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I'm trying to find the correct notation/name for a chord, where the third is omitted and the sixth is added.

Example:

Chord-without-third-but-sixth

Would "Eb5add6" be a valid option?

Context: The context of this chord is a 2-chord-song, where the other chord is Bbsus4.

3 Answers 3

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It could be called Cm7(no5), depending on voicing and context. It's not unusual to leave out the 5 from a chord, as it's actually sounding in a harmonic of the root anyway. It's omitted in a lot of jazz playing.

If it's necessary to call it Eb something, then Eb6(no 3) is the best I can come up with!

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  • Thank you, Tim. I have added some context to my question. I agree, that it could be Cm7(no5). But do you think, there is a way to express somehow it in the key of Eb?
    – Sebastian
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 12:37
  • Cm is in the key of Eb !! If you mean actually referencing the chord using Ebxxxx, then your suggestion is as good as any.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 12:46
  • Yes, I mean referencing the chord in Ebxxx. My question was, if my suggestion was a valid option. Can you put your comment in your answer, then I'll happily accept it.
    – Sebastian
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 12:49
  • "it's actually sounding in a harmonic of the root anyway" - the fundamental frequency may be, but not the 'whole note' with its associated harmonic. series. Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 13:22
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    @Tim you can have a Cm7 without a 5th.
    – Dom
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 16:38
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Context is everything when it comes to chord labeling. We can't say exactly what this chord is without knowing where it came from and where it's going.

With that said, it's less common for a third to be omitted in a chord than it is for the fifth to be omitted. Thus, we can think of this chord as having an omitted fifth, resulting in a Cm7 in first inversion. It's just missing the G from its C Eb G Bb collection.

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  • Depends on the bass as well. And ommiting third isn't less common. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 13:38
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    @SovereignSun - it's way more common to omit the 5 than the 3. The third is one of the defining parts of a chord - without it, it's neither maj or min. Sometimes, the 3 is sus(pended), replaced by a 2 or 4, but more often than not, it resolves to a 3 soon.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 14:31
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Perhaps Eb6sus might be a less awkward way of expressing the chord (since its functionally same as @Tim's answer above).

(edit: as asker @Seb3736 mentioned, http://www.scales-chords.com/guitar-chord-chart/Eb6sus is the source)

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    It's important to specify what sus is incorporated, generally 2 or 4. And there's no F or Ab in sight. And, the quoted site for an answer inspired by yours, but now deleted: they can't even get the names of the notes correct - A# in an Eb chord?! - so I'm sceptical of info on that site.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 14:37
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    Just for the sake of completeness, this was the quoted site: scales-chords.com/guitar-chord-chart/Eb6sus
    – Sebastian
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 15:41
  • right, forgot to include sources in my answer. and yeah, I just ignored the fact that they used A# since it's enharmonically equivalent. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 15:48

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