Hot answers tagged

62

Yes, you're right, it is like playing some extra notes on the piano. Note that when your friend plays a C major chord, he probably plays 5 strings (but for other chords, e.g. the G major, it might be 6). The guitar strings will be playing the following notes: a middle C, a middle E, a middle G (the same notes as you are playing on the piano) plus a high C ...


58

Yes, there are ways to measure it, though there are many different algorithms claiming to be more correct than the others. This formula by Vassilakis is recent (2007). These measure "roughness", which is similar to dissonance. (Dissonance is basically roughness, but weighted towards certain intervals due to cultural conditioning, which is obviously hard ...


44

The reason there are multiple names for notes is that the same note may function differently in different contexts. If you just play a single note with no context, then it could have a multitude of different names. For example if you played the note in between F and G you could call it F# or Gb or more obscurely E## or Abbb. They are all valid names and are ...


41

It is so called because B♭ is the 7th note of the C dominant scale (also known as the Mixolydian scale). The 5th is known as the dominant, because it is the "most important" interval (among other things, it's the first harmonic other than the octave). However, try to forget the "English" meaning of the word "dominant" -- otherwise you might expect C to be ...


38

Put as simply as possible, horns are tubes. Blowing in special ways makes certain notes sound from those tubes. By changing one's embouchure, those notes start at a fundamental, then gradually go up in harmonics. The first notes (in key C) would be C, G, C, E, G.Those notes are the ones we hear when a bugle is played - Reveille, Last Post, etc. Bugles only ...


37

Not everybody can do this but the trick is your finger forms a 2nd, partial barre at the 3rd fret, but bends so it raises above the highest string. Some people play A like this as standard however I believe it partly comes down to luck how long your fingers are, how practical this technique will be. Check out this awful drawing:


37

I use this kind of "A-shape" barre chord all the time, although I must admit I rarely teach it to students. I actually find it easier than using fingers 2, 3 and 4 to play the three fret 3 notes. All you have to do is bend your third L.H. finger backwards, so that the joint nearest the knuckle moves forwards and away from string 1. Here's a picture of me ...


33

Two reasons. You don't have enough fingers to play it. The fifth is the most expendable note in a 7th chord (1-3-5-7). Without the 7, it wouldn't be a 7th. Without the 3rd, it wouldn't be major or minor. Without the root, it wouldn't be the chord that it is. But the fifth doesn't contribute any vital property of the chord. There is this other fretting ...


33

I would argue that your premise that the chords used in a song should be comprised of notes that occur in the scale of the tonic key doesn't really hold. Yes, the majority of songs tend to use almost exclusively diatonic triads, however, there are many example of non-diatonic chords, for instance, borrowed chords and secondary dominants. In traditional ...


33

In the vast majority of classical music, the player is tasked with playing exactly the notes that the composer wrote. It's not very important for the player to understand the theory behind the piece, and a great number of classical players know little to no theory (at least until they reach conservatory, if they go that route) and don't suffer for it. Let's ...


32

It doesn't sound inherently better or worse than the narrow root-3rd-5th voicing, just different. Somewhat palpably, a narrow-voiced chord will tend to sound intimate, focused, unitary, whereas a wide voicing will sound more open, dreamy or adventurous. But the reason for a given voicing of one chord can usually not be reduced to just its sound as such, but ...


28

It's a major 7th chord! C△7 would be C, E, G, and B♮.


28

With all due respect, you are doing your students a grave disservice by not having them read sheet music from the start. Yes, chords and finger patterns are very important, but nobody can become a skilled pianist without being able to read the charts. Not all music is simple folk tunes! Beyond just learning to read notes and chord groups, there's rhythm, ...


28

No, and for at least three reasons: Assuming "chord" to be a tonal entity, we can explain anything as having alterations, omissions, and extensions. With add11, ♭13, no5, etc., we can make sense of any combination of tones. We can understand harmonies as combinations of chords; such polychords allow any and all possibilities. We have systems of ...


27

At a beginner level, the first step is to identify the root note of the chord - this is often (especially in most pop or rock music) the lowest note of the chord, so you should be able to hear and compare with a plucked note on your guitar. If you can accompany a song just using the root notes then you will have an idea of the chords and the progression ...


27

When you say "Why are the key signatures in the major key like this", you are misusing the words "key signature", so let's start by explaining that. A key is a combination of: a choice of root note a choice of which set of notes are available to be played In traditional Western music -- the musical tradition in which "major" and "minor" makes sense -- a ...


27

From my experience, there is no one 'best' term for two notes played together that is universally (or near-universally) agreed-on. dyad is the most specific term for a pair of pitches sounding together, but it's not commonly-used. interval works for many, but others will say that is a term for the distance between the notes, rather than something that ...


26

To be clear: "sus" does not equal "add" - they are two different types of notation used for different purposes: Sus chords show a substitution of a pitch within a chord - whether it is sus2, sus9, etc etc, and typically illustrate the function of a moving line. A suspension is just one of three parts for controlling dissonance: preparation (sometimes ...


26

In common-practice theory, secondary dominant chords are chromatic harmonies used to approach a non-tonic chord with greater urgency. Let's use C major for examples: I might want to approach the V chord (G) with a secondary dominant to give greater direction or "color" to the approach. I construct the secondary dominant by going to the V chord of the V ...


26

F is a perfect fifth from the root, but obviously in the other direction, so it's a bit like "moving the goalposts." If you're measuring G as up a perfect fifth from C, you have to measure F up from C as well, otherwise your system lacks consistency. That said: you're homing in on the concept of harmonic dualism. This is a nineteenth-century German idea, ...


26

Just like piano, you have to know the instrument to comfortably be able to form chords; unlike piano, most notes on the guitar can be played in the same octave at 3, 4, 5 locations on the fretboard. This makes it challenging to develop a mental map of the fretboard, and it may seem like a daunting project at first. Systems like CAGED (which I am frankly not ...


25

When a 13th is written in a chord name, this always refers to the major 13th, which is the same as a major 6th - in this case an A natural. This is one of the conventions of how chords symbols are written. It may seem a little odd that the 6th or 13th of a minor chord is major, but there are a number of situations like this. For instance, 7ths are always ...


25

We do! It's just that that book doesn't...yet. We build seventh chords on all scale degrees; the seventh chord on scale-degree 3 in major, for instance, is a minor seventh. But beginning musicians, especially those in the popular genres, get the most bang for their buck with seventh chords on scale-degrees 2 and 5 so that they can create that nice circle-...


25

The flute, like most wind instruments, is considered to be monophonic (as opposed to a piano, which is polyphonic), meaning you can only play one note at a time (within reasonable ability). However, there exist "extended techniques" on the flute that go beyond the standard teachings. In this case, "multiphonics" (which is an odd term, since "multi-" is ...


24

Many different ways! Some players who are extremely good readers will simply look at the dots and their fingers will automatically land on the correct keys. Others, like myself, will be expecting a choice of maybe 3 or 4 chords in a sequence, so will second guess what they will be.Then looking at the lowest note, working out rapidly what the inversion is, or ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible