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A question on chord tensions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by romac, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. I recently purchased the book; Chord Studies for the Electric Bass, a Berklee Press book. Now I'm having some trouble grasping a concept shown on page number 7, the first C Major page. It shows the C Major chord with all it's tensions (3,5,7,9,#11 and 13). Now it's the sharped 11th that I'm having trouble with. Why is it sharped? The sharped 11th of C is F# surely the 11th should be used instead (F)??

    I'd be greatly if someone could give me some insight into this :)
  2. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    In a Major 7 chord, a natural 11 is an avoid tone, whereas the sharp 11 isnt.

    In an ionian situation its safer to steer clear of 11s altogether, though the occasional #11 can add some nice colours when used in the right circumstance. Like, if you want to play a wholetone lick, or if you're using it as a chromatic note to the 5

    In a lydian situation its open season with the #11

    natural 11 + major 7 = evil and must be punished
  3. Thanks Slot, that's all I needed to know :)
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    You could look it as a C Major chord from the scale of G Major, the chord built on the 4th degree of the G Major Scale with all of the available tensions available being a major chord (D F# A) a whole step above it.