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Chord Theory

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Mike
 Mike
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A couple of questions.

1.) I can use any combination of the notes given to make a chord, as long as the root is the lowest note, right?

Major: 1-3-5
Minor: 1-b3-5
7th: 1-3-5-b7
Minor 7th: 1-b3-5-b7
Sus2: 1-2-5
Sus4: 1-4-5
Sus7: 1-4-5-b7
etc.......

2.) I can put the 9th, 11th and 13ths anywhere I want (read: doesn't have to be the highest note in the chord)? Also, when using them, I have to use the appropriate 7th, right?

3.) Double checking, the 9th is simply the 2nd, 11th the 4th and the 13th is the 6th, right?

4.) Does the same chord theory apply for piano?

Hope that makes sense.

Thank you for your time,
Mike


   
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NoteBoat
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1. The root doesn't have to be the lowest note. If it is, the chord is in "root position", as in C-E-G. But E-G-C, G-C-E, E-C-G, and G-E-C are all still C major chords (they're just different 'voicings')

2. Yes

3. Yes

4. Yes

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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Mike
 Mike
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Holy cow that was fast! Thank you! :D

I think I'm starting to get the hang of this. 8)


   
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Fretsource
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Also, when using them, I have to use the appropriate 7th, right?

Right - If you don't, you'll have added chords.
For example,
C E G D (1 3 5 9) = C add9
C E G Bb D (1 3 5 b7 9) = C 9
C E G B D (1 3 5 7 9) = C maj9


   
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kingpatzer
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Also, when using them, I have to use the appropriate 7th, right?

Right - If you don't, you'll have added chords.
For example,
C E G D (1 3 5 9) = C add9
C E G Bb D (1 3 5 b7 9) = C 9
C E G B D (1 3 5 7 9) = C maj9

Though it is perfectly common on the guitar to limit chord voicings to "key" tones for a particular chord. That is, an arrangement might call for a C13, but on the guitar you might play the 1, 3, 9 and 13 and not worry about the 5, 7 and 11. This doesn't just happen for extended chords either . . . lots of guitarists when faced with a Cm play a C5 instead.

Sometimes it's done for ease in making a fast transition between multiple chords, other times it's a pragmatic realization that while the chord in front of you calls for 7 notes, you only have 6 strings!

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Mike
 Mike
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8) Thanks guys.


   
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slejhamer
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Why don't more teachers and method books emphasize intervals for beginners, rather than scale patterns? I mean, I understand where the intervals come from (scales) and how the chords are built (from scales), but the scale patterns seem to be emphasized over other stuff that seems more crucial for learning.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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kingpatzer
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Actually, scales and intervals are related, but intervals don't come FROM scales . . . scales are built on intervals.

The naming of our intervals does come from a two octave range of the major scale, but the idea of the interval predates the idea of scales.

It sounds like semantic niggling, but it's an important distinction. A scale is any pattern of intervals that covers the octave. That pattern can be anything. From the chromatic scale (a pattern of nothing but minor seconds) to wierd things for which there is no appreciable consistent name.

Why don't more teachers focus on intervals?

I have no idea. It is important information.

I make it a point to specifically not teach scale patterns until a student discovers that they exist by working it out themselves.

But, my students tend to lag behind other teachers in appearant ability for the first few years. After that they start to move ahead of folks who work on patterns alone.

It's not that patterns are bad -- they're very usefull and I make heavy use of them -- but I do think there's value in a student knowing why they are what they are first.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Ignar Hillström
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As for piano (and it might be obvious) you can divide the notes of a chord between your left and right hand. For example, your left hand could appergiate a basic C-major chord while your right hand plays a melody with the notes of the G-major chord. This would together result in C E G + G B D = C E G B D = Cmaj9. Or you might want to divide a chord in two parts for your left hand. For example you could play the root of any seventh chord on the 1st count and the remaining three notes an octave higher on the 3rd beat. Examples from the C-major scale:

C + E G B (Em) =Cmaj7
D + F A C (F) = Dm7
E + G B D (G) = Em7
F + A C E (Am) = Fmaj7
G + B D F (Bdim) = G7
A + C E G (C) = Am7
B + D F A (Dm) = Bm7/5b

As for a root notes: in general for solo piano you'd usually stick to root position unless you have a good reason not to. A simple example would be C7-Em7-Am7-G7, here the B-note in the Em-chord could serve as a link between the Cmaj7 and Am7 chords. This would give you as a possible part for the left hand:

C + E G B
B + E G D
A + E G C
G + D F B


   
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kingpatzer
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I make it a point to specifically not teach scale patterns until a student discovers that they exist by working it out themselves.

It takes your students two years to find scale patterns on the internet? :wink: :lol:

The 7 and 8 year olds don't tend to go looking for shortcuts on the 'net yet.

Older students are harder, but I have tricks that stop them dead in their tracks.

"Oh, that's interesting, ok show me 15 ways to play that same scale not using one of the 5 patterns you found on the net . . ."

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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slejhamer
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"Oh, that's interesting, ok show me 15 ways to play that same scale not using one of the 5 patterns you found on the net . . ."

Yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about: If one knows the intervals, then the scale can be played from any location. And one can build a chord anywhere as well, given a root note location. Or arpeggiate with the chord tones.

The patterns can be physically restrictive (muscle memory) and mentally restrictive (literally not thinking outside the box.) Just my opinion as a student. :)

P.S. Thanks for the correction KP - yes, certainly scales come from the intervals, not the opposite as I wrote.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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Ricochet
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This stuff's a whole lot more obvious on a keyboard than on a fretboard.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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reeve
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Why don't more teachers and method books emphasize intervals for beginners, rather than scale patterns? I mean, I understand where the intervals come from (scales) and how the chords are built (from scales), but the scale patterns seem to be emphasized over other stuff that seems more crucial for learning.

I agree. Knowing the intervals for the different chords helps me understand a lot more what's going on, especially as an extreme theory novice.

Well, I've had some requests, but I'm going to play anyway.


   
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Mike
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Thanks Arjen.

Edited- I confused myself. It's all good now. Brainfarts, gotta lov'em. :lol:

I've been going over a lot of what you wrote Arjen, and I think it's sinking in. You've reassured some things I was doing already and taught me some new things. Thank you. :D


   
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