Questions tagged [chords]

For general questions about chords like how to play them, construct them, or what symbols represent them. For more in depth analysis of the ideas behind chords themselves, please use the chord-theory tag.

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18
votes
7answers
46k views

Guitar chords high on the neck

Apologies, this is an incredibly vague question, but any help would be appreciated. When watching skilled acoustic guitar players, I regularly see them playing chords high on the guitar neck (ie ...
18
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6answers
6k views

Why is IV-iv-I an effective chord sequence in a major key?

An example of this is the song Nobody Home by Pink Floyd. The last line of the intro is, in a C major key: F Fm C % I think this sounds great, and in fact I often use such passages when ...
18
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4answers
7k views

What are the most common ways to “decorate” a melody?

Yes, I know, there are way too many possibilities and it depends on the style of the music... I would be happy with an incomplete list for beginners (like me). Here is what I have so far: ...
18
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5answers
4k views

Why is a note sometimes a 4th and sometimes an 11th?

If I play the chord: GBDA, then this is considered a Gadd9. But if I play the 3rd above the 5th (GDB), it is not called a 10th. Why don't we refer to all notes by 1-7, and is there a system to ...
17
votes
4answers
25k views

What are the feelings & emotions behind chords?

I studied some different books on Music Theory and all were too much scientific and definitely very helpful to some point. Now that I have started writing some songs, I feel I need to know more ...
17
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10answers
10k views

Fighting against the F Chord

Ok, first off, let me introduce myself: my name is Diego and I've been practising guitar(acoustic with metal strings) for about a month and a half, like five hours the day. Well, to the point: ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Who plays the chords during a live performance when lead guitarist is soloing?

I recently watched the live performance of 'Stairway to Heaven' by 'Led Zeppelin'. I had a question while watching that song but it even applies to other songs. See during the section of the song ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have heard the term Neapolitan 6th quite a few times, but I'm not quite sure what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
17
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2answers
20k views

Why “delta” chords?

Why are major seventh chords called delta chords and written with a delta symbol, like CΔ7 or CΔ? Do engravers consistently use Δ to mean a seventh chord (such that Δ7 is redundant) or do some use Δ ...
17
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5answers
1k 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 ...
17
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9answers
54k views

How to memorize seventh chords and inversions on piano?

These past few months I've been teaching myself how to play piano, using my background in guitar and a basic knowledge of music theory I've picked up from that. I am having difficulty "memorizing" ...
16
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7answers
8k views

Why aren't chord names written in classical sheet music?

When I see classical sheet music I don't see the chords named, were chords not used back then? And if they were, do the notes that are under a bass clef generally outline the shapes of chords? I only ...
16
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6answers
36k views

How to make songs with chords that don't belong in a scale?

I've always wondered how come there can be a chord progression with some chord that doesn't belong in the particular scale... Moreover, how can it be possible that this progression is in any key at ...
16
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11answers
28k views

Why does a minor sixth chord contain a major 6th interval?

This is something that has always puzzled me. Perhaps I am going about this the wrong way but when I build chords I always build them based on the scale that corresponds to the quality of the chord. ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Scale modification in sus2 and sus4 chords

I've recently been looking at what makes chords what, and hence my first target for this was looking at major, minor, sus2, and sus4 chords. I know major chords are made up of the first, the third, ...
16
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4answers
83k views

What chords are used often in “Funk” - Why?

"Pass The Peas";"Le Freak"; "Get up and Jump";"Shake your Pants""The Crunge"....They all use very similar chords in a Funk setting - what are some Standard Funk Chords and why (from a Music Theory ...
16
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3answers
1k views

Chord stretched across treble clef and bass clef

I'm a beginner at piano, and struggling to understand what I'm looking at here, and how to play it. I've bought and downloaded some piano sheet music from musicnotes.com. It's in 12/8 time, and part ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

How do you voice extended chords?

If I have a Cmaj13 chord, it uses 7 notes. Basically all the notes of the scale. In a previous question, I was told that you rarely play all 7 notes for a 13th chord. So how do you know which ones to ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

How can I learn about reasons for choosing different ways to play a chord?

I was playing a song where E7 was written as 022130 as opposed to 020100 which I'm used to playing. It sounds "stronger" and "rounder" to me, similar to playing G as 320033 as opposed to 320003. I ...
15
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8answers
6k views

Is the IV chord a perfect fifth in disguise?

They say the root of the IV chord is a perfect fourth away from the key's tonic. But isn't it a perfect fifth from the tonic (if we go the other way)? let's for the sake of coolness, call it a perfect ...
15
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4answers
57k views

How to find out the Major and Minor chords of a scale?

How do I know which notes of a scale may be a Major/Minor chord? Take this question as an example. The OP states that the C major scale contains the following chords: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim How ...
15
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2answers
4k views

What are power chords?

I have heard about power chords being used in a lot of metal and similar music but I have no idea what they are.
15
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7answers
5k views

modulating from G major to G# major

I was asked to incorporate a modulation that goes one semitone up in a song initially written in G. So at some point it should go from G to G#. I am having a lot of trouble finding a relatively nice ...
15
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6answers
5k views

Are there any enharmonic chords?

Will I even encounter any enharmonic chords? For example would an inverted variation of one chord be equivalent to the root variation of another chord?
15
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8answers
40k views

What is a 13th chord?

For example an F13. How do you find the 13th note?
15
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6answers
31k views

When playing in a minor key, will the chords be minor as well?

I've been jumping into music theory myself and I've been stumbling on creating certain melodies and such. I've played guitar all my teenage life and not once have I ever sat down and said I'm going to ...
15
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3answers
5k views

Why one shouldn't play the 6th string of an A chord on guitar?

Well everything is in the title: Why one shouldn't play the 6th string of an A chord on guitar? As you may see on the diagram above we are supposed to strum the 1st string. But the 1st one is the ...
14
votes
7answers
6k views

How was the D chord constructed?

I'm a beginner trying to teach myself guitar, and I thought I understood how chords work but the D major chord just confuses the heck out of me. From what I know, chords are built out of triads, and ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Significance of pop songs with progressions that alternate one chord with one that's three semitones below it

I've noticed a couple of pop songs that use one chord progression that alternates between swapping one chord (either fifth or fourth) with one that's three semitones below it (to third or second): ...
14
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9answers
3k views

Are 7th chords made up from 4 notes?

I'm new to guitar, and I have been learning basic chords over the months. I know that C Major is made up from C E and G When learning C7, there's an extra finger and that makes up 4 notes, so, C E G ...
14
votes
9answers
16k views

Is Emajor the dominant chord in the key of 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?
14
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6answers
2k 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 ...
14
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3answers
2k views

What does a duplicated note in a chord mean?

While reading the score of Misty (Burke, Garner, arranged by Roed), I encountered the following chord notation (it's on the bass clef in bar 32, and the signature is E-flat major): What does the ...
14
votes
10answers
3k views

How can I learn to play the chords by listening to the song (like I do with notes)?

I have started learning to play piano (I am from a poor family and can't afford a teacher). So,I've learned some popular songs and the notes from the internet. From there I started listening to songs ...
14
votes
3answers
29k views

What is the definition of a pad?

I've played in many bands and I do a lot of music production and the term "pad" is thrown around. My definition of a pad is something that is used to fill in the space of a piece usually with chords. ...
14
votes
3answers
496 views

When, if ever, are arpeggiated six-four chords really “real”?

Textbooks traditionally teach that there are four types of six-four (i.e., second inversion) chords: Pedal six-four (also sometimes called neighbor), where the bass stays the same; Passing six-four, ...
13
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9answers
5k views

How to transcribe an arpeggiated 4-note chord to be playable on a violin?

I finished arranging the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata in F minor for a string quartet, only to find out that the chord at bar 7 is impossible for a violinist. My instinctual reaction was:...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Can chords be inferred from melody alone? [duplicate]

Some vids about arranging on fingerstyle guitar say to figure out the chords first either by ear or through tabs, then to play the melody on top of them. But that seems like too much work. For one, ...
13
votes
7answers
893 views

Learn guitar chords?

I like to play guitar and I'm quite good playing tabs. However, I don't know the chords and I would like to learn them and to play them easily. Any tips on where to learn them on internet or tips to ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a specific term to denote playing a wide chord on a piano?

I'm a beginner who can play chords on a piano. If I play a C chord on the keyboard I would play C-E-G, or one of the two inversions (I.E. G-C-E or E-G-C). I've noticed some people play chords "...
13
votes
7answers
5k views

Why can't I identify major and minor chords?

I am playing violin for 6/7 years now and doing ABRSM grade 7 this year. Problem is I still can't identify chords. Sad/Happy feeling doesn't work for me even a bit. Because of this, I can't identify ...
13
votes
9answers
3k views

Which advanced chords can I use for a song composition in scale of G?

I am making a song composition in a scale of G. I have already used major chords G, C and D and in some places I have used Am, Em and Bm. I would like to make this composition richer with some ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the (Practical) theory behind applying chords for a Song?

I love playing Guitar. I can play the lead for any song by listening to it. But often in our prayer meeting people sing different songs in different keys. I can track the major they sing, but I am ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do we only build 7th chords on the supertonic and dominant of a major scale?

I am just cracking into a book on basic Harmony (Mark Sarnecki, 2nd edition), and the first section begins with a review of the triads built on each degree of a C major scale, as shown in this picture....
13
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4answers
3k views

“Correct” notation for a minor chord?

Over my career as a musician, I have seen many different kinds of notation for a minor chord for example each of the chord symbols below represents an A minor chord: Am Amin a A- Is there a reason ...
13
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7answers
4k views

Why are two pitches considered a chord?

According to Wikipedia, a chord is any harmonic set of two or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. But I always thought that two notes aren't a chord, they are an interval. ...
13
votes
5answers
22k views

How do I become a better electronic music producer?

I am 18 years old. I love music and I would love to make it and maybe become a music composer. However I do not know anything about music theory or anything. I can't play any instrument or so. When I ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does B work as a bass note against F7 in Bb?

I wrote a song in Band-in-a-Box. It includes this turnaround: Dm Dbm Cm F7/B BbMaj7 The chord F7/B doesn't sound good on guitar (I play it as F7 or F9 instead), but the low B note works really well ...
13
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6answers
2k views

I need help understanding the concept of chord inversions.

This article from wikipedia, states: In the first inversion of a C major triad the bass is E—the 3rd of the triad—with the 5th and the root stacked above it (the root now shifted an octave ...
13
votes
3answers
975 views

Do Neapolitan chords exist in modes with a minor second?

In relation to a question I asked earlier—What is a Neapolitan 6th chord—I have a follow up question. A Neapolitan chord is pretty much a Major chord built on the lowered second scale ...

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