# How do you figure out the name of a chord?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Mike Money, Aug 30, 2003.

1. ### Mike MoneyIn Memoriam

Mar 18, 2003
Bakersfield California
Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
I was messing around with different chords, and was getting pissed because I did not know how to know what chord it is.

Like this chord I was messing with:

G:-5-----------------------------
D:-4-----------------------------
A:-6-----------------------------
E:-5-----------------------------

How do you find out what the chord is?

2. ### moley

Sep 5, 2002
Hampshire, UK
You find out what chord it is by learning about how chords are formed, and then applying that knowledge to that particular set of notes.

First off, you're never gonna work out what chord it is if you're thinking of it as fret numbers. You need to know what notes you're playing. In this case (from lowest to highest): A Eb F# C.

Now if you know how all the various kinds of chords are formed, you'll recognize that pattern as being a diminished 7th. A is in the bass, therefore this is an Adim7 chord.

3. ### Lovebown

Jan 6, 2001
Sweden
That voicing looks like A (or C, Eb, F# since they're interchangeable) diminished. You would not usually voice a Diminished 7th chord with the natural 13th and omit the 7th.

/lovebown

4. ### moley

Sep 5, 2002
Hampshire, UK
A dim7 chord doesn't contain a flat 7th, it contains a double-flat (a.k.a diminished) 7th, which is the same tone as the 6th/13th. So yes, dim7 chords *do* contain the 6th/13th, in the form of the diminished 7th.

A, C, Eb, and Gb are the notes that make up an Adim7 chord, so this chord is pretty unambiguous.

5. ### Lovebown

Jan 6, 2001
Sweden
Ok Moley ,point taken. I guess the proper way to name that chord is diminished 7th, although everyone I've heard has simply reffers it to as "diminished" or "dim"chord. Dim 7, to me means dim chord with a flat 7th aka m7b5, but , yes you're right.

/lovebown

6. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
If you're going to use the word "diminished" in conjunction with a m7b5, the term is "half-diminished", which refers to a diminished triad (1 b3 b5) with the minor 7th. "Diminished" as a chord name is always used to refer the doubly lowered 7th.

7. ### moley

Sep 5, 2002
Hampshire, UK
What Pac said.

8. ### Mike MoneyIn Memoriam

Mar 18, 2003
Bakersfield California
Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

9. ### Lovebown

Jan 6, 2001
Sweden
Thus, to me, saying "diminished 7th chord" is unneccecary since it's understood that "diminished" or "dim" means 1-b3-b5-bb7. But as stated, you and Moley are right, the correct term for 3 stacked minor thirds is "Diminished 7th chord".

/lovebown

Apr 8, 2002