere on the fret.

This is an example of freedom in chord playing once you know the positions based on the string/root relations.

Example of building 9th chords from 7ths


The only 3 chord fingering positions you need to know

ANY chord can be played on the guitar using just three chord fingering patterns as the basis. Learn the 3 master chord patterns and you will find the rest of the chord universe unraveling itself with ease on the guitar fretboard.

This valuable perspective to chord study is an integral part of this guitar chord code resource.

Click on the button below to get immediate access to the resource page. Since it is a digital resource, there is no waiting time. You can download the pdfs instantly and start using them now.



As you start using this resource you will find yourself gaining freedom at playing any chord with the most complex of symbols, on the guitar.


If for some reason you would like a refund, just tell me in 60 days and i will be happy to give your money back 🙂