Chord Vocabulary

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jcat
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Hey everyone,
I have been playing guitar for about 5 years now, and feel very limited to the chords i know , could you give me suggestions on building my knowledge of chords, I want to use more chords in my playing. thanks
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miker
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Intervals of the Major Scale are a good place to start... here's a small step to understanding them:

Three classes of Intervals:
1. Perfect Consonants = primes (unisons), 4th’s, 5th’s, octaves, and 11th’s
2. Imperfect Consonants = 3rd’s, 6th’s, 10th’s, and 13th’s
3. Dissonants = 2nd’s, 7th’s, and 9th’s

It is most common to call imperfect and dissonant consonants major intervals -- other intervals are perfect (i.e., perfect 4th, perfect 5th...)..

Naming Intervals as to Type:
Intervals are given names on the basis of type and quality. Type must always be determined before quality is determined.
Interval type is determined by counting up from the lowest note to the higher note on a musically notated staff. Always count the lowest note as 1. Proceed counting all the lines and spaces in between. Each line is given a value of 1 as is each space.

Note: odd numbered intervals are evenly spaced (i.e., both notes are on lines or on spaces);
even numbered intervals are oddly spaced (i.e., one not will be on a line, the other a space)

Naming Intervals as to Quality:
The quality of the interval is determined by:
1. The interval type (number)
2. The number of ½ steps between the two notes to be compared relative to the major scale.

Example: Major 3rd, Major 7th, Perfect 4th, etc...

The major scale is made up of 2 whole steps, a half step, 3 whole steps, and another ½ step

Flatting major intervals results in minor intervals, flatting and sharping intervals result in diminished or augmented intervals.

Example:

Major and Perfect Intervals
½ step expansion = augmented

Major Intervals
½ step contraction = minor

Minor Intervals
½ step contraction = diminished

Augmented Intervals
½ expansion = doubly augmented

Perfect Intervals
½ step contraction = diminished

Diminished Intervals
½ step contraction = doubly diminished

These are the building blocks of chords. Hope you find this somewhat helpful (this barely scratches the surface, but maybe it is a start).
Last edited by miker on Sat May 21, 2005 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mr_Guitarman
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miker wrote:Intervals of the Major Scale are a good place to start... here's a small step to understanding them:

Three classes of Intervals:
1. Perfect Consonants = primes (unisons), 4th’s, 5th’s, octaves, and 11th’s
2. Imperfect Consonants = 3rd’s, 6th’s, 10th’s, and 13th’s
3. Dissonants = 2nd’s, 7th’s, and 8th’s

It is most common to call imperfect and dissonant consonants major intervals -- other intervals are perfect (i.e., perfect 4th, perfect 5th...)..

Naming Intervals as to Type:
Intervals are given names on the basis of type and quality. Type must always be determined before quality is determined.
Interval type is determined by counting up from the lowest note to the higher note on a musically notated staff. Always count the lowest note as 1. Proceed counting all the lines and spaces in between. Each line is given a value of 1 as is each space.

Note: odd numbered intervals are evenly spaced (i.e., both notes are on lines or on spaces);
even numbered intervals are oddly spaced (i.e., one not will be on a line, the other a space)

Naming Intervals as to Quality:
The quality of the interval is determined by:
1. The interval type (number)
2. The number of ½ steps between the two notes to be compared relative to the major scale.

Example: Major 3rd, Major 7th, Perfect 4th, etc...

The major scale is made up of 2 whole steps, a half step, 3 whole steps, and another ½ step

Flatting major intervals results in minor intervals, flatting and sharping intervals result in diminished or augmented intervals.

Example:

Major and Perfect Intervals
½ step expansion = augmented

Major Intervals
½ step contraction = minor

Minor Intervals
½ step contraction = diminished

Augmented Intervals
½ expansion = doubly augmented

Perfect Intervals
½ step contraction = diminished

Diminished Intervals
½ step contraction = doubly diminished

These are the building blocks of chords. Hope you find this somewhat helpful (this barely scratches the surface, but maybe it is a start).
Very indepth dicription of chord costrution. jcat I to feel limited in my playing involving chord. Wht type of chords are you wanting to learn? First you have to realize what you know and what you want to learn beacuse there are so many chord out there. For me I play lots of jazz so I ventured into chord on the top four string of the guitar they are really flexable. I have a friend that play funk and loves these chord. The question is what is your goal?
jcat
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Hi,
Thanks for the response, yes the 1st response is very in depth, I still consider myself a beginer,so I was a little overwhelmed with all that info, I Play rock and blues guitar, I love steve vai, stevie ray, ect.... Iam mainly playing with open chords and bar chords minor and major, I would like to build from there, Thanks
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miker
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Steve says this:

"CHORDS:

Know how chord scales work. Know at least 5 ways to play every major, minor, major 7th, minor 7th, and other chords. Know how to identify a chord by its notes. Memorize the sound of these chords."

"Ted Greene's "Chord Chemistry"
(Dale Zdenek, dist. by Columbia Pictures Pub., 15800 NW 48th Ave, Miami FL 33014). "

Here:

http://www.vai.com/LittleBlackDots/MLS_01.html

Chord Theory is hard... wish I knew shortcuts... if you find any, let me know?
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miker
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Steve says this:

"CHORDS:

Know how chord scales work. Know at least 5 ways to play every major, minor, major 7th, minor 7th, and other chords. Know how to identify a chord by its notes. Memorize the sound of these chords."

"Ted Greene's "Chord Chemistry"
(Dale Zdenek, dist. by Columbia Pictures Pub., 15800 NW 48th Ave, Miami FL 33014). "

Here:

http://www.vai.com/LittleBlackDots/MLS_01.html

Chord Theory is hard... wish I knew shortcuts... if you find any, let me know?

Get a fake book, cop stuff off CD's... rhythms you like, to get ideas and learn chord voicings.
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miker
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8th is an octave and a perfect consonant... 9th's are dissonant... corrected it in above post... quote still shows the error. Sorry.
u2
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ok...can we have a bigg post on chord theory if someone has the time? I am sure many people like me would like to know more about chords.

All i know about chords are its spelling , 1 3 5 etc.
progg
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I think this is a great site for learning some theoretical stuff:
http://www.zentao.com/guitar/theory/

For learning how to construct chords I'd suggest reading about The Major Scale and then Triads from this site - to start with. I found it great for me to grasp stuff finally =)
NatiFable
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jcat wrote:Hey everyone,
I have been playing guitar for about 5 years now, and feel very limited to the chords i know , could you give me suggestions on building my knowledge of chords, I want to use more chords in my playing. thanks
One thing I will highly recommend is something Joe Satriani said he would do. Get a good chord book and play every chord in it. You'll feel a bit overwhelmed, but eventually you will start to anticipate the chords and you will start to really 'HEAR' the chords. Plus your dexterity will improve.

Man, as a beginner I would do this first <hey, it worked for Joe>. If you eventually want to move into how chords are constucted, then I would jump into the theory aspect.

Learn the 'sound' of chords first. You will be way ahead of alot of people by doing this.

peace and light
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phoenix2874
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chords are a lifelong adventure. I went to college at the University of North texas, as well as attended GIT, and I still to this day have a ratty old chord chart poster that I pulled out of a guitar magazine many years ago. It is on the wall right over my recording equipment, just to inspire me when I can`t seem to find the sound I`m looking for. I could play every chord on the chart backwards, but there`s always that one you`ve forgotten about. Fender has a pretty cool chord chart poster that I`ve seen for sale at Spencer`s in the mall.
theox
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jcat wrote:I have been playing guitar for about 5 years now, and feel very limited to the chords i know , could you give me suggestions on building my knowledge of chords, I want to use more chords in my playing. thanks
Simple question - simple answer: Learn how chords are constructed and you can create all the voicings you want. Sean's link explains the basics really good. Learn all that stuff and go from there!
stratoskier
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There are a gazillion good chord books. One I discovered a few years ago (from a very good review in Guitar Player magazine) was The Jazz Guitar Chord Bible Complete by Warren Nunes (in the Jazz Master Series by Warner Bros. Publishing). Don't be put off by the "Jazz" in the title -- pretty much any fancy chords are "jazz" chords, but we rockers can make good use of them too (hey -- Steve does).

The chords are presented in the style of a page or two of the chord forms (that is, a bunch for every chord type), followed by several pages of examples. In the examples, the chord is used in a simple 4-5 chord progression that represents a common usage of the chord. For example, a chord form for a m7 might be shown as the first chord in a Dm7 - G7 - CMaj7 pattern. That is really the only way to absorb chords -- see a common usage and play it over and over. I programmed the examples into Band-in-a-Box, so I have a cool little backup happening while I run through the examples. Each day I do at least one chord type. Since chordal stuff has always been my weakest link, this is good therapy.

Later,
Bert
jcat
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hey everyone thanks for all the great tips, keep em coming, thanks
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