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Em6...

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(@vempyre)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

i'm learning eleanor rigby from a beatles songbook.

as per usual, at the top of the page, there's the chords used in the song notated in tablature. this is what baffled me. em6 is written as (left to right - bottom string to top) [ 0 2 2 0 2 0 ], adding a c#.

please forgive me if i'm being stupid, but isn't the submediant of e minor c? meaning that it would be played and notated like this [ 0 2 2 0 1 0 ] ?

it occured to me that perhaps somebody wasn't quite sure what to call it - but even so, wouldn't it then be written as em6# or something?

thanks for your assistance..


   
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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

as far as I recall that's an Em6.

The chord you've diagrammed I would say is a CMaj7 CBEG


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

The chord you show is E-B-E-G-C#-E. All chord formulas are based on the major scale (even if it's a minor chord), so that's R-5-R-b3-6-R.... or 1-b3-5-6.

You're getting confused because you're thinking in terms of the E minor scale, not the E major one.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@vempyre)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

oh dear ..

you're right, noteboat... i was thinking in terms of the minor scale. it always seemed to make more sense to me that 'ingredients' of a minor chord came from the minor scale from which it derived its name.. it looks as though i'll have a bit of re-learning to do from now on... :(

thank you both.


   
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(@hbriem)
Honorable Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 646
 

Strangely enough, chord formulas of major chords are based on the Mixolydian mode, not the major scale and chord formulas of minor chords are based around the Dorian mode, not the natural minor (Aeolian).

Thus a G7 chord has a b7, not a maj7.

And a Em6 chord has a maj6, not a b6. Try the b6 and listen to how awful it sounds.

The rule is probably just "commonest wins".

--
Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com


   
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(@vempyre)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

the em chord with a flattened sixth sounds quite nice to my ears.. that's what i had been using until i was corrected. :oops:

i have another query to plague you all with.

using the ist, iiird, and vth degrees of the f# dorian scale (...f#, g#, a, b, c#, d#, e, f#..), this chord: [ x 9 11 11 10 9 ] is f# minor, correct?

normally, i would call this chord [ x 9 11 9 10 12 ] an f# minor seventh (f#, c#, a, e). however, these comments have made me doubt myself a little, and now i'm concerned, because there is no "untainted" e in the f# major scale (f#, g#, a#, d#, c#, d#, e#, f#).

my understanding of minor seventh chords is that they are using the minor chord structure ... i, iiib and v, with (as my guitar teacher once told me rather vaguely) an added seventh.

the only way i can think of this working is if the seventh degree is also lowered a semitone. though even if this is the case, then why not use the dorian scale to construct minor chords "full stop.." ? :?

if you like you can hit me.


   
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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Yes, the 1-3-5 of the F# Dorian is F#m

As Helgi just pointed out, the Dorian can be used as the basis for forming minor chords because of the b7 degree (and the Mixolydian for the major chords). However, I prefer (as does every theory text I've ever read) to use the major scale - because a) then you only need one scale, and b) because modes aren't really very useful, no matter what most people say :)

If a chord has '7' in it, the b7 is implied. If you want the natural seventh, it'll say 'maj7'. So F#-A-C#-E is 1-b3-5-b7, or F#m7. If you spell it F#-A-C#-E#, it's called F#m/maj7

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@vempyre)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

it seems a strange thing to me that when a minor chord is written in shorthand, the minor (flattened note) must be denoted with "m" or similar.. though the seventh chord, shorthandedly, already implies that it is minor, and the suffix must be added to denote that it it is a natural seventh (major)...

thank you noteboat. some of the questions roaring like the maelstrom in my head have now subsided.. :)


   
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