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What's this chord?

kendall 06 Mar 08 - 08:41 AM
s&r 05 Mar 08 - 06:39 PM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Mar 08 - 07:44 AM
Leadfingers 04 Mar 08 - 06:46 AM
Nick 04 Mar 08 - 05:36 AM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Mar 08 - 05:10 AM
Nick 04 Mar 08 - 03:59 AM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Mar 08 - 01:37 AM
Nick 03 Mar 08 - 05:28 PM
Don Firth 03 Mar 08 - 01:14 PM
PoppaGator 03 Mar 08 - 12:58 PM
PoppaGator 03 Mar 08 - 12:43 PM
Nick 03 Mar 08 - 04:20 AM
Nick 03 Mar 08 - 04:13 AM
Nick 03 Mar 08 - 03:57 AM
Nick 03 Mar 08 - 03:49 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Mar 08 - 12:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Mar 08 - 12:15 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Mar 08 - 12:04 AM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Mar 08 - 11:52 PM
Nick 02 Mar 08 - 09:09 PM
Nick 02 Mar 08 - 08:12 PM
Peace 02 Mar 08 - 07:12 PM
M.Ted 02 Mar 08 - 07:11 PM
Peace 02 Mar 08 - 06:13 PM
Peace 02 Mar 08 - 06:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Mar 08 - 05:24 PM
Don Firth 02 Mar 08 - 03:36 PM
M.Ted 02 Mar 08 - 03:02 PM
Stringsinger 02 Mar 08 - 12:55 PM
M.Ted 02 Mar 08 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,mayomick 02 Mar 08 - 11:12 AM
Don Firth 01 Mar 08 - 09:27 PM
Scorpio 01 Mar 08 - 08:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Mar 08 - 08:03 PM
Don Firth 01 Mar 08 - 07:17 PM
Peace 01 Mar 08 - 07:13 PM
Don Firth 01 Mar 08 - 07:09 PM
Don Firth 01 Mar 08 - 06:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Mar 08 - 06:42 PM
Don Firth 01 Mar 08 - 04:12 PM
Peace 01 Mar 08 - 03:24 PM
Mysha 01 Mar 08 - 09:09 AM
Mysha 01 Mar 08 - 09:01 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Mar 08 - 07:39 AM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Mar 08 - 07:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Mar 08 - 04:48 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Mar 08 - 02:57 AM
Don Firth 29 Feb 08 - 09:53 PM
Nick 29 Feb 08 - 09:17 PM
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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: kendall
Date: 06 Mar 08 - 08:41 AM

"There ain't no notes on a banjo, you just play the thing." (Roscoe Holcomb) ??

"Can you read music"?

"Not enough to hurt my playing" anon.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: s&r
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 06:39 PM

This is a good chord identification site

Stu


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Mar 08 - 07:44 AM

Damn you Leadfingers!!!!!!! :-)


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Mar 08 - 06:46 AM

100


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 04 Mar 08 - 05:36 AM

Then we agree totally. The intention was a starting point not an end point as I'm sure you realised. Whether the information is presented in a form that is useful and is right (within our now mutually agreed limited terms of reference) is another, and perhaps, more important matter.

For a second there I thought you were being infinitely stupid or pompous which is why the parallels had met so early.

Luckily I was wrong.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Mar 08 - 05:10 AM

Nick

Ah yes.... burdened as I know I am with an excess of intellect, I do note (and totally agree with you) that "lies to children" is a useful starting point.

Unfortunately, when those of average intellect have achieved "a sense of competence" of about the average teenager, they tend to believe they "know it all", and often refuse further attempts at a more extensive elucidation of the real complexity of Life - sadly some of them go on to become Politicans - and I am referring to Queensland - 'Uncle Joh' as he liked to be called.... :-)

Oh, and parallels meet at infinity - or closer if space is curved due to the action of gravity.... :-P

;-)


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 04 Mar 08 - 03:59 AM

"Lies to children" is based on a solid principle - ie that before a child reaches formal operational intelligence it is necessary to create understandable constructs for the child to organize and interact with the world round it to enable it to function successfully - and also to lay the foundations of future learning. I'd read a little Piaget perhaps? Even those critical of some of the detail tend to agree with his view - if not the timing - of cognitive development.

An example would be the following - until a child becomes more flexible in their thinking they are unable to perform concrete mental operations, such as conservation, which requires the simultaneous consideration of multiple pieces of information. In a typical task involving the conservation of liquid, water from a short, fat glass is poured into an empty glass that is tall and skinny. In order to understand that the volume of water does not change even though the level of the water does, the child must account for change in two different aspects at once: the circumference of the glass and the height of the liquid in that glass.

Common sense indicates how crucial it is for children to have a sense of competence when they are trying to learn new tasks. A lack of competence leads to avoidance and failure.

Putting "all" of the information, in all its detail and at the highest level of complexity and abstraction in front of the one learning suggests a similar level of stupidity on the side of the educator. Or just that they are a smartass.

I think there are parallels here.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Mar 08 - 01:37 AM

"I was only trying to explain something that seems very easy to me (to the level that I understand it which doesn't need to take in the limitations of tempered and non tempered instruments) in terms that someone who (apparently) does not find it immediately obvious will hopefully understand."

That - Nick - is what is referred to as "lies to children" ... ;-)


:-P


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 05:28 PM

You could play the spider chord as 0-7-6-7-10-x or 0-7-6-7-0-5 or is that cheating? Or alternatively fret the top string with one of the fingers of your right hand which is much easier.

If you look at the man in the shadows on the Ida Presti photo do I detect a slight grin as the superglue he applied earlier to the fretboard starts to take effect?


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 01:14 PM

I know all of this stuff and I'M getting a headache!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 12:58 PM

While I backing up to earlier references int his thread, lemme back up again, even further, to 29 Feb 08 - 03:11 PM , where Don gave us links to a couple of photos: classical guitarist Ida Presti fingering a near-impossible chord well up the neck, as well as a Photoshopped image of a more recent player holding the same shape in an absolutely impossible position, right at the nut in first position.

If John Hurt's 020135 is a "spider chord," the knucklebuster seen in those photos is a freakin' tarantula! Or perhaps "tarantella" would be a more apt description for something that looks to have come from the Spanish guitar tradition.

PS: Another reference to last week's discussions ~ I really appreciated McGrath's reference to that great old joke about the prisoners swapping jokes-by-number. A definite coffee-through-the-nostrils moment!


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 12:43 PM

Lemma back up to 2:55 yesterday:

This is a chord used by many blues players. 00225 works in conjunction with 00224. It's an open-voice A major to an A7.

Wouldn't that be 002225 and 002223? Or, 000225/000223?

Because of what McGofH poined out as the "five-string guitar" problem, I'm not sure whether or not Frank is telling us that the D string is left open ~ I think it might be, because he mentions that it sounds "sounds a little dissonant but bluesy."

I am more confident that the one changing note, as played on the high E string, moves from the fifth to the third fret, not from the fifth to the fourth. But I'm not sure until I try both alternatives on my guitar, which I don't bring to work with me. (When I go home, I have the intrument at hand but I am not chained to the computer and don't always feel like even turning it on. Didn't log onto Mudcat at all this past weekend...)


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 04:20 AM

Sorry there's an error in this bit -

A - A C# E A
Bb - Bb D Eb Bb (A# - A# D D# A#)
B - B D# F# B
C - C E G C


It should be Bb - Bb D F Bb (A# - A# D F A#)


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 04:13 AM

And I definitely don't want to play one of these


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 03:57 AM

... and in a better world we would all have much longer fingers so that we could play instruments that were based on 19 tone temperament. But that probably won't come in my lifetime.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 03:49 AM

>>... but that all is probably far more than you thought you really wanted to know... :-P

I knew it was dangerous to try and post something partial, but simple, perhaps I should try and get the post removed.

When I see an apple drop from a tree I know what it will do. Newton may have only given a partial explanation but it's still good enough to give me an idea where the apple will end up. Whether superstrings exist or whther there is a unifying theory of everything with laws that exist both inside and outside singularities of space and time, or how the apple would behave in other coexisting multi-dimensional worlds is probably a distraction from me achieving my initial goal of retrieving the apple. Quite happy to debate that elsewhere (this is a good place for that sort of stuff I wonder whether my guitar would work there?)

I was only trying to explain something that seems very easy to me (to the level that I understand it which doesn't need to take in the limitations of tempered and non tempered instruments) in terms that someone who (apparently) does not find it immediately obvious will hopefully understand.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 12:20 AM

"And by the way, there is no rule or law in music theory that says you can't or shouldn't use dyads. The bone of contention here is what you call it. If you call it a "chord," someone who knows a bit of music theory is going to assume that it contains a 3rd. One could refer to it as, say, "an A chord with a missing 3rd.""

Actually that is a 'gapped chord' - you have also heard of 'gapped scales', haven't you?


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 12:15 AM

"if there's a website where you could just type in the data that Scorpio gave and which then gives back the name of the chord?"

The problem with that - what seems like a 'simple idea' - is that any 3 notes at random can be

1) in the root position, in the 1st inversion, or in the second inversion of the 3 notes forming that 'chord'...

2) well funnily enough you need then to pick a 'root note', and since it can be any one of the 3... you can theoretically have 3 possible root notes, and thus it could be any one of 3 'basic chords, of which EACH could be inverted.

3) the 'gadget' would have to make many assumptions - about which you probably would not be told - so it could decide - on the basis of probability, which would be the 'most common' chords...

The less technical information you know, the more dangerous you can be... :-)

"Education is what separates us from the beasts, and the failure of Human Society to fully utilise it will return us there."

:-)


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 12:04 AM

Ok - I'll start on the explanation...

"MAJOR SCALES have the following intervals in them - root note - root+2 - root+4 - root+5 - root+7 - root+9 - root+11 - root note again (ie root+12)."

We start with root - root + 5 - (root + 5)+5 [that's the 2nd of the scale] - ((root + 5)+5)+5 [that's the 6th of the scale] - and so it goes.

The problem with doing it that way is that it doesn't all add up when you get back to the alleged 'root' again - that's called a 'ceasura', or a break, and is why 'just intonation' was superseded by various systems that attempted to spread the 'differences' - resulting in the modern 'root 12 impermanent' system.


... but that all is probably far more than you thought you really wanted to know... :-P

:-)


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 11:52 PM

Well done Nick - but of course Pythagoras originally worked it all out on the basis of 'repeating fifths'... :-)


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 09:09 PM

If, having worked out what notes you want, you are unsure where to find them or whether you can reach them you could try the Notes on Strings site


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 08:12 PM

Rather than finding a web site (- I rarely have an internet connection when I'm playing with people :)!) for a small amount of pain get the gain from spending a short time understanding how to form chords and you can then work out any chord anywhere ALL THIS WORKS IN ANY KEY so once you have the principle you can pretty much work any chord out.

This is probably a dangerous thing to attempt but what the hell. I was going to do this for a friend to explain about making chords so it has just brought it forward. I'd be interested to know if it's understandable and/or useful. (There are probably lots of holes that can be picked but any comments welcome.)

BASICS OF UNDERSTANDING HOW TO MAKE CHORDS

I assume you know which notes are which on a guitar so you know that the chord you asked for contains three A's a C# and an E. If that isn't obvious, ask. This would work for any instrument that is worked in semitones - so most stringed instruments that you come across commonly (not a dulcimer which doesn't go up in semitones!) and most keyboard instruments where each note going upwards is one interval (a semitone) higher than the previous

1 2   3 4 5   6 7   8 9 10 11 12 1 2   3 4 5   6 7   8 9 10 11 12

A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#
   Bb       Db    Eb       Gb    Ab    Bb       Db    Eb       Gb    Ab

(I've repeated the notes and numbers to mean you won't have to go back round!)

MAJOR SCALES have the following intervals in them - root note - root+2 - root+4 - root+5 - root+7 - root+9 - root+11 - root note again (ie root+12). EVERY scale is the same so as an example C has the following notes - C root note - D root+2 - E root+4 - F root+5 - G root+7 - A root+9 - B root+11 - C root note again ; Bb has the following notes - Bb root note - C root+2 - D root+4 - Eb root+5 - F root+7 - G root+9 - A root+11 - Bb root note again

So far so good?

MAJOR CHORDS are built from the root of the chord (if you play the x02225 chord as a whole and listen to it and had to sum up the overall sound most people would choose the Open A string I would guess as the dominant overall sound of the chord - most guitar chords usually have this as the lowest string played - eg A - x02220 C - x32010 D - xx0232 E - 022100 G - 320003 etc)

A major chord will then have two additional notes - the first one which is four intervals (semitones) higher (and which is the third note of the major scale - in Do-Re-Mi it's the Mi note) and the second one is seven intervals (semitones ) higher than the root note (the Soh note in Do-Re-Mi which is the fifth note of the scale). This works for all major chords.
Because a guitar has more than three strings some of the notes will be repeated - in the original example the A is repeated twice and the bottom string ignored. Usually the root note is the most likely to be repeated.

On my primitive little diagram above. Start with a note above - D# for example. Count 4 intervals to the right which gives a 'G' and then count a further three intervals to the right which gives an A# and that is a D# major. (You would never mix sharps and flats in the same chord so Eb-G-A# or D#-G-Bb are not OK!)

Given a quick bit of working out you'd soon get the following for the major chords:

A - A C# E A
Bb - Bb D Eb Bb (A# - A# D D# A#)
B - B D# F# B
C - C E G C
C# - C# E# G# (I know that ones weird but you can't conventionally have an F and an F# in the same scale so what we normally refer to as an F is called a sharpened E - this only overcomplicates things, the number of intervals between the notes is constant)
etc

Hopefully you could work the rest out by now if this has made sense.

SOME OTHER MAJOR CHORDS

SEVENTH CHORDS In the orginal post A7 was mentioned. To form these you create your major chord (eg A C# E A) but rather than the top note being 12 intervals from the root you choose the one that is 10 intervals away - so an A7 has A C# E and G; F would be (major chord F A C F) F A C Eb etc etc Sevenths contain the flattened (ie one interval to the left) seventh note of the major scale (in case of A - A B C# D E F# G# A hence G)

NINTH CHORDS To form these you take the seventh you have created and add the note that is 14 intervals above the orginal - so an A9 has A C# E G and B; F would be (major chord F A C F) F A C Eb and G etc etc (For ease take 12 off the 14 intervals as it's easier to work out the ninth note is the same note as the one 2 above the root note)

ELEVENTH CHORDS To form these you take the ninth you created earlier and add the note that is 17 intervals above the orginal - so an A11 has A C# E G B and D; F would be (major chord F A C F) F A C Eb G Bb etc etc (For ease take 12 off the 17 intervals as it's easier to work out the eleventh is the same note as the one 5 intervals above the root note)

THIRTEENTH CHORDS To form these you take the eleventh you have created and add the note that is 21 intervals above the orginal - so an A9 has A C# E G B D and F#; F would be (major chord F A C F) F A C Eb G Bb and D etc etc (For ease take 12 off the 21 intervals as it's easier to work out the thirteenth is the same note as the one 9 above the root note)

MINOR CHORDS

The note that defines a minor chord is the third note of the scale. In the key of C rather than the E of the major chord the note for a minor chord is Eb (three intervals/semitones from the root of the key rather than the four of the major).

So if you substitute a flattened third on all of the chords above then you well get the minor equivalent. For example, Am9 - A C E G B; Fm7 - F Ab C Eb;


A FEW OTHER CHORD TYPES -

MAJOR SEVENTH CHORDS (eg Amaj7) To form these you create your major chord (eg A C# E A) but rather than the top note being 12 intervals from the root you choose the one that is 11 intervals away - so an Amaj7 has A C# E and G# ; F would be (major chord F A C F) F A C E etc etc. Major sevenths contain the seventh note of the major scale (in case of A - A B C# D E F# G# A)

MAJOR NINTH CHORDS To form these you take the major seventh you have created and add the note that is 14 intervals above the orginal - so an A9 has A C# E G# and B; F would be (major chord F A C F) F A C E and G etc etc (For ease take 12 off the 14 intervals as it's easier to work out the ninth is the same note as the one 2 above the root note)

sus 4 CHORDS To form these you take the root note - root+5 - root+7 so a Gsus4 has a G C D; an C#sus4 has a C# F# G#

SIXTH CHORDS To form these you take the add the sixth note of the scale (9 intervals higher than the root) - so an C6 has C E A; F would be (major chord F A C F) F A D etc etc Sometimes I include the 5th note also sometimes not - I think technically these are 'added sixths'

And that's pretty much it. Occasionally you'll see chords like G13b9 - all this means is that it is a G13 ( G B D F A C E but with the ninth note moved one to the left - G# rather than A - so it has G B D F G# C E - you have to leave at least one out though unless you have a seven string guitar and are polydactyl)

Do diminished and augmented chords too if this has been useful.

Once you understand this it's easy working out any chord.

Try D13b5b9 - if you can work that out you understand it and never need another chord book ever.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 07:12 PM

"you'd have to call it a G3 or Ab (depending on the key)"

That should read G#.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 07:11 PM

I only meant to point out that the interval actually sounding is an augmented 5th relative to the E--to be precise, in order to call the interval an augmented 5th,I should have called the note a B#, but didn't to avoid making things more confusing--

Also--as to what notes are enharmonic and not, violinists play natural scales, in the unlikely event that they were playing in C# major, the B# would have a slightly different pitch than, say, a C in C major.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 06:13 PM

www.8notes.com/guitar_chord_chart/

That ain't it, but it's a really good site to bookmark, imo.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 06:03 PM

"Does anyone know if there's a website where you could just type in the data that Scorpio gave and which then gives back the name of the chord?"

Yes there is. I cannot find it. You would have to enter the name of the note--that is, if it's the bass string at the fourth fret, you'd have to call it a G3 or Ab (depending on the key). That doesn't help you much, but try Mr Google and see if you can locate it.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 05:24 PM

I don't think we've had any significant amount of "petty bickering" in this thread. Quite unusual really.
...................

00225 works in conjunction with 00224.    The five string guitar one more...


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 03:36 PM

Thanks for the kind words, M.Ted.

But, oh, crap! Here I go again!

Technically the interval in question (6th string open E to the C on the 5th string 3rd fret) is a minor 6th. Count it up:   E F G A B C – 1 2 3 4 5 6. A major 6th above the open E would be C#, up one fret.

But a minor 6th is "enharmonic" with an augmented 5th—they sound the same, even if they are "spelled" differently. [Minor 6th: E—C. Augmented 5th: E—B#.]    B# and C are the same sound, of course (although the "natural tuning" folks will howl and throw rotten vegetables).

Although playing the low E with a C chord makes it a first inversion C major, the low E string throws a pretty strong overtone (7th fret harmonic). That's a B natural, which clanks mightily with the C.

Don Firth (picky picky picky)

P. S. We had to be really careful with this stuff in music theory classes. Professor Verrall was a kind and gentle man who he reminded me a lot of Mister Rogers. But he had a VERY large red pencil!


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 03:02 PM

Incidentally, the reason that the open C chord with the Low E seems difficult has nothing to do with the intonation of the third--it has to do with the fact that the interval between the Low E and C on the A string is a Augmented 5th--

Low E to B on the A string(second fret), is a perfect 5th-move up one half-step to C and you will hear a very striking dissonance--

That dissonant augmented fifth sound is part of part of every major chord--whether you've studied music theory, and know it's there, or whether you are like Mysha, and think that technical terms are only for "professionals"--


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 12:55 PM

This is a chord used by many blues players. 00225 works in conjunction with 00224. It's an open-voice A major to an A7. Mississippi John Hurt uses it. Big Bill Broonzy and Brownie McGhee use is also. They will also slide those two chords up to the the seventh fret using the open 6,5 for a bass which sounds a little dissonant but bluesy. Sometimes they slide it up to the ninth fret. At the seventh fret the chords are D,D7 and the ninth,
E and E7. These are folkie ways of playing these chords and are a kind of cheating that sound OK in this style. It gets away from using barre chords such as 557775 for a D chord or 779997 for a barred E7.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 12:45 PM

Don Firth, you are the best at explaining things clearly, concisely, and elegantly.

The stuff that Don is explaining is basic and essential information; the better you understand it, the better you are able to use it, and the better a musician and performer you can be. Read and learn!

That a music question with a such a simple answer should descend into protracted posturing and petty bickering reflects poorly on the nature of this allegedly musical community.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 11:12 AM

Does anyone know if there's a website where you could just type in the data that Scorpio gave and which then gives back the name of the chord?


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 09:27 PM

No dispute, really. Just trying to get to the root of the matter.

Or the third. Or the fifth.

By the way, open fifths are at their best when the open fifth in question is a single malt Scotch.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Scorpio
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 08:54 PM

Yer welcome. I didn't realise what I was starting! By the way, I've been wondering.... Does Mudcat have a kind of Diplomatic Corps to sort out these disputes?


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 08:03 PM

This is turning out a very useful thread. Thanks, Scorpio.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 07:17 PM

WOW! A wealth of good, usable information HERE!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 07:13 PM

Thanks to Grab and Janice.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 07:09 PM

HAH! Here we go. More than anyone could want to know about "empty fifths," "open fifths," or "bare fifths."

CLICKY.

I note that when the article talks of chords composed of fifths without the third in it, it puts the word "chord" in quotes.

And an article linked to this one deals with "power chords."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 06:53 PM

"Dyadic chord." Yeah, that ought to work.

But something just occurred to me. I've heard the expression "open fifths" used. I'll have to check that out and see if it means what I think it means.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 06:42 PM

Maybe the simplest thing would be to call it "dyadic chord". No misunderstanding there, even if it might sound odd to some ears. And no trained musician hearing "dyadic chord" would assume it contained a 3rd.

There's already a fair variation in musical a terms around the world - note/tone etc. It doesn't seem to lead to too much difficulty.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 04:12 PM

I am fully aware of the differences between equal temperament and what might be called the "natural scale." I've been all through that, from Pythagoras' experiments and findings with "monochords" (discovering that the relationships between musical notes is not just arbitrary, there is a mathematical basis for such relationships—"The Physics of Music," Cornish School, 1963—) to the eventual development of equal temperament and the salutary affect this had on the music that followed its adoption.

What I was calling into question was the statement that the third of the triad is "out of key." It is very slightly "out"—of tune—in relation to an overtone of the root note, but it is not "out of key." A musical instrument which is perfectly tuned—not tuned to equal temperament—is playable, "in tune," in only one key. The further away one gets from that key around the circle of fifths, the further out of tune the instrument is. With equal temperment, a couple of notes in each key are very slightly out of tune (most people's ears don't even notice it), but it can be played in all keys.

The terminology I use (regarding such things as what constitutes a chord and what does not) is standard among formally trained musicians. Since I did study music in academic settings, I tend to use the language that is commonly used in music schools and conservatories all over the United States and Europe, and that is used by trained musicians everywhere who play music in what may be called the "Western tradition" (stemming from European music). I find that this terminology works perfectly well in reference to British Isles and American folk music as well. It is a common language among musicians.

"Common usage" may eventually change the meaning of the word "chord." But I doubt it very seriously. When dealing with the complexities of, say, classical symphonic music, musicians need to know what their colleagues are talking about, so they try to be fairly precise. And the established terminology has worked quite well for a few centuries now.

I find that it is self-taught musicians who tend to cavil at this terminology and often wish to redefine it in their own terms, and this can lead to lack of precision, difficulty in attempting to communicate specific information, and general confusion.

I'm all for clear communication, and I think it's a good idea if people know the meaning of the words they use so other people know what they are talking about and they know what other people are talking about. If everyone makes up his or her own definitions, especially for technical terms, we wind up with a musical Tower of Babel.

I fully realize that I'm tilting at windmills here.

Just for kicks, pull up Google and, in the search box, type "chord" and "definition" and see what you get.

Don Firth

P. S. And by the way, there is no rule or law in music theory that says you can't or shouldn't use dyads. The bone of contention here is what you call it. If you call it a "chord," someone who knows a bit of music theory is going to assume that it contains a 3rd. One could refer to it as, say, "an A chord with a missing 3rd." That may seem like a lot of verbiage, but classically trained musicians are using modifiers all the time:   "a first-inversion C major," which means a C major chord with the E (3rd) in the bass rather than the root. Folk musicians do that. Case in point:   "E7" which is an E major chord with a D (minor seventh interval above the root) added.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 03:24 PM

Is it true that tightrope walkers play in either C# or Bb?


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Mysha
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 09:09 AM

Hi,

Nick was quicker than the rest, taking only 34 minutes.

Foolestroupe: as Scorpio brought the guitar; that's who you'll have to ask about its tuning. (-:

Grab, I know there are easier ways to get an A7, but the point of that long A is that it has an A on the highest string. That's why I wanted to leave that as it was.

BFN
                                                                  Mysha


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Mysha
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 09:01 AM

Hi Don,

You're quite right: A 3rd isn't "out of key". It's a limitation on my part to express the concept of "vals" in the English language. In English the term is attached to the "key", which in turn is associated with a scale. The 3rds are indeed in a scale, in equal temperament tuning.

Having said that, such 3rds don't accord well with the 1st. The reason is that equal temperament tuning gives a 5th, very close to just tuning, at the cost of a 3rd that is quite far from just tuning. The character that we hear is the lack of accord. I'm not saying it's a bad thing; as so often it's imperfection that make out world colourful. But it does explain why including a 3rd can be good, while stressing it can be less so.

The word "accord" I used above on purpose, of course, since that's where the word "chord" stems from.
Oxford: group of notes sounded usu. together, combined according to some system. [orig. cord f. ACCORD]
Webster: a combination of tones that blend harmoniously when sounded together [Middle English cord, short for accord]

Since I have little formal training in music, I have to go with what I learned since I started looking into this fascinating field at age six or seven. So while the facts might be that there is a professional definition for chord and that a good book on music theory wouldn't tell me anything new, we ought to remember that a professional definition is only intended for use within the profession's theoretical field. Unless those educated to use it form majority of those in the applied field, and they chose to use it there as well, such a term should be qualified. So, while I'm not going to argue that there may be a different "music theoretical definition" of "chord", that doesn't change the ordinary meaning indicated above.

BFN
                                                                Mysha

P.S.
While I was writing that, I thought up an example of the alternative: Mathematically a group need not actually include any members, which would allow me to argue, based on the above, that a group of no notes form a chord (the according I'll prove by pointing out that there's no discord in the group). I'm not going to apply that to music theory, though, simply because to most a group indicates at least two members. (-:

                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 07:39 AM

That should have read: "There's no particular reason that I can see that the word "chord" got defined in such a way as not to include dyads, just a musical fashion." Changes the sense a bit...


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 07:28 AM

"First one to tell me what chord this is: 000000;"

Depends on what tuning the guitar is in.... :-P


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 04:48 AM

True enough, Don, technically - two notes make a dyad not a chord, no matter how many times you duplicate them. But there isn't a convenient word that includes both. "Fingerings" or "shapes" or "finger shape" all seem clumsy. It'd be less confusing to extend the word "chord" to mean any of the clever shapes we make on a fretboard (or keyboard) to produce music.

There's no particular reason that I can see that the word "chord" got defined in such a way as to include dyads, just a musical fashion. It's a bit as if the word "scale" had been defined in such a way as to exclude pentatonic scales and we had to call them something else.

Dyads are a case of the old saying "less is more". Often adding in that third note to make a chord can just spoil the sound.


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:57 AM

That would be true Don if it were not for the limitations of equal temperament tuning.

Play an E major chord in root position.

Now play it slowly, one string at a time. Hear how that G# is not quite right? Flatten it a smidgeon and suddenly the chord is sweeter. But of course when you go the the A or B they are wolves!


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 09:53 PM

Mysha, the 3rd in a triad is not "out of key," it is one of the notes of the scale.

For example:   C scale with tonic chord notes boldfaced

C    D    E    F    G    A    B    C

Within any triad, it is the 3rd which defines it as a major or minor chord (and it is not "too high" or "too low," it's exactly the pitch it is supposed to be). In the key of C, the C (tonic) chord is major, the D is minor, the E is minor, the F is major, the G is major, the A is minor, and the B is a diminished triad (root, minor third, and a diminished 5th rather than a perfect 5th). If a song is in major, the C, F, and G (or G7) are the primary chords, with the minor chords used as alternates or "color" chords. The G7 chord includes the diminished triad, along with it's own root note. If a song is in the relative minor (in this case, A minor), the three primary chords are Am, Dm, and Em (often replaced by an E7 to provide a leading tone, but not always), with the relative major chords used as color chords.

As long as the chords are made up of notes from the C scale, it is impossible for the 3rd of any chord to be "out of key." There are a number of so-called "perfect" intervals. 4ths, 5ths, and, of course octaves. But the 3rd (major or minor) of all seven triads available for harmonizing the key of C are—by definition—within the key.

And the same situation holds for all other keys. All chords built from notes of a key's scale, of necessity, are within the key itself.

I'm not making any of this up. My credentials include three years at the University of Washington School of Music (I was the first student admitted as a guitar major, 1957), and I also spent two years at Seattle's Cornish School of the Arts, also as a guitar major. And I have been teaching classical and folk guitar for approximately fifty years, and part of the instruction I give is in music theory (which includes, of course, scale and chord structure).

As I have said many times here on Mudcat (I sometimes feel like King Canute trying to order the tides to recede), two notes—an interval or "dyad"—is not a chord. It takes a minimum of three different notes to constitute a chord. That, too, is by definition.

Many folk musicians who have never taken any formal musical training tend to use the term "chord" rather loosely, generally referring to a finger-shape rather than the actual notes involved.

I would suggest getting a good book on music theory, especially one with a good glossary, to use as a reference.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What's this chord?
From: Nick
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 09:17 PM

Not a fourth inversion of a G6/9 is it LOL?

>>chords with multiple thirds where one is below the lowest occurence of the tonic seem to be unpleasant. C 032010 has three Es and sounds awful because of the low E honking out.

What's wrong with C/E? I think it's an excellent chord - a few Tom Waits songs benefit from it (Please Call Me Baby I play C - C/E - F - F/G) and I like it as an alternative when accompanying a lot of Scottish tunes where the emphasised third I think is really nice. A lot of Dougie Maclean stuff in Open C uses 404000 (Caledonia for instance) and it's lovely. And G/B I use all over the place.


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