For instance playing standard barre on the 2nd fret, but leaving the high E open.

My brain is banking out figuring out what an E is in this context and how the resultant chord would be named.


This might be called a Bm(add11) or Bm(sus4), because if you're playing it like so:

7 9 9 9 7 7 

(which is a common barre form for adding the 4th above the chord's root), you won't have the third of the chord. On the other hand, if it's like this:

x 2 4 4 3 0

then like Dom says, it is a Bm(add11).

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  • Bm and sus4 are contradicting terms; a minor chord has no fourth and a sus chord has no third – Shevliaskovic Mar 6 '15 at 9:43

It's just a Bmadd11 since you're just adding a fourth(aka an 11th) to the chord.

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  • 1
    So why not call it add4 - because it is a high E or for a different reason? Would you mind fleshing out your answer to show how E is the 4th/11th (i.e. the scale you're using)? I reckon it's generally useful to do this in such questions for other people who forget suddenly how to do chords :) – Mr. Boy Feb 26 '15 at 16:18
  • And out of further curiosity if I play with both E strings open so the bass note is an E not a B, do we end up with Bm(add11)/E or is it now an E chord of some description? – Mr. Boy Feb 26 '15 at 16:21
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    It's an 11th and not a 4th because chords are usually named in terms of Tertian Harmony, where chords are built by piling up thirds. Therefore, if a chord has a 3rd, any 4th added to it is described as an 11th. If there is no 3rd it is a suspended 4th. If you have the low E as a bass note, it could be described as Bmadd11/E, but would be better called E7sus2, I reckon... Chords can often be described in several ways, so a choice needs to be made about which is best. – Bob Broadley Feb 26 '15 at 17:30
  • @Mr.Boy I could, but it would literally be the same information as in the second half of my answer to this question you asked. The rules of chord construction are pretty constant and that post covers the same material I would talk about here, just a different set of notes. – Dom Feb 26 '15 at 19:53
  • @Mr.Boy Note that if you write it as Bm11, it is a different chord; Bmadd11 implies a Bm chord with the addition of an 11th, whereas the Bm11 chord contains 7,9 and 11th – Shevliaskovic Mar 6 '15 at 9:45

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