View Full Version : How do you write a G7 and F chords on a normal stave

Purdy Bear
10-12-2015, 03:55 AM
Hi folks

I know how to write g on a normal G clef stave, but how would you write the G7 or F chords? I presume it would be 3 notes in a pillar (is that called a tonic?) for the first, and 2 notes for the second.

Oh for the flute you never play chords, thus I know how to write the plain notes and not the others.

Tully Hill
10-12-2015, 05:20 AM
Hi Purdy. Since you know how to put single notes on the stave, all you now have to do is put the multiple notes of the chord on a vertical line. Consider the staves as a timeline. Start with a C chord. The basic chord is the tonic note C, the note the chord is named for and the lowest note of a first position chord. Next is the 3rd and then the 5th. For C major, the notes are CEG. Just place the notes as you would for single notes, except that they would all line up vertically and be played at the same instant. If you played them one at a time, C E G would be an arpeggio.

If you wanted C7, then you need C, E and G plus a 7th note which would be CEGB. Again, all lined up vertically. An F major would be FAC, and a G major would be GBD. Add a 7th for G7: GBDF.

Tonic for a key is the note that names the key. The tonic for the key of C is C.

Hope that is useful.

10-12-2015, 09:01 AM
In addition to what Tully said, keep in mind that uke chords often have four notes (or four different pitches). A first position C chord includes both middle C and C an octave higher.

Purdy Bear
10-13-2015, 03:54 AM
So G7 would be the notes of Db, Gb, Bb all on top of each other, and then the F would be A and the F on top of each other?

10-13-2015, 05:23 AM
Scroll down on this page and you'll see some examples of how chords are notated on the treble staff. http://www.practical-chords-and-harmony.com/primary-chords.html

Note that a G7 chord contains the notes G, B, D and F (a 7th chord contains four notes as explained above, however the arranger may choose to use an alternate voicing and leave out or rearrange the notes in the chord). An F major chord contains F, A and C. Major and minor chords are called "triads" and they contain three notes. See the preceding page on that same site: http://www.practical-chords-and-harmony.com/chords-and-triads.html

I started as a recorder player and vocalist, and it took me a while to get the hang of chords. Don't worry, we all have to start somewhere.

10-16-2015, 12:04 PM
Purdy Bear,

I see you are UK based. I suggest you get hold of the Associated Board books on music theory. They are called "Music Theory in Practice" and are linked to the instrumental grades. They effectively provide a course in learning to read written music. I think basic chords are covered in Grade 3 but you'd need to check. No harm in starting at grade 1 anyway. It's worth the effort of learning basic music theory as it helps you to understand better what you're doing when you're playing.

Purdy Bear
10-16-2015, 10:27 PM
Thanks, I've got those books already as I've sat and failed my grade 5 music theory exam, I have grade 4 flute. With the later you don't play chords so I never bothered to learn much about them, plus it was 19 years ago or so. I'll get them out and have a look.

PS I checked the books and intervals first get mentioned in grade 4 with chords being in grade 5, so by that it's pretty advanced stuff.

PPS for those that don't know, in the UK you can sit music instrument grade exams, the easiest is grade 1, the same as the instrumentals. BUT you have to pass grade 5 music theory to go forward to grade 5 instrumentals and above. The grade 5 exam is roughly 4 hours long and is a written exam. To be able to teach the instrument you have to pass grade 8 which is the top grade you can have. The instrumental exams are in front of board of 2 usually, you can be accompanied by a pianist if needed, otherwise you have to play set pieces and answer questions on everything music and the instrument you play. You also have to be able to sing the sheet music as well.