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chord inversions. rick needs help!

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Rick Fielding 28 Nov 99 - 02:28 PM
Gary T 28 Nov 99 - 03:11 PM
_gargoyle 28 Nov 99 - 03:17 PM
Willie-O 28 Nov 99 - 03:28 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Nov 99 - 05:21 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 28 Nov 99 - 11:26 PM
sophocleese 28 Nov 99 - 11:40 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Nov 99 - 11:49 PM
Gary T 29 Nov 99 - 12:31 AM
Rick Fielding 29 Nov 99 - 12:41 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 29 Nov 99 - 03:05 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 29 Nov 99 - 03:12 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 29 Nov 99 - 04:09 AM
Frank Hamilton 29 Nov 99 - 05:03 PM
sophocleese 29 Nov 99 - 06:38 PM
MichaelM 29 Nov 99 - 06:53 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 29 Nov 99 - 08:46 PM
Rick Fielding 30 Nov 99 - 12:56 AM
_gargoyle 30 Nov 99 - 11:51 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 01 Dec 99 - 05:45 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 01 Dec 99 - 02:39 PM
Rick Fielding 02 Dec 99 - 12:44 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 02 Dec 99 - 05:45 AM
Rick Fielding 02 Dec 99 - 11:55 AM
Giac 28 Jan 02 - 08:24 AM
M.Ted 28 Jan 02 - 10:00 AM
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Subject: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 02:28 PM

Hi. I know I'm one of the folks that usually jumps in to answer questions like these, but for the moment I'm stumped.
I got a call from a student this morning asking what the name for a chord with a 1, 5, and 4th in it would be. It got me thinking that I certainly know how to name chords that contain a basic triad eg: 1,3,5. and all possible additions, but what do you do when the triad is incomplete, but other notes (2nd, 4th, b7th, etc.) are added?
Thanks
Rick


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Gary T
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 03:11 PM

Rick, that's the definition of a major suspended chord. C major suspended, written Csus and probably usually called C suspended, contains C, F, & G. As I recall, Gordon Lightfoot used suspended chords often enough to notice. Diminished chords and most augmented chords also deviate from the major or minor triad, usually by raising or lowering the 5th a half step. Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: _gargoyle
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 03:17 PM

Here is a quote from Stuart Isacoff previously an editor of "Sheet Music Magazine."

Chord Voicing, Pt. 3; Spaced-Out Sounds

"These sound are very jazzy, and will not be appropriate for use in all the music you play. But it's interesting to see how they're built and it's good to have these voicings to add to your pallette of harmonic colors."

"Chords which are suspended or have 11ths (the 4th and 11th are the same note, an octave apart), do not contain the major third...." (emphasis his)


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Willie-O
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 03:28 PM

I always figured that's part of why Tony Rice plays so much Lightfoot--his songs are almost a precursor of "newgrass" style and give a fancy picker like Rice a nice palette to work from....

Also, chords with no third kind of define "Celtic" style, or modal if you like, since its the third that defines whether a chord is major or minor. Leave it out and it's neither, or either.

Ennnnh, what am I doing giving Rick advice? Maybe he can give me some:

Rick, how can one make a living playing music?

Bill
old enough to know better, still young enough to try


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 05:21 PM

Bill, don't quit your day job! I did, and look where it got me! Just kidding actually, I'd be miserable if music were NOT my profession.
Now when I read my post back, I realized I'd phrased the first part wrong. I of course KNOW that a 1,5,4. is a suspension. What I should have emphasised (and I hope you all haven't gone away) was that I wasn't sure how to indicate on a chord chart, a chord with no third. For example if all the other ingredients are there for a D9th, (D,A,C,E) but not the F#, would you just write it as "D9(no 3rd) or is the 3rd COMPULSORY for it to BE a 9th?
You may have guessed that my student loves modal sounds and plays a lot in DADGAD. Has anyone heard the term "cluster" in regard to notes?
Thanks
Rick


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 11:26 PM

DACE is actually ACED, and would be named for the minor third interval, which makes it an . To be a chord, you have to have a triad, and you have to have an interval of either major or minor third voiced--your suspended 4th is not,in musical nomenclature, a chord(sorry to disappoint so many of you)--in classical music theory, the 4th is regarded as a non-harmonic note that is suspended, or lingers, from the previous measure--it is a variant of the appoggiaturra. This is handy for your student to understand, because, in that DADGAD scheme, there is a lot non-harmonic stuff happening--

Pop and Folk Guitarists(as opposed to classical guitarists) tend to view chords as the basis for a musical piece, so the idea of there not being a chord somewhere is a conceptual problem for them--but there are a lot of times when you don't have a chord happening--also many of the note configurations that guitarists play are misnamed, because the notes that are sounded delete or substitute notes, either because it is awkward to play them, or because it sounds better when they are deleted (Fifths, especially in lower registers are often deleted for this reason), so when you learn the to play the little dot pattern above the music staff, and you memorize the name of it, you have not infrequently been duped by a hack arranger--


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: sophocleese
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 11:40 PM

MTed - Am11th? or just something by John Cage?


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 11:49 PM

Mted, (and Soph) thanks for the input. Since it's been a lazy Sunday (and the Bills won in a breeze) I got out the books and did a little remedial woodsheddin'. Damn problem is that now I'm fascinated, and can't put them down again!
Thanks again.
Rick


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Gary T
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 12:31 AM

I defer to M.Ted, who actually sounds like he knows what he's talking about. As he mentions, guitar chords often delete notes--the common C7 has no G in it. There are also quite a few chords I've seen lacking the root note (1). The 9th and 13th chords usually have to sacrifice something (having 5 & 6 different notes, respectively), but they need to keep the flatted 7th and the 9th &/or 13th to retain their character, so 1, 3, or 5 usually go. If I understand M.Ted correctly, these are not technically properly called chords, but in practical applications that distinction is usually not made. I guess it depends on how picky you need to be in a given situation. In a 9th chord that was missing a 1 or 5, it would normally just be written D9. If someone asks, or one is writing a textbook (or a post like this-BG), then the missing note would be pointed out. (The 3rd is almost always retained, as it's key in distinguishing major from minor.)

I've recently been introduced to swing chords that are played on the 3rd, 4th, and 6th strings (the other strings are muted). All of them are minus at least one note, and it's sometimes the 3rd--one form, for example, is used as either a (dominant) 7th or a minor 7th. And I understand that some rock & roll rhythm players typically use 2-note "chords". It really boils down to what sounds good in the context of the particular tune. Consistency? We don't need no stinking consistency! (BG)


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 12:41 AM

Yah Gary. I did a lot of reading on how Freddie Green got "that" sound a few years ago. When I discovered that it was the "missing" notes that made his chords stand out, it was a revelation. Likewise Eldon Shamblin with The Texas Playboys. Because I play solo most of the time, but still want that "moving bass line feel" on swingy tunes, I've done some ammending and rarely alter the chords beyond the 6th, 7th, and 9th. Almost always use the m7th though. I'll use a b5 occasionally in the bass, but only as a quick passing chord.
Rick


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 03:05 AM

As I am working on being a nitpicky malcontent--it is in my best interests to make a fuss about every little thing--otherwise I wouldn't have even mentioned any of this--but seriously--

When you can drop a note or two out of a chord, it can give you a lot of extra room to work, and this is really important, because it helps to overcome the limitations inherent in the guitar--it is good to know, however, that when you drop the fundamental out of a C9, you are really playing an Em7-5 or Gm6--this is important especially when you are working with non-guitar instumentalists--the chord sounds may be significantly altered when a note is dropped, because a whole different array of harmonics are sounding--you can go from a very straight ahead sound to a really bent one, and this is sometimes not appreciated, especially by Traditional Jazz ensembles--

(then of course, you may also run into that occasional bass player who "hears" it as an E or G chord, and decides to stick the fifth on the bottom)

Also, you have to be careful about which notes you add and leave out if you are working with a vocalist, because they often rely on the guitar chords to lead them--

I once copped a particularly hip set of changes to "Pennies from Heaven" from a jazz pianist, only to discover that it left my vocalist singing a B over a C7 chord--and he did not like it, not one little bit--and pulled the sheet music out to show me that I was wrong--went back to the pianist will this problem, and he said, "It may be a little out there, but it's close enough for Jazz"

Anyway, the third and the seventh tend are the really important notes in defining a chord--


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 03:12 AM

I learned that any simultaneous sounding of three or more notes is a chord--that is a chord doesn't have to be consonant--it can be dissonant like a suspended one. Technically (ie nitpickingly) two notes sounded simultaneously do not constitute a chord; but an interval. However fingerstyle guitar often depends upon unplucked strings sounding and the letters on top of the tab, lyrics, or whatever take that into account. So even if you play C and G, your music might say it is a "C" chord and you finger the "E", so it rings instead of the open "D" ringing. I have done some experimenting that way. If a chord is fingered but one note is left out of the plucking, it sounds very different from when the left out string is muted or when it is not fingered.

Murray


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 04:09 AM

Are you saying that fingerstyle guitar relies on notes to sound that have not been struck, picked, plucked, or otherwise molested by the human hand? Are you sure about that, because that is a new one on me--and I have been playing these things for mearly forty years--If the music tells you to play C and G, it doesn't want to hear from any E note, and there is not much point in fingering it--In fact, it is a good practice to finger only the notes that you need and not keep your fingers locked in a full chord position when you are using only a couple of the notes--the D note shouldn't sound unless you pluck it--you can deaden it so that it doesn't ring, which is sometimes necessary on an electric or amplified guitar--but that is something else--

Classical harmony allows that to have a chord, you must have a triad, which is to say, some rendition of the first, the third, and the fifth. 20th century harmony allows that you can honk, squeexe or mash any three notes, and assign a pitch and note name to them in whatever way you have contrived, be it drunk or sober--you have to make up your own names for them though, as the chord names from classical harmony don't fit--


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 05:03 PM

Hi Rick,

The chord is called a major or minor chord with a suspended fourth. You can also have a major chord with a suspended second. Suspension indicates "resolution" so that the suspended fourth usually resolves to the third of the chord. The labeling of the chord has to do with it's resolution. IE: If it is a G minor suspended fourth, it resolves to a G minor chord. If it's an F# Major suspended 4, it resolves to an F# Major. It is usually written Gm(sus4) or F#(sus4).

It should not be confused however with an 11th chord which not only contains the fourth degree of the scale but the ninth as well to define it.

Frank


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: sophocleese
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 06:38 PM

Thank you Frank, mine was only a guess so I'm glad to know the difference.


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: MichaelM
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 06:53 PM

Let's throw the juggler another chainsaw and see what happens. Coming from a background of choral singing I have on many occasions sung an interval of a fifth with another vocalist that, if sung cleanly and with the harmonic series matching closely, produces a third note. Is this a chord given that you can clearly hear 3 distinct notes or is this just a well-tuned interval? Also does this happen with otther instruments?


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 29 Nov 99 - 08:46 PM

Michael,

Yes, the third note is really there, and is called a combination tone-- and it does happen with other instruments-- the great composer and music theoretician, Paul Hindemith, explains how they work in his "Craft of Musical Composition", and presents it in a way that is practical for writers and arrangers--

The guitar is particularly prone to producing good combination tones, which is why the partially voiced chords often work--a trick for getting good combination tones is to have a spread of an octave or more between tones in the interval--

Whether it is a chord or not depends on which notes you play--for some intervals, fifths and forths, the tone is an octave or two below of one of the pitches played--however, when you play the interval E-C on the Treble staff, the G below C sounds (although it is not necessarily loud enough for you to consciously hear) and, if you choose to think of it that way, a chord is sounding--


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 30 Nov 99 - 12:56 AM

Thank you all. And I MEAN it. With all the silliness going on in Mudcat right now, it's nice to see how well it works the vast majority of the time.
Rick


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: _gargoyle
Date: 30 Nov 99 - 11:51 PM

I don't know when I have ever "saved" a MC thread but this one is a MUST!...good stuff...more than can be digested at one time...

THANX for the lessons.

Well Done


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 05:45 AM

M.Ted. I was not thinking of a general case but specific instances. For example if you are playing an alternating bass, alternating between C on the second (from bass) string and E on the third string and if you really whack the e string like John Hurt did, you will get the other strings ringing. If you finger a C chord, then you get the effect of bass C followed by an E,G,C,e chord. All this with just your thumb. Meanwhile your other finger(s) play a treble "melody line". This is probably what made Segovia think he was listening to two guitars when he was played a John Hurt record.

On the other hand, when playing Ragtime guitar, as I am starting to see, you should do as you say and only finger what you play. In fact sometimes it is better to actually mute the strings you are not playing. When playing classical pieces you certainly should not finger a whold chord while playing two notes.

This is a great thread. I am digging up the textbooks I haven't read in mfmfmf years! The funny thing is none of the books I can lay my hands on at home condescend to define a chord. A trip to the library tomorrow is in order.

Murray


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 02:39 PM

I would have to see what you're doing, or hear it in order to figure out what is going on--I just looked a your previous post on this, and realized that I probably misunderstood what you were talking about when I repsonded--unfortunately, I am still not really clear on what you were saying--

What I thought that you meant (and it was late, and I was tired, I admit) is that when one plays, one should always follow the fingerings in the boxes, because the unplucked or unstrummed strings also sound and fill out the chord--

There are certainly lots of extra sounds that guitar makes, which, at least to me, makes guitar music much more interesting and offers more possibilities than any other--the thing is that all the variables make it much harder to talk about what what is happening when you play--


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 12:44 AM

Actually it's those pesky overtones that resulted in my becoming a "no third in the bass when it's the root chord" fanatic.
Almost everytime I've worked with someone who wants to improve their playing, the first thing I try to get them to do is cover all six strings while playing first position "C, F, D, and B7". The bass note "E" in a "C" chord will sound whether played or not and makes for a "muddy" sound. Likewise the 5th string "A" in an "F" chord (not to mention the open "E"!!) I ask them to fret the bass F# note in both "D" and "B7" (with the thumb if possible). I know Segovia would barf, but I doubt if he played much blues, jazz or ragtime.
Rick


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 05:45 AM

M.Ted. I agree, it is hard to talk about the sounds of a guitar. Anyway I certainly didn't mean that you should follow the chord grids each time; but just that you should finger the indicated (or implied) chord sometimes.

Rick, Some of Gary Davis's characteristic licks involve playing the notes in an F chord but playing the treble "E" open. You might think it sounds awful; but I like the effect. It is one time that you shouldn't hold onto the treble E string, though--and you are in real trouble with a barre.

Murray


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 11:55 AM

No Murray, not the "treble" "E". The bass "E". Lemme check my post, maybe I was ambiguous about that.
Rick

Yup, I was. I was ONLY referring to Bass notes. I mess a LOT with the higher notes.


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: Giac
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 08:24 AM

Just thought this thread should go 'round one more time.

God, I love this place!

Mary


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Subject: RE: chord inversions. rick needs help!
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 10:00 AM

Just to make this interesting, I looked at Rick's question, and realized that if the student meant that the intervals in his "Chord" were 1,5 and 4, he was actually playing an octave with the fifth dropped in the middle (C-G-C)--it is hard to know what people mean without seeing and hearing what they are doing--


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