Chord Families: Ultimate Family Chords Guide In 2024

Guitar chord families are collections of chords based on the harmony’s principle chords. Despite the fact that any chord can be followed by another, some are more appealing to our hearing and will surely sound better.

When you were trying to learn a new tune, you were undoubtedly a little overwhelmed by the quantity of chords and possibilities. You’ve probably tried to make your own chord progression and become overwhelmed by the variety of directions a single chord may take you.

Chord families are one of the most significant aspects in music theory. If we stick to the guitar chord family, each one will sound excellent because they all belong to the same scale. Because there are twelve notes in the chromatic scale, each mode will have twelve distinct families.

guitar chord families

Different Types Of Chords In A Family

One of the most prevalent blunders is assuming that all chords in the major scale are major. Despite the fact that the scale is major, the chords in that family will be different.

A major, a minor, and a reduced chord are the three basic types of chords in each family. The C major scale has the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C, which is one octave higher.

Major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, and diminished will be the chords from this scale. Any of the twelve notes in the scale can be used in this way.

A guitar with chords pattern at the background
A guitar with chords pattern in the background.

We’ll now move on to the C major scale. As we all know, the first note in the scale is C, which is also the root note. When it comes to chord families, though, C major is tonic. If we’re talking about the F chord family, the tonic for the major scale is, of course, F major.

The tonic has a significant function to play because it serves as the song’s tonal center. When we claimed that the families are founded on harmony, we were referring to principle chords. The root chord, often known as the tonic chord, is the first The fourth step, or F major, is the second, and the fifth step, or G major, is the last.

One of the most critical skills you’ll need is the ability to read chord families. We’ll use Roman numerals to indicate chords in the scale, with capital letters for major chords and non-capital letters for minor chords.

So, in the C major scale, the I-IV-V chords are C, F, G, and all three chords are major. The first is tonic, the second is subdominant, and the third is dominant, as previously stated. The core harmonic family consists of these three members.

These three chords are all major chords on the scale, which is interesting.

What Is Each Chord’s Function?

The tonic is the first. The Roman numeral I denotes the role, which is a major chord. Of course, all of this only pertains to this scale and mode, but we’ll get to that later. The tonic’s job is to set the tone for the entire piece of music.

The goal of musical composition is to create a sense of tension before resolving it Returning to the tonic after some form of advancement does this. The tonic is usually used to begin and conclude a piece, or at least a portion of it.

IV denotes the second, or sub-dominant chord, which is also the major chord. The sub-dominant chord’s purpose is to move you away from the tonic and toward the dominant chord.

Chord function
In the scale of C Major, the Tonic is C, subdominant is F and the dominant is G.

Finally, the dominant chord, which is the fifth chord in the family and is marked by V in the case of C major, is the most essential part of the family. The dominating family wishes to reintroduce you to the tonic and complete the circle. The dominant when performed in order, creates a rather strong resolution to your chord progression.

The 7 Guitar Families Mode

So, let’s begin from the beginning.

Ionian Mode

As previously stated, all of the above examples can only be applied to the major scale, and there are twelve chord families to choose from. The major scale, on the other hand, is only one of the modes available to you.

The C major scale has seven different notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C. Each of the major scales is constructed in the same way. The root of C is followed by a full step to D, a half-step to E, a full step to F, a full step to G, a full step to A, a half-step to B, and a full step to C once more.

As a result, the blueprints for creating any big size are as follows: F.F.H.F.F.F.H.F. This major scale is also referred to as the Ionian mode, or the initial mode from which we will begin.

We already mentioned that we can make triads out of each chord, with the first one being tonic, the second being supertonic, the third being mediant, the fourth being subdominant, the fifth being dominant, the sixth being submediant, the seventh being leading tone, and the last being tonic once more.

Dorian Mode

We can obtain the same result if we use the same schematic but turn everything around. F. H. F. F. F. H. F. F. We’ll get the second mode if we just took the first full step and moved it to the end of the line or Dorian mode.

So, in our beloved C scale, Dorian mode would be as follows C. D. bE. F. G A. bB. C. The Ionian mode, often known as the major scale, is major, whereas the Dorian mode is minor.

Naturally, based on this mode, we’ll obtain another twelve families of chords with distinct sounding chords and a new approach to the issue we just discussed. In Dorian mode, the chords are I ii. III. IV. v. viO. VII.

The first and second chords are minor, the third and fourth are major, the fifth is minor, the sixth is diminished, and the seventh is major. As you can see, everything has changed, and the entire scale will be a small one just because the full and half steps have been rearranged.

The C major scale is already familiar to us, and we employ it frequently because it contains no half-steps. If you were to play this on a piano, you would begin with C and play just white keys. When it comes to the Dorian scale, however. D Dorian would be D. E. F. G. A B. C. D.

Phrygian Mode

Let’s take it a step further and relocate everything to make room for one more item. Now we’ll have H. F. F. F. H. F. F. F. This is the Phrygian Mode, which is the third mode.

We’ll look at C major as an example, C. bD. bE. F. G. bA. bB. C. The correct scale for the Phrygian mode, as you may have surmised, is E Phrygian, where the notes are E. F. G. A. B. C. D. E.

Although Phrygian mode is minor, it can be used for both minor and major scales. But let’s not make things any more complicated. The chords in the Phrygian family are III. III. iv. vO. VI. VII. and can be built for any of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale in this way.

Lydian Mode

Lydian is the fourth mode, and we’ll acquire it if we keep moving notes from the scale (or beginning point). F. F. F. H. F. F. H. Lydian mode is a major mode, and the Lydian scale for C would be as follow C. D. E. F#. G. A. B. C. F.

Lydian is, without a doubt the best scale for Lydian mode F. G. A. B. C. D. E. F. Finally, the Lydian scale’s chord family is I. II. iii. iv. V. vi. vii. Lydian mode is also significant.

Mixolydian Mode

This video explains what Mixolydian is, where it comes from and how it is typically used.

Aeolian Mode

Because this is our usual minor scale, things get a little easier in this mode As you may know the minor scale for A does not contain any semitones and is written as follows A B. C. D. E. F. G. H.

This scale is frequently referred to as a natural minor scale. When we apply this to C in order to produce Aeolian mode, we obtain C. D. bE. F. G. H. bA. bB. C.

Its only the C minor scale. The scale is constructed in the following pattern: F. H. F. F. H. F. F. Naturally, there are twelve more chord families for the natural minor scale, which are structured like this: I iiO. III. iv. v. VI. VII. Apart from the Ionian mode, this is one of the most common modes because most songs are in a major or minor key.

Locrian Mode

Last but not least we have Locrian. which is the seventh and final mode. The Locrian mode pattern is H. F F. H. F. F. F. d In the case of C. we’ll use C.bD. bE. F. bG. bA. bB. C. Of course, we’ll have a B Locrian scale with only whole notes, and it’ll go something like this. B. C. D. E.

F. G. H. A We’ll acquire our final twelve chord families for Locrian mode in the form of iO. II. iii. iv. V. VI. vii. as in the preceding examples.

Modes explained by interval and notes (C maj scale)
Modes explained by interval and notes (C maj scale). (Image credit: “Modes C maj scale plus scale degree” by Larry Jacobsen on Flickr CC BY 2.0)


It’s worth noting that most common chord progressions are based on the major scale or Ionian mode, and repeating the same chords might become monotonous, so you can always try experimenting to come up with something new and intriguing. Furthermore, rules are designed to be disregarded, and there are a plethora of musicians who have done just that to create something beautiful and inspiring.

Here’s What You’ll Need To Record Music At Home

Building a DIY home recording studio needs more than just a dash of ingenuity A home producer needs to find the suitable location and equip it with the correct tools To record music, you don’t need to have access to pricey professional studios In a DIY home recording studio, you can make records with the correct equipment.

How to Set Up a Recording Studio at Home

A simple home recording studio
A simple home recording studio.

There are a few things to consider when building a dedicated recording space.

1. Select the appropriate space. The majority of homes aren’t built with home recording in mind. They don’t have the high ceilings and varied surfaces found in a professional recording studio. Nonetheless, certain rooms are more conducive to recording than others.

Choose a room with a strong wood door, few windows and a carpeted floor if at all possible. You’ll want to choose a location that sounds “dead” and free of annoying echoes. You can always add digital reverb to a recording but removing unpleasant live reverb is practically difficult.

2. Make a recording booth out of a walk-in closet. The rest of the area can be used as a control room with a clothes closet functioning as a superb recording booth. The sound is absorbed by the hanging garments and outside noises are kept out by the closet door.

3. Make your room soundproof. You’ll want to use an acoustic treatment to reduce reverberation in your room. You can buy acoustic foam sound absorbers that you can stick on the walls to absorb unwanted echoes. Bass traps are sound absorbers that are placed in corners. Purchasing enough sound absorption for your project studio will cost at least $300 but you can save money by soundproofing with lower- grade foam or even fabric.

4. Choose a desk and a chair for it. You’ll spend the majority of your time at your workstation in your own studio. Choose an ergonomically appropriate desk and chair for numerous hours of music recording.


Today’s recording industry is a very mixed bag. Some people’s only exposure to recording and recorded music is through their computers, but others’ exposure is through far more traditional ways — the recent rise in vinyl disc sales, for example, is notable. For a grasp of the range of processes involved in recording today some knowledge of all of the technologies produced in the twentieth century is required. In setting up your own studio at home. Recording music and sound, you learned about the history of recording and got an idea of the kinds of challenges you’d have to think about if you were to produce your own recordings.

Avatar photo
About Maggie Holding

Hello! My name is Maggie and I am a proud Editor/Author for PlayTheTunes. Coming From South Carolina, USA, my whole life I've sang and played the guitar and flute! I love music with a passion, and am ecstatic to help others in their own music journey!