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Remembering just one set of chords – the chords of the major scale – can help us play chords for a lot many number of ragas by comparing the new raga with the major scale.

Let us take for example, the 6 ragas from each mode of the major scale. The first one Raga Shankarabharanam has the same notes as the major scale.

There are three major scale ragas among the ragas from modes – Shankarabharanam (1st mode, major scale), Kalyani (4th mode) and Harikamboji (5th mode).

Comparing Kalyani and Harikamboji with the major scale shows that each of them are just one note different from the major scale. Use the major scale chords to play chords for Kalyani and Harikamboji with just the one note changed in any chord where it appears.

There are three minor scale ragas among the ragas from modes – Raga Natabhairavi (natural minor scale – 6th mode), Raga Hanumatodi (3rd mode), Raga Kharaharapriya (2nd mode).

Raga Hanumatodi, Raga Kharaharapriya are each just one note different from the minor scale (Natabhairavi). Use this comparison to use minor scale chords for Raga Hanumatodi, Raga Kharaharapriya.

Being able to play chords for a lot many number of scales and ragas by remembering just one set of chords and then changing by comparing, makes playing music much simpler.

Relative minor and major relationship

The natural minor scale chords are same as that of the major scale chords, starting from a different position. So to play chords for the minor scale, you still need to remember the major scale chords only.

A natural minor scale and C major scale are relative minor and major to each other. C major scale and A natural minor scale use the same chords.

C major and A natural minor as basis

A natural minor is the 6th mode of the C major scale. The A natural minor which uses the same notes as the C major scale, only starting from A instead of C. Since C major scale does not have any sharps or flats, neither does A natural minor.
A natural minor chords are same as that of the C major scale.

C major scale chords: C Dm Em F G Am Bdim
A natural minor chords: Am Bdim C Dm Em F G
Look at the above sequence of chords for A natural minor, and you can use it to find the chords for natural minor from any root or Raga Natbhairavi starting from any pitch.

Sequence of chords of natural minor: Minor- dim – major – minor – minor – major – major

C natural minor (C  natabhairavi) notes : C D Eb F G Ab Bb
Chords of C natural minor: C minor – D dim – Eb major – F minor – G minor – Ab major – Bb major

Kharaharapriya chords from Natural minor chords

C aeolian scale/ Raga Natabhairavi
Sa
Ri2
Ga2
Ma1
Pa
Dha1
Ni2
R

M2

m3

4

5

m6

m7
C

D

Eb

F

G

Ab

Bb
C dorian scale /Raga Kharaharapriya
Sa
Ri2
Ga2
Ma1
Pa
Dha2
Ni2
R

M2

m3

4

5

M6

m7
C

D

Eb

F

G

A

Bb

Kharaharapriya has the same note as Natabhairavi (natural minor) except for the dha or 6th note.
Change Ab note to A in each chord of C natural minor (Natabhairavi) where the Ab note appears, to get chords of C Kharaharapriya.

C natural minor chords
Cm
Ddim
Eb
Fm
Gm
Ab
Bb
Notes of chords of C natural minor

C Eb G

D F Ab

Eb G Bb

F Ab C

G Bb D

Ab C Eb

Bb D F
Notes of chords of C Kharaharapriya (Ab to A)

C Eb G

D F A

Eb G Bb

F A C

G Bb D

A C Eb

Bb D F
C Kharaharapriya chords

Cm

Dm

Eb

F

Gm

Adim

Bb

More raga chords.

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