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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11
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4answers
4k views

Is an inversion a different chord, or a different voicing?

If I play C4, E4, G4, it's a C-major chord. First inversion would be E4, G4, C5: is this considered a different chord, or just a different voicing of the same chord? I'm thinking specifically for ...
11
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6answers
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Sharp 5 or flat 13? Sharp 9 or flat 10?

Let's say I'm in C major. I have a dominant altered chord built on G. This very popular voicing has the following tones (I'm including both enharmonic spellings for the accidentals): G B (D# or Eb) F ...
11
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4answers
524 views

Term for a note in a chord, versus a note in a key scale?

Let's say we're talking about a song in C, and at some point in that particular song, we happen to be playing an E minor chord. In this case, Em is known as the iii chord in the key C major, because ...
11
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3answers
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Minor major seventh flat five chords: do they exist, and if so, how should they be used?

When randomly playing chords, my husband and I stumbled upon an interesting four-note combination of C, Eb, Gb and B natural, which sounded pretty nice to us despite the dissonance. This looks like a ...
11
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2answers
441 views

How do instruments with discrete tuning play chords alongside those with continuous tuning?

I was taught that when playing a triad, the third should be played sharper and the fifth flatter than the notes would sound on an instrument tuned to equal temperament, such as the piano. However this ...
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4answers
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Why might a major chord on piano be voiced Root 5th 3rd Root?

I've seen chord progressions explained using chords looking like this. https://www.musictheory.net/lessons/55 Why is there this voicing over, say, just a Root 3rd and 5th? Is it just that it sounds ...
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8answers
6k 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 ...
10
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7answers
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Why do these chords from the plastic bag scene in American Beauty work?

I'm trying to figure out the theory behind these three chords and why they work together. At first I thought it was a C major scale since it tends to want to go there. But there's flats in there so ...
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6answers
7k views

Does a chord need to include its root?

While I understand that it is very important to include the root note in a chord, is it required? Let's say I'm in C Major, and I want to play a I chord. Do I need to include C in order for it to be ...
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4answers
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Playing complex chords on a 6-string guitar

Forgive my ignorance, I lately got a little bit into music theory and I realize that on a 6 string guitar there are a good bunch of chords that can't be played correctly/completely. Now, if you ...
10
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7answers
17k views

Whole finger callous - for barre chords?

Attempting to learn barre chords and am having trouble with the G-string. What is happening is while I have sufficient pressure (at least I believe so?) the middle third of my index finger is ...
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4answers
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How are chord ratios developed exactly?

Major Chord 4:5:6 Minor Chord 10:12:15 Diminished Chord 20:24:29 Are 3 examples of triad chord ratios. My question is how are these ratios developed? If we look at a Major chord in the key of C, it ...
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3answers
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Before the advent of Roman-numeral analysis, did musicians conceptualize applied/secondary chords as somehow moving towards their temporary tonics?

As discussed in Origin of Roman Numeral Analysis, Roman numerals weren't a widespread analytical tool until at least the 19th century. With this in mind, imagine that you're a musician in 1770; you're ...
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6answers
10k views

Is there piano notation for finger sustained notes (as opposed to pedal sustain)?

In piano music how does one indicate that sequential notes in the bass clef are to be sustained with the fingers, not using the sustain pedal? For example, suppose I have the three sequential quarter ...
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5answers
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What is the “unresolvable chord”?

A musician friend mentioned this in passing - she talked about the something chord and then explained it was unresolvable, and how she hates it because she cannot stand music that doesn't resolve. ...
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3answers
883 views

Intonation of string instruments in chamber music

Recently when playing in a piano trio as a cellist, my teacher told me that a note can have a small range of correct pitches depending on the chord. Shouldn’t everybody try to play exactly in tune ...
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5answers
10k views

Decide which chord to use

I am trying to teach myself to create music. I know it is not a learned behavior and is rather a skill dependent process, but the basics have to be learned and that is where I am stuck. I play some ...
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5answers
14k 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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3answers
3k views

Determining Key / Key Change / Chords?

I've been playing guitar for about 5 years... I've been slowly trying to teach myself some of the THEORY behind music.. I've just always had trouble really understanding.. When I hear a song, and ...
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8answers
1k views

Why do diminished chords have 3rd minor?

Why do diminished chords have 3rd minor , not 3rd diminished ? and what is the name of this chord : root + 3rd diminished + 5th diminished?
10
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2answers
5k views

How do I interpret this chord progression chart?

I stumbled across this and I'm pretty sure it came from some harmony book or textbook as they usually do (and if anyone knows which one, please tell). Could anyone give me any insights on how to ...
10
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1answer
2k views

What does the circle around a note mean in a guitar chord diagram?

I'm trying to play E/G#. I found this, but what is that symbol on the 4th string?
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2answers
9k views

What are 5 and 6 note chords called?

I only know how to play 2 different types of chords which is a Triad (3 notes) and a 7th (4 notes). But, I often see chords with 5 or 6 notes being used. What are these types of chords called? An ...
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3answers
11k views

I need help to understand chord intervals (not single note intervals)

I understand intervals between notes. Each number of steps between two notes has a particular name. Like this: But some times I see people refering to intervals between chords, not single notes. Like ...
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5answers
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Roman numeral chord notation in minor scale?

I need help to understand chord intervals (not single note intervals) explains what the numbers I, IV, vi, III+ usually stand for in major chord theory. But what's it like with a minor scale? What ...
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7answers
2k views

Recommendations for beginner chord practice

I am a beginner (learning with acoustic guitar). Started learning major chords now and this is the sequence I am planning on practicing it; A, A-A#, A-B.... A#, A#-A, A#-B.... i.e I also want to ...
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3answers
795 views

13 Chord Voicing Without Root, 3rd or 5th

I've been improvising over Hoagy Carmichael's Heart and Soul and I came across a chord voicing that seemed a little strange to me. As shown below, the C13 is voiced F-Bb-D-A, using the 7th, 9th, 11th ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there a chord symbol to indicate quartal harmony?

I'm specifically thinking about 5th R 4th ...bass to treble... like D G C. I suppose Gsus4 is the unambiguous symbol for that tone set. Gmsus4 could be used to indicate minor mode. I also suppose ...
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3answers
5k views

How would you describe F G A chord progression?

I like the sound of F G A chords progression on a guitar, three major bar chords. Do these chords fit any scale? Am with an added 3 in it? Does it make it a 6-7-1 progression? When I solo over this ...
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3answers
2k views

Analyzing an unfamiliar Roman numeral analysis: Cm/G-G notated as V6/4-5/3?

I was following a question, Tips on how to add non-diatonic chords to my music, and one of the answers introduced a chord progression involving different non-diatonic chords, with an audio sample. As ...
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2answers
14k views

Negative harmony: What does it mean to “rotate around the axis”?

We're a bit confused on what it means to "rotate around the axis". How does that work exactly? I heard the the idea that in the C/G axis you're rotating around E/E♭, but what does that mean...to "...
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2answers
3k views

What is a “Stable” Chord?

What makes a chord "stable"? What makes a chord "unstable"? Just saw this in my piano book, but it doesn't really explain what it means.
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3answers
24k views

Guitar chords for samba

I'd like to learn some standard samba chords for guitar. I understand this usually involves jazz chords like 9, 11, 13 and a few others. I can construct these chords myself, but: It's tedious. Most ...
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7answers
14k views

Getting consistent tone from barre chords

Perhaps it's just that I have small hands (e.g. index finger is barely longer than the 12th fret), but I seem to have issues with barring; no matter what I do it seems there is a string that's right ...
10
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5answers
12k views

Are flat 6ths ever used?

I see that 3 minor 6th intervals can fit into the diatonic scale, but I never see any mention of flat 6th chords in any chord encyclopedia or diagrams etc... So whats with these chords not making an ...
10
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1answer
7k views

What are the rules for using diminished chords in part writing?

If I use diminished chords such as ii diminished chord from the minor scale then do I according to the rules for proper part writing use the first inversion of ii diminished. What is the reasoning ...
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2answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
473 views

How does it make sense to leave the root out of a chord?

Chord names can include information about notes to be left out, for instance no5, no3 or even nr (for no root). - Bob Broadley on "Are the names for these chords valid?", May 29 2015 How can a root ...
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4answers
541 views

Are there any cases that a minor triad can be a dominant chord?

Okay so that is quite a weird question, but are there any possibilities? And in a natural minor key does a minor v count as a dominant?
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6answers
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How to play a D major chord lower than the open E major chord on guitar?

I am writing a piece and I am trying to write a D major chord that is lower than the open E major chord on guitar. How should I do this? I am relatively new to guitar and I have no idea what this ...
9
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8answers
2k views

What is the strict definition of any chord in the world?

I tried to look for something clear and unambiguous but I can't find it, or I'm missing something simple. The questions is: What do all chords have in common, and is there a set of rules allowing to ...
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4answers
4k views

What are “Es”, “As”, etc. chords?

I cannot find these chords in my piano chord manual and think they may have alternative notations. What is an Es or As chord?
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5answers
5k views

How do you build a major chord? [duplicate]

Reading online says the scale intervals are 1-3-5 for a major chord, so I look at the order of C-D-E-F-G-A-B and start at 1 which is E then add two and get G and then add two again and get B, clearly ...
9
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3answers
26k views

Should I mute “unwanted” strings or not when playing power chords?

I've been playing guitar for a while but haven't yet actually learned to play any songs featuring hard power chords. Now I'm trying to learn some songs by Metallica and AC/DC, and I don't have to tell ...
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6answers
2k views

What type of exercises should a guitar beginner do?

I'm learning classical guitar theory from internet, i get free random courses video on the net. I've tried to play some tabs that i found them on youtube, most tabs I've seen are very hard to play.. ...
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3answers
5k views

How to determine the name of a chord from knowing the notes I am playing?

I understand basic chord construction. But I am looking at the reverse of this process, which is confusing me. Let's say I place my fingers randomly on the fretboard. Say I make this chord: --- -7- -...
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7answers
3k views

Does anyone play 11th chords?

When I try to construct 11th chords, they always sound horrible and muddy. I also rarely come across them in chord charts unless it's a #11. The only extensions that sound good are 9ths and 13ths. Is ...
9
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4answers
1k views

How do you quickly form this C7 shape on guitar?

There is a somewhat difficult chord near the beginning of Isaac Albeniz's Asturias: %8/1.10/3.8/1.9/2.8/1.12/4[C7] The chord is difficult to form in time with the tempo. Here is what I am already ...
9
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5answers
1k views

Should one double the thirds or the fifth in chords?

Generally, theory books mention that one should double the root of the chord. This is followed most of the time, except by some composers who choose to double the 3rd or the 5th of the chord. When ...
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7answers
3k views

Should I practise chords as a beginner?

I've been playing guitar for two months now. I'm able to play some basic chords, a couple of simple songs, etc. A little bit of everything, really (or nothing). My goal is to play lead guitar and ...

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