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Notes rising in pitch, chords not (subject lines too short!)

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(@rich_halford)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 225
Topic starter  

I'm confused (again).

When I play a G note 6th string, open G string or G note first string they all sound remarkably different (obviously). I know the notes are in different places on the stave (sp?), so I know which one I should be playing.

Now, when I play an open G chord it sounds very similar to a G chord barred at the 3rd.

So, when I see that I need to play a chord, how do I know where to play it? And at what point is it the 'next chord up' for want of a better description?

If the 'first' A is played with notes fretted at the 2nd fret, where is the next one up played (C shape at the 9th?).

Many thanks.


   
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(@dneck)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 630
 

You can pretty much play the chords anywhere and get away with it, but some arrangements will sound better than others, you should line up the bass notes the order you want them and then build the chords around that. (the G major open and 3rd fret bar chord sound a lot alike cause they have the same bass note)

Personally on acoustic I like the vibrance of open chords a whole lot, but I still use bar chords a good bit, they sound different and allow you to palm mute so they each have a place it depends what your going for.

Also, the guitar gives you ~ 2 and a half octave range vertically at any given time, and another ~ 2 octaves horizontally. So you can go to the octave by movin up 12 frets or down 2 strings and over 2 frets (much more convenient).

"And above all, respond to all questions regarding a given song's tonal orientation in the following manner: Hell, it don't matter just kick it off!"
-Chris Thile


   
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(@zaiga)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 64
 

I agree with Dneck that you can play a chord at any position you like and get away with it. However, sometimes a certain position is more convenient than another, depending on what chords come before and after. Also, sometimes a certain position give you a specific sound that you want to have. This may especially be important when playing certain covers. See David Hodge's article on Give A Little Bit for more information on this.

I disagree with Dneck that the open G chord and the barred G chord ath the 3rd fret sound alike because they share the same bassnote. I'd say they sound alike because they share the same highest note. In my opinion and experience it is usually the highest note that is most audible and thus gives a chord the most color.

To answer your question about the A chord, you can play an E-style barred chord at the 5th fret to get an A chord (3rd fret is G, 2 steps up is A). Of course, there are many other ways to get an A chord, one I always find interesting is X-0-7-6-5-0.


   
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(@dneck)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Lining up bassnotes is important when your trying to organize where to play each chord for a song, and its the bassnotes that give you a frame of reference for hearing a chord, thats all I was trying to say. A lot of times you use the highest note for the melody so sure its important also, but the only reason it sounds right is cause of the bassnote.

Obviously ANY chords that shared ANY notes bass or melody would sound more and more alike the more exact notes they shared. They sound the same because of both the bassnote being the same and the high notes being the same, not one or the other.

And another thing to learn about rich is when the bassiest note you play is not the 1 of the chord then you get intresting results. You can use any sounds in music though, this is called inverting a chord. Instead of playing a C major chord C E G you play it E G C' with the C being the highest note and E being the bassnote.

"And above all, respond to all questions regarding a given song's tonal orientation in the following manner: Hell, it don't matter just kick it off!"
-Chris Thile


   
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(@rich_halford)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 225
Topic starter  

Thanks people. I'm not ignoring you, I'm just churning this info over. I am also writing it all down, as per Mr Hodges advice.

In fact, I have produced some wonderful diagrams over the last few days that have opened a few 'theory' doors for me, but not enough yet to let me out of the maze.

I'll be back!


   
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(@rich_halford)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 225
Topic starter  

I've given up searching the web to answer a question I have.

The C chord is made up of the 1st 3rd and 5th of the C Major scale - right?
These are CEG - right?
The bass note of a chord 'should' be the 1st - right? (I've read it isn't always, whioch is part of what I am trying to understand).
Any combination of CEG = The C Major chord - right?

Are there any rules/guidelines? E.g. Would a C bass note, plus 4 E's and a G = C Major?
Should it be 1 of each, 1st note = the bass note, then double the 1st first, then double the 3rd, then double the 5th (not sure if thats possible but you get the drift, right?).

Many thanks,

Rich.


   
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(@lunchmeat)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 153
 

Its about the combination of notes, not the number of them. It doesn't matter how many E's you have; since they're the same note, they will give the same color.

CEG is a C Major chord. Chords are commutative - you can switch the notes around and you'll have the same chord, but you will probably not have the same sound. There's a definite difference.

A rule of thumb for me - rearrange the notes so tha tthey have the smallest possible intervals between them, and you've got your chord. You'll notice that in CEG, the intervals are thirds. In EGC, the interval between G and C is a fourth (speaking from top to bottom). So if you minimize your intervals, you should have the root chord, and you can dervie your inversions from there.

I hope that made sense!

-lunchmeat


   
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(@dneck)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 630
 

Inversion is basically a confusing way to say drop the bass note and go to the next highest note haha. If you just learn your major scale and intervals all the way up the fretboard, and then learn chord theory, you can build any chord you want anywhere on the fretboard.

"And above all, respond to all questions regarding a given song's tonal orientation in the following manner: Hell, it don't matter just kick it off!"
-Chris Thile


   
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