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I've been learning how to play Imagine by John Lennon and in the video showing the chords I've noticed this sequence of notes (for right hand): G D F. I am confused because I've never seen this kind of chord before. Can someone explain which type of chord it is? I would be grateful.

The video I refer to (and the interesting moment):

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  • @Dom I was asking a question about your comment on a post that was deleted while I was still typing, so I'll ask here: You said "a G7 without a B isn't a G7." Is that just the dogma of some system of chord naming? My ears (and plenty of classical composers' ears as well) say that "G7 without a B" can function as a G7 chord, which IMO is more a important fact than some "rules" about what it should be called.
    – user19146
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 14:29
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    @alephzero if you want to continue this, we can take it to chat, but the basic idea is that it can be considered a G7 given a context, but in isolation it's never the case. It's more to warn the danger of the "no" notation as it tends to remove the important guts of the chord or improperly say something isn't there when it is implied (like a 5th). Using "no" notation I've seen horrors like C13no3no7no11 which is so far from the original chord it means nothing.
    – Dom
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 15:30
  • Other answerers have aptly described this particular case, but it's worth noting that the dominant seventh, an incredibly common chord, consists of G-B-D-F.
    – lightning
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 17:23
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    What @Dom said makes sense to me. G-D-F could imply Gmin7 just as it could imply G7. It would depend on the context and how it's being used.
    – jdjazz
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 20:54

2 Answers 2

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What's being shown in the video is a very common rock/pop voicing where a G chord is decorated by going G, B, D then G, C, E then G, D, F (then very likely back again). It was a Neil Sedaka trademark (now, there's an unlikely rock superstar!)

You could analyse it as a G7 split into two halves, with C/G in-between as a passing chord.

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The definition of a chord is 3 or more (different) musical tones played at the same time. So any combination of 3 or more notes will produce a chord.

This chord in particular seems to be Dm/G, that is D minor (minor 3rd F) with root on G (which acts as perfect 4th). The 5th (A) isn't played, so the notes played are G D F.

If you check the melody progression on the right hand, it maintains the lower G note while moves in 3rds from B to D, so these chords would be Bm/G, C/G and Dm/G, although the root note is played separately from the upper 3rds.

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  • Thanks for you answer! I've got two questions about it. 1) So there is no way to call this chord G7 without third or something with G in a base? 2) You say these chords would be Bm/G, C/G and Dm/G. Isn't the first chord just plain G major? (G B D)
    – Ronx
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 14:55
  • @Paul for 1) I don't understand your doubt, you can say it's both G7 (we can infer a major 3rd even it's not played) or Dm/G, for 2) while it's true that Bm/G is plain old G in this case, it seems to be better for me that G is a pedal note while the melody progression is Bm, C, Dm. The main difference is that Bm/G acts as mediant, C as subdominant and D as dominant, thus building tension before releasing back to G on the next bar. This differentiation is very subtle tho.
    – EzLo
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 15:22
  • The definition of a chord is 3 or more different pitches played at the same time (provided we do not consider arpeggios proper chords). A "C" played in 3 different octaves simultaneously hardly qualifies :)
    – Pyromonk
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 21:01

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