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9 and Add9

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(@undercat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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It has recently come to my attention that the "9" chord and "add9" chord are not the same, though I'm not sure exactly how.

Research revealed this:

C9
fingering: x 3 2 3 3 0
spelling : x-C-E-Bb-D-E
degrees : x-1-3-7--9-3

Cadd9
fingering: x 3 2 0 3 0
spelling : x-C-E-G-D-E
degrees : x-1-3-5-9-3

So what I have is that one of them has the 7th, the other doesn't, I thought I read recently that in order to have a 9th, you had to include the 7th... but I could be wrong(?)

Another thing, if the change up between the 5th and 7th is what makes a difference, what do you have when have both the 5th and the 7th in there?

Follow up question: how do whatever rules apply or not apply to other extended chords, such as 11th's and 13ths? And why don't you ever hear about 12ths?

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


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(@lederhoden)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 82
 

A C9 should be a "stack" of thirds - 1, 3, 5, 7, 9

A Cadd9 is a C triad with a 9 added - 1, 3, 5, 9

11ths and 13ths are the same as 7ths and 9ths - 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13

As you may notice, because we are adding thirds, you only ever get odd numbers - so a 12th does not come into this sequence.

Also because a guitar only has 6 strings and you only have 4 fingers, 11ths and 13ths become difficult to finger completely, so it is all right to leave the 9th and 11ths out of a 13th.


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(@undercat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 963
Topic starter  

Here comes the retarded jump to conclusions!

Does that make a sus2 the same as an add9?

*reveals my utter theory noobness*

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


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(@undercat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 963
Topic starter  

... you only have 4 fingers..

Yeah, I thought so too, until I started learning chili peppers songs... that guy uses his thumb like it's going out of style, and a LOT of voicings that demand it.

Hey, I like going off topic on my own threads...

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


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(@lederhoden)
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Does that make a sus2 the same as an add9?

No, because in a sus2, you "suspend" playing the 3rd and play the 2nd instead - C, D, G instead of C, E, G. The add9 is C, E, G, D (generally played in the octave above the root)


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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All the sus2 chords I've seen are named by somebody who doesn't understand chords -

"Csus2" = C-D-G

if you look at the progression of chord roots, that chord should probably be a Gsus4 (G-C-D)

Just another reason a lot of educated musicians who play other instruments tend to look down on guitarists....

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5366
 

Doesn't that depend on where it resolves? If the sus2 resolves to the 3rd it wouldn't be correct to call it the sus4 of something else, would it?

So, Csus2 -> the D resolves to the E, which if you did it as a G chord would leave Gsus4 resolving to Gsus4(6) (or even Em6 as the notes would be E, G and C)

I'm confused.

A :?

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I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
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(@lederhoden)
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The question was "Does that make a sus2 the same as an add9?".

Where do you get a sus4 from?


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(@noteboat)
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I didn't address the sus2/add9 question because it had already been answered correctly - a suspended note replaces a third in a chord name, and an added note is in addition to a third.

sus4 comes from the chord spelling:

"Csus2" = C-D-G
Gsus4 = G-C-D

as you can see, they are synonyms (just as C6 and Am7, and many other chords are synonyms)

Alan, as to resolution...

Suspensions usually (but not always) resolve downward; when the resolve upward, they usually (but not always) resolve by a half step. In the vast majority of cases - looking at the body of music as a whole, not a specific tune or genre - the resolution of C-D-G will be to B-D-G, which is Isus4 to I in G (G-C-D to G-B-D).

If the D note resolves to E, the motion is G-C-D to G-C-E, a Vsus-I movement with V in the root position, and I in second inversion. Suspensions based on V and resolving to I are common - we'd need to know what chord preceeded it. A G-Csus2-C progression makes more sense as G-Gsus4-C; the appearance of the C note in the G chord is an anticipation... the resolution is simply V-I.

If the D note has been created as a movement from (and then back to) E, it falls into the category of neighbor notes, or auxilliary notes. In that case, the progression C-Csus2-C is viewed in its entirety as I - the movement of the third is a melodic decoration. That's where guitarists lose it in the eyes of other musicians, like pianists.... we confuse fingerings with chords. A pianist wouldn't view that Csus2 as a chord at all, and harmonically he's right - so the insistance of a guitarist on naming every fingering change as a 'chord' runs us counter to everybody else.

One last case would be found in common practice today, where suspended chords are thrown into songs irregardless of resolution. They're not really part of a progressive movement, but added for coloring effect. If that's the case in a song, I'd still go with Gsus4, rather than trying to add a new chord name - the chord wouldn't have structural importance in the piece, so it wouldn't matter if I called it sus4 - a chord name immediately recognizable to folks who play something other than guitar.

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(@undercat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

Wow.

Sorry to take this giant leap backwards in terms of the level of theory discussed here, but questions need answerin'!

If a sus2 replaces the 3rd with the 2nd, does a sus4 replace the 5th with a 4th?

Incidentally, can someone post the link to Howard's chord generator again? I seem to have lost my link.

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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Nope. sus implies replacement of the 3rd.

Before folks started talking about 'sus2' chords, which is really very recent, they didn't even need a number - you'd see Dsus and know it was Dsus4.

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(@undercat)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

Nope. sus implies replacement of the 3rd.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


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(@call_me_kido)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 188
 

Its too bad that we have to rely so much on abbreviated convention rather then consise representation.

I guess it would be alot of work to replace all the Csus4 notations with. . .

C(Drop the third and replace with it with the 4th) Symbols.

Just remember that unless a direction is added into a chord symbol it usually means the thirds are stacked.

Any Key chord immediately followed by a number is always stacked.

Be careful as you delve deeper into Jazz theory also, theres alot of symbols popping up here and there that can really get you twisted around.

Like the C(delta) , or degree symbols.

It took me a little while to realize that theres practically more ways to represent similar chords, then chord types themselves.

Kido


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(@psychonik)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 268
 

it evades me how a chord with a "C" as the root, and the 3rd suspended to a second can be called a "Gsus4" (WHEN IT"S A Csus2 CHORD!)
Is there something i'm missing?


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(@noteboat)
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The question is: how do you know it's a C chord?

The notes are C-D-G. The notes in a Gsus4 are G-C-D. The order of notes makes absolutely no difference in naming a chord.

Many chords have synonyms, like C6 (C-E-G-A) and Am7 (A-C-E-G). It's the context in the song's harmony that determines what the chord root is, not the lowest note, or even the preferences of the songwriter - there's certainly no guarantee that they understand harmony... imagine fingering 022100 and calling it a Q6 chord. Should the rest of the band learn that term for it because it's what the writer dictated, or should the songwriter learn that the rest of the world calls it E major?

As I said earlier, all the 'sus2' chords I've ever seen should be named 'sus4' with a different root, or they are not chords at all - just fingerings - with the second being a passing tone, an auxiliary tone, or a neighbor tone of a simple triad. It's the resolution in the harmony that matters.

It's really no wonder most performers on other instruments don't consider guitarists 'real musicians' (I am not making this up - I hear it all the time from music educators). We seem to be the only ones who keep on trying to create new terms for things that have been around for 400 years, and insist ours is the right way. It would be fine if we had a logical basis for that - but since the average guitarist holds views on power chords, sus chords, modes, etc. that are based on internet tabs rather than music history, harmony, etc., it really shores up the view that we're weak as musicians.

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