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How do you figure out the name of a chord?

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


  1. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    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

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    What Pac said.
     
  8. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
  9. Lovebown

    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
     
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002