Naming Chords: Simple & Complex. A Hybrid View.

Discussion in 'English Guitar Tabs - Submit or Request' started by MuktiMusic, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Naming Chords: Simple & Complex. A Hybrid View.

    I try to simplify the name of chords as much as possible and yet respect the correct harmonic arrangement of the notes. Sometimes a chord which appears to be in root position and would have a complex name is actually an inversion with a simpler name. And keep in mind that the same chord may have a different name depending on its use and/or the tonal center, just as the two notes Ab & G# are referring to the same note but from different perspectives. This is the basic definition of 'enharmonic'.

    Ted Green put out some 'in depth' books a few years ago, one of them called Chord Chemistry. Quite remarkable and a great contribution to the body of guitar chords. For me, I explore, in standard tuning and quite a few altered tunings, Dadgad in depth. I also like eastern and exotic sounding scales and modes, as well as octatonic [8 tone] scales. When using scales with 8 tones or more, you are bound to create chord harmonies that are complex and are using both thirds or sevenths. Minor sixths are normally indicated as an #5, even if the perfect 5th is included in the chord as well.

    Often when a chord is extended you may see something in parenthesis referring to an additional note, for example: C6/9 (#9) [C D D# E G A Bb] || or D7 (-5) [D F# C]. If you were to use an eight tone scale that had the following notes: A Bb C C# D E F G A, you might end up with a chord that had both the C & C# in it; at which point the note C could be seen as: the 2nd, aug 2, minor 3rd, root, minor 7th, minor 6th, 5th, or 4th, depending on the rotation of the scale and the corresponding scale tone chords. For example, using the scale above:

    Scale: A Bb C C# D E F G A
    >Note:1 b2 b3 3 4 5 b6 b7 1

    A C D E G= 1 b3 4 5 b7= Am7/11
    A C C# E G= 1 b3[#2] 3 5 b7= A7#9

    Bb C D E F G A= 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7= BbM6/9#11
    Bb C C#[Db] F G A= 1 2 b3 5 6 7= Bb min/Maj 6/9

    C C# E G Bb= 1 b2 3 5 b7= C7b9
    C C# D E F G Bb= 1 b2 2 3 4 5 b7= C9/11 (b9)

    and so forth... Point being that odd scales produce odd harmonies, some unorthodox as you can see.

    Sometimes the name of the chord is simpler: A Bb C D E G= 1 b2 b3 4 5 b7=Am7/11 b9.
    Sometimes complex: A Bb C C# D E G A= 1 b2 b3 3 4 5 b7= A7/11 b9 (#9).

    Sometimes the notes can be called more than one name:

    >A C E G= Am7 or C6.
    >F G A C D=F2/6=F6add9=G9sus/F=DM7/11 /F
    >Bb D E A= E7susb5=Dsus2/Bb=BbM7#11 (-5).

    Suspended chords refer to the 3rd being removed or in case of a minor chord, extended:

    Gsus2= 1 2 5= G A D.
    Gsus4= 1 4 5= G C D.
    Gsus 2/4= 1 2 4 5= G A C D.
    Gm7sus4=1b345b7= GBbCDF. {also called Gm7/11}

    Power chords are roots and 5ths: A5=1 5= A E.

    For chords with both 7ths I would indicate it as a dominant chord with the natural 7th in (`7) for which I would include the natural sign which I don't have available to me on my computer keypad. Hence: C9(`7)/B=1 2 3 5 b7 7= C D E G Bb/B

    I call chords as efficiently as possible for my understanding and use, and contingent on its use within the piece of music I'm playing or composing. I come up with some bizarre combinations and therefore names, but the information is always correct in the name I've chosen. Usually when I get together with some jazz piano playing friends, they always give me a deeper understanding. But then their chords can be extended to 10 notes.

    Guitar extends to 6 notes unless you're playing an arpeggio. But as regards what I do on the guitar, this system works for me. It predominantly honors classic harmony, and at the same time is open to the creation of hybrids. And from what I've experienced, it communicates well with different ways that musicians think: Rock, Jazz, Fusion, Blues, East Indian, even Folk.

    Hope this explanation helps.


    Post Script:

    Sometimes the notes can be called more than one name:
    >A C E G= Am7 or C6.
    >F G A C D=F2/6=F6add9=G9sus/F=DM7/11 /F
    >Bb D E A= E7susb5=Dsus2/Bb=BbM7#11 (-5).

    Regardless of the rotation, the root note is always taken into account. Also, tying into your comment. I try to call chords as simply [and lazily I might add] as possible. So I'd rather say that a chord containing the notes GABD was a G2 chord rather than an G add 9.

    I got tired of writing the word 'add' after so many years so I abbreviate. Unless there's a seventh in the chord [major or minor], either named or strongly implied by the sequence of chords surrounding the chord in question, I consider the chord an 'add chord'. However, since I'm abbreviating I cut to the chase and remove the word add.

    When harmonizing the 'diatonic major' scale, any chord that has the letter name [C for example] followed by a symbol for major will be either a I or IV chord. Any chord with the letter name followed by a symbol for minor will be a ii iii or vi chord. Any chord with the letter name followed by numbers only in the upper exponents: 9, 11, or 13 and their directions [aug, +, #, b, (-), etc], will be a V chord. Any chords with the word 'add' will be for the most part the triad plus another color tone: 2 or 4 primarily, hence the terms add 9 and add 11 [this leaves it open for us to further determine the nature of the 'add' chord when extended further]. Namely is it acting as a I IV or V chord.

    When referring to a triad with the 6th added we use the letter name plus the number 6. So: C6= 1 3 5 6= C E G A. In my abbreviations I take this into account and call the the add chords like I would triads with lower exponents added [the 2 & 4] but no 7th included. Hence:

    C2=Cadd9=1 2 3 5=C D E G
    C4=Cadd11=1 3 4 5=C E F G
    C2/4= Cadd9/11=1 2 3 4 5 C D E F G
    C2/6= C6add9=1 2 3 5 6=C D E G A [also Am7sus4/C, Am7/11/C, D9sus4/C or D9/11 (-3)/C or Dm9/11 (-3)/C]
    C4/6=C6add11=1 3 4 5 6=C E F G A [also FM9/C]
    Csus2=1 2 5=C D G
    Csus4=1 4 5=C F G
    Csus2/4= 1 2 4 5=C D F G ... and so forth.

    But I always keep in mind what the most efficient and accurate name is contingent on its use and also the easiest way to communicate it to another player, especially if the chords in a sequence are differing only by a shifting bass line in which case I would refer to the sequence as: X, X/Y, X/Z... and so forth.

    As regards use of the lower exponents, power chords are called like this already, at least in today's popular chord language.

    So that: C5=C(-5)=1 5= C G.

    Minor chords can often include the upper exponent name [9 or 11] without the 7th included, as most minors have a b7 as part of the scale, unless we are dealing with the Harmonic or Ascending Melodic minor scales or some unusual minors such as:

    Neapolitan: 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 7 1
    Hungarian: 1 2 b3 #4 5 b6 7 1

    Or any other hybrids or scales both East & West such as the following Ragas referred to in my thread: 35 Ragas `A Sampling Of North & South Indian Scales & Modes.

    Todi : 1 b2 b3 #4 5 b6 7 1

    Multani: 1 b3 #4 5 7 1-1 7 b6 5 #4 b3 b2 1

    Chalanata: 1 b3 3 4 5 b7 7 1

    Anandabhairavi: 1 2 b3 4 5 1-1 7 b7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    We can throw away the root for that matter and still maintain harmonic integrity. So in that case we can achieve a total coloring of the chord on guitar as well. Personally my style uses a lot of arpeggios so I consider chords often as threads of harmony expanding across more than one isolated event on the guitar. MM

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    Subhro likes this.
  2. Subhro

    Subhro Argentina lost :"(

    went all ova ma head coz i am ZERO at theories :grin:
    but wil still rep u 4 ur effrt.. maybe 1 day whn i advance frm tht ZERO level.. wil go thru ur post agn :)
    keep up da good wrk :) n :welcomean 2 IGT :)

    P.S. I use a lot of smileys :p:
  3. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

  4. Subhro

    Subhro Argentina lost :"(

    wc bro :)
    me liv in City Of Joy :)
    me luv my avatar 2 :)but i'v had it 4 a long time.. thinkin abt changin it :)
  5. jayswami

    jayswami Blue J

    read it subro, u will understand why C2=Cadd9 (2+7=9), from yesterdays discussion on the allah ke bande thread.
  6. Subhro

    Subhro Argentina lost :"(

    okk sir......

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