The theory behind building and naming chords.

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Why is the tonic chord of a key formed with the 1,3 and 5 notes of the key but the major chords in that key are the I IV and V?

The tonic chord in a given key is formed by using the 1 and 3 and 5 notes of the scale in whatever key you are in. However, in chord theory, the Major chords that work in that key are the one, four ...
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2answers
88 views

6th string root dominant 7th barre chord voicing

When I first started playing guitar quite a while back, I bought the Chords and Voicings Guitar Grimoire, and promptly put it on a shelf when I realized I had a lot more to learn then just chord ...
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4answers
328 views

Do the 'natural' chords to use in a key change if you use a different mode?

This question gives a great, not-too-technical explanation of modes: What are modes and how are they useful? I wondered if playing in a different mode would mean the standard chords change move also? ...
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5answers
180 views

Is music really infinite? [closed]

In contrast with the common misconception that "there are 7 notes, so you'll end up repeating 'em", I argued that music is infinite. Is this true, or there're boundaries to music?
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1answer
77 views

why major chords only have 1-3-5 notes why not other notes? [duplicate]

I have gone through this question The chord formula for the Major Chord is 1- 3 - 5. What do the numbers represent? I haven't understand that and I have also read many document. Please can any ...
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2answers
82 views

Are there rules that determine whether a chord belongs to a particular key?

Suppose I have a chord such as FAC. How do I know whether the notes belong to C (Fa La Do') or F (Do Mi Sol) or perhaps another key? Do music theorists have theories for how a key gets established? ...
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3answers
87 views

How do you properly define diminished 9th, 11th and 13th chords?

I understand that a diminished 7th chord is defined by the intervals 1-b3-b5-bb7 and a half-diminished 7th chord is 1-b3-b5-b7, but how do you determine what intervals diminished (and half-diminished) ...
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4answers
98 views

Is there such a thing as an Add#9 chord?

I understand that the chord formed by the intervals 1-3-5-b7-9 is a 9th chord and that the intervals 1-3-5-9 (omitting the 7) create an add9 chord, but how do you properly define the chord created by ...
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1answer
57 views

Atypical tetrads

[ADDITION] I am wanting to expand Douthett's "4-cube trio" graph to include more tetrads ...
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5answers
114 views

How important are chord inversions as an intermediate guitar player and what are their applications?

I've been on a run to get a lot of theory down after realizing how amazing music theory is. As a guitar player going through a intermediate-advanced theory journey, I would like to know where ...
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1answer
142 views

Chords Built On Different Scales

Can chords be built on different scales i.e. harmonic minor, melodic minor, and when they are, how is this known?
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1answer
53 views

How can I learn more chords [duplicate]

I'm trying to learn more chords to become a better rhythm player. I can play barre and cowboy chords with ease, but simple major chords don't fit my sound. How can I learn more chords?
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7answers
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Is Emajor the dominant chord in A minor?

I read somewhere that Emajor is the dominant (V) chord in A minor. Is this correct? If so, why is it not Eminor, since the A minor scale has no sharps or flats in it?
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3answers
267 views

Minor scale with 7th chords, 7th not raised on 1 and 3

In my music theory class, the text book has in an example, all of the 7th chords in a G harmonic minor scale. Why, in the chords on 1 and 3, is the 7th is lowered? While the chords on the 5 and 7 are ...
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5answers
370 views

Please help me name this chord

I'm harmonising a tune I've written, in C major, and one chord which resolves to C major consists of B, Db(or C#), F and A. It seems to be a sort of tritone substitution, but I am struggling to come ...
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3answers
546 views

Is there a general rule when to use a 9th, 11th, and 13th chord on piano

My question is mainly related to extended chord. Is there a general rule for using the 9th, 11th and 13th? I have seen in a II,V,I progression in the key of C this progression: Dm9,G13, C.
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1answer
146 views

Colorful sounding chords

There is a music track that has beautiful colorful chords. I think that they include ninths in each one to achieve the good atmosphere. I'm sure there are another aspects and factors like the chord ...
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2answers
96 views

passing chord preceding 4th in minor scale?

I will demonstrate the topic in Am Scale but it could be in another scale. in a lot of songs,music there is a chord progression that includes these to chords in this order : Am ---> Dm and ...
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2answers
654 views

Does a diminished first exist?

Are there any instances where the first note in a scale/chord is "diminished"? For instance, could a Db occur in a D chord, where the context explicitly requires that this is a Db (diminished first) ...
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4answers
284 views

What do you call a chord that is not complete?

What do you call a chord that is not complete or how can you tell what chord a group of notes are? Is it by looking at the root note? For example: C# E G# B F# => C# Maj 11 E F# G# ...
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0answers
31 views

Essential strumming patterns/techniques? and the theory behind it? [duplicate]

I used to play silly led zeppelin and velvet underground covers. i knew all the vu strumming just because i knew the records by heart. i've started to get more into classic folk and country and nick ...
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2answers
986 views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
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3answers
134 views

Diminished chord with one raised note

I have no formal training in music theory, so my question might be phrased a bit clumsily. There is a kind of jazzy chord progression I enjoy very much, the one which, from the top of my head, I ...
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2answers
188 views

Melodic Minor - Uses

The one problem I have with the Melodic Minor is that I just don't know how and where to use it. From my comprehension, it is the Minor scale when descending and when ascending it has a maj6 and maj7. ...
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2answers
83 views

How to use bIII in music composition?

From the Borrowed Chords theory, I should be able to use the flat-third major (bIII) in my composition and it should sound good. However, after many trial and errors, I am unable to discover any ...
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3answers
165 views

How do I use slash chords in music composition?

After studying pop music composition for a while I noticed that many composers use slash chords in their music. How do I use those in my own composition? When is it more preferable to use slash chords ...
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1answer
114 views

Tritone substitution in a ii-V-I progression and chord names

I'm learning a bit about chord progressions right now and so I stumbled across tritone substitutions. I tried applying those to a ii-V-I progreesion in G-major, but I'm not sure if I did it right, to ...
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3answers
278 views

C major 6th chord and A minor 7th chord: same notes but different quality, why?

Simple question: many have noticed that the A minor 7th chord is the an inversion of the C major 6th chord. However, the more interesting this is why they have different quality (as minor and major) ...
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7answers
1k views

Why are the chords C-E-G and G-C-E both considered C Maj?

Can someone explain to me in layman's terms why that is the case?
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5answers
422 views

How do enharmonic notes affect harmony and chord progressions?

Quoting the Wikipedia article: The notes C♯ and D♭ are enharmonic (or enharmonically equivalent) notes. Namely, they are the same key on a keyboard, and thus they are identical in pitch, although ...
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2answers
129 views

Is there a special name for “I - V - i” or “i - V - I” Modulation?

Recently, while listening to contemporary and pop music, I discovered that many song uses an I - V - i or i - V - I modulation. For example, C major to G major to C minor. I want to know whether there ...
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3answers
313 views

Difference between Polychords and Extended chords

I'm really curious about the difference between polychords and extended chords. I know a polychord is two chords played at the same time where there is a higher chord and a lower chord. The common ...
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3answers
223 views

Confused about diminished chords for guitar

I came across several guitar chords which seem to be 'diminished' chords: X° X°7 Xø Xø7 I read some articles that might provide useful informating, including the Dutch Wiki article Chord (music), ...
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1answer
91 views

What is the clearest way to signify the harmonic function of a polychord?

Chords can be analyzed with roman numerals to indicate function: C, Am, Dm, G I, vi, ii, V (or I, VI-, II-, V in jazz theory) And inversions may be analyzed by adding an arabic numeral indicating ...
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2answers
105 views

Chord Type 7th Extension and the Major Scale

I'm learning about music theory and noticed that a C7 chord is based on the following notes: C E A# C E. I imagined a C7 chord should be based off the major scale where the 7th degree is the note B, ...
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5answers
131 views

How to create an interval from a note which doesn't start a major scale

When constructing an interval, e.g. a major third from A I work like this: Count three notes including the starting one, so A, B, C Now check on the circle of fifths whether A major scale has an ...
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3answers
186 views

When is a note b5 and when #11?

(on an Jazzology exercise) I have to identify this chord: What I thought it was was: G7 b5 b9 b13. But when I looked at the solution, it was G7 b9 #11 b13. I said that the chord had b5 because of ...
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2answers
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Am I allowed to add a b9 to a maj7 chord in Jazz?

On Jazzology chapter 2, exercise 6, example 2, I have to identify this chord (if it exists): I thought that it was Cmaj7(b9). My train of thought was (from the lowest to the highest note): C -> ...
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2answers
206 views

Minor scale chord substitution

Considering the C major scale we can build the following table of chord function families: To a certain extent, inside each family chords can be interchanged to give a different flavour to a music ...
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2answers
449 views

Best name for chord consisting of G Eb F Bb C?

I have a chord progression in the key of C, which walks up from the IV chord up to a particular variation of the V7 chord, which I'm trying to name in a helpful way for a lead sheet. Here are my ...
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1answer
639 views

What to call the chord G B F# A C# F#

I wrote a piece containing the following six string guitar chord (fingering shown; first finger barre; standard tuning): %3/2.2/1.4/3.2/1.2/1.2/1 What is the name of this chord?
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1answer
270 views

What is the theory behind a chord progression like E, Bm, C#, A#, G and B?

I was playing the chords from Pyramania by The Alan Parsons Project. In the verse from 0:17 the chords are E, Bm7, E, Bm7, C#, A#, G, B. I get the first four chords, E and Bm7 fit in the same scale. ...
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7answers
2k views

Do power chords have some kind of function/meaning?

Every guitar player runs into these at least once (and probably way more often, too): power chords. This is a general term for chords consisting of the root note, the fifth, and an octave. In most ...
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5answers
427 views

Proper symbol for this chord (1 5 7 9 11)?

I'm a songwriter in the jazz-pop idiom, and when playing through a chart with a guitarist, he told me that, in his opinion, I had labeled a chord inaccurately / incorrectly. Here's the chord as I ...
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2answers
526 views

Max Size of a Chord

I was recently looking at the the definition of a chord and got me thinking about the max size of a chord. A chord, in music, is any harmonic set of three or more notes that is heard as if ...
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2answers
137 views

What is this Chord Notation?

I know how to read Roman Numerals for chord progressions. But I've seen something recently I don't understand. I've attached an image below. What are those sub/post-strip's?
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How to determine which inversion a chord is?

Say I'm given the notes like this. How do I determine whether it's already in root, 1st, 3rd, or 7th inversion?
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393 views

How do I find the third of the chord?

This is the exercise I'm trying to figure out. I don't really understand how to do this.
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258 views

Naming convention for augmented 6th chords

There are three types of Augmented 6th chord the German, the Italian, and the French. Most chords are named for the intervals they contain or their function, but these seem like just arbitrary names ...
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2answers
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maj6 (no 5) or inverted minor triad?

An interesting three-note chord is the following on guitar (in standard tuning): ...